It is now T-16 to my 40th Birthday, and it happens to be Brian's Birthday today. As I write this, he is playing Civ VI, his present with the biggest smile on his face. It is hard to express how much I love him.
Love is such a strange thing. I never thought this would be a part of my life, yet still here it is. Our story is as strange and bizarre as it would have to be to get people like us together. My life has taught me the most important thing anyone could ever know about love:
Love sneaks up on you
By that, I mean every kind of love. Romantic, friendly, familial, or just simple compassion, it just sneaks up on you. It doesn't come when you seek it out. It seems to hide when you look for it, but when you least suspect it, there it is. I was in a relationship when I met Brian. I wasn't looking for anything else, but it happen anyway.
Romantic love isn't the only kind of love that sneaks up on you. Friends do as well. I never expected to make so many friends from New York, especially since I haven't been to the state since 1996, but now I have a circle of friends there that are as supportive, if not more, than any of the friends I have in the town where I live. How did that happen?
After an event I am not going to go into a lot of detail about took place in 1998-99, many people I thought were friends stole every THING that I had including my sense of self and how the world works. After that, I decided just be bluntly and blatantly who and what I am.
While I wouldn't recommend for everyone to be as open about their lives as I am, I will say that you have to be yourself.
Stop caring about what others think about you
I am just me, and you should be you. If you spend any amount of time worrying about what other people think about you, that is just a waste of time.
The one thing most lacking in this world is honesty or integrity or however you want to name it. Society will always pressure individuals to play a role, because it is a machine like everything else. It packages, names, and grinds people down until they fit into the role it needs them to fill.
What is important to remember is that Society is made up of many subcultures, and those subcultures empower Society to behave the way it does. If you are in a subculture that doesn't want you, find another that does.
I left the mainstream or popular subculture years ago because I am not the Cisgendered, Heteronormalized, Centrist demanded my the currant cadre of subcultures that make up the present coalition we call Pop Culture.
I am not Cisgendered, so I identify as genderqueer, or more specifically as androgynous. I planted a flag there, and made a home in a community that accepted me as I am.
I could never live a Heteronormalized life, so I found myself in the feminist and LGBT communities.
I am not a centrist, so I called myself out as a liberal.
So what subculture do I live in? Fandom. I love a subculture that defines itself by what it loves rather than what it hates (which is how fandom should be defined, even though sometimes people push the edges of that definition).
To me, that is the secret of life and how everyone should act. When you focus on the things you love, you attract a loving community around you. This is a how you attract love in every form.
Brian and I connected through fan activities, and we have now been together for almost 20 years. All of the friends I have, I met through our mutual fandoms. Love gives meaning to life. Love gives us strength. Love is all that matters.
Task for Today
Share something you love with a partner, friend, or a stranger. Connect with those closest to you over your mutual love for something: music, shows, movies, games, etc.
Let me know what your results are.