Tomorrow (Saturday Sept 28) is my fiftieth birthday. Yep, the big Five-O. I didn’t think it was going to bother me, but I’m shocked that I was wrong. All week I’ve been irritable.
It didn’t bother me when I turned thirty. It didn’t bother me when I turned 40. Interestingly, it did bother me when I turned 25. Why? Because I was a quarter of a century old. I’m having similar thoughts this week…I’m turning a half century old. The other day it hit me that I have more days behind me than I have ahead. I think that’s when I started getting a little sad.
On Facebook I stumbled upon an old friend from high school recently. She said she was excited we made contact because she was anxious to see how my life was going. She said she wanted to know because I was filled with so many hopes and dreams. I can’t remember what those were specifically, but I’m certain it wasn’t where I am today.
I did not expect at fifty years old that I would be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I always had extreme highs and extreme lows, but I didn’t know that I would be branded with a name for it. Until being diagnosed a few years ago, I just thought I was a very strange kid who felt like I never fit in. Sure, many kids feel that way who do not have bipolar, but, I lived in that bubble 24/7. I’m still in that bubble.
I did not expect, at fifty years old, that I would be living in a shabby community in an apartment the size if a postage stamp. The cute home in Scottsdale, Arizona is long past and will possibly be the only home I’ve ever owned.
I did not expect, at 50 years old, that I would be a recovering alcoholic who had destroyed a career and wound up homeless for a period of time.
So those are most of the things that are bringing me down. There is, however, a lot of joy in my life and many things I’m grateful for.
Refusing to admit I’m gay, or thinking I could overcome it, I met a wonderful woman and we were married for five years. I’m saddened that I turned her entire life upside down, but there is something fabulous that came out of it and that would be my beautiful daughter. Being an alcoholic I missed way too much of her life. I’m happy today that we have a great relationship. She lives 1500 miles away so I don’t get to see her as much as I’d like, but through the miracle of Skype we are able to stay in touch. While I’m not sure I believe in fate, I do believe my ex-wife and I were brought together to produce such an amazing kid.
Accepting that I’m gay was hard and coming out of the closet was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Every day, when I look at Maurice I realize coming out if the closet was the best decision I ever made. Never did I imagine that I could possibly end up with such a wonderful man.
So I live in a tiny apartment in a neighborhood that’s not ideal. It may not be where I expected at the age of 50, but it sure as hell is better than living in the streets like I was 10 years ago. I have food in my belly and a roof over my head and that’s more than what millions of people have.
As far as destroying my career, it was for the best. My ego was stroked, but I was not really happy. Had things continued in the direction I was going I would probably still be there. Making good money but working a job I hated. I may be 50 years old, but I finally know what I want to do when I grow up – getting a Masters of Divinity degree and becoming an ordained minister.
If it seems I’m rambling a bit here, it’s because my head is rambling. One minute I’m sad and the next minute I am grateful. No matter how I feel, I’m turning 50 no matter what. I just need to stay focused on the good things in my life…and there are many.
Were there any particular birthdays that were difficult for you? I’m interested in hearing what they were.