Somewhere, someone is missing you, and they may not even realize it.
It’s a bit of a mood that hits me from time to time, whether I’m alone in the house or not. I look back over the last few years of my life, and after 18 years of standing still in one town, I find myself 10 years later, three towns since. Well. Technically three cities, but that would ruin the scene I’m trying for. 18 years in a town where my parents left me wanting for nothing. I never wanted for books, or for the knowledge they were more than happy to give. I was, by no means spoiled, let me make that very clear. Not spoiled in the traditional sense. But when it came to time and attention and parental investment? I was the envy of many and I will not doubt that for a moment. The only thing I ever wanted for were things that were not available in my hometown.
Like pretty much anything cultural at all. There wasn’t that much in Fort Frances, though I do have to give them credit for a very well appointed library. A good majority of the time, if it was a book I was interested in, it wasn’t an issue to find it.
I grew up. I moved out. I moved on. I moved to Winnipeg and began my own life, and started netting my own experiences. I grew my friendships, and grew into my own skin. I became more comfortable in myself and grew my personality. Well…let me just say my personality CONTINUED to grow. (I’m sure my parents and sister can/will confirm I’ve always had a very vocal personality). I forged friendships with people I didn’t know growing up, and with little more common ground than we were taking a few of the same courses, or that fate and a computer program put us together on the same floor in residence. These people became my foundation and my family away from home. Always quick to back me up when I needed it, and not afraid to smack me upside the head when I needed that too. I developed the confidence to truly be myself. No half truths. No evasions. Me. Just me. A me that I was honest with myself about, but a me that I shrouded in mystery to protect from those who would hate me just because I was different.
And so I became an activist. Gay marriage rally? Yes I was there. Peaceful protestor at an anti-gay marriage rally? Yes. I was there. Gay rights? Gay equality? Gay equity? I was there. I made friends who had ideals I agreed with and found a new voice in myself, to call to attention for those who wouldn’t or couldn’t. I worked to become a voice for the marginalized, the fringes, to pull them closer to centre and do what I could to give them a chance and a choice.
And so I became involved. I reached out, beyond the protests, and chose from that moment on to live my life in such a way that even if I were ignored by the majority, I would live as an example to others. I, the unassuming young man from small town Ontario, spread my own message of inclusion and understanding. Not by overt actions or loud yellings to draw attention to myself. I spoke softly. I developed friendships. I was simply me. I started turning minds, and helped them branch out. Together, we reached beyond where they thought they could grasp.
And together we moved forward. I surrounded myself with the best of the best. Intellects, and friends. Having grown to that point, I made the conscious decision. If you were going to be one of my friends, you would be the best of the best. I’m not saying only what society considers the best. I mean what I consider the best. People who were honest and true. Who I was comfortable enough around that I could laugh or cry or scream or collapse with and not be thought less of a person. I grew beyond “Rob the Gay Man” and simply became “Rob the Man.” In delight, with my elite friends I proceeded into the next chapter of my life. One I’d honestly forgotten about until it hit me square between the eyes.
I fell in love.
The man I fell in love with supports me in all things. As much now as he did back then. He attended a rally with me, and we held hands on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature, joining our voices with so many others calling for a reform to an antiquated system. He stood at my side in silence as I raged against the province and my university, and as I watched a potential future die in my eyes while I had a cigarette in a rain storm. He stood by my side as I worked to carve out a place for myself in the new world I was thrust into, and he stood by in silence as I wrestled with the decision that ultimately, more than anything, changed my life.
And so I moved to Alberta. I moved to Alberta and restarted the whole thing almost all over again. New place. New job. New chapter. New everything. And thank god for my friends and family. In the (nearly) three years we lived there, I learned more about myself, and my inner well of personal strength than I thought possible. While the people I spent my time with were wonderful, outside of that shell of people, we found ourselves in a living hell. Ignorance and bigotry, many times worse than anything I’d seen outside of a movie. Having to plumb the depths of my Self, to dredge up the ability to be the support that my husband needed, while carrying myself forward with each rickety step.
And so I saw the power of love. You can mock me all you want for that. But it’s true. What we learned and dealt with would test the foundations of any stable relationship. We grew closer to each other, because there were times when all we felt we had was each other. Of course our families were only a phone call away…but for practical purposes, we were all we had out there. From our relationship came a new development. Partnership.
And so we moved back to Ontario, and tried again. New home. New life. Old wounds and old scars healing, but still there if you know where to look. And so, here I am. And there he is. Opposite sides of the world, bound together in love. And somewhere, he misses me as much as I miss him.
But it isn’t just him that I miss. There are so many others who entered my life, and far too many to name. But a quote comes to mind, that brings a tear to my eye from time to time. I’ve used it before. I’ll use it again.
“Some I've seen, some never again, but there isn't a day my heart doesn't find them.”
So for those, who worry that they aren’t with that One Love they want to spend the rest of their lives with, the words I say, were words I told myself.
Somewhere, some one is missing you. And they may not realize it yet.
But, at the very least. I miss you. And maybe, for right now, for some…that is just enough.
My love always, in all ways.