This morning, I was invited out to spend some time with yet another new friend here in Portland, who treated us to breakfast while he was getting the wheels on his fantastic Mercedes Benz balanced. It’s an older model Merc, but man-o-man, fancy doesn’t even describe it. Turns out, he’s quite the gear-head, and being able to talk with another gay man about the mechanics and physics and thrill of owning a well-tuned machine such as that truly made my morning. Plus, the coffee was amazing too.
I continue to be humbled by the way I’ve been accepted here in this town. I’m a nobody. I’m seriously a nothing, barely a part of this community, and still only able to navigate with the help of my map. I am walking around, circling, looking for a place to land, and even still, with so little to offer, I have found myself taken in and taken aside by some of the most extraordinary men I’ve met in a long time.
Each of them, each of us, has our own little life quandaries. Some of them are larger in scope and challenge, some of them are universal among us. None of us are “perfect” but each of us is striving to improve, striving to be better, not only to ourselves, but also in the way we interact with the wider world. I feel like I belong.
My mom once told me to only let the people into my life who enhance my experience. In every way, these guys have done just that. By following her advice, I have been astounded, surprised, and generally awe-struck by the balance, charisma, and humanity that each of them has demonstrated both as a group and individually. I am so damn proud to say I know these guys.
I owe them, big time. I owe so much to so many people, and I know this. I know I’m dedicating my future here, and wherever I end up, to giving back and being as kind and open and generous to others as these fellows have been to me.
Right now, though, as I come off a small bout of anger, depression, anxiety and the rest (last night was pretty awful), I feel so damn lucky, and grateful.