I have this master plan to come out, but I haven’t made it very far through it yet… And by that, I mean that I haven’t done anything at all. Lately, though, this has been weighing on me. I need to tell you a little bit more about myself for this to make sense.I am 25, I live in the southeast United States in one of the larger (not Atlanta or Charlotte) cities that is probably one of the more accepting places I could live, but nowhere near someplace like NYC or San Francisco. I occasionally see gay couples out and about in my town, but it’s definitely not frequent and when I see them it’s a bit of a shock (even to me). I grew up in a Christian home, went to Christian schools all of my life, including college, and had a job where I worked with many Christians on a daily basis. In that job I would have (not could have) been fired if I had come out. Thankfully I am no longer in that position and I am much happier at my new company where I have at least one out coworker. I myself have decided that I am an agnostic. I feel like this is partially because of the hypocrisy that I see in the church and in the people around me that claim to be Christians. It is also, though, because I decided as an adult that I needed to decide for myself what my beliefs are, not base them on the brainwashing I received as a child. All of that being said, though, I still mostly live my life like a Christian would. Partially because that was how I was raised, and it’s hard to break values instilled in you since birth, but also because I feel like I am a decent human being.Throughout high school and college I struggled with my sexuality. I came to “accept” myself as not straight around 16. I still haven’t put a hard label like “gay” on myself because that feels very final, and I feel like sexuality is more fluid than that. However, on a scale of 6 (lol), I’m definitely like a 5.75. I was in love with one of my best friends for years. He was very flirtatious with me, but never would get too close. We cuddled, laying in bed together just enjoying being with each other, but never kissed. Frequently. That’s the kind of relationship that we had. I found out years later that he also must have been going through something similar at the time because he is now out as gay, has had a boyfriend, and is living his life. I, on the other hand, am not…Here’s where we arrive at my current state: 25, single, a virgin, and in the closet… not living my best life. It’s starting to wear on me heavily. I’m “feeling my age” (lol, older guys feel free to kick my ass for that one :D). I feel like I’ve missed out on so much of my life at this point. If I started dating TODAY, started having the experiences like my first kiss, first relationship, and losing my virginity, I’d be 10 years late… That really bothers me. My inability to get out of my comfort zone has caused me to miss out on SO many opportunities over the years. Take my friend from high school, for example. Had I grown a pair when I was 17, we probably could have had a relationship. I know things aren’t that easy, but I can’t help thinking about all of the choices that I have made and how they’ve led me here.I’m also in a weird spot with where I want my life to go professionally. Like I stated earlier in this post, I am finally in a job where I enjoy what I’m doing, work with people I care about and enjoy being around, and don’t have to worry about being outed. This was a HUGE step for me. I was stuck in my previous position for years. I started working there when I was in college and it continued into this past spring, more than two years after graduation. All that being said, I still don’t truly feel happy in what I do. I have a ridiculous dream for my life. Broadway. Or at least professional stage acting. I was in every play in high school. I had major roles, minor roles, singing and non singing roles. I loved it. I miss it. Writing this is making me tear up. I recently took a trip to New York and saw a couple of shows while I was there. Being in that audience, picturing myself on that stage… It’s too much. I was emotionally wrecked afterward. I still am. I just don’t ever see myself getting there. I haven’t acted in over 6 years, I have a low voice, which isn’t exactly conducive to major male roles, and I’m a bit overweight. I know these all sound like excuses, which I know they are, but they have caused me to fall into a funk that I can’t get out of.So here’s where I need motivation guys. How do I make myself step out of my comfort zone? In my personal/love life and my professional life I’m sitting in a hole that I dug for myself and I refuse to climb out, even though the ladder is right in front of me. I may never be on broadway, but there’s always community theater. I may never be with my best friend who, being honest, I still have major feelings for, but I could meet someone better. I know it in my head, I just need to feel it in my heart. What do you guys do for motivation?
View related questions: best friend, christian, co-worker, flirt, overweight
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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious + ♥, writes (14 October 2018):
How do you change your life? How do you eat an elephant? Two completely different questions but with the same answer: one small piece at a time. If you look at ALL you are unhappy with and ALL you want to change, it is little wonder you feel overwhelmed. Break it down into small manageable pieces and work on each piece at a time. For instance, start by joining your local amateur dramatic group, or join a gym and make a resolution to go 3 times a week. Once you start to feel a little better in one area of your life, the others won’t seem as daunting. I would also advise you to NEVER EVER compare yourself to others. Everyone lives their life at their own pace. You are a late starter. So what? You can’t change anything about your past but you CAN start to change your future. Regarding your values, most religions have similar values, the prime one being something along the lines of “love thy neighbour as thyself”. Like you, I think there is a lot of hypocrisy in some religions and some of the nicest and kindest people I know have no religions affiliations whatsoever. You KNOW what is right and wrong, so live your life accordingly. As long as your conscience is clear, that is all that matters. Do you still have contact with your friend? Could you talk to him and ask him for advice and help?Your life is just starting (I wish I was 25!). Decide where you want to be in 5 years’ time and start making plans to get there, one step at a time. It is not going to happen overnight. Wishing you all the best.
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A female reader, Ivyblue + ♥, writes (14 October 2018):
The whole virgin thing, from a gals POV it think is pretty cool. Nothing wrong with it, it is what it is. Breath of fresh air actually. You actually come off as rather grounded in who you are. Just you cant see that. By golly my friend 25 is not over the hill by a long shot. Why so glum? My friend was a computer whiz bang sort of guy for many of his professional years. At 35 turned his back and became an actor. Started out taking classes, got some small gigs then small parts in TV roles. He ain’t no Brad Pitt either. He just took a leap of faith and continues to work in the industry directing and heavily involved in film festivals. So what if you are fat, skinny, short, tall, beautiful or just like most of us average. Acting roles, as you know, are made up of all walks of life and personalities. Be your own Patrick Swayze and don’t put yourself in the corner- Get out there, find a love, find yourself and follow your dreams.
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