A day for sweet hearts

bea_mine

 

I haven’t posted in a while. For good reason. I’ve become less interested in documentation and less concerned about overthinking/overanalyzing. Just living. Letting go. Being malleable, being present, being conscious.

This does sum it up:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL6FaI-wJxs

I’m happy right now. Things are going swimmingly well on all fronts.

Split the cost, split the gain

love flickr aleksandra

I am a person who divulges all to those who I find similar wavelengths with. I have no real interest in being fractured or splintered to offer only parts of myself to different parts of people. Probably why I have a hard time understanding people who keep so much of themselves hidden away or held back. I don’t know that discipline or that preference.

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I was watching “Iyanla: Fix My Life” last night because…well, I cannot explain myself and retain any self-respect or dignity so shutup.

ANYWAY. Bat-shit crazy Iyanla, in her best impression of Rafiki, was speaking to a family who were having issues coming to terms with their son’s homosexuality. As the son pointed out that he felt that his parents, specifically his father, didn’t address his sexuality, he didn’t feel that he was being ignored – which Iyanla was suggesting. Her viewpoint was that the father was denying the son’s existence.

Her point was that – whether he felt his sexuality defined him or not, it was part of his fullness and that when he walked into a room of people who would not get to know his fullness, they could easily and simply sum him up as a gay man.

I guess I got the point. I, too, feel my sexuality is just a flavor of my personality but to ignore that part – even for myself – is to deny the fullness of my existence. And for someone else to ignore that part of me is to not fully know me, love me, appreciate me or accept me.

I’ll buy that.

_____

I have these weird moments where I feel unjustifiably ‘wise’ in comparison to other people. Or at least help others come to terms with shit they are unwilling to face head on or deal with in the simplest of terms. Sometimes I think maybe I should have gone into counseling. I guess I still have time to do something about that if I really want it.

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This is in my mind on repeat. The drama. The tension. The Bond-ness of it all.

A lack of resolution.

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fO07POv5IU

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I have been having this itch of ‘What’s next?’ in the last few weeks. I think it’s that time of year where you reflect on the year and your life and get stuck into that weird and unproductive pattern of hindsight judgment.

I learned this week from my training class that hindsight is a trap. The best thing you can ever do for yourself is to recognize what happened and LEARN. And apply what you’ve learned as you continue to move. Motion is more important than planning. The planning is a tool to help organize movement but does not account for the entirety of the journey. If you stick to the plan, you’ll be in grueling pain.

That’s the thing I’ve learned both professionally and personally this week.

_____

I feel released from pain. Released from torment. Released from obligation to this world, from capitalism, from societal expectations, from people’s judgment, from all the baggage of the past.

I feel equanimous and at peace. That state makes others really uncomfortable. Being at ease is so foreign to so many that it it’s terrifying that others don’t understand that an absence of all feeling is a neutral state of bliss.

Those who try to be happy all the time – and I’m talking about the people who FORCE themselves into that state – are no different than coke addicts doing lines one after the other. Addicts chasing the high. The same could be said for those who wallow in pain.

I watched Sarah Silverman’s recent standup special and she made a really good point:

If you quit being cunty the whole world will stop being against you!

Amen. The people who think the world is out to get them are so wrapped up in their own perceptual shit that has nothing to do with the rest of us who have to deal or interact with them. Just stop being shitty.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bZfzscQMjU

____

Photo courtesy: Love/ Flickr by Walisz

 

Surviving the retrograde

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For however long, I kept seeing people blaming and talking up the fact that Mercury was in retrograde. Truth be told I had no fucking clue what this meant so I looked it up.

First – some info on Mercury himself:

Mercury comes from the Latin word merx, or mercator, which means merchant. Mercury is the name given by the ancient Romans to the Greek mythological god Hermes.

Mercury is depicted as a male figure having winged sandals and a winged hat, indicating the ability to travel quickly. He was the official messenger of the ancient gods and goddesses and, as such, governed communications.

In 1782, Mercury became the first symbol of the United States’ postal service. Today, he is the Icon of an International floral delivery service.

In astrology, Mercury influences travel, literature, poetry, merchants, and thieves. He is cunning and witty at a moment’s notice. But he is also recognized as a trickster and prone to misbehavior.

In terms of the retrograde, it’s apparently the illusion that the planet itself appears to stop in its normal rotation and proceed backward.

According to astrology, retrograde can apparently cause a lot of friction and mishaps and confusion and the recommendation is to make no big or long-lasting decisions during Mercury’s retrograde. The point of the time, so ‘they’ say, is to be reflective of the past and review the past.

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stmjb9EHzg0

As if I need the planets to start moving backward to do that.

But interesting, considering the last post I left here. About how my own retrograde is counterproductive, especially in terms of relationships. You just can’t go back to where you’ve been with who you’ve been. Because everything is changed. In life, there’s not a lot of do-overs but there’s plenty of opportunity to learn, grow, move forward and evolve toward a better state of self.

I’ve come to see that you can only open yourself and your heart to other people and invite them in. But you cannot expect others to do the same or to respond. That’s not the norm. When it happens, that’s the magic. That’s the moment of sparks and tinglies. And those aren’t promised to you through life but you have to be open to them and not assume you know where they’ll come from or when.

It’s about being open to things. That’s really hard. To be self-caring and self-loving to a point to think you’re deserving and ready for an influx of goodness beyond the environment you’ve created for yourself. And that’s where I’m at. I’ve created this space for myself where I’m truly happy and content and I see nothing but potential and goodness around me but I’m not truly pursuant of it for the sake of ‘getting.’

It’s about just being present and allowing others to stand by your side and inviting them to be part of what you create and eventually creating something together. That’s the ideal. That’s the vision I still believe in. I still believe I’ll be loved in ways I’ve so far only imagined up.

But even the journey here was rough. But the point is I made it.

Image: Hold me tide/Ibai via Flickr. 

Haunted.

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This simple thought:

All loves will haunt you for the length of your life.

You cannot recreate them. You cannot replicate them. You cannot return to them. They are finite moments. Unable to be captured but burned into the visceral memory of the heart.

That’s what I’ve learned.

Sometimes it’s so disappointing. Sometimes it’s such a relief. And most of the times you feel in flux and wishing for moments past and moments future that will take you away from the moment you are in.

The fallibility of human cognition.

Knowing what’s come before and what could be without just living for the moment. Chasing the dream or chasing the past.

Sometimes I see myself doing that – for love. For the love I felt. Silly me.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_1aF54DO60

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

 

A dream.

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Had a dream and woke up. Cried. Then it just had to be said. If you think it’s about you, it probably is.

 

Image courtesy Saddo/Flickr.

Break.

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I like this picture. Probably the colors. Probably the sentiment. To me, it’s the epitome of breathing & silence and hearing your own pulse.

That’s where I’m at. Over the last few months I’ve steadily grown more equanimous about a lot of ‘issues’ that I had flagged in my life and labeled as ‘items to address/fix/correct/fill/tackle.’

It’s as if a lot of weight is lifted. A lot of worry is gone. A sense of peace and overall contentment is present because I’m easily seeing that there’s not much of a point to force your life to happen. Sure, you have to be proactive and put out the energy for things that you want, but not everything can be achieved through brute force of will.

There’s a bit of delicacy to be had with your self. Not coddling, but the ability to be self-nurturing enough to just stop pushing yourself and cracking the whip because you’re not moving, succeeding, growing, or learning fast enough. Time is slipping by and trying to rush through things only expedites your life. Some find this to be the way to live.

I do not. It’s not for me. I like the slowness of existence. And I like the process of nurturing and incubation and things growing in the time they need to. Again – it’s a lesson in being the gardener but knowing that while it’s ‘your’ garden, you have no idea what’s happening beneath the surface and what will sprout.

I’m turning a page in my book this year. The chase is done and the hamster wheel is coming to a standstill. I feel so good about so many things and I’m just  seeing my life as a bounty rather than a drought.

Tactile appreciation of my life. Tactile love for the people around. Simplicity and ease of all things. And really, really liking myself and being completely unapologetic of that and appreciating others who are as equally composed, self-aware, humble and unapologetic.

People there for one another when the going gets rough. That’s what it’s for. When it all counts.

Turning points. I just am sensing a lot of people are shifting. Things are shifting. It seems like it’s easier to ride these waves now. The chop is still rough, but we’re getting better at riding the waves for sure.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epFazRWwz0g

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.

Texas.

“Do you mind if I crash with you while I’m in town?”

It seemed like a simple enough question. I knew what I was doing. He knew what I was asking. There was plenty of dialogue to setup expectations that it didn’t necessarily equate sex and it was more of a chance to finally meet face to face. In fact, it was an explicit conversation we had.

Leave it to single people (or boys) to transform any social network as a means to an end for dating. And in the short-term, for sex.

I am as guilty as the next person for having what is commonly referred to as a Twitcrush. Modest interaction that turns into this grey world of flirtation, as is what happens among two witty and intelligent people. But of course with that banter is this weird, “Oh, do I have a crush on someone on the internet who lives thousands of miles away?” The logical part of you realizes that what people portray is only a sliver of their real existence. What you actively push out to the public is merely a part of yourself – and cannot be representative of the whole. I know that. Because this blog is also a fine example of that. Despite the volume published here – you see only a sliver. A calculated, edited, thought-out, composed version of myself at times; others, a manic and indigo boy.

“Yeah! You can totally stay at my place.”

Well, that’s settled.

With social media infatuations (Social Media Infatuation Junkies, if you will – and if you won’t, fuck you), there’s a good probability you’ll never meet the person you privately flutter over. But me, well…when did I ever leave well enough alone?

I’ve actually met and dated a couple as a result of connecting on social media. It’s not a bad thing – in fact, a girl I work with just married a guy that she met by interacting with on Twitter. So you just never know what happens when two people come together, textually.

One has to be resourceful in this modern day of dating. When you find yourself tapped out for intelligence – you claw and cling to any inkling of wit, charm and personality – even if it’s through 1s and 0s.

With his invitation, I knew that my trip to NYC was going to be interesting, adventurous and probably a total shit-show.

I’m typically always right. At least about predicting a shit-show.

Sitting outside of Dave Letterman’s studio and waiting with a leg-hiked up on a suitcase, I felt like my life was absurd and yet utterly free. He struts up and we smile and say our hellos.

Attractive, a great smile. Beautiful eyes. Smart. Funny. Just cool. Everything I had expected. I felt a sense of relief. God only knows what he thought, but that’s none of my business nor is this a story about my own self-doubt or egotism.

——

httpa://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnNDXjSxr4M

A movie, a meal and several shots later we are heading into the city to meet a friend at a club. He and I pile into the back of a cab when he grabs me with a break-neck urgency to put his lips on mine. I don’t resist and return with the same force.

Hello, New York.

[Side note: These things happen in your life. And if they don’t – I’m sorry. Even if you’re married, give in to a bit of sensuality and allow yourself to be consumed with passion enough to step outside the bounds of your marriage and feast on your partner. It’s worth it. It breaks your own inhibitions down. Let yourself go toward the whore for a moment.]

Cut to me at the bar and him busting open the buttons of my shirt on the dancefloor. Now, I’m thin – but I ain’t built to be showing off my body. At least not in some NYC club – those queens are a different breed: thoroughbred. This led to more kissing in front of his friend, who stood by just sipping on a drink. (Can I apologize for that now?)

Some drinks later, I cut myself off and started on water. They kept going – and good for them. I’m old. I can’t party like I used to. And the last thing I need to do is get sloppy in some lower East side bar in Manhattan.

[Side note 2: Although, it wouldn’t be the lowest moment in my gay life to that point – that happened earlier the same day when I had to go stand in line at 8 am in a Chelsea free clinic for an STD test, after having a truly dramatic panic attack about having gonorrhea, which in my mind also meant I probably had HIV (yes, I’m that paranoid and neurotic). As it turns out, I had neither. But I couldn’t even wait for the clinic results to come in, because as soon as I got home I went to my doctor and had ANOTHER blood panel taken, with my results turned around in a few days. Both came back completely negative for everything. Meaning I had a UTI. God, why did I ever go off Xanax?]

We make it home, and I crawl into bed with him. Nothing happened – I promise you. He blacked out on the cab ride home, so I was relieved that there wouldn’t be any pressure to escalate our making out to the next base, whichever base that may be.

And you know what – I’m happy nothing happened.

The next day, we went to brunch and I parted ways to meet up with another friend and former lover. Yes. You heard right. Let me introduce myself:

I continued my trip and had a blast but didn’t really hear much from him since then. While I’m fine with that, it was a little disappointing.

Why?

I think because he was totally refreshing. And I rarely meet people I find refreshing or unique or want to commit to getting to know. Do I think we were a match or compatible or anything? No, not really. But he was the type worth investigating.

However, I also saw the pattern of my own behavior. I get drawn into the curiosity and the exploration of new relationships and my attraction is more in the anonymity and the spark. As I’ve alluded to before, and with some amount of head shaking, I’m a junkie for the high. I’m always chasing the high of meeting someone new and having that mutual rush of unknown attraction. I’m looking for a hit of newness.

But like any addiction, it becomes detrimental and harmful. My own addictions are ready to be broken. I’m leaning into the slowness of relationship growth and development and learning how to extend and draw out the sensuality instead of giving into the lust of a moment. Do I think the latter has its place? Of course. You must be human and representative of the whole. But now I’m ready to stretch the muscle of long-term attraction. And maybe I met someone who may be willing to teach me how to go slow.

Dedicate myself to the molasses speed of love, because it may be sweeter for longer. But I could never wait for the drip to drop.

I had to die in Texas to get there.

Read the rest of the Boys I’ve Liked series.

’til you.

This may be my anthem.

I’ve realized I’ve been spinning my own wheels, filling the time with people and things that are merely illusory and filler. I can’t deny the desire for something deeper. I am holding out for the man that delivers it.

I do believe that my timeline is completely out of my hands and when I least suspect love, it will smack me in the face and wake me up from this slumber.

In the meantime, I challenge myself to make space for love within myself. Within my life. Within my own mind and heart.

There’s a part of me that feels ready and yet unprepared for Him. And I’m not talking about God, as in the religious usage of capitalizing Him. Him is this amorphous, undefined man who I will be with.

There were too many times where I said, “Ohh…Alright…” and felt nothingness. I felt empty. I was quite literally going through motions. And feeling nothing.

As I knew I would, I hit that wall and realized that I can’t just be with people for the sake of being with people so I’m not alone. I felt like I was not only forcing people into a bad situation where I expected too much, I was forcing myself to move on and be in a constant state of perpetual motion when it came to men.

I’m ready to slow down. I’m ready to get back to that place of being happy with or without. And while I haven’t really left that space, it’s been more backburner as of late. I’ve been spinning plates in the air again.

It’s time for a bit of a break. And this time my actions need to reflect that intent. I need to just stand still. And soak in the goodness of everything and everyone else without trying.

This song resonates because it came at a point where I had started to believe that meeting a man and settling into a long-term relationship was never going to happen. Perhaps I was just going to be single and have a career that I enjoyed, rather than a satisfying relationship. And it’s not terrible if that’s how my life plays out.

But I obviously want Him in my life.

And the song gives me hope. That I will be spinning my wheels. That I will kiss a lot of frogs before I find my prince. That patience is everything. That focusing less on today and just being aware of myself in the grander scheme will give me a better perspective of how receptive I am to someone walking into my life. I acknowledge how distant I can be and that’s my lesson for today. Stop staring at the ground, stop putting a scowl on my face. Take my headphones out more often. Be open. Be present. Listen and observe. Don’t go into isolation mode. Dwell in the communal.

And to know that I never know when He’s going to enter from stage right (or stage left).

There’s a certain magic to that uknowingness too.