Gratitude, acceptance and the uncertain future…

“I am returning to the Aegean Center in a few weeks for the fall term, which may be my last as a student.  I do not expect any sort of position to be offered, nor do they need anyone to work for them.  My future is very uncertain these days and I feel very much at sea.  This is an uncomfortable feeling but perhaps I should accept that this is where I am at right now, let it go, and take what life has to give me.  I am grateful to be where I am, doing what I do and surrounded with support that I have not asked for.  My actions should be my gratitude and I will work on that.  In the past few months I have become very aware of how much a one-day-at-a-time this program is, especially when it comes to character defects.  I can only be the best sober person I can be today, not tomorrow.  The world is an open book and what I have to do is remember that certain pages, or even chapters, do not represent the whole of my story.  To use a metaphor I like, I am steering my small vessel through, if not uncharted waters, then at least oceans I have not yet sailed.  My compass is not spinning wildly but I have lost sight of the safety of the shoreline which for any sailor is a chance-filled situation.  I have maps and charts to guide me, gifts from others who have come before.  I need only maintain my heading, weather storms, doldrums and smooth sailing as part of the journey and make landfall when I see it.  In short I am making a journey that all people must make yet to me my course is unique.  What I sometimes fail to recognize is that there are other small boats in this same shipping lane.  From high above it is really an armada, all of us tacking back and forth, trying to find the best wind to fill our sails.  Older sea-charts have blank spaces on them which read “here there be monsters” but these bogeymen are only the manifestations of my own character defects and not real.  If I truly have faith in God then I should not worry, but rather pay attention to the compass, hold the rudder in a firm hand and stick to the heading.  It is only at the end that I will be able to look back and see from whence I have come.”

I wrote this in an email to a friend this afternoon.  Since that time I have gained a level of acceptance for my future, my life and my being that I have rarely felt.  I have been able to let go of much fear in the past few days. I feel the root of this ‘letting go’ began when I decided that it was time to leave the care-giving of my mother to the caregivers and slip into a healthy stream of life.  At a meeting tonight an AA friend told me he is moving to Albany to re-energize a gay activist group he was a big part of in the 1980s.  The time has come again for this group to act.  This has inspired me to think, “Why not Albany?  Why not an urban center with a large community?”   If I were to try to predict my path for the next few years, or set a goal of life along predetermined lines, I would be selling myself short.  I wish to be happy, joyous and free, with the emphasis on ‘free. This is what I will practice, one day at a time.


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Johnnyboy is a queer recovering alcoholic. For the moment he is also the primary caregiver for his mother, who suffers from age-related cognitive impairment. She is happy as a lark and is surrounded by a crew of sober women which gives him the freedom he needs to get out of town. When he is not at home in Somewheresville, he is searching out the proper path to travel for happiness and joy. He is a photographer who believes in the digital age, but feels that film is still where its at. He has a darkroom and works in it. He is single and is in remarkably great physical condition for all the damage he has submitted his body to. His cardiologist is very happy. Johnnyboy is over the age of 35.

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