Something very very very good happened to me today. I found out where I will be spending the next five years of my life--where I matched for residency. And that place is on the East Coast in an area I'm crazy about, doing exactly what I want to do, getting paid for it (gainful employment has been avoiding me for a long time), and, in short, living my dreams.
It reminds me, actually, of a quote from John Barrymore: "A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams." I'm not that old, although sometimes I feel like it. And I still have plenty of dreams!
But, unfortunately, I do have some regrets mixed in there. I regret that I spent all that time volunteering instead of masturbating... no wait, that's not it. Seriously now, I regret losing a friend. My roommate from college was my best friend for years. We were "joined at the hip" and everyone said our names in rapid succession--never one without the other, but I haven't heard from him in over 5 years (since starting med school). I've heard about him--we still keep in touch with mutual acquaintances--but we don't speak anymore. And we probably never will.
Let's call my friend Ben. Ben and I loved each other in a completely appropriate, beautiful way. When I was busy being stressed out about my thesis, he would make me dinner or rub my shoulders. When he was under the wire I would help him with his laundry or whatever. We became the kind of friends that shared everything, could usually complete the other's sentences.
It was when I was his roommate that I decided to explore my gay side--although I was 'out' to nobody. I went on a date with a guy I met online. I was looking at porn. I was thinking about the possibility of moving my life in that direction. But I didn't. I never once thought there was even a remote possibility of being with Ben, since he was straight and was very into the church.
Long story made short and boring--we became so close that the backrubs turned into full body massages, turned into making out, turned into both of us going to see the bishop. I won't give you the mechanics of it all, but I still believe he's straight, it was just an odd thing you do with someone you trust who let's you down because of selfishness (that would be me doing the letting down). Once we worked it out, we ended up getting into trouble a couple more times. Never anything "serious," but enough that Ben decided we couldn't be around each other anymore. And that was it.
And I regret that.
Now, I hope that I am wise enough to see that although there are many beautiful, wonderful, desirable things in my path, only measured care and the advice of Someone who knows will help me to discern which will have untoward consequences, and which are really worth pursuing. I see mistakes made all the time, I just hope they can be avoided by myself and those I love. And I sincerely believe I love many of you who will read this.