Who am I? It’s one of those questions where you’re never quite sure exactly how you should answer it. And worse, the answer can change from day to day. Identity is a tough thing to peg down, and it’s something I personally have always been searching. Today, I want to write about my continued search for JT Bell.
I have written about this before. I’ve talked of changes I needed to make in my life, and for the most part, I made them. I am accomplishing my dreams one dream at a time. However, I find myself still in wonder and awe of who this stranger is staring back in the mirror while I’m at my new gym.
Let me recap the last few months for those who aren’t in my every day life. I have gotten a job at a new bar, a gay bar. I believe I had mentioned this as one of my dreams. I’ve done it. I started the new year wanting to work out three days a week. I have done it and my body has slimmed out. For the first time in my life, I have a group of gay friends who adore, respect, and really appreciate me. I am helping with events for a local LGBT non-profit and starting a second blog that showcases queer culture in Jersey City. My narrative change moves further than that, as I have changed my relationship with money. It’s far from perfect, but it is way better than it once was. This puts the ‘what I am doing’ and ‘how I have changed,’ but the question of how I see myself remains.
It’s really subtle things that make me confused about the reflection. The shirt I wear hangs over a lightly defined chest, the stomach not sticking out further than the chest, or with love handles on the sides. The clothes don’t have an eccentric tone to them, but they seem to fit the personality of the body their in. (Today, it’s cut off shorts and a gray t-shirt). I have tattoos on my arms, and a beard which keep with the hipster vibe that I tend to exude. This is the first time in my life I’ve felt attractive.
There’s something else about me that’s changed that I can’t exactly put my finger on. My friends always bring up the fact that there’s a change about me for the positive. Like the energy that made me up has shifted, it’s changed and gotten brighter. I guess looking back at the last few months, there’s a definitive lightness that I have never had in my life before. I do not worry about the future, but see this brightness continuing to expand. I don’t think it’s just my brightness, but those around me that glow brighter too. Metaphysics aside, it’s just easy to breathe.
There are quite a few things I do need to be working on more often. There are four things that I will focus on this summer. They’re life changing in more than a few ways, and I know I can do all them. My finances will be put in order. I will get Gayborhood Bayonne off the ground. InquisiQueer will be publishing weekly. And I will finish my novel. I am floating through the summer on waves, and although storms may come, I’ll get through them.
And now for a turn towards the nerdy…
“I am the eternal optimist, the hoper of far flung hopes, and the dreamer of impossible dreams.” – The Doctor
That quote just hit me as I thought about ‘Who I am?’ I want to continue to be those things. I want to never give up my optimism for the greatness of humanity and helping the greatness of the people around me. I want to hope that even at the worst of times, things will turn out all right. And I want to make those impossible dreams of reality. The more things change, the more things stay the same, and I still strive to be the good man, the mad-man, traveling through time and space in a blue box with his best friends. And that’s brilliant.