Life all Alone

If you ever feel hopeless, helpless, and alone in the realm of dating.. read the following.

The single life isn’t the worst thing in the world. Unless you like the same sex, live in a small town, go to a conservative school, and don’t have a car. But really, it’s not that bad at all.

When you live in a small town and have high standards, things are immediately much more difficult than they should be. And as I crunch the numbers, people with the right personality, good looks, and like my gender.. oh, and are my age, nearby, I’m narrowed down to about 3-4 viable options to my knowledge. At least 3 of whom I’ve already wrecked all future chances of a relationship with.

So it’s impossible, right?

Wrong.

I wrote a post once about Break-ups and I said it then, I’ll reiterate that point: LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS. Never be afraid to ask for advice, to ask for help, because at some point we all need it. When I said that before, I was talking about my friends who asked me “What the hell are you thinking going out with him?”, this time I’m saying ask for help. Some people don’t want to burden others with their problems, but if a friend comes to you and asks for help, aren’t you glad they trust you? If you help them and they need it, you feel fulfilled (all assuming you have a healthy, compassionate friendship). Let them feel the same way.

Complications (pt 3)

In case you missed it, here’s part two, and part one

The issue with breakups, or one of many, is that the other person is still out there. I don’t mean that in the “no one else can have you” or the “now I have to kill you” sense. It’s just that he/she knows too much, and has seen too much for me to feel comfortable letting them roam the streets. It’s even worse when you don’t know how much they hate you now, or if they hate you at all. There’s a lot they can do, and a lot that can go wrong with the dirt they’ve collected. There’s nothing anyone can do about it, it’s just uncomfortable.. and God forbid you ever see that person again.

So we fought. I walked away. As I said before, things were ugly. A few days later we’d be forced to sit on a bus, on an airplane, and sleep in a hotel room together for four days during the band/choir trip. And all I can think is “God forbid I ever see him again”.

This is where things get complicated, because a few of my close friends knew what I had done.

He texts me and we talk it through, and decide to make the most of the next four days. In a sense, we would pretend things are okay, just so we wouldn’t have a burning desire to shove pencils in our eyes during the four days we’d be stuck together.

The problem: I pretended things were okay, and I did it so well I forgot that things weren’t okay. Which probably says something about how easy it is for the heart to trick the mind into doing what it wants. As it does. A friend of mine once told me to follow my head more than my heart when things feel off. And she was right. The mind knows what you have to do, the heart knows what it wants. The tricky part when they’re not aligned is determining which feeling is coming from the heart, and which feeling is coming from the brain.

At the end of the four days neither of us wanted to split paths; but we knew we had to. So we did.

The following week I wrote a post about breaking up, check it out by clicking here

The Closet

The closet is a strange social construct that only those who have lived in it can fully understand. This post is going to hit rather close to home for me and I’m not sure I’ll get this out the right way. I’ll try.

There are people who live in the closet and don’t even know it. There are people who are painfully aware of their sexual orientation but remain in the closet. There are people who have taken their chances with society and bravely come out of the closet. It’s a rough place to be, but it’s even more difficult to leave. After that, it’s all circumstantial.

I’ll be honest, the acronym LGBT kind of bothers me. So does the word gay, even bi. When I identify my own sexuality, I’m just a guy who likes guys. If we want to get specific (not that it matters), I like some guys, and some girls. If we were to put a label across my forehead, bi might be the most accurate. Half-gay is more fun to say. Gay is easier for conservatives to understand even if they don’t like it. Which is kind of what I grew up in.

I go to a school with a student body of 230-something, and it’s a very conservative, very white school (not that that’s relevant). When I came out, I came out as gay, and I was the first and only person to come out as anything other than strictly heterosexual, and straight people don’t really come out at all. At first it was difficult, I mean, I didn’t really lose any friends. But it’s tough being the the first of your kind, just as it’s difficult being the last (I’d imagine), because it’s lonely being the only one.

Even though I knew people at other schools who weren’t straight, I still found myself feeling so utterly displaced. And some days I still do, I go to the same school. Haven’t left. A couple of guys have come out to me, privately, and I respect their privacy. But the truth is, wherever you are, whatever you are, you’re never completely alone. 

Which brings me to my next point about the closet: Why should it exist at all?

Some would argue that we should stop caring about people’s sexual orientations, “coming out” shouldn’t be a thing, and neither should the closet. And I agree. But also, I value a certain level of privacy. And there was a time when I preferred it when people thought I was straight. Things were simpler back then. But this goes back to my previous post, everyone should be who they are. No one should pretend to be something they’re not.

And for the people out there who are afraid to come out, don’t be. There will always be people who will stay at your side, and sometimes there will be those who decide they disagree with something they think you are, and that’s their problem.

There’s an old Dr. Seuss quote I like, it helped me find the courage to come out to anyone at all, it goes: “Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

Good luck, stay strong. Be yourself.

Getting Involved

I always thought there was a magic thing to say, some pick-up line I didn’t know, a secret code or way to act.. it brings me great pain to say, there isn’t. Obviously there’s no way to get in a relationship by living in a hole, playing video games your whole life. Just get yourself out there. Talk to people.

But there’s no secret code, and nobody has to act any certain way. Just be yourself. It sounds corny and weird, and sometimes I can be corny and weird, but that’s who I am. And it’s gotten me somewhere (even so, I keep falling flat on my face, but that’s an unrelated issue). I was getting nowhere until I realized that people are both intrigued and attracted to what’s real. It’s important to be real, and never pretend to be something you’re not. Same goes with the illusion of “the closet” but that can be my next post.

It’s important to note that, as they say, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. So it’s wise to be kind and not bitter and, well, unkind. Unless you’re just a bitter and unkind person. If you’re shy, be shy, there are people who like that, but take risks and never fear failure. If you’re bold, be bold, there are people who like that too. If you’re funny, use that. If you’re not funny, don’t try to be, it doesn’t work. If you’ve got talent, show it off. If not, that’s cool too. It’s absolutely critical that everyone is honest with themselves, and can be honest with others. But not too honest, you know what I mean. 

In life, there will be people who find you, there will be people you find. Don’t be afraid to let people in, but don’t let in everyone. When it feels right, you’ll know. If it doesn’t, maybe it will later, maybe they aren’t for you. Keep an open mind. Not everything works out perfectly, I’m sure of that. But things have a way of falling into place when you just do you and let the world do the same.

Complications (pt 2)

If you’re just tuning in, here’s part one

So things worked out eventually, as they usually do. 

There’s a common theme to high school relationships, how I see it, they fall apart in one of two ways: an exaggerated display of teen angst played out across all social classes in the school district, or the passive-aggressive melodrama that is the gradual fade — in which the relationship just dies and nobody, not even the two people involved, really notice. In order for either scenario to be carried out, from what I’ve seen, the relationship needs to be in compliance with the most common fault of any high school relationship: a lack of genuine love.

I’d be incredibly naive to think that only I have found it at this age, maybe I’m naive to believe I’ve found it at all. I’m just saying, I believe, people my age commonly mistake lust for love, and build relationships purely off of the high libido any teenager has. It’s far more rare, it seems, that a 17 year-old actually finds love.

Anyhow, I did find love, and everything was going great. And then it wasn’t.

We fell apart, I felt awful, he felt awful, so we took a second and stepped back. We fought. I walked away.

The problem was, this was two days before we (the school’s band and choir) took a trip to New York. He and I were rooming with two other guys. There would be no switching rooms, and this was going to get very awkward for a solid four days.

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Loss

There’s something tricky about relationships that we have to understand before we try to find ourselves in anything too serious. But before I go into that, you should probably understand where I’m coming from..

My relationships often fail, as I’ve previously stated. And it was obvious who’s fault it was (mine, just about every time) so I got thinking, “What’s wrong with me?” But not a self-loathing, whoa-is-me kind of question, more like, “Why can’t I get this right?” So I asked a dear friend of mine, and his insight was rather valuable so I think I should share it with you, his philosophy was that if he couldn’t first love himself, there was no way he could give anyone else anything greater than what he knew. Basically he hated himself, so his relationships were unhealthy.

On my side, no I don’t hate myself, but I don’t have it all figured out. I urge anyone who might find themselves in a relationship that isn’t functioning as it should to take some time off. Figure yourself out, or let your partner figure themselves out. Listen to your friends, jeez I can’t stress that enough. And I know that’s easier said than done.

Recently I found myself in a relationship (and this is going to get sappy), my first real, loving relationship, and it became unhealthy for both of us. Evidently I blamed the other party when I was just as guilty, which should help because we’re on temporary leave and he’ll be busy finding himself while I work on fixing me. But it’s truly the most difficult thing I think I’ve ever had to do, that is, giving up someone you love [even for a little while, with the intention of fixing things]. A strange phenomenon takes place when you do, but I haven’t quite figured it out. The world feels so much smaller than it was. Or maybe there’s just less in it.

Complications (pt 1)

It’s a fact, things aren’t always black and white. There’s not always a line in the sand, and things aren’t always crystal clear. When things are like this, we call it complicated; when things are complicated, it’s easy to get confused.

Of course, we all know this. And if for some reason this is news to you, clearly you’re above me… or you’ve never been in a relationship before.

If there is a black and white version, if there is a line in the sand, I remember the exact moment I crossed it. I remember the phrase I used that took us from the grey area, and into the light. A simple five words, only to be used under great caution, and with absolute certainty:

“I think I love you”

I’d like to say that the response I got was “I think I love you too”, or something similar. It was not.

I believe the exact phrase to follow was, “Oh.” And once again, things were complicated.

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