I remember being young and fretting about getting older. Not because I was afraid of aging, or my health deteriorating, but because I wanted to have so many different lives I would never be able to successfully complete one– much less several.
I have, however, had the unique ability to reinvent myself. In fact, it has been a bit of a problem. First, I was “super Christian Garrett.” He dated only Christian girls, and never had sex. He ran a bible study at his school, and went on church retreats and choir tours. I learned a lot about myself during that time period, such has how to love something I could not see and how to always be able to find free doughnuts.
That phase slowly transitioned into “married Garrett.” He was hopeless, and kind, but equally unhappy and depressed. I learned what it was to be a husband, and how to manage the needs of family with your partner. I also learned how to fight, and how to be heartbroken. However, most importantly I learned that I was strong and I began to appreicate the way my father raised me–Teaching me to always be truthful and honorable, even when you want to run over someone with your vehicle.
Next, was “party Garrett.” He was free and unobtainable. He was impossible to lock down for lunch, and simply incapable of making any sort of long term plans. During this phase, I learned how to drink and drive, travel, experiment with sex, and how to make friends. Life-long-fucking-friends, that will forever be attentive to me. I also learned how to laugh, and laugh hard, while starting a 401k.
This person slowly became “gay Garrett.” He pretended to be very independent and expected everyone to be on his level, quickly. He came out the closet offended that the secrete he kept hidden his entire life was not evident to his family members. He was a contradiction. Then, I learned what being sad was truly about. I experienced death, and heartbreak. I also had the biggest, and still very present, “straight crush” of my life. I learned that I will not always get what I want, and that vampire fantasies are just that.. fantasies.
Hence forward, Gay Garrett has been apart of me. However, I have slowly let that version of myself mellow and settle into who I am now: “social work Garrett.” I often say to people, “I have been on this journey for a long while, but I finally found the correct path.” That is the easiest way to describe it. I have put in the work, and laid the foundation, now it is time to build.
When building, I have to ensure I found the right location (Chicago), the appropriate things to fill my house, and provide regular maintenance. Building also takes a long time. Yes, I am thankful for the years I have had to establish my credit, if you will, but there is still a lot to do. I don’t know who I will be next? Dad Garrett? Author Garrett? Boyfriend Garrett? Dare I say, Husband?
What I do know, is that I have to take it little, by slowly. Bird, by bird, as some would say. 😉