Guest Blog: Coming Out of the Closet

A good friend of mine recently suggested that I shouldn’t be so attached to the opinions of others, and after much thought I have come to realise that for the SECOND time in my life I am ‘coming out.’ Who would have thought I’d be doing it twice in my life; but unbelievably here I am ‘coming out’……..yet again.

What I am talking about here is not the fact that I’m gay. Saying that is easy for me now, although it wasn’t always that way. I am talking about a completely different kind of coming out, yet one which feels EXACTLY the same. I find myself experiencing the same internal difficulties and struggles; the same fears around ‘what will my friends and family think?’

And while this internal struggle rages on, another part of me questions: Why should you care what others think? Come on Michelle, you ‘came out’ and it didn’t kill you, it actually made you stronger. Why are you struggling so much with this now; you KNOW YOU can do this thing!!

So here I am, smack bang in the middle of: My Coming Out # 2

Three years ago I made a decision to go against what society expected of me, and what was then, the flow of life. And here I am going with the flow and leaving the rest of life behind. Well, that’s certainly how it feels anyway.

The flow of life (in its current form) goes something like this:

You grow up, go to school, get good grades, find a job, fall in love, get married, buy a house with a white picket fence, have some kids, buy a bigger house, save for retirement and hope to god that once you get there you’re going to be healthy enough to enjoy it. Does that sound familiar?

I’m not suggesting that we are all blindly following these steps. What I am trying to say is that in our modern western industrial societies, these are the steps that at this point in time our society accepts and expects, as the unspoken ‘rules’ of life.

What I have come to discover though, thanks to my mid-life turning point, is that the most precious moments in life are occurring right NOW and that being present in the now is all that we really have.

How on earth then could I ever have thought I could follow the linear rules stitched into ‘the flow of life’? Asking myself: am I really going to live out the rest of my day’s ticking off some sort of list of imaginary boxes based on societies expectations? Or, am I going to reject this completely, and follow an authentic path of true happiness based on the present moment, and inner peace and tranquility instead.

After facing my fears and taking a leap of faith, I opted for living in the present moment, sold all of my possessions, bought a smaller house and simplified my life. Am I happier? Absolutely! Do others understand what I’m doing? No, not really.

Some people (without naming names) comment that I should be ‘working hard’ to pay off the small amount that is owed on my mortgage so that I can buy an even ‘better’ house. My house is very modest, on a sloping block and in need of a lot of work. This doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but seems to bother some of my loved ones for some reason. Others like to question me as to why I am not working at the moment. They have the perception that things aren’t going well with my business, or that times are tough in my line of work. Comments like ‘poor Michelle, she lives off of the smell of an oily rag.’

Do I correct them, and tell them my truths: That in fact living a ‘less is more’ lifestyle suits me? That I am deeply happy and satisfied with my downshifting approach to life? That I have never before felt so alive? This is where it gets a little bit crazy, because, I realise in other ways, I have continued playing the society game, in different ways: agreeing with some opposing comments just to keep the peace, and once again hiding in the closet.

So from this moment forward, I have decided to draw a line in the sand and come out! At least starting on this blog, I commit to telling my truths and expressing who I really am.

Hello world, I am Michelle Bailey, a lesbian downshifter who has rejected the rules of society that have locked me up in chains. It is my belief that living with passion and purpose is everyone’s birthright, and that it is attainable by looking within and living consciously in the present moment.

I do not want to get to the eleventh hour of my life as so many people do, wishing that I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, and not the life others expected of me. Click here for the number 1 regret of the dying.

Living a life of passion and purpose is fundamental to who I am, talking about it without reservation is the next break through that I am currently walking through. The crack in the closet is open ever so slightly and I have one toe out the door. My friend Bronwyn Clee insists I open the door, let the light shine in and show the world the REAL me!

I would love to know if any of this rings true for you. Have you ever felt like a phony in your own life? Ever wondered what it would be like to live a truly authentic life? And what are your worst fears? What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger! If this blog helps even one person on the planet draw strength to consider living more authentically, I will be humbly grateful.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post, I look forward to any comments that you may have.

Regards,
Michelle


To find out more about Michelle and her quest to live with passion and purpose visit here (http://liveyourlifeforyou.wordpress.com).

(Image used courtesy of StephenMcleod - International Man of Mystery)

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