In less than a week’s time it’s my birthday. What’s a bit special about that is the fact that I’m turning 30, the big three and Oh! It’s quite a nice number and it’s the change of a decade, so everybody’s been telling me to do something extravagant / different that I will remember for the decade to come.
I have been fortunate enough to have memorable celebrations of my birthdays, good or bad. I remember children parties with friends from school, I remember dressing up parties and dancing till the morning in university, I remember serving in the army guarding a post at 4:00 in the morning in freezing cold and I remember being in Las Vegas the year after.
What’s a bit special about turning thirty is my past and how I viewed back then this milestone. When I was a young 14 – 19 year old lad, during my teenage years, I was so closeted, I couldn’t even see any light outside the closet. I remember having these depression crises wondering why this ‘thing’ had happened to me and why I was having these different feelings. I remember asking this unanswered ‘why?’ and ‘why did it have to happen to me?’ over and over again without of course getting any answers.
I was afraid of everything. I was afraid that the ‘awful’ truth would come out. I was afraid that I would disappoint my parents and friends. I was afraid that people would think I’m a freak and I would end up eternally alone not having the courage or the chance to fall in love and have a ‘normal’ life (as they believe it to be). According to the media back then (and sometimes still now), gay people do not get a chance to create a happy family. They all end up badly either being brutally murdered, dying from overdose or becoming prostitutes.
During these times I was foolishly thinking like that since I didn’t know any better. There was no internet to find likeminded people, no gay friendly places to go in my small town, or even a family or friend acquaintance to ask for advice. I was having some dark thoughts. My desperation and loneliness made me think that this kind of life is not worth living and I had thought of suicide. I had decided though that I would give my life a chance until I was thirty (thankfully)! I was sure that if by that time, I was still alone to that degree, still closeted and depressed, I was just put a stop to it.
That is why turning 30 is now so important. I started thinking again about how I was feeling then and my journey to this point. I’d really like to think that if my teenage self could see where I am now, he would be happy or at least content. Life can be a real pain in the butt sometimes, that’s no big secret, but generally she can be so good sometimes. What I believe I lacked back then was hope. That is why I loved initiatives like ‘It gets better’. I am so grateful for so many things in life now, many more than I was back then.
Generally, I’m not worried about growing older (yet). OK, I have recently noticed a dark hair or two on my chest giving me a fright (but at least my round face remains unwrinkled). I feel like I have so many things to see and do. I have so many unfulfilled dreams and goals that will take at least another 35 years to accomplish so I will be busy till I reach 70.
So, the bottom line is that it’s time to celebrate! I’ve already been to the Opera this week; I was taken to a magnificent restaurant called ‘Babylon’ (with a bill matching my vacation budget) and to the theatre to watch ‘The children’s hour’ yesterday. The latter was really amazing. The cast and the direction were simply exquisite. I didn’t think that Keira Knightley could act so well. I feared she would be cold, distant and boring but she wasn’t. I also loved the rest of the cast which included big names like the Golden Globe nominated Elisabeth Moss, the award winning Ellen Burstyn and the award nominated Carol Kane. I don't watch Mad Men so I didn't really know Moss but I loved movies with Burstyn and Kane and I was looking forward to seeing them too.
The final act of my birthday celebration is that JJ is taking me away for the week. We’re flying Tuesday morning for a few days to Venice. I’ve never been there before and I hope I’ll love it. Everybody’s been saying that it’s simply amazing. I promise to take lots and lots of pictures to show you. I simply can’t wait.
(I hope this post doesn't seem like I'm bragging about myself. I just want to say how grateful and happy I am)