Saturday, August 8, 2015

Riggle Me This, Why I Don't Think It'll happen again

Lately, I've been bored. Bored with dating, bored with the studying I've been doing, bored of the gym, bored of work, and bored of trying to push myself into feeling something, anything at all. For the last few weeks, I've woken up every day and laid in bed longer than I wanted because there wasn't anything driving me to get out of bed. I'm on a path at the moment where I"m finding my own purpose and I few finding your purpose a lot like losing weight; sometimes you plateau but eventually you get back on course. So, I know that eventually I'll find my motivation again. It will come back to me, I know it will. So, I know that I'll, at the very least, figure out what it is I want to be doing with my life and the motivation will come back for work and the gym, and I'll know that I'm doing what I love. But when it comes to love, I'm not sure if I will actually try it again. I go back and forth about it a lot, but lately, it just seems too difficult to make a connection with anyone. I've found myself "in like" with someone, but I don't know if I have any interest in turning it into something more. Like anything else, it could, but it could also fail.

My first relationship that I consider to be part of my adult life ended very horribly. Luckily, that man is one of my dearest friends now. He knows me better than most people as he's been a solid part of my life for the last 15 years. We were young, naive, and thought we knew better than everyone else. We found ourselves in a situation of not being able to communicate properly and we were significantly unhappy. He was traveling into Manhattan every week to visit me from Long Island, where he lived after college with his family. The rough streets of NYC were taking their toll on me, as was the stress of him living with his family and things just began to unravel. We began to fight quite a bit, and never really enjoyed being with each other. I began to withdraw from him, and he from me. But I was twenty-three and how could love not be enough? So I did the most logical thing and I bought a ring. I know, so cliche right? "A ring? Are you fucking kidding me?" That's probably what everyone is thinking right now reading this. But for real, I bought a ring.

I didn't plan a big proposal because I wanted it to come from something spontaneous. My ex was a pretty crazy and pedantic person, so I thought the most fitting proposal would be one that seemed to come from nowhere. It was the perfect plan. We had been planned to spend some time out on Long Island and then come to the city to have a good time, which we did. The whole day, I kept the ring in my pocket and just knew in my heart that the right moment would just present itself. Fortunately, it never did. We made it back to my apartment that night and I felt the ring in my pocket and thought to myself, "well, there's always tomorrow." And just as I thought this, he looked at me and said, "I think we're done."

I was stunned. "What do you mean?" I questioned him hard. Done as in, for the day, or us in general? It was us in general.

He went on to tell me that he'd been unhappy for a long time, and somehow we'd lost our ability to talk to one another. He reassured me how pretty I was and that I'd have no trouble finding a replacement boyfriend. But a replacement wasn't what I wanted. Mostly, I just wanted my money back for the ring. Which lead me to know in my heart that it wasn't right. We hugged and I sent him on his way. The next day I called the company I bought the ring from and they accepted the return. So, I lucked out. But my life felt a little bit empty and my heart hurt felt a little hallow.

It took a few years after that relationship for me to feel comfortable being with someone again. Eventually, it happened, because I knew that it would. We were perfect on paper. Yet, I struggled to commit. Would this end as badly as the last one? Would this be better? Do I even want this? The answer ended up being yes to all three questions I asked myself. I knew I was in trouble when I met this kind man. He disrupted my plan to spend the rest of my twenties single. His smile and warmth were disarming. And his ability to just roll with my fear of commitment was surprising. So I gave in and committed.

Six years, three apartments, and one dog later, I found myself in familiar territory; living in silence. Of course we were best friends, but we'd lost that thing that made us special. I know all of this in hindsight. Going through it, I thought we'd just hit a rough patch along the way, as couples tend to do. For me, I thought we just needed a little time to set ourselves back on track. But he just wanted out. Shortly before the end, we had discussed our lease renewal in NYC and we signed on for one more year, and decided that one year later, we would make the big move the west coast. So of course I thought, "Great, we're on the same page, we're planning this big life decision together, and we can do this." I was convinced that it was all going to just work out. I knew it in my heart that it would. Which made me happier to know that the week before I had ordered a David Yurman ring because I was planning a proposal to him that summer. IT was to be on the day we decided to be committed to one another six years prior. And yes, I was going to do a flashmob, but he was going to be in it. He had once told me he'd always wanted to be in one. So I thought, "how fun, he can be in it, and I'll just show up to 'watch' and then it will turn into this beautiful proposal." It was also going to be on the brooklyn bridge, because we went on this fun adventure date shortly after we started dating and we walked the bridge and got lost and had a wonderful day.

But the proposal never happened. The day after the ring arrived, I'd had it sent to work so he wouldn't know about it, we got home from a friends birthday celebration and everything just fell apart. I asked him if we were ok and everything came spilling out. MY biggest fear became my biggest reality. I had been so certain that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. So much more certain than I'd been ten years ago that I could not believe this was happening at this moment. How had I gotten it so wrong? Indeed I had.

Shortly after, I moved out of our home, and left behind a life that I was so committed to. I packed up my things and moved not once, but three times after that to find a home for myself. But I finally settled into a place that I feel like myself again.

So the rings. The first man I mentioned I believe knows about the ring. I think I told most people that I pawned it off. But I took my returned money and bought myself a keyboard. I'd been wanting one for so long, I was finally able to just buy it. The more recent man knows nothing about the ring I bought for him or knew of my plans for proposing, and probably won't ever know, unless he reads this. But his ring I kept for awhile. I didn't know if we'd get back together or not, so I didn't want to just get rid of it. I debated several things to do with it. I thought of pawning it off, but it just didn't feel right. I also thought of throwing it away, but that didn't feel right either. Then, I remember something I did a long time ago.

After he and I had gone on this adventure date, I went back to the bridge and put up a love lock. For those of you who don't know, there's a spot on the Brooklyn Bridge where people put engraved locks proclaiming their love for someone. So, on what would have been our seventh anniversary, I went back to the lock, unlocked it, attached the ring, and locked it back on the bridge. I took the key in my hand for a moment, and then threw it into the river. I figured that I didn't need it anymore, and I certainly didn't need the ring anymore. Yes, I could have made some money off of it, but I just didn't want to have money because of something so sad to me.

I walked back to manhattan a seemingly whole person again. My therapist had been the only person I'd told about the ring and he had told me that when I was ready to let go of the ring, I'd be able to let go of the future I would never have. I could finally take the steps towards having the life that began from this moment, as opposed to the life I was living and holding onto my mistakes. I felt like my old self even more. Even now, three months later, I feel complete in my decision and slowly feel the old sense of myself returning.

And in that moment of clarity, I realized that I was done. When people talk about love to me, I feel nothing. I don't feel disgusted, or inspired, or romantic. I express my fondness for their cuteness, but in general I just don't fell anything now. I"m just numb to it all. I find it completely uninteresting. And I don't foresee it happening in my future. Which, don't mistake for being jaded and unhappy, because I'm quite content with my life. I have a lot of love to give and I do give it away freely to my friends and my family. But when it comes to romantic love, I just don't think it's quite right for me. And that's ok.

If someone comes along and changes my mind, great. But if not, that's fine too. I will be just fine on my own. So riggle me that.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Riggle Me This,Why I'm a big fucking weirdo.

Recently, a dear friend of mine said something to me, I forget his exact words, but the gist was that I didn't date men who were the physical caliber of what I could obtain. I thought on this for a moment, and in jest I said, "It's because I like men with personalities." I made the light hearted "pretty people are dumb" joke and everyone laughed, but in reality, I think it comes down to so much more than that. It's not just 'the hot guys.' And it's not just me. But, it's somehow a combination of the two things that repel one another.

The way I see the world, particularly the gay one, is that there is an abundance of hot men who like to call themselves "masc," short for masculine. Which is all fine and good, but it seemingly dictates the way they behave in public. These men have beyond perfect bodies, hair, clothes, and obviously good looks at their disposal. They also can act like any number of meatheads from the jersey shore to anyone you see leading the cast of an action film. Their voices are "manly," and they'd NEVER EVER let you see them at a moment of imperfection. Their personalities can be a little stale and the topics of conversation range from, the gym, last nights party, today's workout, the recreational drugs they took at whatever circuit party happened last week, what trainer is inspiring them, cross fit, etc. I'm not saying that it's bad, or I'm judging these people, I'm just saying I find it rather boring. Conversations have parameters and some subjects are considered "we don't speak of that." Yet, these are mostly the men that our gay community has labeled god like or the perfect man/men.

I am masculine to a point. I don't think even the straightest men are masculine one hundred percent of the time, so why should I be? Minus the hair, I think I embody most of those qualities. I can throw down about the gym just like the rest of 'em. However, I have a flip side to my spectrum and that is I am also somewhat of a homebody, I enjoy films and theatre and yes, I will queen out to a 90's britney song better than most. But what sets me apart a step further from them is that I'm kinda weird. I'm a huge lover of human behavior, and the more secretive the better. Go figure I ended up in a career that is all about human behavior. I can go and talk to just about anyone, especially when I am certain I have nothing to lose. But beyond a "sup?" and a quick introduction to their friends, most of these guys don't know how to carry a conversation on their own. So I will quickly challenge that and be slightly obnoxious or silly just to see if I can make them smile or laugh or anything at all. I guess the weird part comes in because I'll probe about people and try to get as much personal information out of them as possible. Nothing like routing numbers and social security shit, but just things like, "are you a top?" and "oh that's cool, you do coke, can I watch you?" Granted sometimes, the conversation flows easily and I find myself a kindred spirit of sorts, but that is a rare occasion. Usually it just ends with me saying, "well it was nice to meet you, I'm going to go find my friends." I know that I can be a hard sell. Because as most of my friends know, I will say dumb shit, put my foot in my mouth, have a strong opinion, be excessively negative sometimes, be excessively positive, catch myself in an embarrassing moment, or just make a total fool of myself, and all of it by accident. So I've learned to embrace those things about my personality. And I think it makes these men I speak of weirded out because I don't follow what is socially expected of me. If I did, I'd have been out last night (saturday) at some random party having just taken molly or G or whatever drug is popular instead of being in my apartment alone at midnight painting my bedroom. I'd then have a quick nap and head on over to whatever cute afternoon Sunday party is happening at a bar. And maybe somewhere in there I'd find time to hook up with someone. But instead I spent my Sunday lying in Central Park reading an anatomy book, then walked 45 blocks home by myself because it was a nice day.

Sometimes, I wish I could be that other person, I imagine it to be a lot of fun, but mostly, I just find it boring. And it's not to say that I don't date attractive people, it's just that they might only be attractive to me, because they offer something most people don't. And I'm sure some of you are reading this thinking, "oh woe is Steve, he has pretty people problems." But, it doesn't stop with this. The thing is that I do find myself attractive, and I'll touch on that more in a minute, but I know I'm a big fucking weirdo. I have had most of my friends throughout my life look at me after I've said something ridiculous and say, "you are the strangest person I know." When I was a kid it bothered me, and as an adult I'm learning to embrace it. Except for today.

For the last 8 years I've had an acquaintance named "Bill." Yeah, we can just call him that. Bill is incredibly handsome, has a ridiculously in shape body, talented, and a seemingly nice guy. And I now have to say seemingly because over the last year of knowing him, I now realize that if you can't offer something to him, he will be polite and cordial, but that's as far as the friendship goes. So luckily for me, I now can offer him nothing to boost his social or economical standings, I offer nothing by way of career boosting for him, so I guess there's just no longer a reason to even worry about it, but for some reason I'm upset.

This is what happened. We ran into one another, and as per usual, we exchanged pleasantries, but come to find out his world is crumbling. Troubles with men, and career and various other things. To which I made a joke and said, "well you're not dead, so it's not the worst thing to ever happen." This was something I told myself last year after my break up of a 6 year relationship where I left my home and my dog behind, followed up with the death of my grandmother. It was something that got me through the darkest time in my life and helped me to make the joke. He deemed this not funny and stood looking at me like I had just bent over and taken a crap in front of him. Seeing his puzzled look I referenced another time several years ago I had made a joke similarly to the one I had just made. His response was, "I can't believe you're actually still talking. You are so fucking weird." He made a look of disgust, flung his hand my direction and walked away. And there it was. Suddenly, I was that kid getting called weird again and was confused and hurt. And I still can't figure out why I felt that way.

Regardless, I was just schooled by the nicest mean girl I've ever known without knowing it. In that moment, I realized that this person was never a friend. Yes I referenced him as an acquaintance before but at one point in history I thought we were friends. Maybe that's why it affected me so much. I thought this man to be kind and in the last year of my life, I've learned that he is just a self serving man who will seize any opportunity to have his world look shiny and pretty and perfect. And that's somewhat how I view all of those other men I mentioned before. I don't want that. Nothing is like that. No one's life is perfect and if people would just stop pretending that it is, we'd all be happier. Further more, my joke about death is funny. Maybe I'm weird, but death is sad, yes, we can all agree on that. But it doesn't have to be. My God, am I so strange that I look at death as simply another part of life and it doesn't have to be this awful horrible thing? I mean, I spent most of my grandmother's funeral last year laughing with my family and reminiscing about how awesome my grandmother was. Do I miss her, FUCK YES! But bitch was funny, and kind and she loved me more than I could ever love her, so you know what? I get to laugh. So I guess that makes me weird.

And to go back to the comment on my looks. Amy Shumer just gave an incredible speech about being attractive. If you can, youtube it. I'm not gonna post it, you're an adult, you figure it out. But, I believe I am attractive for more reasons that just the exterior I was given. Because I say so. I don't subscribe to this whole instagram thing of hash tagging certain guys and calling them studs. I don't need a hundred likes on my pictures or my posts to feel validated. Hell, I bet only a handful of people read this blog. But, the thing is, I don't actually care. I do these things for myself. So it doesn't matter if I end up on the cover of Next Magazine, or some other person wants to take my picture, or blah blah, I modeled for this person and that person. In reality, it's sad when those actions are done to make sure you feel substantial. I embrace the weirdness in me, maybe not fully yet, but I have spent a lot of time these last few years doing so. SO while I applaud your efforts to be the most gorgeous and sought after, maybe you need to fix those imperfection in your heart instead of putting them on other people. So know that if a random photographer does want to work with me, I'm sharing them as you are my friends, and it's somehow related to my business of being an actor and having anything of me featuring me in print or otherwise. It's not because I'm just looking for a quick moment of adulation from my adoring fans.

So, whoever wants to be a weirdo with me, bring it. Because we're WAAAAAAAYY more fun.