When I went to therapy, my therapist and I talked a lot about “shoulds.” I went in talking about how I wanted to volunteer and advance in my career, get married and have kids. She asked me if I really want those things or if I feel like I “should” want them because my parents or society was telling me I “should” want them.
For the next few weeks, I felt like I was going through life questioning everything I thought I knew. Do I really want to go to yoga, or do I feel like I should? Do I really want to eat soup for dinner, or do I feel like I should? Do I really want to go back to school, or do I feel like I should? I love my parents, but I’m not going to make life decisions what will make them happy. Why? Because this is my life. I need to make me happy. They are responsible for their own happiness.
It was a great exercise in self-awareness. I still stop and think about my motivation. Am I running a 5K as a goal to make myself healthier to to brag about it on Facebook after? Am I going to school because I want to and it will make a difference in my career or to blog about it? I don’t want my life defined by selfies.
Getting clearer on what I don’t want helps me narrow down what I do want My former roommates used to joke that I couldn’t go on more than two dates with a guy. It’s true. If they weren’t who I wanted, why prolong the relationship? One and done.
I love being self-aware. I recommend it.
That’s why this New York Times headline caught my eye “How Many American Men Are Gay? Data analysis suggests that millions remain in the closet.”
How sad is it that when you type, “is my husband …” into Google, the most popular search is “gay?” Not being honest with yourself affects you, your wife and everyone around you. It breaks my heart to read that people are living in these fake relationships, most likely to please (or not disappoint) third parties.
And how sad is it that people so fear the reaction of others that they’re afraid to be their own true self? I’d love to live in a world where we stop judging everyone else for who they are. Gay, bi, straight, closeted, confused, black, brown, white, young, old, depressed, pessimistic, optimistic, active, sedentary, healthy, in denial, Seahawks fan, 49ers fan, you’re all right with me.