So I have decided not to bore you with a play by play…you get the idea. I will post need to know facts and events, otherwise I will only share my self-discoveries as I walk…

I have to say the physical demand is quite great. My knee goes from fine to making me stop in my tracks in agony – it can not make up it’s mind. My pride of not having blisters has gotten a big dose of reality the past two days and they are multiplying. Gratefully only on my right foot, I guess the stress from supporting the left knee is the cause. But on a positive note, I clocked 40k 2 days in a row and am quite proud of myself.

Michelle and I spent a week with a beautiful and authentic Frenchman (from the group I spoke fondly of previously, and it’s not my fav Anthony ;). He is an amazing man and the two of them have become great friends. I assure everyone that she is more than safe in his watch, even safer than in my own. A few days ago we made the decision to continue our journey separately, once again I assure you she is absolutely safe and well protected.

I have actually had many lonely moments on this walk, however they pale in comparison to my current experience of being alone. Physical challenge + pain + constant internal conversations = well, I’m not sure what to call it…

Many people are scared to be alone, many people can not exist without their protected alone time, and some just prefer to be alone. I assume I have never assessed my own existence on this spectrum.

I always stated that I would never commit to another, however I spent 8 years with a great man. I do not regret that time. I am a stronger, better man because of it; and I have endless beautiful memories from this union. Once this time ended, I reinstated my self philosophy of not committing to another. I’m not sure where the desire to be a completely free individual comes from, but I feel like my heart tells me this is my destiny.

I have an insanely large network of extremely close friends and I am the center of connection for a large portion. I can not describe how lucky I am to have this many people so close as family. The love and support that all of us share make me thankful everyday. However, now as I reflect, has my desire to not have a significant other driven me to build such a large network? Subconsciously ensuring that I am not actually going to live my life alone, but surrounded by friends as close as family? That I can care for their kids just as my own to ensure I have the experience of being a care taker without the commitment? Possibly…

These thoughts lead me to the realization that if somehow this was the fuel behind building all of these relationships, then my subconscious was terribly misguided. As I said, I value these relationships more than anything else in my life. I would do anything for any of those in my circle, at any cost. But at the end of the day, I still stand alone. Each of these individuals have their own life, where does dedicating my life to their happiness leave mine?

When I was young and coming out of the closet, I heard many times that the “gay life” is such a lonely life. Is it? This leads me to another realization, you can’t choose to be gay, but you can choose to be lonely.

Being alone has nothing to do with being lonely. Sometimes you will be alone, sometimes not. It’s your choice to be lonely in those moments.

For me, when I am alone, I am lonely. I crave being around others, engaging, feeling needed…

What is keeping me from making the choice to not feel lonely in these moments? If this is the life I am committing to, then I need to figure it out…

Yep, another realization. I’m not comfortable spending time with myself. I constantly pick apart everything about myself. How I look, my weight issues, every choice I make…and the list goes on and on. I don’t think I’m good enough for myself. The fact is the amazing network of mine reminds me constantly that I am a great person, I just have to see that for myself. I have to become comfortable with myself for me to accept my own company when I am alone. Loving myself, what I stand for, and what choices I make will silence the feeling of loneliness and ensure that when I am alone, all is well…

I don’t desire responses to this post of uplifting messages, so please don’t. I’m not looking for sympathy, just sharing my journey.

The Camino is helping me to figure these things out, step by step…

Love to all…

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