Thursday, June 28, 2012


I've come to the conclusion that I've lost my home and most of my friends. Every few days, something happens to make me feel that I shouldn't go back to Pittsburgh. I feel like people are forcing me out--being cruel to me on purpose just to make sure I don't come back. If that's not what I'm supposed to do, then I'm completely lost again. I have nothing, not even something to work towards. It seems so ironic since I just had an amazing conversation with a group of old friends that really made me feel like going back was the right choice. Now I feel as if I've taken a giant leap backwards. I wasn't going to mention it, but if I don't end up going back, it won't matter very much. A friend of mine told me that more people than I assume/know think that I am manipulative and self-serving, and that because she believes where there is smoke, there is fire, this is true. I could list a hundred things that could disprove that, but I know that all it takes is one or two for anyone to believe otherwise. I'm trying to convince myself that the people who matter the most know the real me and actually care to be around me. That's not very many people these days, apparently. If my former friends are trying to make me hate myself as much as possible and send me back to the hospital, they're certainly doing a good job. I'm going to lose Pittsburgh to this--to people who only call when they want something from me or to yell at me. To people who just want to see me fail miserably. To people who are going to push me to my limit until I break down completely (again), and then belittle me for being weak or selfish for not just sucking it up. I don't want to end up going back to Pittsburgh to be just as lonely or even more lonely than I am now. I'd love to know where I went wrong and why apologizing for the things I have done wrong is not good enough for some people. And if it's not good enough, just tell me that, and leave me alone. I don't like being strung along. I don't care for people pretending to care about me. I'd rather just know you don't. But then maybe you wouldn't be able to get what you wanted out of me. How am I supposed to believe anything else if your actions don't say anything else, and you refuse to talk to me? I'm really struggling to figure people out here.

Do people think I am manipulative because of the way I think? I'm not trying to guilt anyone into feeling a particular way about something simply because I mention that I don't give a fuck what happened yesterday and that I'm always willing to start anew with someone. My life circumstances have brought me to the conclusion that everyone is deserving of another chance if that is what they truly desire. God gives you infinite chances, or so I was taught in grade long as you are sorry. So as long as someone's willing to try, I don't care what you've done to me. I won't forget it, and it make take time to rebuild things, but I'll never hold it against you. Maybe it's that I try to talk to my friends for advice about the matter and they end up telling the whole world somehow. Not that this makes it right, but I know the "other side" or whatever does the same thing. For me, I just need to know the right thing to do. I'm never very sure about how to deal with relationship/social problems that arise. I keep fucking them up somehow, and I do wish I knew how to fix it.

Maybe some of it has to do with money? I don't know. I can't tell you how many times I've given all I had to other people, just in this year alone. It may not have been much in the eyes of others, but it's happened, and I've had to start all over again with trying to save. Maybe the fact that I can't drive? I just don't know. How am I manipulating people? About what is it that I am being so selfish?

I'll admit that I was being a bit selfish at the end of last year. I couldn't afford not to be. I chose to do what was best for me, even though it was going to hurt other people. But I couldn't survive any longer by pleasing other people, and I mean that literally. I was on the verge of heading right back into the psych ward, and you know what, I still am thanks to all that's transpired since the last time. But I did what I needed to do, and I don't regret it. If I have anything going for me at all, it's that I have the balls to say that. I have the balls to put this out there for everyone to see, half crying over here hoping that at least one person who used to care about me understands that I am a real human being. And what's happening to me is real.

It's hard to know whether or not I'm doing the right thing these days. So many people are so upset with me. So many people want me to believe that I am wrong. The trouble is that I'm sure this happens to people who actually are doing the wrong thing, but they react in the same way as someone who knows he is doing the right thing. So I want to know which it is. And if I am not, what am I doing wrong? I certainly can't fix it if I don't know what it is. (My friend didn't mention what about me was so bad either, so maybe she didn't know why the others were saying this anyway. Or maybe she didn't have the heart to tell me when I was already so upset, and failing at hiding it.)

I told my mother earlier tonight that it's hard to keep caring about anything when things like this keep happening. She mentioned that maybe I needed to come back here because she needed a friend. I agreed with her that it was the right decision to leave Pittsburgh when I did, but I also believed that it would be the right decision to return as soon as I could. Not knowing if that's the case is killing me. Thinking that it may not be is killing me. It felt so good to walk around Oakland that day. It felt right. I hadn't felt like a place belonged to me in a long time. But without the people that matter the most to me, it's just a place. And I'd be alone. In that case, I might as well just stick with the memories. What's a home without a future? A graveyard.

She said it was lonely at the top. Well, it's also lonely at the bottom. I don't know where I am anymore. I don't know where I am supposed to be. Some people will give me the obvious answer that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now, but it all feels so wrong. I feel so out of place. I feel like a drifter in my own life--like I have no control. And it makes it that much harder to keep doing the things I enjoy when I have this overwhelming feeling that absolutely nothing I do matters or will make any difference for me or anyone else in the long run.

I've cried more in the last year or so than I had in all of college. How am I supposed to know if I am getting any better? I don't want to be miserable and lonely for the rest of my life. And I don't want to believe that it's my fault, which is what so many people seem to be telling me--or rather, everyone except me, and I'm finding out about it later.

I can't please anyone it seems. I can't even make myself happy. And now I know that I'm going to have a horrible day at work tomorrow and be intensely awkward, and there's nothing I can do about it. Why? Partly because this will be on my mind and partly because I will be up all night thinking about it. I seem to be worse at functioning in the real world when I am tired.

My mom ended up asking me if I had thought of any other places I'd like to go. She said that I might figure something out when I visit Boston. And DC. I guess I could go anywhere, but I'm terrified, and she knows all too well how a change like that would affect me.

I've been trying to fight being where I am, looking up new apartment listings in Pittsburgh every single night since I've been home. I was putting everything into Pittsburgh. Every ounce of energy I had. And now, my motivation may be gone. It may not have been real. I don't even know what I meant by that, which leads me to believe that I'm getting into one of those states again, where continuing to type is better than facing the alternative of sitting here in silence and letting my thoughts wander into even worse places. Getting the words out seems to take away some of their potency. They can't hurt me when they are this far away, perhaps.

I know just living shouldn't be this painful. I know it.

If I am supposed to be here, I want to know why. And I want to know what I'm supposed to be doing.

If I stop looking towards moving back and start focusing on my life as it is here and now, in this shithole town with no one around, will things get better? Or will they get worse?

I really do wonder what it's like not to worry about everything.

I'm fighting the urge to go for a walk at this hour since I know I have to be up for work, but I need something to distract me.

Why can't I just move forward from all of this? Man, I really hope all of this bitchy writing pays off someday.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Have and Have Not

Everyone grows up differently, and even the term "growing up" means different things for different people. I might not consider myself entirely grown up, and that might not change. It's so easy to start thinking about the things I never got to experience--about the things I will never get another chance to experience. It's somewhat disturbing that it's that much easier to think about what you don't have than what you do. I'm pretty sure you all knew that, but I needed a way to explain how I got to where I am right now. I'm working on this thing, you see, where once I acknowledge the negative thoughts going through my head, I do a search for a corresponding positive one. While it would be nice to know how certain things feel, in some cases, that's impossible. Rather than agonize over the decision of whether I would change my circumstances in a hypothetical alternate dimension, I'm just going to look at what is and what has been, without passing judgment or looking for answer.

1. I will never know what it's like to be a teenager driving a car. I've never experienced the freedom that comes with being able to pick up and leave whenever you want to, of being in control of your own transportation in all circumstances. I've never known what it's like to sit behind the wheel of a car and drive alone into the darkness with the radio turned up all the way. I don't know what it's like to pull up to a girl's house in my own car and wait for her as she walks down the driveway. Most people's teenage years are centered around this and the independence that comes along with taking that next step toward self-sufficiency. I missed this. I missed a lot of things in high school. But, to be fair, I'm not sure I was all that interested at the time, and I think I only now realize what I was missing. (Believe me, there were plenty of other reasons to be miserable in high school.)

HOWEVER, I do know what it's like to walk ten miles, twenty miles, or more in a single day. There's a certain satisfaction that comes with completing a journey, however small, and having to walk everywhere has made me realize the real value of many things. If I'm going to go somewhere, it will take time and energy, so it needs to be worth it. Plus, I know what it's like to walk down an empty road with my favorite song playing behind me and the sun rising in front of me, with everything I need to survive (for a given period of time) strapped to my back. That's freeing in so many ways. I have learned to value my body so much more because if I were not physically capable of doing these things, I wouldn't have been able to experience much of what I have, and that goes beyond just walking a few miles to the grocery store at 2 or 3 in the morning. '

2. Childhood experiences: I've never been to summer camp. I've never been to a family reunion. I never got to drive a power wheels car. I never got to play football or baseball competitively. I've never seen Bambi, along with a host of other children's movies, and I've probably never played half of the playground games typical of kids in my generation. I didn't really play at recess. I just walked around by myself. I never really knew what it was like to play with other kids after school. I actually didn't know that was normal until I saw that everyone else was doing it, and then I started to get lonely. But I suppose I never really started interacting with other people on a consistent basis until seventh grade or so, and my first experiences were definitely awkward. It took me years to get it right, and I still fuck up. Because I never really had friends, there are a lot of things I didn't get to do when I was little--a lot of memories I wish I could have but don't and never will. I guess that's what children are for, but the way things are looking for me now, I doubt that will ever happen. (That's another brain crisis in itself.)

HOWEVER, I spent my summers playing with my brother, swimming in our pool, pretending I was the one who was going to save the day, pretending that people loved me because of my weirdness. But I would never let anyone know that. I remember nights when I would sneak out past midnight to go swimming. Not many twelve year olds can appreciate every sound the water makes when there's nothing in the air but the stillness of the night. I played sports...a lot. I did things, rather than being the type of kid who just had things. Because of a lonely childhood and an inhuman attention span, I'm actually really good at a lot of things. I've just realized this in the last few years: My random skills along with my dedication to practicing new skills are extremely valuable assets in the real world. And by real world, I mean the one that matters, not the one that includes your job, unless of course, you do something that matters for a living. I remember summers at the beach and how the only thing that mattered was how far I could travel on one wave...and maybe if I could beat my brother. I remember a childhood where my parents didn't force me to be a girly girl (most of the time). I was sad a lot, sometimes lost. But my childhood was one that taught me the important things in life, even when I didn't want it to. I never had the chance to be ignorant or naive, but I stop being allowed to have a childhood altogether when my brother was arrested seven years ago. High school turned into bullshit, and I started to see through everything. I started to value other people, and I began to question things so much more. This was a shitty thing to happen, but it opened my eyes to the way the world really works.

3. I'll never know what it feels like to run out the hole at Heinz Field with a snare drum. And I'll never know how it feels to march off that field for the last time while playing the fight songs. My drumline experience turned sour near the end. HOWEVER, while I may not have hundreds of friends from it, I know there are least a dozen people I could call right now, some of whom might even profess to hate me, who would be there for me if I needed them. My college experience was molded around my involvement in the drumline, and I'm thankful that I really know what it means to be Crew. And I'm hopeful that I can share that with someone else someday. And, let's be real, I became a kick-ass cymbal player. I do wish I could have appreciated that more in the early years, but I was working so hard to prove other people wrong that I failed to see what I had right in front of me. I now live my life similarly to how I approach playing cymbals: I'm going to change your mind by showing you something you've never seen before, and it's going to be AMAZING.

Doing all this has put me in a funny sort of mood. I kind of feel like taking that walk right now. Nostalgia can be scary. I'm not sad, but I am wondering about a lot of people from my past at the moment. I'm wishing I could be in touch with a few specific people, but for now, I have myself. And that should be, and is currently, enough.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Location, Location

It's weird. The thought has crossed my mind more than a few times about moving to a city other than Pittsburgh. But I just don't know if I am ready for something like that, especially when Pittsburgh (or part of it, at least) feels like home. But do I wait until there's nothing left--until my perception is completely destroyed--or do I find a new place to call home? I know I shouldn't be thinking about this when I have so many other things to do first, but all of those things have been in preparation to go back to Pittsburgh. But what if that weren't my only option? What if going back is not right? Though there are some nice things about being back here, I know this place isn't right, and Pittsburgh definitely wasn't right at the time. There were places I visited that made me feel like that's where I needed to be when I was out that way a few weeks ago, but then there were people and places that made me feel like I didn't really belong. There were people that wanted me out of the picture for good, and maybe there were more than a few who thought of me as a nuisance. I'm trying to decide if I want to go back because it's a safe choice or because I know where everything is and wouldn't have to relearn how to function in society. Sadly, I'm not being dramatic about what moving to a new city all alone would do to me. Maybe I just want to be stable in a place that has already been stable for me before tackling something foreign. For some reason, I feel such a strong pull to the DC-area. Maybe it was that every time I meet someone from DC, I get a good vibe. This is not a decision I want to be making, and I really wish it hadn't crossed my mind. How do you know?

Monday, June 11, 2012


Pittsburgh Pride 2012. I have way too much to say about this to start writing in the middle of a Dunkin Donuts that I'm going to have to leave in a few minutes. There are way too many people here, and I need to begin the journey back to Lincoln so I can begin the journey home. I did a lot during Pride. I got a lot accomplished and had some great conversations, met some wonderful new people. But I'm not really sure I had a good time, overall. I didn't have a bad time. But I'm not sure if it was fun. It's pretty pathetic to wear a crown, march in a parade, and have people within the community ask the question, "What are you supposed to be?" But I suppose I shouldn't have expected anything more. Drag queens were mentioned as handing out beads during Pride, but the Post Gazette failed to mention drag kings. Then there was the drag queen who introduced me in the following way: "This is Dylan. She's a girl." I had more negative interactions like that than positive ones, frankly. I spent most of my time on guard during a time when I am supposed to not have to worry about this stupid shit. And another time, when I finally thought things were going to calm down and the fighting was going to stop, I was quickly reminded of my place as I watched a whole group of people-who-are-not-Dylan join the rest of them. This was the first time during Pride when I felt like I didn't really belong. I've always gone with groups of people. I took a cab this year and spent a few minutes talking to people here and there. Thursday was the best night for me, by far. And I had more fun doing the non-Pride related things with my friends than I did on Sunday. I feel like there are more and more ignorant assholes at Pride every year, and the worst part about it is that even the sober ones have no interest in learning. They'd like to remain ignorant and keep saying hateful things.
Tonight, I'll be taking a cab downtown by myself again and getting on a bus to go back to another place where I'm going to feel just as alone. Maybe it doesn't matter where I am. In that case, I guess I can go anywhere I want to. But this whole week has really killed my motivation to be or do anything. There's more, but I need to get away from this awkward circle of college freshmen.