October

October 9, 2018

Where did September go? And where is my autumn weather?

I am not sure where September went. I don’t even remember most of the month. Is this what happens as one gets older? Do we just forget most events in our lives and let time slip away?

This weekend some of my childhood friends and I will be reuniting. I don’t feel like I have accomplished as much as they have. Comparison is futile though right? Success is based on one’s perspective correct? I become a different person around this set of friends. I once again become that person who hides my feelings. These friends sensed early on that I was gay and teased me mercilessly. But no one outside the group was allowed to call me gay. No one outside the group was allowed to give me the side eye. It was a double edged sword. I got teased, but was protected. Don’t get me wrong, these guys would do anything in the world for me. And yet…hard to explain the way I feel when I am around them.

I look forward to this reunion…but I don’t.

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Just One of Those Days

September 25, 2018

Did you ever have one of those days? I made a few work related mistakes, nothing detrimental, but it felt like a lifetime passed as my boss pointed them out. She said they were fixable and the conversation was meant to be constructive. Still it felt like a ton of bricks fell on my head. I don’t have an excuse. They were careless mistakes, done when I rushed through processing the documents. Still I felt like a louse and I felt I had let the department down. I want a big glass of wine, but that isn’t the answer. I want a martini, but again that isn’t the answer. I would love a cold cold beer, and again that isn’t the answer. Do I dive into a bag of potato chips (BBQ flavored) or a bag of gummi candy? Nah..that will just make me feel worse (much later) as today I found out I lost 2 pounds.

What fixes this feeling? What are some of your go to fixes?

Living Your Life

September 11, 2018

These inspirational tweets, pics, and FB posts about living life because tomorrow is never promised have me thinking about my own life. I think I am happy. I tell people that I am. I believe that I am. When I say it out loud do I really believe it? Or do I say it out loud to convince myself more than those I am telling it to?

One of my really good friends posted a beautiful pic and written in fancy cursive were the words “do something big”. In smaller letters underneath the pic he explained that we didn’t need to climb a mountain, scuba dive or up and move to a gorgeous island. He said that we should do something that we want to do, have been talking about doing or dreaming about doing.

I have been dreaming about writing a book. I think I know what kind of book, but I don’t know the details. I am going to hammer out those details tonight. I will start with an outline. I may come up with a title. It may not be big, but it’s a start.

Today let’s remember all who perished on 9/11.

Weddings

September 4, 2018

This weekend I went to one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to. It was small, intimate and filled with only family members. Both sides of the bride and groom got to know each other because of this small guest list (less than 150). We celebrated the union of both families. I caught up with relatives I haven’t seen for a few years and got to know the groom’s side of the family. It truly was the experience I thought a wedding should encompass.

The groom ugly cried when he set eyes on the bride. She giggled a little under her veil, but teared up when she said “I do”. The flower girls and ring bearers all smiled and waved at the on-lookers (I believe because they knew everyone seated in the pews).

I think when weddings get too big that’s when the event goes awry. I once attended a wedding that had over 400 attendees. Being a guest stressed me out. I can’t imagine how the bride, groom and parents felt.

Weddings should be about the bride and groom. And I believe this one truly was. I am not saying that huge weddings can’t be intimate, lovely or beautiful. To me this wedding was a celebration of their love as all weddings should be.

Changing Weather

August 23, 2018

I can feel autumn in the air. It is cooler in the morning when I leave for work (and dark for that matter) and also in the evening.

This weather change always makes me want to buy school supplies. It reminds me of going back to school. It reminds me more so of college, since that was just a few years ago (perspective in reference to a “few years ago”). I am enjoying the weather.

Autumn is my favorite time of year. You can wear a sweater and there really is no chance of snow. Sweaters and scarfs are my favorite part of my wardrobe. I think a winter jacket just ruins and ensemble. Plus, I fear driving on ice and snow. It was worse when I lived in West Virginia due to the hills, and I learned to drive on hills. I thought that getting to drive on flatter ground would be better. At least in WV they plowed the hills and the roads. Here? Well since it is flat, they tend to only clean the highways and main roads. But I digress…I meant to write about my love for autumn.

Let it be known, I love autumn.

A Reboot

August 15, 2018

Lately television shows are getting re-boots. Popular shows are being brought back and storylines pick up where they left off. One of my favorite shows Will & Grace came back and I love it more than ever.

Today I wondered about my own life reboot. Would I go back in time and re-do a life that had so many cringe worthy moments. Would I re-do my coming out moments knowing what I know now. What about high school? If I could exude the confidence I have now, would I have been bullied? Now I would speak up. I would defend myself and some of the others who were bullied.

Lets face it. I don’t get to re-live the past. There is no time machine. But there is the me now. I have a different sense of awareness and confidence because of what I had to endure. I have no tolerance for bullying in any form because I was bullied. I have compassion for those who are marginalized and empathy for underdog. I can honestly tell others that it gets better because it does get better.

In reality there isn’t anything I would do again. I live and love because of the way I lived and because of the way I was loved. There were friends and family who sheltered and loved me. No reboot. My mind will use the re-run memories to remind me that I am who I am because of who I was.

Day Drinking

August 6, 2018

I have realized after spending the weekend with some college friends that I am way too old to day drink, especially in the sun. It was the extreme heat that did me in. It was the food truck food that could only absorb so much of the alcohol. It was the combined indigestion from said food that exacerbated the nausea. It was the headache at 9 p.m. from the alcohol and the resounding loud music from the local bands that made me realize that I am not a young man anymore.

Friends from college came to visit for the weekend.I was excited to have plans all weekend long–from sun up to sun down. We decided to go to a local celebration. Once in the gates, the first round of drinks were bought. We also bought tickets to a beer tasting event. The heat and our age combined to make for an extremely tiring weekend.

I wonder what it is about reuniting with college friends that makes me go back to that point in time (both mentally and in my mind physically). I suddenly found myself calling my male friends by their last names, like we are athletes (I was not, but some of them were). There were eye rolls from the wives and from my partner.

As I sit here on Monday, I wish I hadn’t day drunk, night drunk and in between drunk. But I am glad they came to visit. And I am glad we made plans to visit again.

Memories

July 31, 2018

I recently purchased and downloaded some albums that were on sale. A lot of the music were soundtracks from when I was in high school and college. The music immediately brought my mind back to that point in time. Suddenly I could smell the cologne I splashed on (I went back and forth between Polo Green and Bennetton Colors). I began to feel some of the insecurity I did back then and remembered some of the bullying I endured.

I often think about high school/college and everything I experienced during that era. It reminds me of how far I have come. But I also realize that I still have so far to go. I am comfortable in my skin. I am not afraid to let people know I am gay. But I have also learned who I can trust and I have developed an instinct of whom I can come out to and who I can’t. I remain in touch with many of my friends and have cut out those who dragged me down. At the last reunion, I let those who bullied me know they bullied me and have forgiven those who offered sincere apologies. Some of those bullies are now my greatest allies.

And after each album ended, I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t change or relive that period. Everything happens for a reason correct? And the whole experience was just that–high school. And much like the movies for which these soundtracks were made, I got a happy ending.

Coming Out All Over Again

July 28, 2018

Tonight I explained to one of my cousins that coming out is an ongoing experience. You don’t just come out once, you come out each time you meet a new friend or new group. But I explained that it does get easier. The more comfortable I became in my own skin, the easier it was to talk about my life as it is now.

I easily say things like “my boyfriend and I love that show”, “my boyfriend and I binge watched that series this weekend”, “my boyfriend and I….”. Now when someone asks “are you gay”, I answer yes without a second thought. The other day at work a blood drive was happening and a co-worker said “lets go donate” and without even thinking I replied “I can’t, I have had sex with my boyfriend in the last six months”. My reply made her giggle and then she said “oops I forgot”. She forgot I was gay or the rules regarding blood donation. BTW, I think with all the testing they do on the donated blood they would be able to tell if it was not viable.

But yes, the drawback of being gay is that we do have to come out each time we become good friends with someone new. But usually by the time I become friends with someone, it really doesn’t matter.

Real Conversations

July 25, 2018

I recently read somewhere that we need to be able to have the difficult conversations with one another–whether political, religious or personal. We must be able to stand back and understand another’s point of view, how they came to their beliefs.

One of my best friends voted for a political figure that makes my stomach churn. And we have had exhaustive conversations about this choice. Some of her other choices in the past, I have pointed out are not LGBT friendly. Her answer to me regarding this stance? “Well, that is just one of their issues, there are others that will help our state”. I was left dumbfounded. But we have been friends since early childhood. And whenever I have needed her, she has been there. She has my back. I could count on her personally.

I have seen politics and religion destroy friendships. And while those difficult conversations sometimes make my blood boil,dont’t those differences help us to grow?