Friday, April 16, 2010

Number One

I have to admit that I'm enjoying my time in Belize, but at the same time I am feeling very homesick, and am struggling with an almost crushing loneliness and depression. It happens often, but sometimes it's worse than usual, and much more difficult to push through. Just so you know, this post doesn't mean I'm dying. I think these musings are authentic thoughts for any single person, especially those who are Christian and gay. If the Christian culture in which we live was not so plastic, perhaps more would share instead of trying to appear strong.

A lot of this depression centers around the concept of being number one. I don't mean number one at my job or at a particular sport. I mean number one to another person. I have many friends in relationships, married, dating, straight, gay, or ex-gay. They each see their boyfriends and girlfriends, or husbands and wives, as their number one person. If there was a fire, and everyone they knew was in the building, and yet they could only save one person, they would be spared. And everyone else in the building would probably also have a number one who would save them as well.

But not me. I'm not saying that as a, "Woe is me," kind of thing. It's simply a fact. Sure, I have lots of friends and family, but with all of them, I am not important enough to be considered number one. I'm number five or six, at best, with my siblings, because their spouses and children rightly come first. I'm a background character in all of my friends' lives. If every life was a television show, I wouldn't be a star in any one's. I'd be that wacky neighbor who shows up every three episodes.

I want to be number one. I want someone to save me if they had to choose one person to save. I know, the Christians here are going to say that Jesus should be my number one, and he is, but if those Christians are married or in relationships, I will politely tell them to be quiet. Jesus loves everyone, and doesn't play favorites. I want to be one person's favorite.

And I'm sure people are going to say that's selfish. Again, if those people are married, I'll remind them that they're eating cake, and they're asking me to be content with crumbs. I'll be content with crumbs: None of this should raise alarms to people who are concerned about my walk. My feelings don't change my views and I live according to the latter, not the former.

The main problem is that I can't fix this. It's a hard reality. Even for the single people who are totally content, that doesn't change the fact that -- unless they have a best friend who is also single -- they are no one's number one. I know I can push through this. I'm active, I'm friendly, I'm involved. I thrill seek (went rock climbing this past week) and do what I need to do to make it through, but the fact is I'm not any one's number one, and the guy who is mine (my brother, who I consider my best friend) puts his wife and children first, and I tie with my sister.

And yes, I really do have my relationships ranked in list form. It's how my mind works. I guess my main question is how do I live with this? It's a fact. Even if I do get married one day, it will still be a fact for other single people out there. So what can be done? How do you live when you are no one's number one, when that's one of the primary drives that we have as human beings? If you are single, how do you cope with it? If you are married, what do you do to comfort and ease the pain of your single friends, because I don't want to call people out, but I do think that's your responsibility. I don't think just leaving the single people to their own devices is a good idea, but of course that's how the church often acts, because once people have their number ones, they often just forget about everyone else who doesn't.

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