Discovering Self: The Death of My Societal Standards
Life is busy and can lead us to make moves that magnify certain areas while others are left to be forgotten and left to wither. The journey to self-discovery is not just for healing, but for expression as well. Expression of parts of ourselves that have been stifled by the rules and philosophies of the foolish. We‘ve been told to neglect the parts of ourselves that make us beautiful in exchange for the parts that make us profitable. I don’t know about you, but I’m over the shit.
Choosing to take the path to self-discovery you lose a lot of supporters. As you’re getting to know the parts of yourself that you undervalued, they may express themselves in ways that may be shocking even to you. In high school I gave myself permission to be a hoe because that’s what I wanted to do. I needed a chance to explore who I was sexually so that I could figure out who I truly was as a sexual being. I was always told that it’s not good to be a hoe and never to even have sex before marriage. I remember my mom putting me through a purity class at church to try and stop me from being a sexual being. It didn’t work.
I wanted to know what love was really like. I believed that if I gave my body to an elite set of people that I would find my power and love in the engagement. While I definitely found my sexual power, I never found that love. Instead I found people that were so broken that even having a sex gawd like me couldn’t satisfy what they were looking for. And for me, I was left with a lot of wounds and a broken heart that put me on a dating hiatus for two years.
College was another time of very interesting expression. I was slowly learning how to use my voice, but I hadn’t had the freedom to fully use it until then. I pushed myself to go out for groups and orgs that would help me break out of that comfort zone we often find ourselves in. Honestly, I hated myself then. I was overweight, socially awkward, queerish, and so so lost. I found myself in leadership with the skill to make big shit happen, but I lacked confidence in myself. I joined a fraternity thinking that if I can endure something that most never overcome then I would have some added value. I thought that I could gain a brotherhood that would last a lifetime and help me sharpen my sword as a man. It did just that, but I often felt I didn’t belong.
I felt like everybody wanted me to be this guy that I just wasn’t. I could wear the suits, put on the presentations, do the shows, host the events, get the money, meet the people and at the end of the day I still felt lost. I gained love and lost it, but in that experience I found something so much more important. I found the will to be who I am despite what everybody expected of me. In my heartache and loneliness I discovered peace of mind. I realized that maybe I wasn’t meant to be like all the other guys. Maybe I didn’t need to fit into this perfect mold, but I could build my own.
I learned what it meant to have your own spiritual journey and learned to convene with God first hand. I did research on queerness and discovered that I wasn’t gay, I wasn’t straight, I wasn’t bi, I was pansexual, something that had me so confused for so long. I realized that I loved helping people, but I had a knack for business and created a way to build a career using both. I started to get to know the real me. The me that I stuffed down for so long to be what I thought was a more acceptable version. I hated that version. He was so unhappy. He was broken and afraid. He was an excellent doer, but a terrible being.
Self-discovery isn’t always a comfortable process, especially when you’re outside the scope of the typical societal standard. My body isn‘t an action figure build, my voice is a little broken and country, my sexuality falls on the spectrum of queer, and I’m a lover and a business man. I live in the intersections of society. People would say that I exist in the grey area between black and white. However, I wouldn’t say that at all. I exist in the colors of the cosmos. I dwell there in all of its beauty and its chaos. I show up how I feel within the moment, observing when I wish and shining as I please. I’m not made for the mainstream, I’m made for the dreamer. To lead the broken to a place of fullness as so many of us are.
We all have a path to get there, and it doesn’t always look the same. There are parts that we’re told to hate, but love them in all their uniqueness. There’s parts that we’re told to make smaller, but wave them like a banner flying freely. There are parts that we feel are imperfect, but travel deeper into the foreign spaces of the abnormal. This is where beauty lies. Where we were truly created to exist.
Without self-exploration we run the risk of becoming mediocre, and nobody wants that. Take the time you need. Be gentle with yourself. Unlearn the things that tell you to hate the parts that truly deserve your love. Let go of the things that you believe you have to do to be accepted because they can kill you if you let them. We don’t owe our outdated beliefs and standards any loyalty. We owe loyalty to our highest expression of self.