A few days ago, I died. Well, not really, but I felt like I did. I found out that the opportunity everyone assured me I would have was no longer possible. And, because this opportunity was no longer possible, neither was the incredible life I was so sure I’d have as a result of it. Years of work went into earning this opportunity, and its presence played a significant role in every decision I’ve made in my life over the better part of the last decade. This opportunity would be the catalyst, the thing that would make everything that so far has been impossible, possible. My perfect life hinged upon this opportunity, one that was available to me in the past and I was assured would be available again. Ever since the opportunity slipped through my fingers at the last minute several years ago, I’ve worked tirelessly to earn it again. I wanted it more than anything.
When I learned this opportunity was no longer available, I felt as if I had blinked and, in that millisecond, been transported to the moon. Everything was different now. The path I had been following, the one that led to my perfect life on the horizon, began to crumble and suddenly everything I thought was secure was gone, floating off into space and leaving me behind, alone.
The empty feeling came quickly, and my first thought was that I had died. The nausea swelling in my stomach assured me I was indeed still alive, and my brain clarified that I was alive, it was my dream that died. At the time, I remember thinking, “Isn’t that the same?”
We’ve all had moments like this. We’ve all experienced something that has turned our world upside down and back to front. For whatever reason, we don’t get what we want (or need), and it shakes us to our core. And, the more we want it, the more it hurts us if / when we don’t get it. It works like this because the things we want are a reflection of who we are, so when the big things don’t work in our favor, we can’t help but take it personally.
I know I did. I felt stupid and ashamed for wanting good things for myself and, because I didn’t get them, I felt like that meant I didn’t deserve them. I also felt like the few people I had told about this opportunity would somehow be disappointed in me. Better to live the lunar life alone.
A few days have passed and I’m still here, writing from the moon. I’m doing better, but it still stings to think about that moment. I’m writing about it because I’ve learned a few things that I think we should all remember when life doesn’t go our way.
Dreams don’t die unless we let them. My path has changed, but the destination remains the same. It may be a more difficult journey, and that’s good because when I reach my destination nobody will be able to say I didn’t earn it. If you let obstacles stop you, you might not want it as much as you think you do.
The world doesn’t end, it just feels like it does. Okay, that’s stolen from Mean Girls the Musical, but it’s 100% true. Don’t forget it. Give yourself time and, when you’re ready, dust yourself off and map a new path for yourself. Keep moving.
Let people be nice to you. It’s easy to dismiss cliches and well-wishes when we’re low, so if you don’t take their words, take their message: I care about you. Because that’s what you need.Set a limit. Don’t get stuck in misery. I’m allowing myself one week on the moon before returning and facing life full-on. After all, I have work to do and a new path to make. Let’s keep moving.
- Brian George Hose has been an advocate for LGBTQ persons and issues all his adult life. He holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Shepherd University and looks forward to pursuing a Master's of Social Work with a focus in mental health. A former musician, Brian served as minister of music for New Light MCC for several years and incorporates music into social work practice. He lives in rural Western Maryland where he has amassed a sinful number of books, yarn, and books about yarn. He has been writing for Baltimore Out Loud since February 2016.