“You can not run from your problems. You can volunteer to face them, or they will face you.”
I remember hearing these words as a child, though I can’t remember who said them. They have stuck with me through today and I’d like to believe that it was these words that helped start me on my odyssey.
Growing up, I followed my parents and became part of an organized religion. I was told that if I “trusted and followed God” then I would learn everything I would need to about my purpose and my needs for Him. For me, however, this was not what I found. Instead I found myself miserable and filled with self-loathing. After I reached the age of majority, and left my parents home, I moved on from that routine of modified behavior. This change however, brought another obstacle.
Religion was all I had ever known, and now I did not know where to look.
I spent several years floating around in space, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I was afraid to try anything, but had the desire to try everything. Unfortunately, this only left me with questions. I was nineteen, unsure of my own identity, and almost too afraid to discover what or who that was.
Time went by however, as it always does, almost three years. I still had questions, and self doubt. I hated myself for everything I felt: attraction to women, sexual preferences, and my disbelief in God, among others. Not knowing what I was looking for, or what I wanted, left me in a very peculiar place of discontent, restlessness, and overall fatigue.
These emotions built into frustration. Outside influences that I did not have the strength to deal with, compounded with my internal grievance. This mental unrest finally resulted in an unreasonably large mental breakdown over a very simple conversation. I was asked to explain why I did not like going to the gym, and the conversation spilled over into low self-esteem, and completely demolished every wall I had put up over years of time, and insecurity.
This was my breaking point.
One emotional conversation with someone I deeply trust was what it took to completely turn my thinking around.
Now, I do not know if one conversation can be enough for everyone, it just happened to be enough for me.
All of my walls were broken. I was broken, demolished. However, this lack of concreted structure forced me to start looking for myself again. This time, the structure within myself started with something I had never experienced before, self-acceptance.
Without the walls and the excuses, I now could efficiently search for the answers into why I was discontent, sexually, emotionally, mentally and physically. Above all of it, I was able to search for how could I change my deficits into gains, and my despair into contentment.
This was the catapult into my odyssey, a voyage not just focused on my physical necessities to experience more, but my mental and emotional need to experience more.