Saturday, January 31, 2009

People Pleaser

Hmmm...I am loathe to talk about the whole gay thing because I want to move this blog beyond that topic. There are bigger fish to fry! However, something (well a series of somethings) occurred that has made me bring the subject up again.

First, a random tangent. I recently purchased the new "The Fray" cd. Based on a series of recommendations from a wide spectrum of friends I decided to pony up the money. Alas, I only moderately enjoy it. I didn't buy their last album which should have factored into my decision this time. However, I trusted the wisdom of crowds and got saddled with a cd I don't really enjoy. That said, there have been instances in the past where I buy I cd, don't like it, shelve it, and then rediscover it and realize it's awesomeness years later. Therefore, in about two years look for a post where I talk about how much I love this cd.

Back on track:

I was chatting with a friend (from China) and she asked me if I had a girlfriend. I said no and thought she was going to change the subject, but she was relentless. She kept asking and asking and so I told her I dated guys. Of course, this is kind of hypothetical since I have not actually dated any guys. Anyhow, I further elaborated and explained the word in English was gay. She was extremely confused and thought I was kidding and after a terribly awkward conversation I rephrased it to where she did not think I was gay and I did not correct her.

A couple of months ago I was a groomsman in a wedding which was a lot of fun! I got to wear a tux which was quite exciting. However, it was too big and I look fat in all the wedding pictures.

Anyhow, in line with a friend the conversation turned towards if I was dating anyone (of course she asked if it was a girl). I told her "no" but she was a bit persistent. I can understand. It's odd for me to not be in a relationship or at least to not have just come off of a break-up and be in between relationships. I proceeded to explain how I was happy being single, etc., etc., and the conversation moved onto other subjects.

Later a family friend made a comment to my mom about how she could picture my wedding day. I knew this had to be hard for my mom and I confirmed this when we spoke the week after.

The question I ask is why? Why can I not come out to people? The truth is I don't want to make them uncomfortable. Telling people I'm attracted to guys is hard. It's easier to say I'm not interested in girls. I don't want to say I'm gay and have people think I am out having sex every night. I know this is ridiculous. However, I still assume that all guys want is sex. I still equate gay with sex and straight with relationships. It's horrible and I don't know how to overcome it. Why should I care what people assume about me? It's their own ignorance. I should be working to be honest about myself and work to change their assumptions. Unfortunately, this is not what I do.

Recently I had lunch with a friend. I kept meaning to tell her that I was gay but I kept stopping. I thought she would judge and condemn and I didn't want that. During the conversation she asked if there were any girls in my life. I said no. Eventually the conversation moved to books and I mentioned "The Commitment" by Dan Savage. She thought I was talking about a different book, but I proceeded to discuss this book and by default ended up telling her. It was insane that I almost choked up while in the process. It's like all the pain and confusion and anger and anxiety started to well up when I discussed it. I held it together just fine, but did end up pouring out my anxieties. Well, not all of anxieties. We only had an hour. After my sharing she proceeded to tell me that it didn't matter to her. Her first question was actually if I had been dating a friend of mine. It was great. She also told me about her gay uncle who has adopted three children from broken homes with his partner. She also mentioned a gay cousin. It was a complete non-issue and such a relief.

I don't know why I decided to share this story. I guess it sheds light on the two lives I am leading. On one side I have the rational guy who knows he's gay and has asked a guy out. He's open to dating and seriously considering it. On the other side is another me: terrified of what his friends and family will think of him. The guy frightened by the idea of a physical relationship who is still trying to develop a sexual attraction to women. The guy who pictures sexuality as a number line with gay being negative, asexual at 0, and straight as positive. I want to be at least asexual so that I could have a solid base to start my attraction to girls. Insane I know.

Sometimes I wonder if I should just swear off any romantic relationships. Shut the door now and deal with it. Of course, that's not what I want to do. Despite my fear and cynicism, I think a relationship would be great. I'm not expecting anything perfect or someone to "complete" me. I'm not wandering around missing a huge part of myself. Realistically I just need to take a step back and relax. Things have a way of working themselves out.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Winter Update

A few weeks ago I provided a life update, but I feel like doing another. I'm really sleepy and don't feel like delving into any deep thoughts. Alas, I cannot go to sleep as I am expecting a visitor in a few minutes.

Right now my hoodie smells like Starbucks. I like it.

A few weeks ago I was looking up Mars Hill Church (Rob Bell's). I ended up stumbling upon a Mars Hill Church website that really freaked me out. Tonight I realized I had visited the wrong one! The site I went to was Mark Driscoll's church. No wonder it was so scary! No offense to my Calvinist friends.

Despite my best efforts I have not been able to stop my obsession with hashing out what I do and do not believe when it comes to God. I keep telling myself I will take a break, but keep getting sucked back in. At this rate I am going to learn Greek so I can read the ancient texts myself.

Due to the fact I have approximately 25 books sitting unread (most of them new) I have made a pact with a friend that we will not buy any new books until we have finished reading 4. In time, my surplus should be eliminated.

I've been perpetually sleep deprived this week and it appears the problem will persist into the weekend. Ideally I will be back to a decent schedule by Monday.

Today I realized that I have got to start working out. Hello running shoes, it's been awhile.

I have listened to the new Killers cd approximately 20 times. I'm completely addicted and I don't know why.

Until next time.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Forgiveness

Forgiveness. I like to think I do a good job of forgiving others. Of course, it's impossible to offer an objective assessment of how I do. Nevertheless, I am a big advocate of the "f" word.

I was not always much of a forgiver. In the past I didn't forgive easily because I thought it was a sign of weakness. Those who forgive quickly allow themselves to be walked all over, used and abused. I had a tendency to hold on to grudges and allowed bitterness to grow within me. Recently I was talking to a couple of good friends and I was reminded of how I had been "wronged" by someone. I had actually forgotten about the incident but for a moment was filled with righteous indignation. "That's right! He did do that! I was so angry!" In this moment my old mentality returned. I wanted to hang on to the anger.

Thankfully it passed as I realized there was no need to hold the grudge. Also, the friend I was talking to on the phone was someone I have had occasion to forgive countless times. Yet, she wasn't on the phone reminding me of the trespasses she had committed against me. Of course, she has forgiven me for an equal if not greater number of trespasses throughout our friendship.

I don't know if anyone out there has the mentality that forgiveness equals weakness. If you do I would ask you to reconsider. While it may seem that you are always the forgiver, you are forgiven a lot more than you realize.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Home

Ensuring that I never use the same blog title twice (or that if I do I properly sequence it) takes up quite a bit of time. Therefore, I am no longer going to fret over it. If this title is a repeat I think the world will still keep spinning.

I most definitely plan on leaving "home" to "find my fortune" elsewhere in the not too distant future. However, I still get an odd feeling of joy and a sense of contentment every time I cross the bridge and return from a trip. The same feeling occurs when I touch down in the airport and take the escalator down to "my" baggage claim. It's a nice feeling to have a place to call your own.

The end.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Quiet

Rarely am I at a loss for things to post about. Generally it's a struggle to stop myself from wasting time pouring my thoughts out here. There are a couple of things I want to talk about, but I am still thinking on them.

2009 has gone well. I've made some big plans and am sticking to them. It will require a lot of self-control, but I know I can do it. I'm also working on some smaller things that should bring a bit of satisfaction to my life.

I'm in a poetry mood. I didn't think those words would ever come out of my mouth.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Moving

My trip got pushed back a week. I'm not complaining! Now I can catch up on stuff around here.

Last night I went out with some coworkers. In 2.5 hours I managed to choke down one beer. Gross. I don't think I will ever find one I like.

I am moving. It will be in four months, but I am in the process of planning right now. For the first time in my whole life I get my own bathroom! It's not in my favorite part of town (it's sort of in a suburb), but it is the fiscally responsible thing to do. No need to get a fancy new apartment/house/condo just so I can fill it with crap I don't need.

I have not been to Target in over two weeks. This has got to be some sort of record. I am generally there twice a week minimum.

iLife'09 looks like it's going to have some cool features. A friend and I are going to buy the family pack so we can upgrade.

Hooray for the weekend. Time to head out and get some stuff done!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Honesty (3)

Marriage has been on my mind a lot lately. My brother is getting married and I just attended a wedding of a girl I liked for some time. I try not to be bitter or cynical, but it's hard. I get so angry seeing a ceremony that I won't ever have. I don't know if I will ever be comfortable marrying a guy.

College was the place I was supposed to find my wife. While I never officially dated any girls in high school, I figured I would find someone in college. Of course, I am speaking from the point of view of the me who figured with enough time, prayer, and healing I would overcome my attraction to guys and get married. Actually, I had planned on suppressing "this temptation" for the rest of my life. In school I met two girls that I considered marrying. Thankfully I did not pursue a romantic relationship with either. Enough pain was caused by the relationships we did form.

I would be lying if I said I don't think about marriage (to a woman) a lot. While I know I don't have the desire to rip off some girls clothes, this would at least mean my wife wouldn't have to worry about infidelity. I also have great taste in fashion and love shopping and I feel like I will be a great dad. I am super competitive (though not into sports) and I like action movies, science, and business. Marrying a girl would be so easy! If I got married to a girl I would obviously tell her that I am attracted to guys. This of course means our relationship would be devoid of physical intimacy. I am sure we could cuddle and I could have sex when it comes time to make some babies. Of course, I then realize how silly this idea is. All of my past relationships with girls have ended painfully. I have broken a lot of hearts all because there was no physical intimacy. I never got beyond holding hands.

I have had experience seeing the results of marriages where one partner is gay. It does not end well. The stories I have seen first hand and all I have researched online make me realize this option is closed off to me. Despite all I do to try and convince myself I might be attracted to girls, it does not work. Believe me, I have tried a lot. Still, there is a very real part of me that thinks maybe I just haven't met the right girl. Maybe one day this will all just go away.

Currently my sexuality is not some source of pain and stress like it was for so long. I am not living in fear, shame, and guilt. I feel sane. I have not been having the mood swings and all the anxiety and stress that came when I was struggling so much to stop my sexual attraction to guys. I no longer tally the days I have gone without giving into "temptation" in the hopes that one day I will no longer be gay. For this I am thankful.

All I know is that I continue to move forward in a direction I had never imagined. I am second guessing myself continually and frantically adjusting my 6, 12, 18, 24, etc. month goals in some desperate attempt to regain control. I am compelled to move forward and am grateful for it. The calling to change, grow, do, be, and love is becoming louder and I cannot drown in out. Slowly I am growing into a better version of myself. I am ready to take the chances that will lead to growth and am already taking some of them. They are, however, carefully calculated to minimize risk.

Some days I feel close to the ineffable reality we call God. I experience transcendence and "faith". Hope is tangible and love is still a cause worthy of my time and energy. Other days I feel a bit cut off. I view humanity as a species headed towards extinction with its individual members spending their lives groping around in the dark searching for meaning that always proves elusive.

I know I am being whiny and stupid but forgive me. Eventually I will be okay with this. One day I will stop being confused about everything. I will have the courage to not worry so much about the future. I will accept these attractions. I will find peace with God. I am very aware of how fortunate I am and how my problems (if you even could call them that) are nothing in comparison to those who are dying of famine and disease at this very moment. Nevertheless, this blog is supposed to be a place where I share all parts of my "journey".

End of pity party. Thanks for attending.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Remote Demo

The only thing wrong with my hotel in Chicago:


video

Stand in awe of my amazing video editing skillz.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pocket Cookies

Leaving work I stuck my hands into my pockets in order to shelter them from the cold. Inside I found two cookies! At lunch today I bought three chocolate chip cookies. I ate one and stuck the other two in my pocket where they were later discovered. It was a lovely treat.

Today I considered getting rid of my Nintendo Wii. I bought is about two years ago because I just had to have it. All it does is collect dust because I don't have anyone to play with. However, I think I will keep it around because is should get more use once I move in with a friend this May.

I recently finished A History of God by Karen Armstrong. I have read two other books by her and all of them have been enjoyable. It has been very useful as I am reengineering my faith. It gave me hope and a sense of peace. I have one more "weighty" book to read before I switch to some lighter fair. Through the Looking Glass is next in the queue.

Well, I really should not be spending time blogging right now. There are things that must be done this week before I head out for yet another trip. I feel like I am living out of a suitcase.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fresh Start

This year holds a lot of promise. I get the same feeling at the start of every new year. It's a blank slate. I don't know why this specific date on the calendar seems to offer more hope and opportunity for change than any other time of the year, but it does.

The old posts I mentioned I was going to publish have been scrapped. There is just no need. Most of them were not anything important anyhow. Really, none of what I write here is especially important. It is merely a place I share my thoughts, feelings, and frustrations. Thanks for tuning in.

This weekend I went to Chicago. I must say it was the best trip I have had in quite sometime. While the family vacation to Orlando was nice, it is quite a different feeling spending quality time with just you and a friend. We hit up all the main tourist spots (Millennium Park, Field Museum, The Magnificent Mile, Garrett's Popcorn, etc.) and even had a chance to see Wicked. It was absolutely delightful. I may even post some photos. No promises though.

This year really seems to hold a lot of potential. It's another year of big change, as I hope all the years of my life will be. Maintaining the status quo will never appear on my "to-do" list.

I hope your 2009 kicked off as well as mine.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year

It's fiscal year '09 at work, so I have a tendency to forget we are entering 2009 and not 2010. Random I know.

New Year's Resolution's are not something I typically do, and I don't have any intention of starting now. However, it does provide an opportunity to update my currently existing goals.

Here are the highlights:

Kill off my materialistic side (violent rhetoric I know)
Stop treating my feelings as an alien part of me
Read more
Observe the Sabbath
Find God
Be a man of action, not words
Volunteer
Get fit

I'm off to Chicago for the weekend.