How was your 2016?
The year itself has been a struggle for many. Apparently we had an election? Actually, I can confirm we did just by scrolling through my social media feeds. Bring back Facebook! It looks like CNN ate it.
Despite the election, the year 2016 for me was one with many successes. Kicking off the year, I became more mobile once I was finally able to leave the Torrington community as I made my move to Manchester. Torrington has treated me well over the years, though my time was done as my life was starting to become apart of the central Connecticut community. To ease the stress of commuting, it was time to depart and move into a newly developed community just east of the river.
Capitalizing on success, it was also the year I quit my job. In my fifteen working years, I have never walked away from a job without a solid backup plan. The ailment of feeling stuck was progressively becoming deeper, it was time to walk out with my head held high while I figured out what was next for me. This blog drives a revenue through partnerships and advertising, but not enough to make it a full time gig. Not yet, at least.
When I first quit my job, I thought I was crazy. What was crazier, however, was stocking up money throughout the years and not truly being able to enjoy your life by doing something you don’t love and just staring at it.
The Pulse shootings had a huge impact on me, and many light bulbs continued to go off. As a gay man, we wonder each day what will happen to us if we are walking down the street holding another mans hand or what could happen if we are enjoying each others company at a place that is supposed to be a safe haven for the LGBTQ community. The weeks following Pulse, I continued to wonder why am not doing the things I love when we aren’t promised tommorow.
In October, I walked away from my sales job to pursue other ventures while in the meantime focusing on the things that make me happy while taking a mental health break. After all, I identified in November that I had also been going through a quarter life crisis. It’s not easy turning 30 in the gay world, the pressure to stay young forever is instilled in our minds, when in reality what we should be doing is taking the time to realize that we only have 100 years or so to live, and live it best without worrying about what other people will make of you.
I survived the quarter life crisis.
What I still have not survived, however, was the death of a friend back in May and one who was also known in the gay community here in Connecticut. I tear up when I think about it. I encourage any of my friends or fans to immediately reach out to me if you ever need a shoulder to lean on. Suicide is preventable, and the world is all ears if you are battling a hidden disease.
Through heartache and tears and quarter life problems, I managed to find my way through 2016 like so many of you have. We’re all still here. Despite elections dividing a nation, we stand together ready for the challenges that we will face in 2017.
Life wasn’t all bad in 2016. CLICK HERE to read just some of the great things that we have to look back on. I personally can say, that as many challenges that I faced in 2016, I had an equal amount of positives. The friendships that led me through each trying time paired with vacations to Block Island, New Hampshire, and New Jersey along with outings to wineries, beaches, and casinos will leave lasting memories. The people in our lives deserve a bit of thanks for all that they do, for it is more than they will ever truly know sometimes.
The friends. The adventures. The memories. The triumphs. What a year it was.
As we enter 2017, I encourage you to do so with a clear mind but even more so a deeper look at your life. Are you truly happy at what you are doing with your life, or can it be more fulfilling?
2017 is waiting for you.
Maybe we’ll even have another Chewbacca Mom moment.