“LIVE YOUR LIFE, LIVE YOUR LIFE, LIVE YOUR LIFE." These are the words of the late Maurice Sendack, author of Where the Wild Things Are and one of our gay brothers who passed from us this past year. He said this toward the end of his journey to tell those younger than him what he believed must compel us on our journeys through life.
The journey ahead is terrifying and one that seems filled with tremendous loss, mourning, and acceptance. We know it will require us to be brave — braver than we have ever been before. While we fear that we may not have it in us to set forth, we do — you and I — for it is on this journey that we find hope blazing like the sun on a summer afternoon, illuminating all the parts of us that we were scared to see, scared to touch, and scared to be.
The journey of living our lives requires that we be. And being, though deceptively simple, is no easy task.
It requires the loss of a known path, the straight forward path, and a mourning of who we thought we were going to become.
And then we change, the world changes, and the journey of discovering ourselves saves us. It becomes a path of cherishing ourselves, of proclaiming our beauty to the world, of living our lives, of hope for a new and expansive future that will unfold in a celebration of pride, and love — real earth-shattering love — the likes of which once you have felt, you never forget.
In all the pain (and there will be pain), in all the moments of confusion, of stumbles, and of quiet moments of sorrow, we find that in being on this journey we are the lucky ones.
Our stories have not yet found their endings and every day we wake up to new beginnings.
Surely the years will roll, and in living our lives, in traveling our journeys we will shorten the time, and the pain it takes for those who come after us to travel the path to who they are. This is why you must “live your life” because in doing so, you honor yourself and those who follow.