Queering About Me

For the last year I’ve been building a niche blog, AllAboutMealPlanning.com. That’s been going very well and there’s still a lot to be done with that site. Teaching people how to prepare healthy meals in bulk is something I’m passionate about, and it fits well with the personal training I offer, as well as my own health and fitness goals.

I actually believe that if more people knew how to cook for themselves — simply, and in bulk — there would be a much smaller obesity epidemic in North America.

But that site alone is not enough. In that it’s a niche I don’t feel like I’m completely expressing the other ideas and passions I have — many of which are connected to health and meal planning, others are totally ‘out there’.

Here on my blog I speak mostly from a personal growth and mind-body/self-awareness perspective. Looking back at all of these articles I feel a stiffness in the tone; a distance if you will.

Why do I write?

I think a lot of writers wright because either they have a great story to tell or they are learning by teaching. I’m constantly learning and seeing things in the world that I want to change or improve. Writing allows me to attempt to put into words the ideas I’m working on mastering.

And yet there is still a distance and a stiffness.

There’s so much more truth that I haven’t yet said. There’s so much more range to my ‘voice’ that I haven’t yet allowed to escape for others to hear and read.

I am compelled to write. My greatest desire is to teach what I know, from my unique perspective, in this format called writing.

In the last month I’ve been voraciously reading blogs and free eBooks from some incredible online entrepreneurs like: Chris Guillebeau at the Art of Non-Conformity, Scott Dinsmore at Live Your Legend, Corbett Barr at Think Traffic, and James Clear.

I’ve been struggling with vague, unformed questions about what to write about, and how to say what I want to say, and I need to give a shout out to all of the above writers. They sometimes overlap in one way or another,  they all communicate in an individualistic voice, and they all offer a great deal of value and insight.

So what’s holding me back?

There’s always been a risk to self-exposure. The few articles I’ve written that were the most personal received the greatest response — other than the article about working out in winter that happened to be published at the right time and with the right keywords.

I’m openly declaring that I’m going to speak my truth and dig deeper, at the risk of offending a reader, publishing an article that might not make a lot of sense but gets to the root of what I want to say, and not be afraid of other people’s opinions (ok, that’s easier said than done).

Seriously, I need to queer my ‘About Me’ profile. I am ‘different’ and I like to be that way — I’m ready to stand out on the margins as opposed to sitting on the sidelines.Bleecker Pride Flag

After all these years I still worry about writing something from a gay angle on this blog with my name on it. Growing up in the closet takes a toll on your psyche and it’s amazing how it shows up after all these years.

It’s not just about being gay — so many of my thoughts come from a queer perspective (I’m queer, therefore I am?).

Having felt I was an outsider for so many years growing up has given me a unique perspective. It’s no better than anyone else’s, but it’s mine.

Some of the ideas I want to flesh out into an article or a series of articles:

  • A discussion/rant against corporations that don’t care about the health and wellbeing of their workers (unless they hang with the CEO). I would love to see a world where every business allocates exercise time, three days per week, to every employee. It would be optimal if this ‘exercise time’ was paid for, or in someway funded (benefits payable to a gym membership, personal training sessions, etc.). People are getting fat and sick from sitting behind desks all day. This MUST change! Think of the money saved on long-term disability and sick days. But corporations don’t want to see the long-term savings, only the immediate impact that raises stock price or cuts costs, now.
  • Teach kids posture. Teach kids how to cook for themselves. Teach kids about wellness and healthy eating. Life-long health starts young, and if parents aren’t teaching their kids, we need to make time in the school system to offer the most important education of all: HEALTH.
  • Physical exercise at school should be mandatory. Governments and school boards cutting gym class is just plain stupid. If you don’t teach exercise and movement early on, what’s going to the be the outcome?
  • On being a 47-year old gay man and what it means to me to be getting older. From sleep issues to body image, prostate health to testosterone levels — it’s time to get personal.

To wrap up this personal exegesis with a double-entendre, it’s time that I came out — with more of my truth, with more words from my heart, inspired by my passions, and fuelled by my emotions and sensitivities.

Be well.

© 2013 Darren Stehle. All Rights Reserved.