I’m not a big fan of talking about myself. Although, I have found recently that talking about myself through the form of a story tends to work when needed. So here’s a short story about me for you…
In 2005, there was a quiet 16-year-old boy who walked the halls of his high school but lived in his own world. He had no friends and really had no desire to have friends. He had a deep secret locked away and unhealed trauma out in the open. The two factors paralyzed any expression. Going around the classroom reading from the textbook was really the only time he was heard. He would sit in silence as classmates sitting in front of him would comment how he would put a dot of punctuation after each number when numbering a piece of paper. That 16-year-old boy was me.
Yes, I was weird and awkward. I have changed a lot over the years. However, I still am both weird and awkward (my ongoing issues with anxiety is mainly to blame for that). What has changed for me is far greater and the impact is something still unfolding that amazes even myself. I reclaimed my voice and realized it was a superpower.
I knew I was gay then, but the fear of others even suspecting it prevented me from going much past a nod when meeting someone new. I was paranoid. I listened to the conversations of others around me wondering if they were talking about me. I would listen for my name and the word “gay” being mentioned in the same conversation.
A year earlier in 2004, my dad passed away suddenly of a heart attack. I was there. My mom and two brothers were also there. We saw it happen. It was the Sunday after Easter. It was an unusual afternoon; we were all home, doing yard work as a family and my mom called us in for lunch. She had made tea sandwiches for us. After just minutes of eating, my dad left the room and the next thing I remember was my one brother yelling for my mom.
It was also a gorgeously warm and sunny afternoon. It seems to be the one thing people remember when they mention it to me. Perhaps, it’s just the one thing that stands out to me because I had locked away and threw out the key to any emotion I felt that day.
Today, I find sharing my emotions and thoughts to be healing. It’s interesting because the very thing I feared the most back then is now an outlet for therapeutic relief.
I was also the kid who struggled with reading and writing. Later, I was diagnosed with a form of dyslexia. They told me my problem was phonics. I would have to work extra harder just to keep up with my peers. I kept this as a lesser secret for years because I never wanted it to be a crutch or an excuse.
At the age of 29, I self-published a novel (Black and Neon Green). Yes, the same kid who gave his teachers question marks in grade school about his reading and writing capabilities. For me, just being able to put my work out there was a huge success for me. After everything I had been through, nothing else really mattered. I had somehow managed over the years to learn the powerful virtue of gratitude.
Nonetheless, I continue to move forward exploring new ways of creating and sharing my passion. Here on my website, you can find some examples of my writing and art. You can also find links to purchase my book (https://kevingatti.com/2018/10/21/black-and-neon-green/). If you want to connect with me more on social media or send me an email you can find that information here as well (https://kevingatti.com/social-media-email/).
As always, thank you to everyone who has supported me, continues to support me and to anyone who has just started.