The Journey of a Proud Mister
Written by Tyler Milakis
My journey is so special to me. It’s full of love, heartache, trials, triumphs, leaps of faith, and a dash of anxiety throughout it all. Many times, I’ve collapsed on the floor in tears wondering how I’m going to “get through this”. Other times, I’ve ridden this infectious wave of momentum to where I’m almost untouchable. Having been practicing mindfulness for years, even more so since I’ve been teaching yoga, I realized that those moments of crippling fear and anxiety are layered with what’s going to happen next. Those fears are future-based.
When you lean into the moment, and are truly present – that’s when you ride the wave and can breathe. There’s a quote by S. McNutt that says, “Society has conditioned us to believe that we need to always live in the future, that we need to always be planning and reaching for something that we don’t have. Let’s reject that. There is nothing wrong with staying present and remaining grateful for what we have today.” I love this quote. Now, I’m not saying don’t have goals, and don’t plan. That’s ridiculous. What I am saying is in those plans to better yourself or your life, enjoy the journey along the way. Stay present. Lean in to the happy moments and calmness, because those moments are the things that will give you the strength to carry on during the dark times.
My whole life I’ve been future-focused. I thought that I had to have a plan, and if anything happened to stray me from that plan, I would have a meltdown. I lost control. I was powerless. There was a dark time in college where I drank and partied way too much. Drugs were, of course, present. What a wonderful mixture for someone with anxiety! I always knew I was gay, and fought that idea like crazy. I prayed. I numbed. I repeated the process for years. There was one night where I thought it wouldn’t get any better than this, and drank and did drugs so much that I didn’t care if I lived or died. Luckily, being resilient – whether I like to be or not – I knew that I was destined for so much more.
My last year of college I got my life together. I meditated. I continued praying. I tried to better myself in the moment as much as I could, and those tiny moments of practicing presence became a part of my future. Whenever I get this gut feeling that change is coming, it almost is always correct. I shifted into education. I moved to Colorado. I experienced life and traveled the world. Over the past few years, I not only accepted the fact that I was born gay, but embraced it. I felt true freedom for the first time ever. It was and still is amazing.
I got that feeling again recently…that change is coming. I’ve been praying and felt God whisper that it’s time to shake things up. In my last post, I mentioned about being in a new relationship and my plans of moving to Chicago. After weeks and months of prayer and meditation and introspection, I realized that was an old plan that I’ve been fanning just enough to keep alive. I made the decision to stay in Colorado – not for the relationship, but because I know my work isn’t done here in Denver. I made the decision to leave the profession of education and get back into marketing, sales, and advertising – an industry that will forever be my “true love”.
It’s a big step to leave the classroom, but while I’m financially planning for my future and for my future family – I’ve been adamant about staying calm during the job hunt and enjoying the time and journey with those who have been so supportive. My relationship is going incredible, and we complement each other in amazing ways. It’s new. It’s exciting. It’s scary. But it’s pretty damn great and so is he. Do I hope that this could be my “forever human”? Absolutely. Will I survive and move forward with everlasting memories if he isn’t? No! Just kidding, of course I will! Staying in the moment helps me not only breath through a career change and new relationship, but it helps me thrive in them, as well.
So, if you’re wondering if you’re on the right path…if you’re where you need to be…if it gets better. Take a breath and declare, “Yes, I am, and yes, it does.” Your journey is amazingly yours and no one else’s, and that gives you so much power. Take a risk. Take a leap. Be unapologetically you. Continue to seek and go after the life that you want and deserve, but please, breathe and smile and enjoy the present moment. Those tiny moments will be gone quicker than you think.