The drive to the airport was quiet. I stared out the rear window of the cab as we buzzed past cars and buildings and people living their lives. I now knew I hadn’t been living mine. I had acquiesced to being who everyone else thought I should be, all the while wishing I could just be me, whoever that was. Maybe I would find myself in Hawaii. It certainly wasn’t happening back home with my family.
I smiled. Everything changed with that one phone call. Amanda Franklin had left me millions, but all the money in the world was worthless compared to her priceless wisdom. Love fully and live for others.
I was ready to love. First up — myself. It was slow going, stepping away from my self-imposed exile and venturing out into the world. And doing it as a gay man. Sort of. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I had to try. Hopefully I wouldn’t have to do it alone. Sharon and Billy had accepted me for who I was. Maybe others would too.
I wanted to love someone else, like Amanda had loved Patrick and Phillip. Billy convinced me a gay man could have a normal life with a forever love of his own. I needed to love and be loved like that. I wanted more than sex. I craved a real family, a place where I belonged, where I was wanted, with someone who needed me in his life.
I was ready to live for others. I had tools, now. More than I could count. I also had people in my life who believed in me. I just needed to believe in myself. It was still a strange thought, that I could somehow do good things and change other people’s lives for the better. But this new purpose sparked a great hope in me - that I could make a difference, just like Amanda.
My stomach churned and my hands trembled where they rested on the seat. Such lofty dreams scared me. What if I stepped out and failed? What if I never found a forever love? What if I couldn’t make a difference?
I shook my head and gritted my teeth, my hands morphing into fists. Enough was enough. I had lived in fear of one kind or another all my life, but no more. It was time to channel those fears into forward progress.
I was ready to do it afraid.
Thank you for reading Awakening Forever. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Jack's story is not over. I have written several more volumes to follow this one, and I will be publishing them soon. If you would like to keep up with my progress on writing projects and other random musings, I write a newsletter (usually weekly). You can sign up for this newsletter on my website at: www.jackschaeffer.com
Thanks again for reading, and remember: love fully, live for others, and do it afraid.