The better part of the last decade of my life has been spent in a desert. Wandering, wondering where my place in the world may be. There were, to be sure, times where milk and honey flowed and also times of oppression, but for much of my 20’s, I have been in a desert. The in between times of life aren’t particularly enjoyable, but I feel they can teach us much about life, if we let them.

I’m now coming out of this liminal space and into a rebirth era. When you’re wandering in the desert, you can feel aimless, without a clear picture of what tomorrow looks like. You don’t know what you want to manifest in the world or how these days spent rudderless will help you discover your next big thing.

There may be no clear destiny or easy answers but I know I have been taught and formed by these last 10 years. This all began after my dark night of the soul in 2012 and early 2013. It was the scariest time of my life and it all nearly killed me. I was left with my life in tact but with a ton of broken dreams. I was forced to recalculate my entire life as it was just beginning. Then, at 23, I discovered I was gay. As a kid who grew up in conservative Christianity and was saving himself for marriage, this revelation was an earthquake that shook my faith to its very core. I had to unlearn everything I had been taught for all my life. I deconstructed, reconstructed, and re-aligned everything. It was a mess.

But through all of it, I gained important skills and new language. I learned about trauma and was diagnosed with PTSD. I gained new friends and a new fire in my heart for mental health and queer advocacy. This year, I was diagnosed with ADHD, which has illuminated nearly everything my past was and what it was not. Things that made me feel I broken before are now things that I hold lightly, tenderly, and lovingly.

My 20’s and the desert they’ve been have stripped me down and built me back up.

Now as I near 30, an age I never thought I’d see, I’m entering what I believe to be my next renaissance, I could be wrong, but I know I have always been good at predicting the seasons. I’m hopeful. This barren land much of my 20’s has been, paradoxically, bore the most fruit. I’m leaving them behind with a full heart and ready for the new and the next.

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