Reflection is important for emotional health. It's also imperative for personal growth. While many of my personal growth moments have been due to the generous patience and mentorship of countless of folks, I am also certain that self-reflection was a critical component.
I started my reflection with what would be best described as Hallmark thankfulness. I have a loving and supportive family, a caring and inspiring partner, a community of friends, and a stimulating and fulfilling job. I have secure and convenient housing, access to education, a regular paycheck and I also have a steady supply of antidepressants. I'm grateful everyday. Reiterating why I'm thankful just because it's the year's end would be the easy way out.
So, I'm realizing, given my current situation, true reflection at this year's end is not just recounting what has happened or what I'm fortunate for, but really pushing myself to think about what I've been afraid to think about. (Even beyond the typical "hard questions": Am I contributing enough to our global society? Have I been kind? Incidentally, a generous answer to both those questions would be, "sometimes.")
Even these past four paragraphs are probably longer than they ought to be because I'm reluctant to get to what I'm scared to say.
I'm anxious about having a wedding next year because I'm not totally comfortable with being queer. On top of that, admitting that I have discomfort with being queer is embarrassing for me.
I don't even know why I'm terrified. I've come out to crowds of strangers before. I've been put on display as the token queer. I've even been threatened before. This is my wedding where presumably all the people who come are only coming because they care and want to support me, and yet, I feel apprehensive.
I get so tired of being different sometimes. I get tired of psyching myself up to be unabashed and confident.
Maybe it's that I'm resentful that during a time that I'd just like to focus on celebrating that I've found someone incredible to spend the rest of my life with, it's also just as much about having a gay wedding. Even in a liberal city and a state that's passed gay marriage, we have to vet our venues and vendors and wedding planners. An unforeseen bonus to getting a wedding planner is that I no longer have to deal with hearing about it if someone doesn't want to do a gay wedding.
I hear my out and proud friends in my head. I worry that if they find out that I have these thoughts they'll judge me and roll their eyes. Aren't we passed this? "Don't react with shame, react with pride!" "Don't let them disempower you!" And most of the time I can rise to the occasion, but sometimes I fail. Or I'm not strong enough. Or I'm tired. Or whatever. And that disappoints me. But it is what it is and I can hear my same friends saying that I'm being too hard on myself.
Now that I've said it, maybe I can start to move on and enjoy my wedding.