In a couple of weeks I’ll be turning 27. I don’t have any qualms about aging except for one thing: the fear of not maturing enough-a symptom of which for me is the feeling that my struggles as a younger guy seem to still linger.
I have trimmed these struggles down to two–belongingness and the desire to be desired.
I have always been a misfit. I loved studying in lower school, I hung out with the girls, I like jackstone and ten-twenty. I did volleyball instead of basketball. I was categorized as soprano 1 in our children’s choir (which uses the SSA Soprano 1 and 2 and alto sections anyway). Boys teased me for being different. They kept telling me I was gay -I rhetorted that the things I did didn’t make me gay. Well , years later I found out they were right. Surprise!
I badly wanted to be normal. I wished then ten that my dad taught me basketball more. I prayed hard for an older brother that I know will never exist. I wanted someone to help me be one of the boys. It didn’t help that I was on the stout amd short side of things.
More than a decade later, I still want to belong. I can feel this when I’m with my ultimate frisbee team, it feels crappy that no matter how much I train, I still am a secondary player to all the big guys who can run faster and jump higher than I can.
I can feel this in the academe, where everyone seems smarter than I am.
I can feel this in gay communities, where everyone seems to be taller, hotter, sexier than I am.
I can even feel this in my family, being the only child who studied in three different cities during the three phases of school, a know-it-all, sensitive douche who talks a lot accordimg to his siblings.
And when I finally thought I belonged to someone I loved for three years, he decided I wasn’t good enough for him. I was crushed into microscopic bits.
Want to be desired.
I want to be wanted. I want to be needed. In sports, in work, in life.
Being gay quadruples this desire to be desired. A short, balding, stout guy doesn’t sit well in gay circles with abs, pecs, trapz, and what have you. It does not help that most are also more confident (bitchier, even) and smarter (or at least seem smarter).
In public spaces where I always seem to be the 4th wall in a scene where a tall, lean, gay dude is checking out another tall, lean, gay dude, there are times that I badly wish I was the one being checked out. I wish to the point of hurting.
I used to fear not outgrowing these things. I was scared that I will forever have these feelings of inadequacy and that not overcoming my insecurities seems to only verify and strengthen my feelings of being different and inadequate themselves– like an eternal trap.
This was until I knew better, until I found out that I am maturing.
I used to fake cry and tell my bestfriend (now, my boyfriend) that it’s sad that I’ll never be a model. Well, there is some truth to that since again I want to be desired, but I think that as I was saying those words, acceptance was starting to fill the void that I have been feeling all these time. I began and still beginning to understand that I’ll have to be enough for my self.
I began to see the beauty that comes with all the frustrations I have with my self. In turn, these frustrations are turning to mere imperfections which are now resolving to become definitive of who I am, my own specifications if I were gadget, my own differentiating set of qualities.
Now being different ceased to sound bad and limiting. It has started to become liberating, it feels reaffirming.
As I am writing this inside a van traveling home, my fears have lessened because it seems that I am maturing.