Monday, December 19, 2016

Not Coming Out (Yet)

One of the ex's major gripes about me is my being in the closet. I clearly recall how he broke down in front of me when he said he wished I didn't have to be so ashamed of him. And vividly I recall how I broke inside to see him breaking because of me. A part of me wanted to rebutt it was his fault for taking me in despite this glaring shortcoming. I mean, he knew full well I wasn't out when we started talking and going out and he willingly accepted that it was okay. Was he thinking that I'd suddenly change my mind and throw open these closet doors I've kept shut for decades now for him? Because if so, that is slimy, dodgy at best. Yet I bit my tongue and allowed myself to chew on this bitter pill I was served.

I understand how terribly selfish I had been for the most part of the relationship especially in terms of my openness of it towards people we care about. It makes sense, of course, given he's out and I'm not. I got to know and meet his family, nay, his entire clan, he didn't mine. Except of course when I would tell him about them, which gives one nowhere near the satisfaction of actually getting to meet the other's family in person. His friends and classmates knew of me, only two of mine did. There's more to enumerate, obviously, but you get the idea about the one-sidedness of it all. I constantly convinced myself it was only fair. There was an unwritten rule that he accepted it and there was nothing to talk about. But then I would be reminded of the issue when we would go out and we had to consciously avoid places too crowded, too near the places my friends and acquaintances frequent for fear of being seen together, be content with nods and subtle smiles to acknowledge each other in public.

Despite the open communication we had when we were together, my coming out was never fully and seriously discussed. I guess he knew I was adamant about it and he had to make peace with that major flaw as I made peace with some of his. Which was dumb of us, to be honest. Of me, especially. I really did not give it much thought until after the breakup. This whole time I was thinking I could get away with living in the shadows as someone walks alongside me in the light; sometimes he'd get in, sometimes I'd get out but never totally. Perhaps we didn't have that open communication I prided ourselves to have had after all.

But I think I'm making progress. I had the emotional bandwidth and time to make sense of my apprehension earlier this year and this is what I got:

I am terrified of coming out because I'm a coward (I only speak for myself, so chill).  I am no people-pleaser but it'd be false to say I don't fear the judgment of people I barely know, much less people I do not like. I hate that I will probably be disowned by my family after so many years of me trying to fix my relationship with them. I don't want to be alienated, no one does. I like being in the closet because I'm selfish. Because I like the preferential treatment I get for being thought of as straight. Girls dote on me, guys are comfortable with me, people generally like me and I like belonging, despite my constant need to be alone. I enjoy being in the closet because it's cozy here. I've been here all my life and stepping out will be plenty inconvenient. Because we live in a messed up world where everyone needs something shown to gain other people's respect and acceptance. And I'm fucking lazy and apathetic and tired to help upend this absurd normalcy. Of course, I knew all of these all along, I just wanted them to remain intangible for the longest time so I wouldn't have to deal with them (Yep, that's depressing).

Nope, I'm not coming out. At least, not yet.

The plan is to get the family to be financially independent of me. Perhaps in two or three years time. Sure, I can do that now but I feel like it'd be nothing short of blackmail to come out to them yet they'd still have to rely on me. That'd be extremely uncomfortable for all parties involved. At least, in three years, say they kick me out and write me off the family tree, I could just live somewhere far and they would have no need to contact me.

Maybe I'm getting old. Maybe I'm getting a lot less stupid. Maybe because love happened to me. Whatever it is, I want what the ex wanted for me. To be free and to be proud of the love he had for me. To be free and to be proud of me. And if I am to love again, I want to love the way he loved me.

In the meantime, I offer my deepest apologies, my good LGBT comrades for hampering the call for equality. I know how hateful it is of me to be thinking of just myself and I've no acceptable excuse. I swear I'll catch up and make up for all the years of dilly-dallying.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Purposefully Yours

This ain't quarter-life crisis because I'm pretty sure I won't get past 60, much less get to 100. Nor is it mid-life crisis, because, well, this has been going on since I was 16. You could say I'm belaboring this confusion and I'm a whiny little bitch who should shut up. And you would be right. Like what I do with most things, I'm overthinking this. I know it, and I know I'm not doing myself any favor but truthfully, a part of me loves wild, stupefying incomprehension. Sure, I don't like it but damn, if I say I don't enjoy it.

Now, the problem with overthinking is one gets too involved in spaced-out, keep-everyone-out, private conversations with one's self. And when I say too involved, I mean, it pretty much takes all the time one has leaving very little to do anything else. Yeap, it's that simple and straightforward. Thinking a lot but not doing enough.

I can't say for certain why.

I did say a part of me loves the pain of overthinking. Of the options I have and the possibilities they bring. Maybe I like the Schrödinger's aspect of just thinking and leaving things as they are but doing squat about it. Because I could be anything I want until I act on it breaking this pitiful illusion-delusion I have. Perhaps because I like being stymied and getting stuck in this limbo, creating an appearance of insurmountable roadblocks that justify my inaction.

It could also be that I'm afraid of confirming I don't have it in me to do great. Like I've always believed myself to be capable of. I wanna blame the family and the environment I grew up in for having very low expectations from everyone that when I did decent with half-assed efforts, I was relegated to being that-guy-we-expect-more-from. Isn't that messed up? (Whoa, that is a good argument but that's a different conversation altogether.) Point is, they made me feel like I could do things, things that would make a real, tangible change. At one point, I wanted to be a lawyer, a forest ranger, a political scientist, a librarian, a community developer, an economist, a teacher. And I ended up being someone my 16-year old self would barely recognize. But I could only put the blame on someone else for too long.

Fuck if I don't say I'm not terrified of knowing there's not much else for me but to live life like this: wake up tired, get bored at work, go out with equally-bored people, buy stuff, wish for the year to be over as I cry myself to sleep, rinse and repeat. I want Santa to be real so bad to tell me "Yeap, you're bound to be just like that, a cynical jerk angry at himself and everyone else". That way, I don't have to burn through the supposed best years of my life with nothing to show for it.

My pining heart says I don't know what I want because I don't have you but hell, no. I don't have you because I don't know what I want and I don't want to drag you in this shitstorm. And shitstorms are bad. I remember saying to myself I'd die happy and content if I get to build a life with you. How romantic and sappy and awfully naive was that. And I'm tired of being a child.

Then there's my laziness. I swear it fucks me up more than anything else I said above.

---

Though if I'm being real honest, I'd say I've made some progress. I have a more concrete plan for the future. Y'know, adult vanilla stuff like get my own space in the city in two years instead of paying rent. Go back to school in the same year. Start traveling next year. Engage in community work. Get a house in the suburbs in another 5 years. Buy a small orchard and be a kickass farmer-husband. So it's not all bad.

I understand that life goals can be fluid - shifting as one goes along and experience what life has to offer, morphing as one's perspectives and character change. I guess I'm dissatisfied with the way my brain is wired. That I can't make peace with all these realizations I already recognize as truths. That I didn't get the chance to be purposeful as others were. I know it's wrong to measure yourself against others' progress because we all have different battles but my small brain is having a tough time letting go.

But at the end of it all, it is what it is and there's not much I can do about it. And if you can't do anything about it, don't overthink. Just make peace and move along. Take it from me, I wasted years and years and look where it got me.


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Monday, March 21, 2016

Moving On, Kind Of

After some initial success post-breakup with J, I've been reduced to a moping broken-hearted sucker for the past couple of weeks now. What's worse is I'm enjoying the comfort it gives me. It's fun to write about anguish and pain and heartache because people can relate and fuck if I don't admit liking the thought that I'm not alone in this miserable shithole I dug for myself.

I dunno. I was doing great for a while because I was busy. I listed the things I wanted and aimed to do. Learn a new language, work out, tick off MNL museums of my travel list, reconnect with friends, get better at my job. But lately, I'm losing motivation and focus. The only things I'm consistent with are learning Spanish (though I'm struggling learning it without regular practice) and getting better at my job (hey, I got promoted!). The rest just seems like work. The lazy guy in me just won't budge most days. And without things to preoccupy me, my mind wanders. A lot.

But it ends now. Much as I like to coop myself in my room, pine away like Echo holing herself in a cave after Narcissus' rejection and hoping to be the voice that answers back in the desert of all this emptiness, I can't. Well, I won't. There's not much point in grieving now. I had a good six months going seven down the drain doing just that. God knows I've wasted enough time agonizing and lamenting about this stinky, putrid corpse that is what I had with him. Heck, I decided to be done with it so why should I be mewling like a little bitch now?

I was told I should start going out so I can take my mind off of him. I'd gone out a couple of times. Talked to some guys who seem great. Some friends are even trying to set me up. But I'm just not romantically-inclined atm. And I don't want to get cozy with someone for a rebound fuck. My brain and penis just don't work that way.

This is another rant, really. I know what to do but I can't bring myself to do it. How in the world do I find that elusive drive? I know a lot of things and I'm well-equipped to anticipate ahead but I'm at a loss as to why I'm stuck again. I can only get stuck for so long though. So here's hoping I think of something soon enough before I start sinking.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

This Waiting Game

"How do you know when you're ready?", a date asked when I reiterated that I wasn't looking for anything serious after talking about where I could get a customized bookshelf without my wallet crying for help. By serious I mean anything intimate in nature including quick fixes. I've been asked this question too many times by friends, guys in dating sites I creep on and people I have gone out with. I have asked myself the same question more than all those times combined, you would think I'd have a half-decent answer to it by now.

I always give the same answer, "I've things to figured out". I guess I'm trying to say I'd be ready when I got those things sorted out. But really, how does one know he's finally ready to tie his fate with another's in the romantic sense? I know a lot of people winging it, people who admit to winging it. A lot seem to be successful, others misfire. I thought if other people can do it, why can't I? So I went in, took my chance, played things by ear, and look where it got me. I guess I'm not as lucky as I thought I was and I sure as hell don't want to make the same mistake again. An argument can be made that I can do this sorting out while dating however if experience taught me anything, it's that I won't make a good juggler so why waste another person's time and be another lesson he'd share with his friends?

I'd like to think there's no end-all be-all answer to this question of readiness. Or at least, I can't come up with one. I could say I will be when I'm emotionally-stable and more financially-secure but does anyone ever really reach that point? There is no 100% stable and secure, after all. I can be all mighty with fortitude today but I can be convulsing on a sidewalk in EDSA with a neurotic attack the next day. Plus, emotional stability is difficult to measure and determine. The same can be said with financial security. At best, I am in the lower middle class and should the Philippines take a heavy economic downturn, I'm sure to be crashing down with it. Be that as it may, I made a list of things I want to do/have/be because as the great Michael Scott said, lists make you feel like you are doing something. It's certainly not meant to be all-inclusive but I'm hoping it's a step in the right direction.

  1. Gain some weight starting at 30 lbs. Because I want to be able to carry the partner for at least 10 minutes without my knees buckling. Imagine the possibilities. 
  2. Get my own house and car in two-three years. Or least, enough money for the initial deposit. 
  3. Be more financially-savvy. Make sound investments where and when I can. 
  4. Go back to school - either continue pursuing the same degree offering I ran away from or, switch to Agriculture and be a dope farmer husband. Hopefully in a year or two. 
  5. Cultivate the existing relationships I have - friends, family, work, and if my aversion to human interaction permits, create new connections. 
  6. Engage in more volunteer work and charity drives. Sure, I do my part as a taxpayer but it's kinda tiring to wait for the government to do something for those who require immediate help. God knows what the government is swamped with these days. I do like the idea of teaching streetkids and I've been scouting for a group that would take me in. I'm yet to find a schedule though that would fit mine.
  7. Find new places to get lost in. I'm tired of getting lost in other people.
  8. Learn how to be less critical of myself. This I have no idea how to do. It's a sickness, I tell you. 
  9. Come out to the family. I'm hoping to do this once they're less dependent of me but I fret this never gonna happen. 
  10. Settle down by 35. Because deadlines are cool. 
I'm certain there'll be a lot of readjustments along the journey of realizing them. There'd be a lot of things to be added, too, as I start crossing out things on this list. Again, I don't think this is the answer when I get asked if I wanted to go out on romantic date again. All I know is I know I'm not ready now. But maybe once I get to the last item, I'll be ready to say I'm ready. 

Feels like a fucking New Year's Resolution list though. 
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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Of Losing and Finding

It has been half year since I got myself a half-wanted freedom. That sounded childish and bitter now, didn't it. But it is what is. I knew I wanted to get out of the relationship but I also foresaw what life without someone to romantically dote on and look after would be like - emptier than usual. Which is not bad since the less things one is preoccupied with, the more he can cram in his life to unempty it (nope, unempty is not a word).

And so unempty it I have been doing. With most fizzling before I could get to my third time such as going on solitary walks on weekends, visiting museums within the metro, working out and so on. This is mostly because I feel like just sleeping it off. I have some little successes here and there though. I think I'm getting better at Spanish (hurray for Latino porn!). I'm also getting more social that is I go out with friends I forgot going out with when I was still with J. I have been devouring a fuck ton of sitcoms, too; because I am not willing to commit to two-hour long flicks and the TV episodes make me feel like I'm not wasting as much time because they're chopped into 20-minutes runs. In moments of sudden clarity and motivation, I try to read at least a chapter or two of the books I've been trying to finish since the middle of last year (six books, at least). In my defense, they're all classics so they can get really tedious to plod on. Then there are TED videos and the courses I enrolled in Udemy.

I guess I'm still trying to find my groove back. It's a process I never had to go through before so I feel a little lost. Things used to fall into their rightful places quite easily and smoothly for me but somehow they won't anymore. I'm sure they eventually will but I still can't help losing sleep over it at times.

---

Then there's the issue of solitude. I'm pretty introverted bordering perturbingly-antisocial. And I don't mind being labeled and treated as one. I revel in my aloneness. But it can be lonesome when you find someone you can sincerely enjoy your solitude with and that someone is suddenly taken out of the picture. I know I asked for it and I totally deserve what I am feeling right now. To be perfectly frank, I've been actively looking around to find someone similar to J. Not in a romantic capacity, mind. And I lucked out in finding some people willing to put up with my neurotic tendencies. Thing is they often want to be more than what I'm currently in need of and can provide for. Which sucks donkey balls. They would offer to be friends, sure, but I feel like I'll be stringing them along and I really dislike the idea. I am no longer 24 after all to afford such silly games.

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I know how sucky I am as a person. I used to think that I wasn't that bad. Heck, I would proudly claim before that I was a good catch. I'm smarter than most people. I don't look half-bad. I have the height and the shoe size (And you know what they say about men with big shoes. They have big feet, dummy!). I'm hella funny and I'm good in bed. Kidding. I wanna say I'm not sure anymore but I am certain that I'm nowhere near the guy I swore I was. This is not self-deprecation by any means but an honest opinion of myself. I know I could be better. I am meant for better things if only I can rekindle the the fire in that torch I used to carry around.

The flame must have died from too much running. So slow down I should. Maybe find a matchstick, some friction, then perhaps, a spark.


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Friday, February 5, 2016

When FO Also Means Fuck Off

Meeting and unmeeting people online is easy when things are not as tangible as it were offline. God knows I’ve had my share of people I got real close with that some even showed their affection by sending me stuff or even inviting me to their wedding halfway across the globe. Neither am I a stranger when it comes to flirting just because I can; knowing all too well that I will prolly break someone’s heart. Well, I know now because I have and it can be such an awful, awful feeling post-facto. It’s pretty much the same for me in real life. At my age, I learned that people don’t stay just because you want them to. They stay because they choose to and that is a decision they make every single day. I know I don’t  and won’t even if you cry and beg and steal and cheat for it. I outgrew people as often as they did me, possibly more. And that’s the natural cycle of social connections so we’ve not much choice but to accept lest we be clingy, psycho fucks.

I’m not trying to tell a sob story about me getting cozy with someone who strung me along and left me broken-hearted. A month ago, a good friend at work suddenly went MIA. We used to work together in another department, he got promoted and so did I but we remained friends - we would go to the cafeteria together with former teammates, burn two hours or so watching old seasons of Law & Order and Family Guy (at work, lol), eat out and all those good stuff. We were friends for three years and some months. We did everything to try to check on him: multiple text, instant messages and phone calls on different days. All left unanswered. Another friend tried to invite him to play DOTA when he saw him online in Steam but to no avail. I even dared messaging his girlfriend to ask what was going on, and I think he gave her a bullshit reason which she then told me. She asked me to let her know once the friend gets in touch. But nada to this day. We had the idea to hunt him down and drop by his place but we figured he doesn’t want us to be in his life anymore. I, for one, am not the type to force myself where I am not wanted.

But boy, does it feel sucky. I think it hits me hard because I’m usually the one leaving and I get to have control over the separation. Or maybe, I dislike losing someone more than I’d like to admit.

I guess it’s a sob story after all, no? Give me back my three years, dammit!

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