June 29, 2007

Tantum Vero Pacem Reperimus

Your life is defined not by the obstacles placed in front of you, but by how you overcome them.

Sometimes, you sail through. Sometimes, it gets messy.

While “messy” has consumed my life the past through years, the most detrimental thing I did to myself was lie and make things sound like they were better than they actually were. White lies would become big fat lies, and I would only end up letting down my friends and family.

Coming out was hard. Getting my heart broken was harder. Being left to deal with the mess that I had created was the hardest thing of all. Trying to deal with it all at once is also not a recommended solution. As I tried to come to terms with everything, I would simply stall. Searching for security elsewhere was the biggest mistake I ever made.

My whole life, I surrounded myself with people. I fled from any situation where I would be alone because I feared loneliness. I spent most of my time in after school activities to avoid coming home to an immigrant father who didn’t (and still doesn’t) understand me and a borderline sociopath Italian mother (who, in theory, I still love). I sought security and comfort elsewhere instead of finding it within myself.

Up until a few days ago, I still rejected my homosexual self. I still believed it was wrong. I still believed I deserved to be alone because of the choice I made. I believed I did not deserve to have a happy family nor a happy ending. The old Italian Catholic rhetoric was still strong inside of me. My family wasn’t what people would call helpful. I used their venomous words (yes, it’s inherited) to keep myself down. Sometimes, depression is a comfort zone.

I was a Liberal by “birthright”. Italians got red passports when they got off the boat in the 60s. Saint Leonard is as Liberal as Kansas but we still religiously vote Liberal. When I wanted to flee from the life I disliked, I threw myself into politics, usually with pretty good results. The Liberal Party became my refuge.

Politics is all about rhetoric and appearances. On some level, I do believe people do want what is best for everyone, but they also want is best for themselves. I dealt with lies and exaggerations every day of my political life. I perpetuated some of it myself. It was a perfect match for the spiraling life I was so anxiously trying to avoid.

My lies caught up to me and I was left devastated and alone. My friends had understandably left me to my own means, my family still upset. I was left all alone, my own worst nightmare. I pushed away those who cared with lies that I was doing swimmingly well. 15 months after coming out, I finally broke down and let it all sink in.

I slowly peeled away the people and the things in my life that allowed me to perpetuate the lies and depressive lifestyle. My whole life, I fled from loneliness. However, being left helpless and alone was the best thing that may have ever happened to me.

Searching one’s soul is difficult.

Finding what ails your soul is painstakingly gratifying.

The lies had to stop. I only found peace when I was being honest with myself.

Tantum Vero Pacem Reperimus

Only in the truth, do we find peace.

I left the Liberal Party and the hoo-ha of partisan politics not because of a personal grudge or glaring unhappiness, but because I could not bring myself to willingly lie every day for the rest of my life.

My strength is telling a good story. The stories tend to be better when they happen to be true. My passion for this country remains strong. I will continue to tell stories.

I will return to Concordia and complete my degree this fall. Once done, I will head for Journalism school, where I will learn to tell my stories better.

My high school gym teacher once told me that you learn a lot more from the hurdles you miss than the ones you jump over. Once you’ve learned enough, you’ll never miss a hurdle ever again.

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9 Commentaires:

Blogger Scott Tribe a dit...

That's quite a post. It must have taken some courage just to publish all that.

Best of luck with your decision. Hopefully, it gives you the inner peace that you seek.

6/29/2007 8:24 p.m.  
Blogger James Curran a dit...

Antonio,

Everything aside. I wish peace for you my friend.

If there is one thing I've learned through my own trials...especially these past three months...it's that strength and friendship has come from places I would have never dreamed of.

I can attest that the strength of politics is that when you are down and feeling blue, someone you've met - even from afar- will offer you words or actions of comfort.

I understand fully the Italian mentality. My family immigrated from Sambiase, Catanzaro, Calabria Italia. Testa Dura!

Vada nella pace e la pace è con voi.

6/29/2007 8:58 p.m.  
Blogger Woman a dit...

Thanks for sharing this deeply honest post with us Antonio. I am wildly guessing that it might have been difficult to write, but also...just maybe...very freeing in some ways. Regardless I am an avid reader and will continue to be one in the future.
Woman at Mile 0

6/29/2007 10:17 p.m.  
Blogger janfromthebruce a dit...

Antonio,
That was very difficult for you, and would be for anyone. You're finding yourself is just beginning - and there will be many dark nights and days. Find good friends and keep them close. I will check into your blogg to just be there.

6/29/2007 11:50 p.m.  
Blogger penlan a dit...

Antonio...Thanks for your intense honesty! Not exactly an easy thing to do in front of the blogging world or the world, period.
Am wishing the best for you & am looking forward even more to your posts from now on.

6/30/2007 8:51 a.m.  
Blogger canuckistanian a dit...

life is hills and valleys, and the sweet don't taste as sweet without experiencing the bitter...hmmm, any other metaphors and cliches to cite? ;-)

i wouldn't be the person i am today without having experienced difficulty in life. as my father always said, it only makes you stronger (also, wiser and more understanding of yourself and others).

i'm no christie, but nevertheless find solace in these words:

"allow me the strength to accept the things i cannot change, to change the things i can; and the wisdom to know the difference."

all the best

6/30/2007 1:51 p.m.  
Blogger Candace a dit...

Antonio, it was very courageous of you to publish this post. I wish you health & happiness and the strength to find your way to it.

7/01/2007 7:02 p.m.  
Blogger Kingston a dit...

Antonio, That was deep, moving and a lesson for all of us. I do not know if my fav quote will help you but it does me in times of hardship, "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger". I have a quote for blogging too, whenever I feel the poison side of my keyboard coming out, "Tracer fire work both ways".

7/02/2007 9:32 p.m.  
Blogger Marc Gendron a dit...

Bonne chance.

7/04/2007 2:58 p.m.  

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