Yikes. Aside from my web server meltdown a week or so ago, updates around here have been pretty scarce. Fortunately, there’s a justifiable and good reason for that. I’m not sure I want to write about it directly yet, but it’s worth making some kind of note about what’s been happening here.
I suppose it should go without saying that when you discover something about yourself that’s as deep and far reaching as your own sexuality (or in my case, asexuality), it kind of shakes things up. If you can think of an emotion or thought, chances are good that I had it when I was in the process of figuring all that stuff out this past August. Ultimately, it ended up being relieving, and helped to quell an extremely turbulent and unsettled aspect of my life. What it also did was activate a kind of reset switch.
When you spend so long (in my case two decades) in one track, trying again and again to make things work, and failing repeatedly, you start to become very narrowly focused. You’re in a tunnel, and the light at the end gets smaller and smaller as the walls close in. There’s less and less room to maneuver around. It’s constricting and suffocating. It feels like things will only get worse, and there doesn’t seem to really be any point. I was down to basically nothing when that reset switch activated.
Suddenly there were choices. There were options. The tunnel was gone. Remember that feeling from way back when? You didn’t need to bury that! Remember those few times when there seemed to be a really happy you who just did what made you happy? You can be that person all the time! You’re the same person now that in kindergarten insisted to your parents that you wanted those shoes. Never mind that they weren’t meant for me. I would wear them, I did wear them, I loved them. You’ve spent so long hiding, and perfecting your hiding skills, that the real you became but a distant memory, almost unreal.
Outside of the tunnel, life feels like it’s worth living. Like I can make decisions that are best for me. I don’t have to hide anymore. The best analogy I can come up with (both literally and figuratively actually) is that where my life was once filled with color, it slowly became drained until it was nothing but greyscale. Colors are bright, noticeable. Greyscale is subdued, quiet and safe. I can bring all those colors back. I want to bring them back.
I understand now that so many of my thoughts were really aimed at wishing that I was someone that I’m not. Someone that my limited understanding led me to believe I could never be. If I couldn’t be that person, then I guess I’ll just be no one. Because I was no one, I didn’t have any intrinsic value. I had to create value at all times. I ran myself ragged trying to push harder and harder to create value. If I’m not valuable, then I’m not worthy of being here. I have to create value! I needed to invent. I needed to write. I needed to constantly learn new, complex and widely varying skills and not only be proficient, but masterful of them. I needed to create, build and design, and I needed to do it nonstop. I lasted longer doing that than anyone should have to because I felt I had no choice. It was either create that value, or drive off into oblivion like in the movie, Vanishing Point.
To be perfectly honest, I think I did arrive at somewhat of a crossroads. I was simply too exhausted to create value anymore. If I couldn’t walk that path anymore, I had to walk the other one. That scared me. It scared me enough to admit I needed help. That help led to asexuality and my reset.
Those aren’t the only two paths I have to choose from. I may not be that someone I wished to be, but that person has value because they exist. They exist because they are me. What I’ve learned is that, while far from easy, it actually is possible to become that person. No matter how difficult that may be, I have to believe that it’s a better choice than choosing between being no one, and driving off into oblivion.