Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2007 - A Personal Retrospect

With the year 2007 having come to a close, I look back on a year that overall I see as one that I am glad to have behind me. While a number of things in my life were ultimate resolved or moved toward closure, I will remember it generally as a year of much unhappiness and negatives.

While my divorce finally concluded in early November, it was not without much drama, nastiness and financial devastation. The cost of gaining my freedom to be truly who I am after many years was very high. Worse yet for a time it caused great alienation from two of my children. Thankfully, those relationships seem to be on the mend and headed back to some normalcy. It is surely NOT an experience I would want to relive or wish upon anyone.

Similarly, I saw my relationship with my b/f (http://michael-in-norfolk.blogspot.com/2007/05/meet-my-readers-part-5.html) of over three years come to an end, in part due to the drama and unhappiness spun off from the divorce war and financial difficulties, but also due to other unresolved issues that both of us were dealing with. I wish him well and want him to find much happiness. He has a heart of gold in so many ways and I will always love him and look back with humor on some of our crazy misadventures, including the Katrina evacuee adventure back in 2005 (http://michael-in-norfolk.blogspot.com/2007/07/hurricane-katrina-evacuee-adventure.html). It truly could be the basis for a movie comedy.

The third huge negative I will remember 2007 for is the financial hardship following the melt down of my former law firm and the launching of my own firm (which actually began in 2006). With the collapse of the residential real estate market, my timing certainly could have been better. The significant increase in my gay client base has done much to help keep the firm afloat to date. My therapist’s emphasis on focusing on the present and not obsessing about too far in the future has been invaluable in helping me work through this experience which I will extend into 2008.

On the positive side of the equation, 2007 saw me finally become fully comfortable with being a gay man and achieving an attitude of “if you don’t like me, it’s your problem” which is essential to living in this area with local neighbors like Pat Robertson and CBN and Regent University.

Another big positive was the beginning of this blog on a dedicated basis. It has been a wonderful outlet for my thoughts and passions and more importantly a way to meet wonderful people literally around the world. When I feel down or depressed, supportive friends are just a phone call or e-mail away. My support network extends from Canada, Australia, Portugal, Kenya, and numerous points across the USA. I have also enjoyed the wit, humor and intellectual powers of fellow bloggers and some of my regular readers who have likewise become friends via their regular e-mails.

One of my proudest achievements in 2007 – other than the achievements of my children – has been the launch and success of HRBOR. True, it has been a collaborative effort with the other original members of the board. Yet, each of us has played a role and been there to encourage the others to pursue the shared vision. I truly hope in the coming year HRBOR will continue to unify the local LGBT community and begin to cause the gay business community to be taken seriously by the larger community. I also hope that in time it will serve as a role model for young gays and encourage them to pursue their dreams in the business world without feeling the need to be in the closet.

As for 2008, among the things I hope to find are closer relationships with my children, romance in my life, increased opportunities for activism (my dream job would be as a full time activist) and continuing to build my law firm as the area’s first firm run by an openly gay attorney. Perhaps in time some of the closet cases in larger firms will find the courage to come out at work. It is long overdue in this community.


Anonymous said...

And hopefully in 2008, Michael will figure out hyperlinking and block quoting, thus making his blog all the more better, LOL.

Happy New Year!

Java said...

Good message, Michael. Thanks.