Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I've said before that it may be time to retire this particular blog, or rename it, or do something to change how it appears since it doesn't quite carry the same meaning it used to. But for now, when I need a place to write, and I need to be quick about it, this seems to be the best I can do. I am not really the same person I was when I started. This weekend helped me to realize just how much has changed about my circumstances, about my friends, and about me.

I feel duller somehow than I used to. I used to feel that there was something magical about my life, walking around with confidence that may or may not have had any basis in reality. These days, I still have confidence, but it's based on what I have done, not what I am. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

I've started to feel older. I am not as interested in the craziness, and I am definitely not able to mentally or physically deal with the constant drinking and partying anymore. The kind of companionship I desire is different, and I'm not always looking for that next big chance for me to get wasted and make an ass of myself. It's not that I don't like to enjoy myself--just that what I find enjoyable has changed.

I can't see the complete picture yet. I am doing what I need to do to get to a next step in my life that is in itself uncertain. I would like to be at a place where I no longer have to play catch up. I would like to start building my future from a comfortable spot, but I do not know if I will ever have that chance. I may be feeling regret because I did pass up the opportunity to live that comfortable life. I hope I will create a better opportunity that will not leave me feeling as drained, but I will never know. I would like to be able to stop thinking about every hypothetical that comes to mind. I need a better mental filter, or at the very least, a better coping mechanism.

Saturday was hard for me in so many ways, some of which are more difficult to articulate than others. In addition to the obvious, it was the first wedding of a friend I have been to, and while I do hope it won't be the last, it too reminded me of things that no longer exists. Still, seeing so many old friends in the same place, and being able to dance with them all again...It made me feel like I was in the company of family again. I feel like the kid in Stand By Me who finally recognizes that he will never have friends like the ones he did when he was twelve. I may never have friends like the ones I did in Pittsburgh. While I have met some exceptional people down here, I am not quite able to open myself up, and I don't know when I'll be able to. I don't know if it is even possible anymore.

I feel loved and accepted. I am in the company of friends and family. I have the chance at making real money and fixing my financial situation, and I have solid plans about going to graduate school. Yet, something is still missing. And it was the same thing that was missing in Wilkes-Barre. I want to be able to share myself with someone again. I want to feel love. I feel like I am a better person because whenever I have been in a successful relationship, the other person and I have been able to connect in a way that makes me feel connected to the rest of the world too. I feel like I am more a part of the same experience as everyone else when I am with someone I love. But I don't exactly know how to go about finding love. I'm not desperate. I'm not in dire need of saving. I don't have any need to open up to anyone about problems I have been having, and even if I did, I can't get myself to do it. The person who can bring down this wall will be the one. Some people have managed to create cracks here and there, but they quickly seal themselves. My soul will know, but it is a painful game to play, and I do not know if I should be patient and let something fall into place or if I should be actively seeking this person with whom I want to spend the rest of my life. I'm leaning away from the latter because I have never been able to make that work.

I've also come to realize something else. I am attracted to men, and women, and all sorts of differently-gendered people. But when I really think about what would make me feel happy and fulfilled, I see myself with a woman--a woman who can float between femme and butch with grace. A tomboy with an effeminate side who can just as easily turn heads in Dockers as in a dress. Someone who can make each and every part of me feel like it is loved and cared for, and someone for whom I am more than a charity case who needs the collective pity of society.

When I find you, I will love you in ways you have never known possible. I will give myself to you after years of hiding that self behind a wall built from the fear of loneliness, helplessness, and depression. I will be able to give myself to you fully, as I haven't been able to do in so many years that I barely remember what it feels like to be human. Love is not safe. And maybe this is why I have not made progress.

I want nothing more than to be able to share myself with those closest to me. And with the rest of the world. I do not know what can help me reach this goal.

I have spent so much more time these days focusing on the kind of partner I want to be than on the kind of partner I want for myself. The right person will help bring out this person in me. Maybe I'm a little late in figuring this one out.

I may not feel better after writing this, but I feel that I have at least learned something. And that is progress.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Post-Pride Thoughts

So I've been in Annapolis for slightly longer than two weeks, with Capital Pride being this past weekend. For some reason I feel like I have been here much longer than that. Maybe it's the same reason I feel like I have known so many of the new people in my life for years. I feel at home. I feel like I will be able to make this place a home for myself--establish myself in a way that I've never been able to do before.

 For the first four or five days, I had a pretty difficult time adjusting. I felt sure that I would lose the ability to plan out my life and get myself to the gym and to job interviews and to potential shows, and the only thing I could think about at all was how much I missed my family and how much of their lives I would be missing. I'm not exactly sure what happened to change my outlook. I began to focus more on myself and what I had rather than others and what I would be missing. As much as I will always miss my family when I am away from them, I cannot live my life like I'm watching a movie. I've been sitting by watching others experience happiness by living their lives to the fullest. I love my family. We have become so close in this past year alone, and that is something that I never want to lose. If I can, I'd like to see them at least once a month. My outlook has changed quite a bit since college, as I am starting to more fully grasp the concept of my own mortality and theirs. It is hard to imagine life without them, impossible to envision never getting to be with them again. But that day will come, and I have no idea if that will be twenty years from now or forty or even tomorrow. I also don't know how I will be able to handle their getting old. It will only remind me that it eventually happens to everyone, even me, fucking Peter Pan.
Anyway, the obsessive thoughts about what they were doing and how I could not be a part of those experiences subsided and made room for thoughts about my own present and future. I have found a new gym and am taking full advantage of it, and I have found one job already working at a gym that hasn't even opened yet. Even though I don't have much fitness sales experience, the owner was willing to give me the opportunity because my passion is something that can't be faked. That and apparently I sound great on the phone. I may also get the opportunity to help teach kids' classes, and I'll be able to shadow the trainers there as well, hopefully allowing me to get my certification pretty soon. I've had more interviews and job offers in the last two weeks than I have in two years trying to get jobs after college. I was actually able to turn down a job today. I hate retail and never want to do it again, so I declined the interview for Vitamin Shoppe because I know how miserable that makes me. I don't have to settle. And that makes me feel amazing. Just having the ability to make that choice is uplifting and makes me feel much less stuck.
Part of the problem with Wilkes-Barre is that it made me feel like I would be exactly where I was for the rest of my life, and not just in the physical sense. Even though I love this place and feel at home, I feel like there is so much promise in my life. I feel like big things can come my way. I feel like I am in control of making them happen. I feel like I am in control. It may not be perfect, but I have waited so long to feel like that, even just a little. I am making things happen for myself, which means I CAN make things happen for myself. I'm trying to enjoy it without thinking too much, but of course, that never works out very well for me. So I am thinking.
I am thinking about all the ways in which I can live my life. And it is hard to make a decision about what I want to do for the rest of my life. I miss Neuroscience, but Public Health will probably provide more job opportunities that can actually be useful to the community. And with any luck, I will get to combine my passion for both of these fields at some point. But now comes the hard part: Where do I apply? Do I stay in this area or try to get back to Pittsburgh? Do people in Pittsburgh even care enough anymore? I'm sure some do, but I am also sure that some people expect and hope that they will never see me again. A phone call every now and then would be nice. Maybe even a text that lets me know that someone still cares. But even if they don't, I have options.

Pride is different here. It was so much bigger. The parade was much longer, and people seemed much more excited about it. The festival itself was similar, but again, it was much bigger. I absolutely loved being a part of that parade. I loved getting to meet Ken Vegas, learning that he's just a real person--albeit an extremely talented one--and hopefully sparking a new friendship with someone just as interesting in the geeky kind of shit that I am. I loved that people were cheering for us and taking pictures--loved dancing in the street to the music blaring out of a speaker propped up in the back of a little red car with a big golden crown on top of it. I loved being able to provide that energy for people. I loved seeing the look on their faces when I jumped over three feet in the air...Everything about that day and the following night at the DC Kings' show (let's not even talk about the Saturday show), where I truly felt like a member of the family, even though I am not officially part of the troupe yet. This is how we should be as entertainers. No matter where we or from or what style we bring to the stage, we are family, and we all have at least that in common, if not more. I really felt that sense of brotherhood again, and if I could cry about anything that actually mattered, I'd be bawling right now. That is what I miss most about the HMH we started in 2010. Watching it turn sour hurt me so much. It was like losing a child. Maybe more like losing myself. Because I did lose myself to that. I lost what I had left of me, which wasn't much at the time. And when I tried to save myself, it only backfired. I am glad to see that things are finally starting to get back to the way they used to be.
Slight topic shift: Being single at pride is completely different than being with someone at pride. I didn't notice this much last year since I had other things on my mind. Last night, I realized that I may not know how to approach a relationship in a healthy way. I have only ever been a part of relationships where I have felt that I needed that other person to complete me. Even without being dependent on the other person, I would always lose myself in the relationship. I'd fall in love with the other person and his or her passions. I'd be so involved in them and us that I'd forget all about me. I've been in long-term relationships for a good majority of my adult life, and it's been almost a year and a half since I have not been. I am finding myself again. I am learning what it is that I love when I am all by myself. I am learning what makes me happy. I'm really learning how to live all alone for the rest of my life and still feel fulfilled. I still cannot shake that feeling of something being missing, but it is much less pressing than it has been. The problem is that now that I don't NEED anyone (or now that I am at least very close to that point), I am not sure how to get close to someone. I can't make myself vulnerable enough. I cannot find a way to bring down the wall. I don't know what I should be looking for in someone else either. And I still fear that no one will be able to handle me at my worst. I don't want anyone to have to, but I know that being with someone means that that someone will eventually get to know my darker side. Maybe I have to become more comfortable with that before I can move into the relationship arena.