October 20, 2014

It IS a big deal and it is NOT a big deal...

Two weeks ago (yes I'm late writing about it)--I got to work and things went haywire on Social media as the US Supreme Court had decided that they did not want to hear anything about the State of Utah's appeal for equality marriage, therefore making the Federal District Court's decision stand, no more appeals and no more waiting:
Gay marriage was/is finally legal in my home-state of Utah!!

Of course it is a big deal--the media was probably expecting the rush of couples racing to the court house, it was interesting to watch the broadcasts of the county buildings with only a handful of couples but otherwise not a big rush like what we were seeing in December, it is a big deal because of all the controversy involved in a conservative state like Utah where one religious entity still appears to call many of the shots at several levels of life. It is a big deal because no matter how vocal some people are, it is the new law of the land, much sooner than anyone expected.

The reason I don't necessarily think it is a big deal is that equality marriage has been happening for more than 10 years in many countries and US States, governments have somehow managed to still operate, life has adapted and moved on--the world did not stop turning. It is a formality of things that we've seen coming for a while. I don't think it should be confusing what to do with rules, statutes and current laws because--well, this has been happening already. I hear the voices of "what if churches are obligated to perform same-sex marriages under the new law?" (they're not, by the way)--and even if for some weird notion were, why would I go ask a religious leader of a church that does not accept me to do it?
So my stance is that it is a good thing, we've been waiting for it, we'll move on--isn't that how it happens elsewhere? Why is Utah any different? Of course people have asked about why aren't we rushing, when is the date, what's the plan? We have talked about getting married but it is still very much a discussion right now. I've had this conversation with my kids and both are pretty supportive. Still, our lives are such at this moment that it isn't a huge rush to have to make a decision


If we were to decide to get married it is great to know that it is a valid and available option for me, my partner and many other people in whatever situation they live. I realize that there are certain benefits that we want to take advantages of and many rights that we would not have otherwise and when the right time comes--it isn't a question of if, but when and we'll go from there.
What does need to happen is for people--myself included--to stop calling it "Same-sex-marriage, equality marriage, gay marriage, non-traditional marriage, traditional marriage, heterosexual marriage" and just call it "Marriage"--I can get on board with that!

August 12, 2014

Whirlwind of events and emotions...

I had the fortune to spend two weeks out of the last month traveling with my children--in an ideal world I would have taken them both and my partner together on all the trips; however, situations were such that I was only able to go with one kid at a time--but that also made for some really needed 1-1 time with each of them--Jeff was very supportive of me doing this so I was glad he understood the circumstances and how it all evolved.

The first round was traveling with my 15yr old daughter for a trip I had promised her in lieu of not being able to celebrate her QuinceaƱera (Latin version of a sweet sixteen) and it was our way to celebrate. I was hoping to be able to have time to talk to her about some things that we never had a chance to do during the separation/divorce, things from my point of view, when I had been told not to discuss 'my gay life' with her, things about her life, her point of view on many things and get a general feeling of where she is/was. Let's just say  that being stuck in airplanes for a long time sure helped--we had many heart-to-heart discussions, no limits on topics, no judgements.

She blew me away on her views on the world, my life, her life and how it all sort of fits together in her mind. Things that I had been worried about her that are really not issues and realized that there are things she does worry about that I had not considered. She also amazed me at what a good navigator she is--she did screen shots of places we were going to and was able to pull them up on her phone to get to places she wanted to visit--of course I'm biased--but I'm so proud of her level of maturity and how she is facing the world and how she sees life, she makes me a proud papa.

Fast-forward to the last week of July. My son asked me to come along with him on a trip--his original plans sort of fell through so he asked if I could go and I was more than happy to step in and being able to pull it off. We spent a few days trekking around, went to a sporting event he really wanted to see for a long time and just wandered. I had had many conversations with him in the past so this situation was different but we still managed to have a lot of good talks, reassure where our relationship is as a father/son and how it is evolving now that he is learning to be an adult.

He also did his homework, figuring out how we could get around, costs, times, etc--he put a lot of effort into this trip and as usual he is very easy going, just ready to take on the next place, walk for blocks, ride subways, etc & keep things flowing without a specific schedule and just enjoy the time. Sure, I'll be paying for all of this in due time, but then I read this and makes perfect sense in my head:

We certainly made a lot of good memories, and I hope to be able to make a lot more in the future, whether in similar format or whatever we are able to do. The saddest parts for me were to say goodbye to them at the airport once they were heading back to their home--it never gets easy whether it is dropping them off at their mom's house or an airplane, a parent's heart hurts just the same, I did my best to hide the tears and broke down once I didn't have them in front of me, but life goes on and so must I...

This year sure has been one to make up a lot of the past years I have not been able to travel. I had forgotten how much fun it is, but I also confess that it gets tiring, the allure of getting on an airplane does get old after a while but again, it is a small price to pay for the good times...

June 23, 2014

Transitions...whoever gets used to change?

It's been a while since I posted. Last time I did I was heading home so my partner could meet my parents and other relatives. The visit went swimmingly (as expected). When we returned from Texas we shortly headed out to Cancun for about 8 days, some of it part of a work conference for Jeff and part to explore Mayan ruins and have some beach time--it was awesome!

After the return (early May) life has been in constant change/transition. We moved, my kids are moving out of the state with their mother, my partner's father passed away; there's definitely been some changes in our lives and we've really not had a lot of time to sit and think about them.

Most of these things didn't dawn on me until someone brought it up--granted, I'm used to living in some or other form of chaos at a given time and it while it never is fun, it really sends me into auto pilot than anything else and at some point things just explode--I don't know-- I was just chalking things up to "wow--things are moving fast" but not giving much thought to the impact that each and every one of these changes have or may have. The moving part is alright, it is seemingly okay, as we move into routines it will just get better with time. The part about Jeff's dad--while sad did put his family into an unexpected mode, having to deal with preparations of the funeral, family, etc, etc and having to deal with grief all of the sudden. All I can do is be there for my partner and his family in as much as I'm able to be there for them and offer my support. I can handle that as well.

The part of my children moving away is a little trickier. My ex had mentioned the moving away part a few years ago so this isn't quite a surprise, but each summer I would just figure it may not happen again, but this time she sold her house and made all arrangements to move. Granted, my kids don't spend a lot of time with me now. My daughter is 15--what kid wants to be close to a parent that much right?!?! Yet she knows I have her back, anytime she calls/texts I'm there for her--I've made a point to show this and come through and even with the distance, I'm not planning to change that. My son is already 20, I don't have a lot of say in his decision to move but he is looking forward to new beginnings. I've been in his shoes so I don't blame him for wanting to seek out a place for himself in the world.

People have asked me how I feel about this whole thing. I really don't have much of a say (although I've already said I wish they weren't moving--like it mattered!!) but the more I think about it, the harder time I'm having dealing with my kids going away. It is one thing to have them living in the next neighborhood, then I moved 20 minutes away, now they're moving a whole state away....there's plans for us to still do things together, me and them 1-1 still--so that might just have to become the new normal....it will be alright--just one more thing to adjust in life...maybe life itself gets easier to handle, it maybe more about me dealing with life changes and curves that has become the standard...just some food for thought.

April 02, 2014

Going home...

 I'm going to do something this month that I have not done for so-very-long. I'm going home to Houston to see my parents and taking my partner with me. Last time I went to Houston in 1999 my parents actually lived in Utah so technically I have not been to my parent's Houston home for over 20 years. I realize I don't HAVE to go home but it appears that the planets have aligned and it is a good time to make it happen.

How am I feeling? Depends on the moment I'm thinking about it. There has been a lot of excitement, coupled with anxiety, some uncertainty, a couple of "breathe, man, breathe!!" moments but overall I'm excited to go back, to go home and see family and some old friends, again, it is time to just do it.

See this is the first time I'll be going home as an all-out-gay-man. Not only that, I'm bringing my partner and while most of my siblings have met Jeff, my parents have not. At this point it isn't a matter of winning their acceptance, permission, even their blessing. It is a matter of them seeing me in my present life situation and where it has taken me. Now this will not be a surprise to them--I am out to them, they know about my partner and we've had several phone conversations about all of this, in fact we're staying in their house for a few days, in the same room with their approval, so none of that will be a shock to them.

The part that freaks me out a little is the always lingering thought that one goes through in the process of coming out to a new person, a new job or in a new situation, that someone will NOT be okay with it and make things uncomfortable all around. I'm not confrontational by nature so this issue creeps in my mind to a certain extent but I am also at a point in my life where I basically don't care who accepts and who doesn't, who is comfortable and who isn't. The best way I've learned to deal with uncertain situations is to NOT make a big deal out of things in the first place and most people are able to go from there. That's what I did when my very LDS siblings and spouses came to visit a couple of years ago, that's what I did when my non-active brother and his family came to visit and that is what I do with my family and frankly, Jeff's family when we attend family events and such.

Since that's what has worked in the past, that's what will be my plan, I just need to keep this in the back of my mind and move forward:

I trust it will be a positive experience--if, for some obscure reason it turns out to not be positive, then I will have to cross that bridge when I come to it but for now, I'll just remember to breathe, breathe, breathe!!

March 04, 2014

Things that keep me awake at night...

It has been a while since I've written.

I doubt that it is because of lack of things to talk about. Since the last time I wrote on here Utah and several other states have jumped head on the Marriage Equality fray and depending on who you talk to the cause will either prevail or fail; many people have become accidental activists because of this, can't wait to see how it all unravels.

Work has been insane to say the least, but keeps me on my toes, thankfully. Things on the home front are okay, we've taken on the stance that this year will be the year to travel a little, so far we've taken a long weekend to Vegas and more possible adventures to come...

My daughter requested a few months ago to cut back on our weekly visits which I initially struggled but have since realized that our visits now have become more about quality than the quantity. Still as a parent I often times feel ill-equipped to handle the curb-balls that parenting throws at me. When I lived with my children full time I felt I had a good handle on their lives, their needs and I could be there to help them with anything. Since the separation/divorce years ago that has stopped. I've had to learned to let go of many things, sometimes guilt sets in (sometimes others love to impose it on me--but that's a whole other story....).

Still--there are times when I look at my children and I see well-adjusted people muddling through life like everyone else and then I see things like this, often times posted at 2 or 3 in the morning by my 19yr old son:

Immediately followed by panic, what can I do, how can I comfort him, make his life better, what drove him to write that? Guilt, rationalization, processing... In the end I conclude he knows he can ask for my help if he really needs it; after all--what were my own thoughts when I was his age? The difference is I didn't have social media to sort through my vague thoughts...such is life.

I suppose in the order of probabilities the things that keep me awake at night are minor--they could always be worse, and I realize they are for others. I'm extremely lucky in many senses and the small moments of wavering confidence come and go...just had to get that out today, but I guess I have to ask:

What keeps you awake at night?