I was thinking about past events, reviewing my life and thinking about how I had reached certain points in it, good or bad and the moments that lead me to each. The word game changer came to mind. Do you ever think about moments in life, that started you in a direction and caused, not a chain reaction but more like a treadmill of moments to get you to where you are now. I can think of certain moments when I feel life changed for me. The first being friends that I lived with, they helped me realize that mistakes are made by everyone, it's just part of learning and they helped quiet the voice droning on and on in my head about how useless I thought I was.
The next would be when a very cold micromanaging ice queen of a boss encouraged me to become a supervisor at work, at first I didn't want to do it but I always believed that you should never turn down an opportunity. The supervisor position, with a lot of good guidance by different people, really changed me, it brought me out of my shell to the point where I felt that I was the only one who could give my dad a proper eulogy when he died.
Getting the internet would be another one for sure. Most people couldn't imagine not having it these days but at the time I got it, the internet was still a luxury item, like buying video games or having a new gadget called a cellphone (lol). The internet gave me the tools to start coming out and actually helped me meet other gay people, online and in the real world. Mostly though it was a huge part in my coming out to close friends and family.
The next big moment was buying my car. I hated driving and put off getting a car until in my thirties. However I started feeling trapped all the time from relying on busses and asking for rides, especially trying to travel back and forth to my parents, I suddenly had a strong urge to get a car. I can remember the feeling of driving it off the lot for the first time. I had this total sense of freedom, I knew this would charge things for me, I even said something as I drove away along those lines. I have met many new people and have been involved in events that would never be open to me before. I have only taken a bus once since buying my first car and have never traveled any great distance with any other driver since. I wouldn't go back to not having a car, I feel it opened the world up to me.
Sadly losing my job was a game changer but oddly enough not all bad. In the future, I would never have as good of a job as that one but it gave me a bit of time to start exploring who I was. It also gave me the free time to come home when my father became ill and then take a job closer to home.
My next game changer was of course dating Dan. It is not just about the fact that we dated, I say that because I had dated Billy earlier in my life and even though I have good memories of that time, nothing really changed for me as a result of that relationship. Dan showed me what being in love felt like and even though things didn't work out, that is a life experience I would never trade away. More importantly however; he showed me how to live life as a gay man, he helped me feel a lot more comfortable about being gay. He showed me what it is like to date a closet chief and what gaining weight means for the first time ever! He introduced me to a current friend and also started me into some hobbies I have always been interested in. Unfortunately he also let me know what a broken heart feels like.
The final game changer was the death of my father. He went from what seemed like a strong, healthy and mentally sharp older man, to his deathbed in a matter of weeks. Nothing has been the same since, losing him just as mom was showing signs of Alzheimer's was a blow to the family. Rightly or wrongly, I made the choice of taking care of her, it was not all a sacrifice on my part, I was able to return to the farm and for the first few years I enjoyed the slower pace of the countryside, nature, wildlife, reconnecting with old friends etc. Her health was good and in the beginning, she just needed someone to keep her on track but could pretty much function throughout her day with little notes and gentle reminders. Until the day when I could no longer give her the proper care she needed.
Now comes the next game changer and it's going to be a huge one. I need to sell the farm which will destroy me. It's a necessary step however and must be done, it's very isolated here and I'm not getting any younger. I need to leave this place and try to restart my life because lately I no longer feel like I'm truly living, I feel like I'm just filling in time.