Living to 60 is not that surprising for most Can-American white cismales of (sometimes) middle-income. I made decisions in my youth that continue to impact my life. As I think ahead to this summer, and marking my 60th, I reflect back.
When I was 25 (1983) I watched my tribe dying around me. What we now know as hiv/aids erupted in gay communities across North America- and elsewhere. I can not count the number of friends, acquaintances, sex partners, friends-of-friends lost. There are no words to express the deep depression, fear, and righteous anger- at the disease, the official lack-of response, at whatever Creator allowed this. While PTSD may be over-used, too casually claimed, I have no doubt it is what we who survived came away with.
And so I did not expect to live past 40:
# I did not invest in retirement;
# I (over)enjoyed chemical enhancements and recreational sex;
# No exercise- outside of playtime or my various retail jobs;
# I do not apologize for any of it- it is what is is; was what it was;
# I didn’t understand that the surgeries I underwent early in my childhood to correct TEV (“club foot”) would weaken my right foot- with additional surgery(s) required in the future;
# I could not know that the repressed memories (and blocked emotional responses) would prevent me seeking proper medical and dental care for decades;
# Nor did I understand that the hiding of those memories and emotions would drive me to (but not over) an edge.
So here I am- about to complete 60 trips around Sol. I am amazed, grateful, and humbled. And yes, still angry.