I turn 39 years old in just a couple of weeks, and it's an interesting one for me. I don't feel particularly weird about it and the one that follows it. It's just a number to me. However, I think it signals something about my life, how I live it and what I want to get out of it. The last year has been one of the most challenging ones for me, in every way imaginable. I've even written posts that have shared some of my private thoughts in a very public way, which has been a new and daunting but extraordinary experience.
I'm not the first or only guy to be a dad. Or a single dad. Or even a single gay dad. I don't think there's that many of us, but I'm not one of a kind. Nevertheless, I am different from almost everyone I'm close with, including the gay couples I know with children. I've thought a lot about that, and, well, yes, I'm different, but it is what it is. I chose it and worked hard for it, because I knew that being a father was something I knew was a certainty in my life. The order in which I'm doing things may not be what I had in mind, and the idea of being a single parent and actually living it are two very different things, but I'm finding my way. I have no regrets, and I love my little girl more than anything. She's made me think and feel differently. That's just huge.
There's no roadmap for me to follow, and I think that's true for a lot of gay men and women. But I think that those of us who live fully and honestly (to ourselves) are figuring it out. That means different things to different people, and I think that should be celebrated. It's 2013, and many of us are so fortunate now to have the ability to live our lives the way we truly want, the freedom to be out, to get married, to have children -- or not, if that's someone's truth. I think that no matter what, we should all find our truths and live happily. I've thought a lot about that and what it means for me and those whom I care deeply about. I'm living that way, and it's caused me to look at things in a way I never thought I could. I'm not perfect -- I know that -- but I'm looking at some of the things that make me me and how I can improve myself. I recognize some of my flaws in a way I never did before, so I'm figuring that out and how to work through it. I decided to be kind to myself, because at the end of the day, I should be kind to myself in order for others to be kind to me, but I also know that being kind to myself means being honest to myself and making decisions, sometimes tough decisions, in order to be kind to myself so that I can move toward what I want out of life, which is really the sweet stuff. It's why I get really frustrated sometimes with some of the closest people in my life, because I just want them to be kind to themselves, and for them to own their fear and let it go and be the amazing person they are in their hearts, deserving of all their dreams and wants out of life. However, the other side of what makes me me is my capacity to open my heart the way I can now in such a deep and pure way. It's made me understand what it feels like to want to make someone happy because they make me happy, and that's an amazing feeling but one that makes me vulnerable.
I think differently now than I did two years ago. I think as a we, not as a me. I know what I want out of life; having a kid on my own is probably the biggest example of that, and I won't and shouldn't sacrifice things at my age to not get what I yearn for in life. Do I want perfection? Absolutely not. I want to provide a great life for my daughter, and I want to be fulfilled and happy. It's interesting, because I thought about that, and I think that's what makes it so easy when I think about sharing a life with someone.
Part of all of this is about sharing the journey of life with someone. That someone needs to be my equal. I can talk and write about those qualities and feelings about that man or about me all I want, to myself or to whomever listens, but the fact is that I don't really need to. They're there; they're part of what makes up who I am and who he is. Yet -- not to sound too idealistic -- it's about two people who love each other, respect each other and honor each other to build a life that realizes both their dreams.
I don't have any answers to anything anymore. That's big for someone who has been extraordinarily determined and runs his mouth at times because at times he thinks he knows it all. What I know is that I love my daughter and there's nothing I wouldn't do for her. It drives every decision I make and everything I do. And when I finally do get to grow my family? Well, my hope is that I will have a husband and we'll get to have another kid together, and my hope is that my husband gets to see a child looking back at him who has his eyes, like I have with my daughter. He should get to experience that because I get it. I have. But no matter what, it'll be our family. It's then that I will get to say that there's nothing I wouldn't do for my children, and that there's nothing that I wouldn't do for him. It's that simple.