I just returned from a camping trip with my brother and his family. It was at one of those family RV resorts, where everyone is parked next to each other, row after row. There were activities galore all weekend long, and lots of happy couples, excited kids, proud grandparents, and me.
Well, that's how it felt most of the time. I'm sure that to everyone one else, I was just one of hundreds of fathers, looking after their kids, and having a good time. I'm sure that they all figured my wife was back at the campsite, busy with her share of the activities, while I was supervising the boys. It's funny how we can feel so different from the others in such a crowd. It can feel so isolating.
I kept looking around, and didn't see many, if at all, single, or only, parents. I also didn't see a soul that looked like a gay parent. Just your run of the mill, cookie cutter, happy heterosexual couples, with their happy vacationing kids. You know, I'm the first to admit that I tend to easily fall into the trap of visualizing myself as someone on the outside looking in. It's easy to do, as I have had plenty of opportunities over the years to feel like someone on the outside looking in.
This weekend I didn't feel overly sad, even in the midst of all the joyous families. It felt like more of a reminder that I need to remain open to being back in the land of the living, and to visualize myself being one, as in one couple, among them. I know that for many that read here, the thought of being with another potential partner, or spouse, is something that seems unlikely, or odd. For me, I always expected that the day would come that I would need to be ready to move toward that part of this journey where new love might be an option.
This is something that Michael and I had plenty of time to think about, and to talk about. He always said he wanted me to find new love. He often made reference to my future boyfriend, or spouse, in our conversations. I think it was his way to make me comfortable with the idea. Lately, I have begun to feel that it is time to be open to this. For about the past six months I have had an ad on Match.com, but it was really something to help me make new friends. And, for the most part, it didn't work. I truly believe that it didn't work because it wasn't the right time for me. Being that I am gay, there is always the possibility that any new male friend that comes into my life could later develop into a new romantic partner. So, for that reason I didn't put much effort at all into meeting new guys.
Something is beginning to change. In the last couple of weeks I have suddenly become quite popular on Match.com. I have several guys writing to me, and trying to get an idea of what I am like. We are now at that point where you start discussing the possibility of getting together for coffee. I'm always so quick to tell new men that I meet that I am looking strictly for something platonic. That way I felt safe, and that I could perhaps have less pressure, or expectations, from the other guy about the possibility of romance.
With this new surge of interest, I'm feeling like someone is telling me it's time to take this step. I can't help but think that Michael has a hand in this. I'm not one who entertains the idea that the dead can reach out, and interact with the living. But, if they have some influence in this world, or in our lives, then I can say that I am definitely feeling Michael's energy these days. I keep visualizing his smiling face, and a wink in his eye. I keep visualizing him trying to convey to me that I need to get out of the house, and on with my life. I keep visualizing him trying to communicate this to me, reminding me that I am still young, and that I could use a good tire rotation now and then.
Maybe it's just me. I'm allowing myself to visualize a change. Perhaps I'm now sending out a new vibe that I am ready, and maybe, just maybe, I am beginning to see the possibility that I could once again find myself with somebody else, somebody new.
I am visualizing change.