Daily gratitude

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One of my endeavors in 2014 is to be more awake for the great things that are happening to me on a daily basis. To ensure I capture these moments and appreciate and reflect upon them, I’m keeping track of my daily gratitude.

Each day I’m writing down a moment/person/thing/whatever that I am thankful for, that I’m grateful for and that I appreciate. Once I write it down, I fold up the little piece of paper I’ve put it upon and throwing it into a vase.

The end goal of this is toward the end of 2014, I’ll be able to recall and go through these little moments that meant something to me in an effort to be more appreciative of the life I’ve lived and the people who influenced it, changed it, molded it, tore it up and helped nurture it.

So far things have been going swimmingly in the new year. Life is very good and I’m letting it all just proceed as it wants to, letting go more and being more organic and agile in my response to what life throws at me.

Whirlwinded

Two weeks ago I was in NYC.

Then this week I went to NYC for an overnight trip that turned into a 4-day misadventure with not enough clean underwear. Lesson learned. Pack more underwear. Always.

It was hilarious/awful/fun/terrible. Native American flute music from the ventilation system. Lost hotel rooms. Surprise visits. Energetic discussion. Oppressive heat. Terrible hotel rooms.

Overall, I won’t forget it.

This weekend is Pride weekend. I’m so ho-hum about it. It feels trite. I think for past generations of gay individuals who lived in secrecy, Pride probably was a great celebration to finally be seen and included and actually have a sense of open community. For me, it just seems like an opportunity for gays to get over-served and be more obnoxious during daytime hours with debauchery that is typically only seen by the moon.

But, to each his or her own. It’s just not my thing. I believe to just have a sense of pride all the time and revel in it accordingly. The last thing a big parade does with half-naked men flouncing about in hot pants and fairy wings is inspire pride in myself.

Call me old fashioned.

Apartment is coming together. Next items are new rug and couch for the living room. Then a bed frame. A bit more prints/art to hang. Then I’ll feel totally like an adult and at ease.

Been reading a ton – despite loving the texture of a book, this Kindle is just making it so much easier to read and commute and travel without the weight or bulk.

Saw John Grant this past week and he was amazing. His music is so odd and peculiar and fantastic and sad. Show was so great. He did not sing my favorite song though. But that’s probably for the better – so I wouldn’t openly weep.

Had been seeing a boy but that has come to an end. Sadness, yes. But understandable. Much to learn and much to work upon.

In other music, this is driving me wild.

Had therapy yesterday for the first time in maybe 6-8 weeks. Good to space things out and get better perspective. I feel more whole than I have before. And steady. And I’m okay to be more self-protective and selective. And see the translations between all my relationships and how they work and can lend knowledge to one another.

Things are good. I am good. Life is good.

Photo courtesy William Hundley/Flickr

 

A night to never forget.

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It was time. And we had a time. And maybe our time together is not yet done. But we’ll never know. We’re just going to keep living and let it all happen. And let the feelings we feel just be. With simple breathe and honesty and simplicity. And no further explanation to ourselves, each other or the rest of the world.

Two lovers locked out of love…

…I know you care.

And I told him everything I felt. And he did too. And we’re both at peace.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BRdY0NR08g

 

Counting everyone: A post about HIV.

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I recently met someone who told me he was HIV positive. It was interesting because, being a gay man, you’d think I would have already encountered someone who was poz. But nope – first one. So it caught me off guard. Less about him having it and more about my ‘Ignorance is bliss’ attitude toward HIV & AIDS that I adopt outside of my regular STD testing.

Although, if I’m being totally honest, I’m not ignorant about the virus. As a gay hypochondriac, you can only imagine that with each STD testing I’ve assumed I’ve contracted this terminal illness. Even though I practice nothing but safe sex and ask all my partners to be open about their status and last testing date (because I’m upfront with that, I feel others should be as well), there’s still the chance that someone who is infected may not know and there’s still a chance I could contract HIV or any other number of things that are less stigmatized.

My issue also became a debate about whether I could discount someone as a partner because of being HIV positive. He told me he was poz but undetectable. Because I had no idea what that meant, I had to educate myself. Essentially he’s on antiviral medication, which makes HIV undetectable from a blood test, but he still carries the virus and he still can transmit it. So even through protected sex, open communication and frequent testing, could I still discount someone as a partner? For me: yes.

Here’s why. I’m chronically worrying about my health. I fear I have cancer, or a brain tumor or that my heart is going to explode in my body. In the few instances where I had STD scares (mind you – none of them actually were, they  were all overreactions and unfounded), I lost my shit. I just cried and went to a dark place, thinking about my slow death and how my family couldn’t cope, that I’d be alone forever because no one would willingly date someone with such an illness.

So I can’t imagine trying to enter into a relationship with someone where I would be worrying all the time about my health. And in the time I wasn’t worrying about my health, I’d be worried about his health. If he got a cold, would it kill him? If I got the flu, would I pass it on to him and then be responsible for sending him to the hospital? God forbid he’d die – then what? As you can see, my mental capacity to process this is is already in overdrive. And that’s not a healthy relationship for me or for the other person. That much emotional weight and worry can’t be fun for anyone and can’t be alleviated.

And I’d never truly feel comfortable having sex. That’s a huge part of any relationship. And not one that can just be ignored.

I did have the other thought that it would be just my luck if I, of all people, would meet the man of my dreams and he would have HIV. It would be sort of the balance of someone who is always thinking he’s dying being with someone who is actually trying to stay alive. Tragic, no? But that’s my dramatic side.

After a conversation with Ellen, who adamantly said, “That’s terrible for him. But you can’t do this. Not because it’s not doable, but for YOU – YOU can’t do this.” And she’s right. But I had, for one of the few moments in my life, guilt. I felt sorry for the amount of shame and burden that it would be for this man to have to tell other people this and be discounted immediately. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to have that conversation with EVERY person you’d try to date. Or how you just don’t give up.

I guess it was easier for me to rule people out based on their appearance, their financial situation, their career path, etc. But when it came to something that wasn’t a choice, it felt horrible to immediately discount the possibility of love.

And he was very brave to tell me this as soon as I met him. And because of that, I immediately told him that I couldn’t date him for all of the reasons I’ve listed above. But we decided we could be really good friends, as we had a lot of common interests. But I still felt empathetic toward him.

For being such a large city, Chicago does have quite a lot of animosity toward the poz community here. Unlike places like NYC or DC or LA or San Fran, Chicago doesn’t seem to foster an atmosphere where poz individuals can come together. And that’s sad. It’s as if no one wants to talk about it or associate with it – but it’s real, it exists. Poz people are all around us, but are shamed in many cases to not reveal their status. And not that anyone should have to openly proclaim their status, but wouldn’t it be nice if people could not feel like talking about their status would mean they’d be brandished with a scarlet letter and ignored by a majority of their local gay community?

I guess it all comes back to education. Awareness. And being empathetic. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. And realizing that someone living with HIV or AIDS doesn’t want your pity. After talking with another friend, I realized that there are probably a great many people who contracted HIV from a long-term partner that was cheating or having unprotected sex with others without their knowledge. So not only do you deal with broken trust and the end of a relationship, but you’re also left with the physical and emotional baggage of dealign with an incurable illness.

Another sign that communication is important. But another sign that you just never know what curveball life is going to throw your way. As much as you can protect yourself, you can’t find peace by avoiding life. It’s all a risk. Trusting someone. Having sex. Falling in love. It’s all risky business. And you can’t predict who you fall in love with and why.

There was a recent article by a guy I follow on Twitter talking about bareback sex. I feel like his article, while reflective of his own personal values, was trying to switch perceptions of unprotected sex as ‘unsafe’ to ‘risky.’ That there was society-shaming associated with ‘unsafe’ as a label.

I found the whole thing to be a little misguided. Having unprotected sex – for ANYONE, gay or straight – is risky AND unsafe. Unsafe because no matter how much you trust someone, you can’t know their body and maybe they don’t know or take care of their body. Just as they can’t know yours. And if you’re not in a committed relationship (even then, how long do you continue using protection just in case?), how could you forego protecting yourself despite the pleasure you might feel without wearing protection?

It just seems representative of a juvenile attitude within the gay community by and large that propagates miseducation, disillusionment with the epidemic as it stands, and takes a very Millenial ‘devil may care’ attitude toward personal sexual health and reveals a real lack of care or concern of an individual toward his or her sexual partner. But people will continue to choose to have unprotected sex and we won’t know why. I liken this toward the same attitude of those who don’t wear seatbelts. A seatbelt is a mechanism to protect you and more than likely save your life. When someone is killed in a car wreck and could have been saved by a seatbelt, people shake their heads and shrug and think, “He or she knew better.”

We all know better. But it’s our choice whether to practice better. And don’t we owe it to ourselves and those we’re engaging in relationships and sexual activity with, to protect them as well?

30. Nothing but a number.

james pepper illustration

Approaching 30.

I think this may be the most settled and calming period I’ve had in a long time. With aging comes the hard swallow of realities that your life may not be what you thought it would be by the time you reach age X. But in lieu of panic, there’s something very ‘Ok’ about it, too.

My highs and lows are less dramatic. There’s less drama for the sake of drama, born out of boredom or needing entertainment.

I’m sitting in a coffee shop, having a green tea and hearing the barista discuss with a patron her rekindling of romance with a previous boyfriend and the ease within which they may or may not be getting back together. I recognize her nervous casualness in which she describes their interactions. I’ve told those same lies at times. That, “No…it’s not that big of a deal. We’ll see what happens…I’m just being the bigger person” et al.

When inside I know she’s eager to make this work again this time. To fix whatever broke down before and to revisit this relationship with fresh eyes and fresh breathe and more resilience toward being totally open. But there is a moment when you do realize that you can’t make two people be a thing sometimes.

I know it well. And it makes me happy. To know that we’re all built from the same kind of DNA. That we’ve got all the same basic emotional blueprint and capacity.

How does that relate to being older? I don’t know. I think if I sat here and heard her three years ago I would have had less of an appreciative smirk upon my face hearing her. In fact, I probably would have stuffed my headphones in my ears to avoid such drivel.

But now closer to 30 than 20, I’m loving the mellowness that comes with age. The comfort that most people describe – comfort with just being who you are and being less worried about comparing yourself to other people, changing yourself for the sake of another, and not punishing yourself every day with self-doubt, self-loathing, self-denial, self-punishment.

The fact that as you get older, you become closer to yourself.

I certainly thought I’d be further along by the time I hit 30. In terms of money, in terms of career, in terms of dating – that all of these things combined would have eventually led me to feeling more ‘successful’ or ‘fulfilled.’

Truth be told, I think all of these things happened and I do feel pretty accomplished. I’ve pushed myself – in some of the most extreme and in some of the most minuscule ways – to leave my comfort zone in terms of all the things above and more.

I’ve been addicted to constant change and yet I love the static nature of my core lifestyle.

Don’t get me wrong – for the most part, I’m a misanthropist through and through. But as I get older, I find more sentimentality in the little things in life. The acts of kindness I witness which inspire me to be more kind. The acts of humility that inspire me to be more humble and to listen more and talk less. The acts of care in the smallest of ways that inspire me to constantly turn down the dial on my dramatic tendencies.

I’ve learned through so many bruised-knee moments emotionally that my walls erected around my heart typically don’t serve me well. And that there’s something more empowering about being totally forthright and tending to my own well-being first rather than compromising for the sake of trying to ‘keep’ another around.

And at 30, I’m finally at a place where it’s much harder for me to justify being in a relationship I don’t feel utterly tingly about from the get-go. And I realize that it’s a battle of being someone who is holding out for that when it may never come. That what I’m expecting may just be illusory.

I used to pity people who settled down for the sake of settling down. But no more. I get it. Sometimes you just want the company. You just want the warm body and companionship there. It’s about forging a life together, regardless of all the other ‘stuff.’ I think I tried to do it. But I couldn’t. I’m not one to be backed into a corner – whether by another or of my own choosing.

I want what I want. And I’m not taking whatever comes my way. And that attitude could be COMPLETELY detrimental and leave me a sad spinster.

If that’s the case, it’s okay, too. I may just be one of those people who is alone. A wild horse that cannot be saddled by any person. I have a hard time kneeling in deference to anyone. There have been less than a handful who have made me want to.

So if the one that makes me want to wants to in return, I’ll follow indefinitely.

Always the case of being ‘all chips in’ when I feel IT. And when I don’t, I cannot fake it.

The same could be said for every part of my life – job, hobbies, etc. I become oddly addicted to the new high of anything that I’m interested in. And when I’m done, I’m completely done.

With age also comes the beauty in being less hurt by life. That when things do not go your way, it’s not panic-button worthy. And the things that are meant to be will always manifest themselves (repeatedly in some cases). I believe in ‘signs,’ if you will.

People come and go and return. In most cases, it doesn’t make any sense and for someone like me, I want to know why. But there’s never a reason. Making peace with that…that only comes with learning acceptance. And *ding* not being in control of everything.

I appreciate these moments more. Instead of being dismissive or distrustful, I choose to see the silver lining.

It’s a moment to reflect on what IS going right and to be more grateful for the things that have happened as if by chance and luck. It’s a choice in what you choose to focus your reflection upon. Pain or personal growth?

Perhaps familial health scares and my own fear of death (or let’s be honest – control of ANYTHING), make me more “So what, who cares” about life.

And that’s helped in relationship building, demolishing and reconstruction. When you see your own steadfastness emerge, you see how things in life aren’t SO delicate or precious. It all comes and goes in a blink of an eye – so just bravely face the day and go for what you want.

“Luck is where the crossroads of opportunity and preparation meet.” A quote allegedly by Seneca, a first-century Roman philosopher. Later appropriated & revised by Oprah. But the sentiment is true.

I think that there is a lot to be said for going through practice & preparation before you are then presented with the opportunity to act.

In many ways, I’m still learning every day. About myself. About others. About how to engage in the dance between the two.

Sanding down the rough edges, as it were. And happy for the experiences drifting in my life. And those that drift away. All the while having proverbial popcorn to enjoy the show, not knowing how it will end or the twists/turns in the story.

Getting older means being more forgiving toward one’s self in terms of trying to ‘be something.’ What if existing happily is enough of a lasting impression upon this planet? What if kindness is the most impressive feat you could accomplish while you were here?

What if the entire point of being here is to just soak it all in? And just nod in simple agreement.

I’m eager and excited for the crazy and winding path that lay ahead of me with brambles, exquisite vistas and delightful road warrior companions that join me as our narratives intertwine for however long they might. And being able to revel in the stories of others and just like a book, step into someone else’s experience and feel the emotional impact and be thankful for the sharing.

So here’s to 2013. Turning 30. Turning over new leafs. And turning pages as I continue writing my story. No rules for foolish hearts, as they say…

Photo courtesy James Pepper/Flickr.

Chaos.

I sit here writing this, short of breath. Anxiety compressing my chest to feel as if I cannot fully inhale and signaling the alarm to my brain that something physically is WRONG and that I MUST go seek medical treatment.

However, the logic in my brain says, “Discomfort or Pain?” And now I’m able to tell the difference between a broken alarm system and a major body malfunction. Well, most of the time that is.

The last few weeks have been nothing but fuel for my hypochondriacal fire. Health scares, death, disappointments have all just kicked my anxiety up to 2011 levels – manageable, but also preventing me from getting any good sleep or doing my tactile OCD check-ins.

It just seems to be a lot of stuff that I cannot control. And I totally understand that the crux of all this anxiety is the total lack of control over life and the observance and reaction to fear itself.

However, on the plus, I do find myself more aware of the present. More aware of just letting go of ticky-tacky stuff. Being less ‘these are the warts’-centric and seeing the good in everything or finding that silver lining.

Forgiveness and appreciation do seem to have their day in the sun around this time of year, when we become a little kinder to one another in the light of our holiday decor, the communal desire to celebrate life and family and our choice to perpetuate kindness toward our loved ones and strangers.

Even outside of my own narrative and the familial health worries that are in the air, we also had to grieve for those children that were lost in Newtown. Like most tragic events, it just doesn’t even make sense to me. It’s surreal to believe that it’s not something out of movie, out of fiction. One more reminder that kindness is something we all can afford to give to our children, our family, our friends, our parents, our co-workers, our bosses, our companions on the train, our cab drivers, etc. It’s sad that as a nation, we become only aware of this when such terrible things unfold in front of our eyes.

It’s always a wake up call. But I fear we’re always hitting snooze, too.

Again, my immediate reaction was to realize how precious and how non-precious life is. In therapy this past week, I talked about my anxiety and we discussed how having a concept of what happens after death impacts your relationship to death. For me, I believe we’re all little drops from the ether bucket and we get to shine for a moment and once our rentals are broken-down, we go back into the bucket. That’s the soul of not only individuality but of humanity. It’s the giant blueprint of what existence is.

So I’m comforted a bit more knowing that if this body of mine just gives out, or randomly it becomes my time to exit, my existence continues and goes back to the ether. And I like that. I love the communal swarm cloud of souls we float about in.

Sure, you can think that’s silly and trivial. It can be less focused on redemption, grace and self-fulfillment, but it works to satisfy my feelings and my thoughts.

Life is precious – because we don’t know what we have or how long we have. And yet, I feel it’s not precious – for the reason that once you identify what happens upon dying, you get pulled back into this communal knowledge that none of us gets the ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card. We all face the same end.

And only in death do you begin to value life.

I’m heartbroken for those children and those parents and those families and that community. But I’m also heartbroken for all of us. To think that we’ve created this kind of world for ourselves. That we have the choice to make this all so different and it’s so hard for us to set aside petty beliefs and selfish behavior in order to improve our existence for all.

We make life so hard. So challenging. So full of menial tasks and trivial competition and unnecessary hardship. What for?

As you can see, I tend to get very futile about these types of things and back to my other point about forgiveness…

Today, I got an email from someone that I really didn’t think I’d ever hear from again. Or I assumed we’d have a weird run in at a bar or the grocery store, as you typically do.

This email was sincere, heartfelt and it left me feeling somewhat vindicated, relieved and appreciative all at the same time. Forgiveness happened before I even opened it, I realized. Because as I read it, it no longer carried the same weight.

Of course, my one question that always remains still lingers today and it will be a question that neither of us can answer. But I’m okay with that.

I could forgive myself, I could forgive him, I could forgive our inexperience and youth. And I appreciated everything about that time and the time that has passed since.

So whether it’s a physical death, or an emotional death, time seems to be able to help you move on. You grieve as needed and reflect and remember the positive moments and the bad times just don’t seem so traumatic after all. You have to make your own kind of peace with the chaos that life throws at you. You just must.

Wisdom in the wound.

“What do you blog about?” is a question I get a lot. Well, truthfully I should just start responding, “Men and God.” Although, that feels very shallow. Or it seems overly pretentious like I’m writing the next missive that will unlock the mysteries of the eternal questions of who made us and why we’re here.

Nope.

You won’t be finding that here.

My blog is more or less a diary. It’s where I take a lot of mixed emotions and pent up intellectual quandaries and lay them out on the dissecting table. How archealogists dig to unearth clues about the past, ascertaining cause & effects through time, I think this is my place to do that with my own psyche.

Frightening at times but always with the intention that no matter what kind of admission I make in this space, the point is to go through the exercise in an attempt to find light and resolution.

Wisdom in the wound.

That’s been the title of this post that has sat empty for probably over a month. While I’m not a big tattoo person, these words have stuck with me since I heard them.

The point of them is that you have to go to the darkest of places in order to make sense of yourself and by choosing to do that work, you will forever be changed.

While the phrase itself may sound heavy and dire, the actual meaning is the polar opposite for me. That regardless of any card that life deals you, you have to look for the lesson. And in doing so, you set yourself apart from the generalist category of victimization. Because when you only see the wounds that life has inflicted upon you and see no way to change or see no way to alter your viewpoint/outlook/opinion, you are openly casting yourself as victim until your death.

I choose not to be victim. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like a lot of vodka and pity parties from time to time. I put a cap and time limit on my own pitying. Then I know it’s time to do the intellectual work.

Regardless of whether I blog, go have drinks with my friends, see a therapist, have casual sex, eat a whole pizza, etc., I know that in the combination of all those things, is the healing. Another amazing lesson to have learned. That you can write and write and write, but until you put yourself back on the saddle and into practice, you’ll never get better.

My mother, who reads this blog despite telling me repeatedly that she doesn’t and is therefore a liar (yes, I just called you out), has a hard time understanding why I put this all out there. I mean, let’s face it. The internet is public domain. It’s not private. I’m offering up some delicate cuts of meat to the world.

However, the point of that is not about getting a response. I’m not sitting here hoping that 50 people comment on my blog, my writing, my life. I’m not out looking for sympathy or pity.

In fact, it’s a very selfish process, writing these little narratives.

But occassionally someone does stumble across the ones I feel most comfortable sharing and will tell me that they can relate and that it was helpful to read what I’ve written. I cannot lie and say there isn’t any gratification in that. It’s nice that from a place where I sometimes feel so alone, there are people who get it. Get me. Even if it’s just a digital beacon to let me know that there are other lighthouses out there. Empathy.

My therapist asked why would I blog since other people might see, namely people like lurking ex boyfriends, etc. I couldn’t answer. Why don’t I just sit and write in a Lisa Frank trapper keeper? One, it would be hard to find one these days and I don’t want to pay for it. Two, I don’t know.

I guess that part of writing this publicly is taking ownership of my own faults and faculties. It’s one thing for me to sit and write in a journal that can be full of vitriol but when putting things here, I do acknowledge the feelings of others in most cases. I don’t call anyone out by name. I attempt to see the grace of even those who I have felt completely burned by.

It keeps me responsible in a sense. To be fair in doling out the medicine instead of assuming that I’m right in how I feel and that I should interpret those feelings as fact. As the wise prophet RuPaul has said, “Feelings are not facts.” This is true.

In many cases, the arc takes place over a lot of posts. There are angry posts. There are sad posts. There are posts about finding resolution and moving forward. There are posts about missteps and regret. All of them together build to still only deliver to the read a slice of myself.

Someone told me that I seem so much happier and exuberant in real life. I am. Because this is where part of me lives so that the other person you see in real life gets to be present. There are times when they bleed onto one another, but I see my blog as more of a tool than a consistent outlet.

I understand where my therapist and my mother are coming from. Hell, I understand the limits that people should have when putting themselves on display on the internet. But I also believe that I’m not doing anything but being true to myself and true to the others around me.

It’s difficult when people who are in my life read this blog and want to make assumptions or decisions based off of what I’m writing without continuing a dialogue offline. To only use this as the prime source material would be flawed.

These things are not the easiest to dig into with people and it can be heavy to discuss which is why I tend to do the heaviest unloading through these words rather than in discussion. Perhaps one day that will change as I evolve and the people around me change and I find more comfort in opening up in ways I hadn’t up until that point.

The other caveat about this space is that it challenges me (and others) to realize as highly cognitive beings and emotional ones at that, we can change over time. Our thoughts today may be turned on a dime by tomorrow. What I believe right now to be scientific fact may be fiction by end of week. There is no such thing as gospel. There is only the passing on of intellectual polaroids. Tiny snippets and snapshots of space and time and milestones of growth and regression and hope and hopelessness.

So if this is the first thing you’ve ever read, welcome aboard. And if you’ve been reading on and off for a while, you may have come a little closer and thanks for going up and running your lighthouse on the foggiest of nights.

 

Sidewalk jerks.

I have a problem with people and their ignorance of proper sidewalk decorum. There are several types of offenders that really burn my biscuits when I’m trying to walk down the street and find my simple desire thwarted by sheer idiocy or cultural disconnect. I find myself screaming under my breath and wishing a swift moment of justice for these people, like tripping on shoelaces, uneven brick or texting and walking right into a pole. So without further ado, the people I loathe:

Continue reading Sidewalk jerks.

This heat deserves a cold beer.

I forgot to mention that I had my 3 year anniversary of living in Chicago. What an insane and crazy time it’s been here thus far – on a personal growth level and even professionally. What’s funny is that now when I’m in New York, which seems more manageable as a livable city (albeit so expensive and crowded), Chicago seems so small.

Yet 1,095 days ago, I was completely flabbergasted by moving to a city where I really knew one person that I truly trusted and could rely upon. However, once my boyfriend showed up he did save me from myself. And while our relationship crumbled from that strain of relocation (and of course the subsequent journey of “Who am I here? Who do I WANT to be here?”), I think he became a bit of a saving grace for me. And I’ll say that I probably was the same for him to some extent, as part of recognizing my own ability to offer up support and care in my own “unique” way.

Fortunately, I met Jonathan shortly after and he’s become one of my closest friends here. And once I got a ‘real’ job, I started to get back into the swing of incorporating new people in to my life. And of course dating is its own beast, like a drunk trying to attempt to walk in a straight line. So much gravity taking hold of things you are trying to control but just can’t. All the lessons. In three years, there have been SO many lessons.

I wonder where I’d be or what I’d be doing if I never moved. What would have been? Who can say. I honestly have no idea what my life would be. Smaller-scaled? Yet more engrossing?

And of course I remember my anniversary because it’s hot outside (and inside). Summer heatwave has become the familiar friend to remind me. And I just want to drink beer:

Yesterday I decided that a pause is what I needed. I can’t be selfish with someone’s time while I try to sort myself out, determining what I need and want and crave.

Oh what my friends must assume. And yet while instigated by certain circumstances, they are not motivated solely from them. If you’re questioning why you are questioning, it’s probably best to stop and ask even more questions.

Yesterday, Alanis Morissette posted an update on her Facebook page that rung a little too true:

To stay in the discomfort for longer than is enjoyable. That’s the point of therapy and, to some extent, this diary/blog/journal/blathering. To give the tiny questioning voice in the background a megaphone so as to be heard clearly and addressed responsibly.

And as I said yesterday, part of the process that I’m interested in is engaging with myself here and moving this out into the world to close the circle.

Even as I think back over the last year, the leaps and bounds I have changed is a bit amazing to me. Which is why it’s funny that I can’t go back to being that person a year ago. I feel like I’ve finally found my footing again. Never did I lose my confidence, but I lost the path. I was wondering in the woods for a minute. With a blindfold. Similar to:

But now I’m found.

So let’s be grateful for a minute. Three things I’m just generally happy about:

  1. My job/career and the wonderful people who make every day so much fun
  2. “The Idler Wheel” album. Particularly ‘Daredevil.’ 
  3. Watermelon. It’s basically my entire summer diet along with cereal straight from the freezer.

I’d talk about what I’m reading, but I’ll save that for another day. Because I have to write every single day.