Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mixed Reviews

In an effort to form a better relationship with my brother and my mother's insistence that we become closer, I invited my brother out to lunch and also he owed me money and knew this was the best way for him to pay me, in person. We had a few drinks and talked about relationships. He was asking about Joshua, which I thought was really cool as I have always had a hard time talking about my relationships with anyone who was a straight male, especially those whom against my better judgment wanted in my life. It stems from all the years of being bullied by straight men and so afraid I will be treated differently. Just the other day, after work, I was having drinks with my coworkers and one of my straight male colleagues was inquiring about my trip to Aruba and the big news I had. I always get hot in the face when I talk about how I am in a relationship with a man. As if they will get weird and awkward and start thinking I am trying to hit on them or something. It's not as if I am ashamed, I just hate the way some people look at you after you explain to them, "Oh I'm in a relationship with a man, I'm gay" You can see it in their eyes...the judgment.

My brother and I were discussing relationships and how he was happy I finally met someone who made me happy and someone I have decided to stay with. He then told me about an ex he had who worked in the southend, in the restaurant business, and how she used to throw my name around. "Do you know someone named Craig Licchi?" I got red in the face and reluctantly asked him what she had to report. My brother told me his ex just looked at him and smirked and said, "Mixed Reviews" I was absolutely mortified. What does "mixed reviews" mean?! And who did she talk to?! I drove home envisioning all the faces of people I could think of who she may have spoken too. I shivered.  Did they say I was bad in bed? Good in bed? a bad person? Kind? A Jerk? Strange? Some comments I could deal with and others I had to make sure were corrected immediately.

Everyone knows it's nearly impossible to critique yourself the ways others do. We never see our faults the way others see them. Some things you may find completely rational may seem extremely strange to someone else. I mean right before I started writing this blog, I asked the barista to make me another latte and handed him the mug I drank the first one out of. The three people behind the counter gave me weird looks and started making comments. I was just trying make less dirty cups for them. I almost even asked the guy, "Is that weird?" I mean in a place like Somerville that is so earthy crunchy I thought this was normal behavior.

So anyway I thought well maybe she spoke to one of the many crazies I dated. Now I know I am sorta contradicting myself here. Maybe to me they were crazy, but to someone else completely normal. Either way when you breakup with someone, unless its completely mutual, they won't have nice things to say about you. Or maybe she spoke to people I casually dated and where the relationship just fizzled out. I hope I left a good impression. I can sit here and say I don't care what others think about me, but I'd be lying. I think most of us who say we don't care are lying to ourselves. I do care how others see me. What I can affirm, however, is that you can't please everyone. Not everyone is going to like you. You could be the kindest person in the world and some might say you are being fake or just find something to dislike about you.

Some might say, "You have Joshua now, he is all that matters." Well true he is the most important person in my life and yes, if I want anyone in this world to see me positively it's him. I mean I have never come across someone as kind and considerate as Joshua. All my priorities, once misguided and ruffled, have been sorted since I met him. All the monsters in my head from past relationships have been scared off from the unconditional love I am receiving from him. But with that being said, that doesn't mean I need to lose sight of all the other things in my life that are important to me. It's ok to share a life with someone without having to sacrifice the things that made you happy before that person came along. The trick is to find someone that understands and appreciates that.

Last weekend Joshua and I went through my photo albums. It seemed like every other album Josh would say, "Who is that?" and my response was always, "Oh we dated." I wasn't ashamed at all, nor did it make him uncomfortable. So I dated a lot, big deal. Sometimes I put all my eggs in one basket and other times I didn't. Now that I'm settled with him, I am glad I had all the experiences I had. I'm glad I cried all those tears, screamed all those profanities, had all that sex, and discovered my limits, my faults, and my strengths. I learned what true love was and how it could lead to pain, confusion, and how when you lose sight of yourself and give in to temptation it doesn't mean you love someone any less, just that you are human. As I looked at the faces of those I loved or cared about, some who I still care about, so many emotions were filling up inside me. If I was to run into any of these men, what would they have to say about me? Did I leave any mark on them? Everyone whom I have been with has left an impression on me. It's impossible to give out love without consuming feeling in return and then forgetting that feeling they have left on you. It always remains.

So, in the eyes of some men in Boston I could possibly seem like an odd duck. Unattractive. a terrible lover. In some maybe kind hearted, a great lover, sexy even. Smart or stupid. I'm all of those things. Perception is a very wicked and strange thing. I sometimes feel I'm ugly and sometimes I look in the mirror and think damn I am hot. Sometimes I am sweet and other times I'm a complete bitch. Sometimes I think I am clever and other times I think, "God I am dumb." At least I realize this and aim for the positive characteristics I know I possess. So I have decided that it's cool that people have mixed reviews of me, whether I just met you on the street or dated you...because I have mixed reviews about myself everyday.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dating Disasters: Every Rose Has a Thorn, Part II

I wanted to share this experience with him. I wanted to look back on this trip and say I survived almost two weeks across the world with the man I love. The flights there, despite its length, were a breeze. We slept, watched movies, ate food, and read. I brought two travel guides and a journal. My goal was to create a travel journal, experience everything Thailand had to offer and each night write about it. For Christmas, he had given me a leather bound journal, knowing I loved to write, it meant a lot to me. He listens.

We started out in Bangkok at a beautiful residence that would cost a resident of Thailand a lot of money, but fairly cheap for us. We rode in a tuk tuk to our residence which was thrilling. It's a fast two wheel motorized car that's open in the back. As we sped to our destination, I kept thinking about how lucky I was to be here. A chance of lifetime to experience a place like this and to do it with him. I had begun to let my guard down. It took awhile. When we had first met, I knew he was going to cause me pain. He was only a few years younger than me, but knowing how I was at his age and what pain I caused my ex, I knew this was a bad idea, but I had fallen hard. Throughout our days in Bangkok, we visited museums and the Grand Palace. Grand doesn't describe how amazing this place was. We watched a Muay Thai match which I can only describe in terrible fashion as Boxing meets Martial Arts, took a beautiful night river tour at the floating markets, shopped, ate delicious food, and drank on top of expensive hotels over looking the grandeur of Bangkok that is breathtaking. Things were going splendid, except for the occasional upset stomach, I couldn't have been happier. floating market/river tour was my favorite leg of that part of the trip. It's just a long market on a river with small shops along both sides. The people are friendly and despite having little, they are happy. Their happiness comes from things that matter not material things us Americans have to have. It's grounding.

By the second leg of our trip, Phuket, things started to change. My fears of being with him began once again with no cause but my own. Five of us were relaxing at the pool with a swim up bar when my friend and I noticed two beautiful Australian guys close by. We began making sexual comments about them to each other which caused my bf to get angry. My heart dropped. I was buzzed and feeling good, but I was wrong and I apologized profusely. I thought he would just chime in with us, but he made me feel like a god awful bf. It was one of the first times I had seen him angry so I was taken back. We let it go.

Thai New Year (Songkran) was upon us. I didn't know much about the festivities, but part of the celebration involves a water festival. It's a time where people roam the streets with anything they can carry water in, buckets, water guns, cups, whatever and everyone gets soaked. SOOOO much fun. With it being as hot and humid as it was, I didn't mind. We couldn't leave the resort without getting wet. How much fun to carry a super soaker around and be able to go up to random people and just spray them down. The best were just the random groups of beautiful Thai women trying to coax men inside for massages, meanwhile holding pales of water, sneaking up behind you, and dumping it over your head. One night we found a gay bar and the Thai boys that worked there went to great lengths to get you to buy drinks. They were feminine and friendly, sitting on your lap, flirting, all the while just trying to obviously get you to buy more. As it got darker, the streets became more crowded. My friends seemed less enthusiastic to join in on the fun as they had been here multiple times, but for me I felt like I was back in Yonkers playing Manhunt with my super soaker, hunting down my friends in the neighborhood. My bf and I met a few very hot and very friendly foreigners, some from Britain, Australia, Brazil, all over the world and we all just drank, made friends, and acted like kids.

"I have to use the bathroom," my boyfriend said to me as I was hiding behind a wall about to sneak up on someone and get them wet. By now we were drenched anyway, my t-shirt and shorts sticking to me. All I said to him was, "Ok" and get playing. Soon, I started to worry. He hadn't comeback. My friends didn't know where he was, at least they didn't seem to know where he was. I began to panic. I went into the bathroom, he wasn't there. I looked all over the bar, the street, he was nowhere. I walked a few blocks down to our resort thinking maybe the bathrooms were so gross he went back to our room. He wasn't there. I started to get visions of me having to talk to police, calling his mom, and telling her he's gone. I was buzzed and maybe was over-reacting, but I was legitimately scared. On my way back to the bar, he was walking towards me with a look of concern and frustration. At me? I don't know. I hugged him and began to cry. "Where the hell were you?" I asked him. "I told you I was in the bathroom, " he said. "I was sick, was in a stall."

My friends were acting strange as if they knew something I didn't. I had that awful feeling you get when you know everyone is not telling you something. I let it pass. People were dancing and I joined in and then I turned my head to this Brazilian guy and he was grinning at me. Not a "You're cute" grin, it was as if he had done something behind my back, like he was an enemy of mine and he had one up on me. When we got back to our room, things felt different between us. I knew something had happened. I have very good intuitions when I'm in a relationship with someone. I know when things are wrong. Then it hit me and I didn't want ask him for fear I was wrong, but I didn't think I was. Was that grin saying, "Ha ha, I just hooked up with your bf?" "Did you mess around with that Brazilian guy?" I blurted out. He looked at me with anger and concern, but behind his "How dare you think I would do that" face, was guilt. I apologized for even thinking it, because I wanted it out of my mind. I was in Thailand and despite the despair I started to feel, I didn't want my accusation to ruin our trip whether I was right or not. By the last leg of our trip in Koh Phi Phi, I felt more and more distant from him. I put on a façade of being happy but inside I knew that when we got home something was going to change. He was trying to hard and that's how I knew he had done something with that guy even if he denied it. He even kept singing that Kelly Clarkson song, "I Don't Hook Up," all the time, which the psychology minor in me was a sign right there he felt guilty FOR hooking up.

On our plane ride home, I replayed that guy's grin over and over in my head. maybe he did think I was cute and maybe I was being that overprotective jealous guy I vowed I'd never be. He went to great lengths to prove his innocence. Even telling his parents. "Craig, tell them how you thought I cheated on you while we were there?" I was mortified. But as spring was leaving the weather got warmer things got worse and we began to fight. We were at the beach with his friends and he got hammered and began spouting how I had more experience with men and he didn't. Made me feel like a terrible guy because all I got him was a card for his birthday, even though I had just spent thousands on our trip. Each time, that night or the next morning he would sob and apologize and I would forgive him because I loved him so much. But he stopped telling me he loved me when I would drive him home and I knew it was only time. Then one night after having dinner with friends, gushing over how wonderful my bf was, I invited him over and he declined. He never did before. I did what any paranoid, love sick, crazy bf would do and I went through great lengths to catch him trying to hook up with someone on Manhunt. The same site he messaged me on to say hello. The site he had blocked me from seeing his profile to make me believe he had deleted his.

My world was over. We spoke that night and he broke up with me. I was stupidly trying to fix us, but he no longer seemed to want or need me. A day or two after, we had remained friends on Facebook and I saw his number of friends had increased greatly. All men. All men, including the Brazilian and finally he had come clean about hooking up with him that night. Not just hooking up but actually exchanging information to keep in touch.

Love makes you do crazy things and I learned a lot about myself and the man I wanted to be. I had never been more hurt. I became depressed. Left work early because I couldn't function, stopped eating, cried all the time, and became to him, a crazy ex who he had no use for. Looking back I laugh at how stupid I was. Using every excuse to see him again only to beg my cheating bf to take me back. I went from sad to angry in an instant. One minute wanting him to be mine again and the next plotting devious things to do to him like taking naked pics he had sent me and printing them and placing them where he worked...to contacting his mother and telling her own manipulative her precious son was and letting her know all the shocked things he had done to me. I went CRAZY.

It was on my trip to DC to visit a friend, attempting to recover from this heartbreak that I found out that within two weeks of him breaking up with me, he had a new bf. I sobbed in the street, dumbfounded. What?! I felt useless, unworthy of being loved, and alone. I never had experienced heartbreak before and that is how I knew I really had loved him and yet now I hated him and didn't think it was fair he was happy and I was devastated. I told my ex, who I had still lived with at the time, just how sorry I was for all the terrible things I had done to him, because if he had felt anything like I was feeling at that time, I deserved so much more shame and punishment. To add insult to injury, everywhere I went, even in Yonkers to escape my life in Boston, I ran into people who knew him and thought he was such a wonderful adorable guy. It was comical in a way, like WTF.

All those friends I had made. All the men I thought I was so close to, I began to hear little from anymore. It was to the point that they were just acquaintances to me. Nothing more. I was dying inside. I started seeing a therapist, as I began sleeping with men just to feel something. It didn't matter whether I thought they were attractive, they thought I was attractive and so just to feel wanted I slept with them only to hate the person I was after. It was one of the darkest times in my life and yet now when I put it in prospective, I realized all it was, was giving too much power to another individual. I let another person dictate my happiness. It took while to trust again, but it happened. Years have past and although there has still been more heartbreak I've learned to make wiser decisions and the payoff has been amazing. It was an experience I needed to have to make me learn about trusting others, patience, and above all knowing what it means to be a friend and that I am capable of loving someone completely, but within that love learning to not lose myself in the process.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Dating Disasters: Every Rose Has a Thorn

                                                                Part I

I sat in the middle of the Boston Common with my laptop out staring at a blank page trying to find words that would change his mind. I looked around at the crowds of people enjoying the weather and I hated their smiles. I resented them for being happy and yet desperately hoped a stranger would see how empty inside I was and just let me cry on their shoulder. I desperately needed to find the right words, as if, as he read my letter, something would strike him so powerful he would come back to me, crying and apologizing and I'd forgive him as I had before, because at the time having him falsely love me was better than watching him move on without me....

After my car accident and one last attempt at a relationship with my ex that still didn't work out, I decided it was time I stopped searching for a bf and try to meet some gay men in Boston to be friends with, rather than hookup with or date. I had received a very large settlement that changed my life. I was able to pay off debt, live comfortably, and buy a car. I felt like I was able to actually have a real life and not be confined to my home which with my current salary I could hardly afford. Up until that point, I had no gay friends and I felt alone. Everyone I knew had busy schedules and families and lived far away and I was envious seeing crowds of gay men together enjoying "the scene" and envious that I felt like I was still an outsider in a community I belonged to and fought so hard to get to. It wasn't long before I met some wonderful guys who I became close to and I had finally realized how stupid I was for letting my fascination with having a bf dictate my happiness. Time went by where I was the happiest. Going out drinking, taking trips, gossiping, finally feeling free and for the most part complete. Then it happened. I had received a message on manhunt, a site I had stopped using but never closed completely for those late night urges... There he was, this beautiful young guy with charm and intelligence from what I could gather by is non-sexual, unforceful yet direct message to me that I was unfamiliar to receiving. We chatted for a bit and despite my better judgment I decided to go on a date with him. He, like an unpredicted storm, moved in fast and furious and clouded all of my clarity and I thought, it's just a date.

He was late. I stood outside in the cold, waiting for him to arrive. Fall was leaving us and the unwelcoming chill of winter had made its approach. Typically, I'd say screw this and leave, but he finally showed and had valid excuses and looked even more beautiful in person with an "I'm sorry" face that could make you believe somehow whatever it was that he did wrong could be forgiven. That night, he invited me back to his place and we laid on his bed and talked and fooled around and I thought to myself, "slow down...he's younger, probably doesn't want what you want, and you know he's going to break you." I swept those thoughts under the rug because there was no chance my mind and my gut were going to catch up to the way my heart felt for him just from that first night. We decided I should go, because although we both wanted each other, we knew if I spent the night, it may just end up being a one night stand. It was a first for me.

We were walking through Boston Common when the first snow fall began. It was heavy and we were freezing yet we were on a Santa bar crawl I had agreed to participate in with him and his friends and so the heat between us and the alcohol made me stop us dead in our tracks. That is where I asked him to be mine and from that point on I felt like there was nothing that could tear the complete and utter happiness I was feeling inside of me. "He's a keeper, do not fuck this up," one of my friends said to me the night I decided he should meet them. "There is no way I'm letting him go," I thought to myself. I knew at that point that this was what true love feels like. All those clichés, all those sappy love stories we all love to watch, every all consuming, vomit worthy, "walking on air" moment I was feeling it for him. I would do anything for him. I feared meeting his family, his friends, anyone or thing that might have influence over him to make him decide I wasn't the right one for him. His friends and I, thankfully got along and I had one of the best New Years ever with them and him. By Christmas, he met my family and It wasn't long after I met his family and became so envious of his family life. The good relationship he had with his sister, whom despite her friendliness made me feel inadequate financially. His well off parents, who also were very nice, but yet I always felt I was under a microscope. His mother especially made me feel as though I wasn't good enough for her son, yet still offered me kindness and I could tell she knew I was trying. My brother and I did not get along, my parents were separated and both broke, and I was envious of his family to be able to support him. But despite all of that, I was his and I would earn their trust, because I needed to. To them, their cherished son and to me his starry-eyed boyfriend, he was perfect.

He began to call me his husband, it was a joke of course, but he made me believe that he was so in love with me that I was the man he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. I, of course, DID want to spend the rest of my life with him. I spent every waking moment trying to find ways to make him happy, because one thing he made me learn about real love is, you know you truly love someone when you put their happiness above yours. He made me learn a lot about real love and I am thankful for that. One night he said to me as he began to choke up, "You have done things no one has ever done for me" and I could have died happy in that moment. In my mind, I thought "No, I wish I could do more." But he seemed satisfied with "us" and I was elated that he chose me.

One day I received a message from two of my friends telling me they were taking a trip to Thailand and they wanted me to come and to invite my bf as well. Before my accident, I couldn't go to a cheap B&B let alone to another part of the world, but I had the money too and although that settlement was quickly shrinking I wasn't about to let an opportunity like this pass me by and there was no way I was going to leave without having him by my side. He agreed.

Little did I know that was when the storm began to move in and my world was about to be destroyed....

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dating Disasters: Crash, Bam, Boom!

I almost died September 3, 2007. A crash that shut down route 9 in Newton, MA and caused me to be out of work for a month.

I had just broken up with my ex right after we had just purchased a condo together. Actually we had broken up right before we signed the papers and it made for a very awkward closing. I was emotionally drained, broke, and everything all in all looked pretty bleak. My brother was gracious enough to move in with me and help keep me from going under financially and once I felt like I had gotten my bearings I thought I might as well start dating again. You see, up until recently I was perpetually dating just to fill a void. I don't know if it was loneliness, boredom, or sport…maybe a combo of all three. I never gave myself pause. I don't give myself time to heal and give myself time to think about what I actually want rather than what I feel I need from what others have. Instead, I just rush into the dating pool without testing the waters. No matter how deep or how cold that pool may be I just dive right in. I'm a serial dater or rather I was a serial dater.  I'll admit it. There is however something to say about a boy who leads an optimistic view on dating and falling in love. With all the crap that is out there at least I continuously allowed myself to fall in love and it's paid off.

Prior to my frequent visits with Grindr and then Scruff, I was meeting men on match.com and manhunt. Whether it be for sex, short term dating, love, whatever I was on every site you could name. Well not every…just well a lot. All these sites advertise a specific focus, but whether you are looking on Match for love or Manhunt for sex there are relatively all the same men on these sites. I did meet some interesting people. Some I remain friends with, some who I had really great conversations with, Some who lied about themselves whether it be their age, relationship status, or job status. One who made me think I may end up at the bottom of the Charles River and who tried to prevent me from leaving his house, OH! and my "straight" married next door neighbor who recognized me on Manhunt and who wanted to come over, drink beer, and mess around "discreetly." Nevertheless, one night I began chatting with this guy who I was moderately attracted too and who seemed fairly normal. I look for signs all over the place. Something that could give me hope I'm on the right track. When he told me his birthday was January 22 and he was born in the year 1982, I was speechless. For those who don't know me well that is the day, month, and year I was born as well. So I thought, why not go on a date with a man who was born the exact day as me. I think if it wasn't for this fact I probably wouldn't have gone out with him, but thought that maybe when I met him there would be a spark having something to do with our birthdays. *I'm rolling my eyes as I type this* Signs…what a crock.

It was too be a very chill date. A mall date. Walk around, chat, have lunch, etc. He picked me up at my condo. I didn't invite him upstairs because my condo still looked like an old woman had vacated there. Pink wall paper and blue carpeting. ICK! I also didn't invite him upstairs because then he probably would think I wanted to mess around before we even got to know each other and it isn't because I HAVEN'T done that before…it's because well I just didn't find him that attractive and didn't want him to think I liked him that much. There was no spark. I've never been one to cut a date short, but I may have if I had taken my own car. I'm the type that will sit through a grueling dinner pretending to be interested just to be kind meanwhile I am thinking "I don't care…I can't believe I have to pay for this fucking dinner…stop talking.. shut up shut up….what do I have on DVR to watch…I hope he offers to pay, I'm not dropping a shit load of money for this...stop talking" I'm sure some guys I have gone on dates with have felt that way about be…I'm being cruel. I'll stop. Just being truthful is all.

We drove in his Volkswagen Jetta to the Chestnut Hill Mall and made small talk the whole way. I had never been before and I love checking out new malls. I love malls. Too bad I never made it in…

I woke up in a hospital bed at Beth Israel. Nothing made much sense. I wasn't startled just exhausted and annoyed because all I could hear was the sound of another patient, an old man, in my room yelling at the nurse because he was too cold. Then he began bitching because he wanted sugar and clearly couldn't have any for whatever reason. I turned and rolled my eyes at the nurse and made a look like, "I'm sorry you have to deal with this type of shit, but I'll be less needy, and well it is a bit drafty in here"… Then I remember having to pee and painfully getting up to use the bathroom, trying to close my gown from behind so as to not show whomever was in my room my bare ass….. Then I remember being visited by my friend Erica and my parents sitting next to me… Then I vaguely remember being let out of the hospital and crawling into my ex's bed with my dogs beside me...I remember taking a trip to the grocery store to get Italian ices because that's all I wanted to eat… then as I began weaning off my drugs I thought HOLY SHIT! I was on a date! Is he dead! I should be at work! I have a mortgage! OMG my face is REALLY messed up and I look emaciated! OMG no one will ever want to date me now! Why am I with my Ex?! I'm in a lot of fucking pain!!!! What happened!

A woman lost control of her car, gone airborne, and completely ripped through my date's vehicle. I mean seriously turned it into a convertible. I had suffered from tons of lacerations to the face, I had a bleed in my brain, a broken nose, and a fractured lumbar spine. When my brother showed up at the hospital, I was on a gurney with a cloth over my face and he started freaking out thinking I was dead. It all sounds bad but I was lucky. Very lucky. I should have been decapitated. I seriously have no idea how her vehicle didn't just tear my head straight off, but it didn't and I miraculously survived with no remembrance of the accident and vague memories of my time in the hospital. All I have are eyewitness accounts of what happened, pictures a journalist had taken, and a bunch of scars that remain.

Once I began remembering things, I reached out to my date who had many injuries as well but was also very lucky. He wanted to try and go out again and I said no thanks. He was pissed at me and started going off on me. Guess I sort of dodged a bullet there, you know despite my near death experience. but seriously after actually HAVING a near death experience with someone on a first date and the fact that we were born on the same day and could have possibly died on the same day…I really think seeing him again would have not been wise. Just saying. Not long after, my ex and I got back together, he moved into the condo and my brother moved out, I collected a large settlement, and things were good for awhile between him and I. Apparently I was asking my parents to get in touch with him a lot while in the hospital and being the nice guy he is, he took it upon himself to take care of me. I remember one night I tried to mess around with him and he said no, that he was only taking care of me because he loved me, but wanted nothing more. I was really taken back by that but I deserved it. I was a terrible bf to him. Once I was healed, I was determined to get him back and eventually it happened but so it goes…if it doesn't work the first time it most likely won't work out a second time but worth a try nonetheless. We remained living together for years as just friends which was hard at first but worked out fine.

I was on A LOT of heavy pain meds and made no sense half the time when I was speaking to people. I don't remember having any visitors or talking on the phone to those who called to check on me. It warmed my heart seeing all the get well cards and just knowing so many people were concerned. I guess I made a call to my boss and told him I was in an accident but it was no big deal and I would be returning to work in several days. In reality, I ended up being out of work for about a month. I also apparently told my parents a lot about my sexual past including the fact that not soon after my ex and I broke up I had sex with a man who failed to tell me he was HIV positive and I was apparently afraid I had it too and didn't want them taking my blood in the hospital. Not that I wouldn't date someone who was HIV positive, but we hadn't been safe and I failed to ask his status and he failed to tell me. My dad began to regularly call me from NY and would always somehow find a way to bring up, in conversation, safe sex, which was highly embarrassing but very sweet and thoughtful of him.

Much of how I act today, including my maturity, my decisions, my direction have a lot to do with people I have dated, been in love with, and the disasters that have come from many many dates I have been on. I plan on writing about them from time to time.









Friday, October 25, 2013

The "F" Word

I had this wish to move away (again) to a new city. Chicago, San Francisco, wherever...I thought, "How great would it be to go to a new city and start over." A clean blank slate where no one can assume things about you from what they hear from others, make more friends, create completely new routines for myself. The problem with all of this is we seem to be destined to repeat bad habits and if that was the case then I would be worse off because my friends would be far away and I would feel lonelier than I did years ago. What I've learned is too make the most of what I have been given right in front of me. I mean at this time in my life things are good, but for years they weren't. I've battled lots of demons from internal ones to others whom I cared about. If there is one thing I will teach my children some day is that people will always come in to your life who we think we can trust but sometimes they fail to meet our expectations and can sometimes leave us with nothing but sadness BUT it makes us stronger and with every hardship that comes into our lives we have the capacity to fight through it and come out the other side. I'm sorry if I sound like a preacher but these are words to live by.

There are two sides to everyone and I'm no different. I have been hurt a lot by many people, largely because I can be naïve at times and trust too easily. I have hurt people too though and I'm sorry for any pain I may have caused them. It's important to look back on our lives and try to begin to fix the cracks in our soul. Things we need to change and in order to do that it's important to forgive even if someone says they are sorry but you know deep down there sorrys are shit. I've done terrible things to good people in my life and sure I can say it's because I was young, drunk, whatever but deep down it's just because I was selfish and didn't care. Just own it. I wish more people could do that. Just own up to your faults and if you REALLY do want to be different then try harder and don't be a coward to take responsibility for your actions. Most importantly forgive yourself. We may be perfect in the eyes of those who love us, but we are human and make mistakes, no one's protected from that.

 One of the things that we do as humans that makes me so angry is to make assumptions about people just because of things we may have heard about them from others. Rather than making our own opinions based off of interactions we have had with them we are so quick to judge. There have been times when I have lost friends all because someone told them things about me that were false or blown way out of proportion. I made peace with the situation by figuring they weren't good friends to begin with.

The darkest time of my life was a break-up I had with the first person I really truly loved. It seriously left me in ruin. I was cheated, manipulated, and left feeling empty. I spent days not eating, crying just about everywhere, even making poor decisions to try and win them back somehow. Doing things so beneath me and so despairing all because I felt it was better to be with someone who didn't love me than being without them. I even went to therapy for it because I had lost not just them but friends as well and I needed someone to talk to. This person asked for forgiveness 3 years later, but despite my acceptance I didn't believe it. Like I said no matter how low we feel we have the ability to heal though. Forgive to help yourself not to help them. You would think that this experience would wake me up and I'd make better choices but I didn't because old habits die hard and I kept falling back into the same routine. It takes more than an experience to change you. You have to want it. It's like when you wake up with a bad hangover and say your never going to drink again but yet you do. Even if that drunkenness caused you to do something even dumber you'll probably do it again until you finally decide for yourself it just isn't worth it. That's when your soul gives you the push you need to make changes in yourself.

Someone recently told me they loved reading my blogs but thought they were always so serious. I thanked him and told him that I could write tons of funny stupid shit in my blog, but I could facebook status that as well. I'd much rather be deep or just write about experiences in my life that have caused me to reflect because those are the important things that matter in my world. I can't grow if I don't reflect and by reflecting I can weigh my choices, good and bad on a scale and if the good outweighs the bad I can forgive myself for the times I was a piece of shit and hope that every day I make better choices.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

From the Ground Up

I've finally given myself permission to be happy. It's a refreshing feeling. I went for a run the other day. I never run. I hate it actually. My gym was closing early so I thought what am I going to do to feel like I've done something. I ran. Not far, but far enough. Anyway, I was running and I just started thinking about things that have been happening in my world lately. Good things and I just began to smile and that smile turned into laughter. Onlookers would have assumed I was nuts, but how wonderful it felt to just laugh. Just because. I had given myself permission to be happy. It's a liberating feeling and you know I don't think many people take advantage of this gift that has been given to us. Truly being happy. I'm not there yet but I am on the right path, I think.

We create our own happiness. It's taken me awhile to realize this. I mean I've had my share of fun and I've paved the road that is my life and within that road I caused a lot of tears and I was a selfish asshole many times. I take full responsibility for any pain I have caused anyone. It's a hard pill to swallow really, acknowledging that you were the cause of someone's pain at some point or another. Some people, those who  have narcissistic tendencies blame the world for their troubles. Nothing is their fault. I strongly believe that we have the choice to reclaim our happiness.

I haven't accomplished much in life. I'm a quitter. I cringe when I say that. Actually I should say I used to be a quitter. When something becomes to hard I quit. More importantly when I feel I am not good enough at something I quit. There's a difference. I quit student teaching, I quit relationships, I quit applying for potential job opportunities, I quit silly competitions all because I am afraid of failing. Little by little I'm learning my potential and it is greater than I give myself credit for and even if I fail, guess what? I'll be ok. Ah...that feels good to know. And it's as if a veil has been lifted and I'm seeing things clearer. I am not just realizing what matters most but I'm realizing that I can accept those things and go with it. I used to destroy things in my life that were good...I protected things that were bad. Why do we do that? I think it's because we don't give ourselves permission to just be who we are and be happy. I don't mean the everyday mundane satisfaction of our lives, but to truly be happy. Also, to stop doing what you expect others want from you. I have seen less of many of my friends because a lot of our relationships consisted of going to nightclubs and drinking and well I just don't care to do those things any more. There was a time when I used to be upset if I wasn't invited out now I'd rather stay home with wine and DVR. Things in my life are becoming so much simpler. Josh has helped out a lot with that. Before he met me he led a very simple life. He worked, he gardened, he worked out. That was pretty much it. Not that he still doesn't do those things, but now that he is dating a city boy I've opened him up to a lot of things, but how good does it feel to visit him in his country home and just do nothing but sit by a fire and enjoy the peace and quiet. It's glorious. He says to me that I am wonderful. That I am his idea of perfect. That's scarier than anything, I think. I hope I can live up to his idea of me but then again it's easy when you're with someone with a heart as beautiful as his. I don't know when the switch happened, but everything I once thought I wanted I don't want anymore. I just want to someday be a good husband and father. A good friend. And above all...good to myself. Deserving.

I've begun challenging every bit of myself and it's fucking scary. Joining crossfit and realizing that there is a bit of an athlete inside of me. I'm doing things I never thought I could do out of fear. All those things you're afraid to do in HS, I'm doing them and then some. Allowing myself to be consumed by love again. SCARY. Realizing that I control my choices and from the ground up I'm building a new world for myself that's simple, uncomplicated, and easy. I'm excelling in my job and I don't feel "stuck" anymore. I used to dwell so much in the past. Relishing in failed relationships and in my other own failures. Consumed by wrong choices I have made. Constructing a false reality for myself because I wasn't aware of my own potential. I feel like a seed beginning to sprout its roots. Holding on to the ground, yet growing unafraid of the perils that could be ahead. I think if we all put our lives under a microscope we'd see alot of crap there that we wouldn't want to see and we'd be too afraid to fix. Fear just fucks everything up. It comes in so many ugly forms and prevents us, well me at least, from going that extra mile so to speak.

I'm tired of being afraid.



Monday, June 24, 2013

How to Survive Facebook

Facebook. I remember a time when in order to find out what was going on in someone's life you had to hangout or call them. This was also the time when people on average had friends in single or double digits. I mean friends not people whose status you might "like" just to keep that small piece of thread you have attached to one another held together or the status you might "like" just to hope that they see that you liked his or her status and they contact you cause maybe it's someone you have been crushing on for quite sometime. Nowadays we are "friends" with people we may never actually meet or ever hangout with. Some people will add just about everyone just to see that number grow and grow. I mean seriously, does this fill some kind of void in your life? Does having 1500 or 2000 "friends" make you feel complete? We all know people who do this and we all know most of the time we confirm them. I don't know if you're like me, but if someone friends me and doesn't follow through with a "Hi thanks for the add...we know so and so...we met at a party...we had sex last night"...blah blah blah most likely I'll delete you if there is never any form of contact, unless of course you're really cute then sure why not. So if you're one of those people I suggest you find other means of communicating with people. Some people on rare occasion may think that you having thousands of friends is pretty cool, but many are probably talking behind your back and think you're either really full of yourself or are really lonely. Maybe you're just one of those lucky people who is just so popular you are still friends with people in high school, college, have a really large family, and work at a large company where you're so well liked your co-workers all want to be your friend too. Secretly they are just checking on how many hours your clocked in on facebook rather than doing work and are complaining about you at lunch about how you do nothing but hangout on facebook. If this is the case, before you lose your job and then are doing real internet stuff like job searching try and check facebook twice. Once in the morning and once at night. I don't think you'll have missed much.

Facebook. If you ever enjoyed being friends with someone and then focused on their status updates, pictures, etc. sometimes you're left with this sad feeling of regret for ever friending them in the first place. Facebook has a way of bringing out the worst in people, very rarely the best. I've known people that I may have once dated or just was friends with and then after seeing their facebook statuses I think "damn are they that full of themselves?" "Do they really hate the world that much?" "Do they have self esteem issues?" "Do they have any idea that their rant may sound really smart in his or her head, but makes them look foolish and crazy?" If you think you are one of these people, before you post that pic or status, think about it a little more. Think..."am I doing this just to get attention?" You know you've sometimes posted a status just to see how many likes you're going to get. We are all guilty of it. I post pictures of food I cook sometimes. Does anyone really give a shit that I made risotto in a pumpkin or baked a cake for someone. NO. Does anyone want to see your vacation pictures in the Caribbean while they are at work and it's 20 degrees out? Doubt it. But it feels good to get recognition for things. I mean come on who doesn't like it when their birthday arrives and you are constantly checking to see how many happy birthday messages you received. NOW remember those 2,000 people you are friends with...how many said happy birthday? hmmm. If you are one of THESE people, my suggestion is take it for what it is...people said happy birthday to you that's great. Concentrate on going out with the people that actually matter and enjoy yourself. Don't let a program dictate how you feel from day to day.

Facebook. Very bad for relationships. If you're one of those people who is constantly checking your girlfriend or boyfriend's facebook page and are constantly noticing how many new friends they add you may be driving yourself crazy or maybe you're on to something. Either way paranoia will settle in and can severely damage a relationship. I once dated a guy who after we broke up friended at least 30 men and one of those men happened to be a man I suspected he cheated on me with from another country. Sometimes facebook can reveal the truth about people. My advice is if you decide you want to remain friends with someone you were in a relationship with and you know you will constantly be obsessing over who they friend, waiting for the dreaded "in a relationship" status update, checking every new photo they post, then maybe you should see a therapist and hide them so you can't see their posts anymore that way you can have the comfort of knowing you are still "friends" but don't have to worry about every time you sign on seeing something that may ruin your day. Maybe you're at the beginning stages of seeing someone and one day you get an alert on your phone saying that person has friended you. OH SHIT! You frantically sign on and check everything on your page before friending them. If you do this then maybe you need to reevaluate some of your actions or STOP! If you have to go and edit your facebook page for fear they may see something you don't want them to see then you're not being yourself and that's shitty. It's the same as first impressions within first dates. Stop trying to act like someone you are not. I'm a klutz and I one time spilt a beer on my date. I was horrified, but after we stopped seeing each other and his true colors came out I should have smashed him with the bottle. The point is be yourself on a first date...I am. If I am on a date with someone I just be my klutzy, dorky, This is who I am...take it or leave it self...it's the same with facebook. I once hid a blog just because I was afraid it would make me look crazy. Then I thought so what! If I look crazy and they don't like it then I know they weren't meant to be with me. Also, if you do add this person and then you obsess over how many people they friended at once whom all happen to be of the sex you know they date then maybe the guy or girl you like is a big HO and you are just one of many. Truthfully, watch out for this. Most, not all, of the time you really just are one guy or girl out of many.

Facebook. It's a playground for Obsession. Anger. Depression. Envy. Unemployment. Facebook really isn't the place to go and rant about how much you hate your boss or a co-worker. Sometimes you may forget your friends with one of them. Ooops. Sometimes you may start talking shit about someone and then realize uhoh they were on that thread. It's like texting. Have you ever texted the wrong person before? I once hooked up with this guy, he was so beautiful, except his err male parts were pretty tiny. On my way home I do what many people do (at least I think they do and text there bestfriend about it) may be I just do that and I have an issue...anyways the conversation went like this:

Craig: OMG I just hooked up with the hottest guy *sends pic*
Matt: Wow he is hot
Craig: Right! His dick was really small though
Hookup guy: LMAO Ummm I don't think that was meant for me.

The HORROR. Anyways think before you do anything on facebook. I mean right now I could sound like a total hypocrite by writing this crazy blog entry but it's meant to be funny haha...no there is some truth in all of this. Facebook can be really cool if used with caution. Don't rant. Don't obsessively post pictures of yourself. Don't stay friends with exes if you know you're going to drive yourself crazy. If you want to show the world how happy you are with your friends, loved ones, boyfriend or girlfriend...that's awesome, but sometimes it can be hard for others to be really happy for you when you have something they want. It turns into a nananana :-p look what I have thing. But what do we do we "like it" because that's what we are supposed to do.

Happy Facebooking