I know one thing that has definitely changed for me is my acceptance of who I truly am in life and come out to both my parents, friends, past and present co-workers and that certainly has been a weight off my shoulder. I would also like to point out that it does get better and it does become easier. Coming out as a gay man was the best thing for myself, my health and my sanity!
In high school I was confused and was not sure of who I was exactly and what I truly wanted out of life. I was teased for being gay before I knew or at least whilst I was trying discover who I am exactly. But with that said children or at least teenagers can be harsh and bullies in which I would like to point out an old saying here -
'sticks and stones my break my bones, but words will never hurt me'
Let me tell you that saying is still very true to this day and will always be the case because people who don't understand or accept are just plain blind sighted and ignorant! If I listened to most of the bullies and people in general I would probably not be here writing this post!
Getting back on track though, the one thing I was darn sure of was never going to university. I know weird but in some ways I knew deep down I could not cope with both the workload and studies required. Having a slight learning difficulty would also just make things worse, however now I am starting to think about going to university and maybe completing a degree or diploma (still deciding on what I wish to study first) but I also haven't ruled out going to TAFE either.
One thing that has changed is my health, which has seen probably better days, weeks, months, hell even years. I now use a wheelchair to get around when in the community as such and around home I can either use my walking sticks or can try to walk around like a penguin (yeah yeah laugh all you want at that - smart ass! lol). Prior to that in 2007 I used to walk around with a walking stick (yeah ok probably looked like an old man, have to keep you young whipper snappers in line you know hehe) and prior to that in 2002 I was able to walk fine.
I hear you say why my health is been well, so messed up? Well it's a little bit complex but in short I was born with Spina Bifida and due to its complexities I have been having ongoing health issues (and multiple admissions to Westmead Hospital - shuddering at even the thought let alone typing to words).
Another thing that has changed for me is that I am in a very loving, happy relationship with my partner Brett or Brettles as I affectionately call him. I am engaged and (trying) to plan a commitment ceremony (stupid not being able to get married - grunt) for next year (2012 around early November).
I am trying to pay off debts from a one fucked up ex (and they certainly know who they are, wanker!) who made sure I was screwed over royally financially - alas I shouldn't hold that much of a grudge, but when we are talking about $30k above its not a pretty picture!
I have a half sister (who really is like a sister to me), Kerri who when having a hard time in hospital always manages to make me laugh and put a smile back on my face!
I have a wonderful mother, father and little brother who have helped both myself and Brett during hard times both financially and physically and are always there when we need them or they need us (love you mum, dad and shan)
I have fantastic friends like Emma, Kristi, Allanah, Steve and the kids, Rebecca, Scott, Sandra, Annie, Maya, Kylie, Bridget, Eddy and Nat, Jarrod, Adam and Gavin, Vito and Boyd, Johnny, Dean, Leah in all honest there is way to many to mention on here but I will say that if I didn't mention your name I am sorry but you know who you are and you know how much you guys mean to me! It's like a huge family of support really with my friends and for that I am truly grateful.
So I guess really at the end of the day that within that 10 year period so much has really changed both for the good, the bad and well the in between. Would I change it for anything in the world? Hell no!
it's those ten years which have shaped me who I am today and for that I grateful!