Over the years, Gentle Reader, I’ve changed a lot. Every few years, without fail, I’ll wake up one morning and suddenly realize that I’m somebody entirely different than I’d been the day before. It’s never planned, and it’s not as though I deliberate sculpt my personality – it just sort of happens. There are a lot of changes planned for me over the next year, where I’m going to explore who I am, and who I’m becoming – I wanted to take a moment, before this transformative year is upon me, and reflect on the many faces of Tyler J. Yoder.
The last two years have been devoted entirely to my mind, and secret inner workings. Rather than continue to fight with and wrestle with the sundry mental beasts that have always plagued me, I embraced them wholeheartedly the night I learned I loved myself. Hell, I didn’t just embrace the madness, I threw myself into it face first. I charted the darkest corners of my own mind, and nearly drown in the predictable flood of self-harm and self-medication. I have slowly clawed my way out, and am looking over a new vista, a better understanding of who I am.
I loved this period. I was, for a few years, very well off. I was constantly hosting intimate dinners and glamorous soirées, in pristine blazers of every hue. Any night of the week – every night of the week – I could point you to a gallery opening, a poetry reading, a masquerade. With acerbic wit I battled my social rivals; I was
fucking utterly charming. Though I was well known, hardly anyone I met during this time knew me well.
Before I could emerge as the elegant divorcée, I went through a few years when my friends and family were dying left and right. I quit my job to plan my father’s funeral. After that, I was constantly at my mother’s side; the funeral directors knew us on a first-name basis. Understandably, I don’t remember a lot of this period – it’s a blur, in black. I do know that I came to see death, in most cases, as a mercy, and a blessing, and that I really learned who my truest friends are.
I worked in concrete for quite some time. As a gay guy on a construction site, I had something to prove – I had to be the butchest guy out there. Flannel, ripped jeans, a bushy unkempt beard – even, heaven help me, cheap watery beer in cowboy bars. My long association with J. Was in full bloom, and we’d go hunting and fishing on the weekends when we weren’t working on his house. I don’t mind any of these parts of this part of me.
What I can’t forgive myself for is the casual racism, sexism, and even homophobia that I indulged in. For this reason, I’m well glad that I’ve grown, changed, and can put that episode behind me.
Pffffah. I’ve been heaps more people, but I’m depressing myself thinking about that, so I’ll leave you here. I’m absolutely looking forward to finding out who I’ll be next. Through it all, though, I’ve always been the same on the inside – this guy: