I was sitting in a meeting the other day and we were told that one of my co-workers had put in his notice. My heart sunk and I was genuinely sad about it. I have worked with him for quite a few years as a personal trainer and we also were part of a management team. We have never been to each other's houses or speak outside of work. I read his posts on Facebook or Instagram and "like" them and he does the same. We don't stand around and socialize or gossip at the gym. We work or we work out and then go home. He is a family man who clearly adores his wife and children and a preacher. I'm a single tattooed lesbian who goes home to a house full of animals. On paper we make for a very odd pairing, and I doubt many people around the gym would guess that I have a genuine love and respect for him. He probably has no idea...well until now. I don't think I fully realized it until he hugged me today (right after I got off the treadmill extremely sweaty) and said some really nice things and I started to cry before I could get any real words out. I never use names in my blogs...but Travis...this one is for you.
I headed to the lockeroom quickly after "the hug" hoping nobody would see my tears. First of all, I'm not a hugger. I won't just hug any body that walks toward me with their arms open. I have been known to dive out an open window to avoid an unwanted hug. I'm a selective hugger and only touch the people I have genuine love and affection for. I don't just throw that shit around. But I welcomed his with open arms...twice.
I spent the rest of the afternoon analyzing the situation. Why was I so moved by the loss of a person who was nothing more than a coworker and peer. Like I said, we were friendly, but not friends that communicated outside of work. And because of that fact, I realized I would probably never see him again. We have had some brief conversations in the past about the fact that we are both introverts. But based on our lifestyle and appearance. The reactions we got from people were very different. He told me that people would say to his wife "You know, Travis is actually a really funny guy. I had no idea. He is always nice, but quiet." This is what I generally hear..."When I first saw you, I was scared of you. You looked mean, but you are actually really funny." We have the same issue, but the world perceives us quite differently...and I get it. So the fact that we are both introverts and the only place our lives ever intersect is at the gym, meant he could be moving to Europe and the chances of running into him again would be about the same.
I always respected him as a trainer, he knows his shit. But his true gift to the world lies in his soul. He is one of the few that actually practices what he preaches. He is pure and genuine in his words and actions. There are a lot of people that get dressed up, go to church and act the part out perfectly. They talk a big game, but they fall short on the follow through. They cut each other off to get out of the parking lot faster, and then go to lunch to sit down and judge others. Yes, I am generalizing here. And no, I don't mean EVERYBODY....I'm just talking about the ones that talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. I have several clients and friends who I truly love and cherish that are heavily involved in the church. They love me unconditionally as I love them...even though we may have some different views on the world....so ya, I'm not talking about you good one's. I'm talking about the hypocrites, that for a good part of my life, made me run as fast as I could away from the Church and it's follower's. Fortunately, people like Travis and some amazing friends have given me a new perspective and hope for a better future.
As a lesbian, I have heard I'm going to burn in Hell because loving another woman is a sin...an abomination more times than I can count. My mom divorced a man that was abusive and cheated on her and the church kicked her out when she needed them most. On the other side, a church provided me with one of the best memories of my early childhood. They picked our family to sponsor for Christmas. They gave me the most perfect Christmas a child could ever imagine after I cried myself to sleep the night before knowing Santa was not coming to our house. I am forever grateful for that memory. But let's just say that God's "followers" who are supposed to bring us to God, pushed me far far away.
I have been having the "God" conversation a lot lately. The bottom line is, I don't think people give God enough credit. If he can see all and hear all, then there are gonna be some folks that look real good on paper that will have a lot of explaining to do. He can hear our thoughts right?...bummer. Then he can also see what you do online or when you take those business trips. Trust me, I have made mistakes, BIG one's and I regret them ALL. 99% of mine were because I fell in love with the wrong person. And when it comes to love, my heart is in full control and my head and judgement don't have a chance in Hell of stopping it. That being said, I have learned from my sins/mistakes and served my time and I will never put myself in that position again. It was wrong and I was wrong no matter what the circumstances were that surrounded it....moving on.
Travis knows all my sins, but he has never judged me for them. He has always treated me with kindness and respect. If all "men of God" acted the way he does in the world, there would be no wars over religious differences. Homosexual teens wouldn't be committing suicide because their families disowned them and told them they would burn in Hell. So much sadness has come from people using the Bible in a way that I don't think God intended.
I don't know if there is a God. I wish with all my heart that I believed in him...that I could have that blind faith. I could say I do to play the part and fit in, but that would be a lie, and isn't that a sin? If there is a God, then I believe he created us all. We all have flaws and make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. (not even Travis) But I do believe that he has common sense and isn't fooled by the pretender's. I think he knows who is a good and genuine regardless of the God they choose to worship or not worship.
I had no idea that this blog would turn all religious on me. That was not my intention, that's just what happened. So I'd like to thank Travis for showing me unconditional love and moving in the world in a way that I think God intended...with Kindness. I will miss you.