…Of The Rest of My Life

Today is my 44th birthday. And yes, spending it in the Coronavirus lockdown is a bit of a bummer. The world is on a weird pause at the moment.

But I’ve seen this retreat, this isolation as a reason to step back and look at my life and reevaluate what’s important. For too long I’ve had it in my head that in order to feel happy, to achieve anything valuable in my life, I needed other people to tell me. I searched for validation in everything I did, and judged my success in how well it was received.

Then something changed. I started to see success as something I could achieve without the help of anyone else’s approval.

No longer do I see success in my life as being defined by how other people see me.  I don’t hold on to addictions and behaviors as a way of guarding against the world that I’m convinced is stacked against me. I’ve learned that if you think the world is against you, guess what, it will be.

I sit in this quietness, and I feel overwhelmed by memories, by distances between myself and the people who I have known, who have been the people that have made me, taught me, loved me, shaped me into the forty-four-year-old version of me that sits typing this on his birthday, in a self-appointed quarantine, during a worldwide pandemic.

Who could have ever predicted this?

So what’s it all about?

Closing that gap. The spaces between us. And, ironically perhaps, it took a complete isolation to make me see it.

When I was eighteen I changed my name. I was born Edward Drewno. I was named after my father, who was named after his father.  I never met his father because he was murdered in 1968. My dad had a falling out with his family, and from the time I was five-years-old, I never saw them again. I didn’t feel attached to my name, because it felt like an extension of a group of people that I didn’t know. A group of people my father didn’t want in his life.

I took my mom’s family name because I felt more connected to her family.  More importantly, I wanted to feel connected to a family. I’ve always wanted that. But I also never wanted anyone to see my vulnerable side. Growing up gay, I learned early that I had to be guarded, I had to perform as someone I wasn’t, if I was going to survive. And I’ve carried this guarded version of myself into my adult life, into my relationships, and as a result, I’ve lost many people along the way. And I feel separated from nearly everyone in my family.

This is a project to reclaim them.

I want to create a sort of living community. A place where I can share and reconnect. We’re all isolated at the moment, but we don’t have to be alone. I have pages in here for stories, memories, photos and discussions.

Please leave comments, send me emails, send me pictures. Let’s all re-connect and create something we can share together while there’s still time…

5 thoughts on “…Of The Rest of My Life

  1. Hi Paddy I think about you all the time. I miss you and I love to see all the posts about your adventures. It still seems weird to me that I’m not a part of them. But I’m happy to see how much you’ve flourished out there and it seems like your doing really well and are happy. Which is all of I’ve ever wanted for you. I’m so proud of the person you have become and you have come a long way. I always knew you would do great things and touch lives a long the way. I love you and miss you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello. I am your Aunt. Your dad was my favorite person on earth until he wasn’t. I was egged on to commit, what I categorize as an act of destruction of property (No people involved). I was 17 years old and I have never regretted anything more. Eveyone around me was angry and I bought into it because of my youth and stupidity. I would be so humbled if you would meet me. I loved my brother Eddie with all of my heart since day one, but especially because he took my Dad’s place after he was killed, and we were left fatherless. I have missed my brother since that fateful day. The act of destruction that I cannot take back. Your writing sounds so much like my son’s. I want you to know each other. He is 41 and has a world of pain all his own. We can get into that later. He is a married father of 3, but such a wonderful human being. I an Nancy. Tell your Dad I never stopped loving or missing him. I am almost 60 but when I think of Eddie, I am a little girl with the best big brother in the world. My grandkids need to know you and him!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s