Checking in

I’ve been pretty quiet recently.  And it’s not that nothing has been going on, it’s just I don’t think I’ve really had anything to say.  Like Richard in “My Trip Out”, I’ve been catching up on other bloggers and agree with him when he writes about most of these blogs starting with some sort of message and then the reality of life simply setting in.  I told myself when I started writing that this wasn’t a journal.  For starters, my life isn’t that interesting.  And then there’s the fact that I’m not an exhibitionist.  So the back and forth between me and my soon-to-be ex is just not for consumption.  Suffice it to say we’re moving towards a better place.  My kids are fine and we’re figuring out the “new normal”.  My relationship with Steven continues to strengthen and I’m realizing just how lucky I am.

I did have a new experience over the weekend.

I’ve had my first visit to a bona fide gay bar.  And it was actually a lot of fun.  I’ll admit to being nervous as I walked to the door…kept having these thoughts of running into someone from my “prior life” who might have been as surprised to see me there as I would have been to see him.  But as is usually my nature, I seem to worry about things before they happen and they usually don’t happen. Not a soul there I recognized.  But at the same time I recognized the full cast of characters from the gayborhood.  There was a lurker who kept at the fringes of the bar and in the shadows when he could.  He was much better suited for the cruisy park or an interstate rest stop.  There were the guys who thought they were the alpha males of the whole place.  The swishy queens who kept parading through to make sure we all saw just how fabulous they were.  The big bears in their flannel.  A few bikers for good measure.  A healthy dose of college twinks.  And then there I stood with Steven.  Jeans and a stylish, but not quite metro, button shirt untucked.  The music was great and provided more confirmation of my orientation as it was similar to a secret playlist I would have never let see the light of day a year ago.  What struck me most as I stood there and watched the evening unfold safe with the knowledge of who I was going home with was how it was actually just like the scenes playing out a couple of blocks over in the straight nightclubs.  People sizing each other up, drinking to excess for courage, and seeing what could happen.  Mostly rejection just like at any other club I’ve ever been in, a few love connections unfolding, but mostly just a group of people out to see what was going on.  Steven and I had a couple of drinks, talked to a few people he knew and decided we had seen and been seen all we needed.  Headed out and that’s now checked off of my list.

For those of you who have been following me since this time last year, you’ll be pleased to know that my holiday gloom has descended right on schedule – 6 weeks out from Christmas.  It started when the light pole decorations went up in my town way too early.  Hit me like the wrecking ball – here we go again.  And, of course, this year will be dramatically different.  But I’m making the most of it.  Volunteering at the Mission on Thanksgiving morning serving the homeless.  I’ve wanted to do this for years so I can see just how thankful I need to be.  Spending the afternoon with some family and then Thanksgiving night with Steven after he gets back from his own family obligations.  Christmas plans are not underway yet but I’m sure there will be drama there as well.  There always is.  No need for this year to be different.  I hope your holiday season is unfolding as you want it to.

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About Traveling Out

I'm a 46 year old man living in the suburbs of friendly Atlanta. Married, 2 kids, 2 dogs, professional, life is good. Until I realize the crutch I've used all my life to convince myself I'm not gay falls apart. Welcome to the jungle. So far, writing is taking the place of paying $$$ for therapy...but I'm pretty sure that day is coming too.
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One Response to Checking in

  1. Anon says:

    Your blog is mature and inspiring. So many bloggers in your position seem to “live to blog”. Every mundane thought that crosses their minds is shared and the blogging seems to becomes their reason for being. Having made that choice, the momentum of the blogging leads them to unending crises and dramas.
    You, instead, recognised there was a problem in your life. You addressed it a forthright, honourable and thoughtful way. Once you did so, your life improved and will continue to improve as a result.
    So many married men seem to take their coming out as an opportunity to unleash their inner drama queen. To me it is an opportunity to finally be the man you were meant to be. Brave and honest. Congratulations to you. I hope that in future you will be a mentor to those who come after.

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