Moulin Rouge came out in 2001, right in the middle of when I was coming out – to myself and everyone else. My friend Megan, who was my rock at that time in my life, had seen the movie and thought that I would enjoy it. So one afternoon we left work early and walked through the parking garage to the theater in the Arboretum (before it became a Cheesecake Factory). And I didn’t just enjoy it, I fell in love with it.
At that time in my life I was unbearably unhappy. I was struggling to reconcile my faith with my sexuality and had resigned myself to always being alone. I desperately wanted to escape the impossible position I found myself in but no idea how to do so.
And then I heard One Day I’ll Fly Away which summed up what I felt so concisely:
One day I’ll fly away
Leave all this to yesterday
Why live life from dream to dream
And dread the day when dreaming ends
And the seemlingly impossible dream represented by Come What May:
Never knew I could feel like this
Like I’ve never seen the sky before
Want to vanish inside your kiss
Everyday I love you more and more
Listen to my heart, can you hear it sings
Telling me to give you everything
Seasons may change winter to spring
But I love you until the end of time
Through the help of friends I was eventually able to “fly away” to a place where I lived happiness instead of dreaming about it by accepting who I was. A couple of years after seeing Moulin Rouge I met Benjamin and Come What May become reality. It didn’t last forever, but I still cherish those 7.5 years.
Moulin Rouge reminds me that in my past I felt happiness forever out of reach, and yet I obtained it. Of the longing for love and companionship and then the fulfillment of that dream. And that the fulfillment of the dream can happen again.
Yes, I’m a hopeless romantic.
Recently I was in a discussion with a friend who’s working on what to do next in life. I encouraged him to make a list of all the things that makes him happy and work towards a job and social environment that helps satisfy those things.
It occurred to me that making such a list would be useful to me as well. Accordingly, these things make me happy:
- Holding someone
- Being held by someone
- Solving complex problems
- Optimizing systems
- Doing things for people
- Laughing/joking with friends
- Achieving new physical PRs / competing with myself
- My level of physical fitness
- Trying new things even when I don’t want to / pushing my own boundaries
- Learning new things
- Traveling / seeing new things
- Being creative / making things with my hands
- Reading books that make me think
- Having cute guys smile at me or pay me a compliment
- Developing a level of friendship with someone such that both of us are free to be ourselves without pretense
- Simple company of close friends
I’m very fortunate that my job satisfies some of these (hint: it’s not the first two). My current social circle satisfies several of the others. Some on the list I need to work harder at achieving as they don’t happen near enough.
What makes you happy?
Yesterday, EMC joined 277 other employers and organizations in an amicus brief supporting the repeal of the “Defense of Marriage Act”. Congratulations EMC – you continue to make me a very proud employee.
Other notable signers that jumped out to me included:
- Johnson & Johnson
- Morgan Stanley
- Walt Disney Company
The brief, while footnote heavy, is quite clear: DOMA is bad for business. The NYT summarizes it up nicely:
Lawyers writing the amicus briefs have hewed closely to the business issues in the case, leaving social and political issues to others. Among them are tax and benefits issues, administrative costs, employee morale and the ability to attract gay employees and to move them to locations where gay marriage is prohibited.
Emphasis mine. Damn right I’m not going to move out of a state where I can get legally married to one where I can’t — and right now that includes California.
Be sure and check out the full brief for the full list of companies (and an impressive use of footnotes).