Time is a precious commodity and daily life seems to rob the small amount of time we do have with endless to-do lists, chores and non-fulfilling essential duties. Our lives are filled with clutter from work stress, daily commutes and social media black holes that by the time our day has ended we realize we had no time to connect with our partners, ourselves, our children or friends.
I’ve always had bouts of atopic dermatitis (eczema) since I was in my early 20’s. I would get patches of rashes on my legs and sometimes elbows. I would call it the “Winter’s Itch” because I always started in the winter months and then would clear up by April or May usually with little intervention. There were a few times where I would have to visit my Primary Care doctor or a Dermatologist to get a steroidal cream to help the healing and to avoid any type of skin infection like cellulitis. For the most part it was manageable and I just assumed it was a part of my genetics that I would get it every winter.
Then, in February of 2016, everything changed in my life.
I have to admit, when Erica first approached me to do this blog post I felt a little unqualified. Though I consider myself an avid supporter of the gay community, I’ve always kind of seen myself as an outsider. I have the privilege of knowing and being in close relationship with quite a few amazing individuals who identify as gay/bisexual/transgendered/etc. However I don’t necessarily identify myself with that demographic and, therefore didn’t really think I had the words or experience to speak directly to the specific challenges faced by that community. However, as I began to reflect on the matter, I realized that that is actually the crux of the issue – focusing on our differences.
Think about it. So many of the cultural dissonances that are going on right now in our country, our world, our personal relationships, have to do with the fact that we feel disconnected. Like we can’t relate. And, for whatever reason, that scares the shit out of us. So we start to guard ourselves, put up walls, act aggressively in an effort to ‘protect’ ourselves. All of which only adds to the conflict and schisms.
But here’s the thing. When we start to shed the stories of how we are different, and how we’ve been hurt because of those differences, we realize that at our cores we are all the same.