Model

I’m realizing that I put too much emphasis on the integrity of others while devaluing my own. It became abundantly clear to me recently after being incredibly disappointed by someone I looked up to. It had nothing to do with me and the person could probably care less about my aspirations. He didn’t ask to be my role model so shame on me for putting too much emphasis on it. To be clear, by role model I’m referring to an every day person, not some celebrity or personality.

I grew up with no role models and while I’ve always found people to admire, I’ve never really found anyone I’d considering modeling my behavior after. I guess after finding someone I would model my life after and subsequently being disappointed by said person’s personal agenda, it was a huge let down. Now I think I might understand how a kid might feel when his hero turns out to be a fraud. And maybe on some level I still see it that way. I never had heroes growing up so I’m just now getting a taste of that disappointment. On the surface that must sound profoundly sad. Maybe it’s why I was so upset over it.

Anyway, I digress. Afterwards, I realized I don’t value my own system of morals enough. I think partly because not catering to the whole puritanical restrictions on sex and oh yeah, being gay too. lol Seriously though, I grew up feeling like my brand of integrity and morals weren’t good enough for others because they deviated from the norms. They worked for me, didn’t hurt others and gave me goals to strive for. For a long time that was enough for me. But not anymore.

I’ve struggled most of my adult life to be a better man. And depending on who you ask, I’ve done a pretty good job of getting there. Or at least I think so. And I need to aspire less to be like others and more like the man I am. I am not perfect by no means. And lawd knows I’m an incredibly flawed human being. But I try and that is the point. I’m guilty of having selfish wants/desires. I’m guilty of indulgences on said desires/wants. But I’m also able to distinguish between what is my own agenda/desires and what is right. I admit to myself when something I’m doing is not necessarily in line with my goals. I accept it and work to over come it. Frankly, that objectivity has been a defining feature in my blog for the last 9 or so years. It took me awhile to see it. Having it pointed out to me repeatedly by others over the years has certainly helped me see it more clearly.

As I move beyond my disappointment, I find I no longer have a desire to find new role models. Besides being 42 years old and well into adulthood, I am content with my brand of integrity and morals. And as I move forward, I will aspire to be more the man I want to be and live by example. I no longer need a role model. I am the model and that is just fine with me.

Better

Today is the anniversary of my almost suicide over 20 years ago. Well it’s actually the day I chose to remember it. I never remembered the actual day but it was late April/early May. When I started looking back on it I decided to make May 1st the day to remember. Anyway, I’m glad I didn’t take the final step. Even though life wasn’t perfectly rosy afterwards, there was so much I would have missed out on. It really did get better for me.

To say it was a dark time in my life would be an understatement. I’m always grateful and humbled by the memory. I always seem to get a bit moody around the time of year w/o evening realizing it. I don’t know if it’s some sort of internal trauma clock going off or just my brain’s funny way of dealing with it. Regardless, I had a bit of a rough day today. Nothing bad, I just was overcome with the memories. The pain has dulled over time but the reasons behind it are still fresh in my mind. I always try to forget the pain. I don’t want to remember the anguish that poisoned my soul. No one should ever have to go thru that. Instead I focus on the singular moment when it all changed. When I was overcome with the pure indescribable joy that flooded my soul. I’ve always said, I touched the divine that day. Not the made-up hypocritical faux God taught in le Bible but the real thing. I didn’t find it by looking out but within. I found it deep within me. It was there all that time just waiting for me to touch it. And when I did make contact for only the briefest of moments, it was truly indescribable. There are no words for the lightning bolt of joy that was given to me in that singular moment. It washed away the sorrow, the pain, and the hopelessness. Don’t misunderstand, it didn’t ‘fix’ me. But it washed away the poison that threatened to kill me. To this day the joy is still with me. I wake up every day to that little spark that still resides in my soul. It gives me purpose and reason to continue. It drives me to push past the pain and disappointments of life. It teaches me the struggle to be better is the point.

Some might consider it odd to mark the anniversary of such a traumatic event but I don’t. It reminds me of not only where I came from but how far I’ve come. My life then and now are polar opposites in many many ways. I am not that naive abandoned little boy anymore. I grew into a man that I am proud to be. And while there is always room for improvement, the marker serves to give me renewed hope every year of my life.

Perceive

It’s funny how some things strike a chord with people. My recent “strange” post seemed to resonate with more than a few of my readers. My friend B from Houston reached out to me to tell me how much he admired how honest I was. I was really taken with his email and warm emotion. I knew B back when I was living out of my car, working three jobs, including the tubs on weekends. He was always kind to me when I was working the tubs. He never looked down at me, belittled my work, or treated me in any way poorly. Don’t get me wrong, I knew my job wasn’t glamorous. And while I certainly didn’t brag, I never hid the fact. It was an honest living and it helped me get back on my feet. I have no problem admitting, then or now, that I worked in a bath house. Anyway, B and I stayed in contact over the years. Being a lover of bullies himself, he reached out to me when Spike passed. It meant so much to me that he did that.  His kudos to me in his email was a wonderful affirmation and I greatly appreciated it.

My buddy B1 from Colorado then reached out to me not even 24 hours later laughing about times we spent hanging out at “Cheesy-man” park on weekends. I used to drive down from Boulder and go rollerblading in the park. B was always cruising for a boy. He was also a very nice guy. He handled my polite rejection and built on it. We ended up being friends. He was also really touched by my post and reached out to me. His take was a tad different in that he loved that I’m always so direct. He loved to hear that I was still the same old ‘me’ all these years later.

When I wrote that post it was a total whim about a random yet humorous experience in my day to day life. I didn’t see it as anything significantly meaningful. But looking back on it I can see where some of the deeper meanings apply. I guess it’s a good sign that effective habits I struggled to have as a young man have taken root and become engrained. In my rambling I missed the significance of not letting someone else’s jaded behavior effect my own.

I confided in both B’s that I was tickled at how they perceived my post. They both found it very moving in their own way and I was just sharing my humor in it. As I told them both, I no longer question the idea of whether to post an idea here. Some things that I think will be revealing or insightful barely make a blip. Then something random like this really speaks to my readers. At the end of the day I just blog. If it strikes my fancy in it goes! The reasoning behind that is simple. I share because I can and because I never had anyone to share my struggles with as a kid. There were no blogs, no support groups, no internet, nada. Just knowing I wasn’t alone in my struggles would have made the pain so much more bearable for me back then. So yes, I do share in the hopes that my life stories will inspire, assure, or all around help others realize they are not alone.

As I am very fond of saying, hope springs eternal…




  1. Same letter, different person []

Said v2.0

Yes, it really says 8:00am for the time this posted. What is the world coming to? lol

I’m always touched how people come to my defense. Even complete strangers (except thru my blog) send me words of encouragement and support. Truly, it reaffirms my belief in humanity anytime it happens.

Many of you were curious to know what was by whom, etc. I guess I didn’t really clarify but that was never the reasoning behind it. I’m not currently inclined to name names as it invites more drama than is needed. He is local and we have a lot of mutual friends in common. What was said is done and over with.

The point was my approach and my realization that  it didn’t hurt. I didn’t deflect, it just didn’t hurt. It was a wonderful realization that I am the man I sought to become all those years ago when this blog started. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not finished nor am I done attempting to better myself. It was just a very simple yet powerful realization.

And again, thank you all for the comments, emails, text messages, even phone calls. It meant a lot to me.

Smile

Survived

I survived my first week on the new schedule. Well, sort of. I’m completely run down today. I’d planned to schedule a bunch of stuff to do but I just don’t have it in me right now. So today is gonna be a lot of down time and sitting in front of the tv watching movies and catching up on tivo.

The biggest struggle has just been my schedule. I fought all week long to get up in a timely fashion and be on time. This week was super important as the developer/training team from the company was there teaching us how to change, set, and read system metrics for the software. The next few weeks are just the local team doing work and review. And to give you an idea of the scope, this effects not only the dispatchers but all of the police, fire, and parking/traffic employees who use the system. That is thousands of people and thousands of vehicles and equipment. Anyway, I’m getting off topic, I’m hoping next week I’ll be a little better with the schedule. I’m hopeful as today, the one day I wanted and could sleep in, I promptly woke up at a little after 8am and couldn’t go back to sleep. There is hope I guess that I am and will adjust.

Some things have had to give to make it possible though. I’ve barely even touched Facebook, twitter, or Google+ this week. lol To be honest, I don’t even miss it. I popped in a couple times in moments of down time but otherwise, the interwebs have had to go on w/o me this past week. Even emails and text messages suffered. I get up, go to work, come home an spend quality time with Cooper, gym, a little down time, bed, and repeat.

I can say I made it to the gym every day I was supposed to this week! Granted my intensity suffered a bit but I went and worked out. And it could be a part of why I’m so drained today but I need to keep on a schedule otherwise I’ll end up blowing it off too often. And we can’t have that now can we!? And having not blown off the week schedule, I can move today’s normal workout to tomorrow w/o skipping anything.

As to the project itself, now that I have an idea of the project workload I can tell ya I have my work cut out for me. There is a lot of data entry that will need to happen on top of all the system changes that have to be uncovered, vetted, and possibly enacted into policy for our dept(s). Beforehand, I was thinking there was no way this would take 5 months. Now I’m not sure if that is a long enough. lol Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited and enjoy the work. This will effect us for at least a decade an having a chance to mold our software in advance to fit our needs is awesome. On top of that, I just like having my fingers in the pie, so to speak. And of course, my inner geek is thrilled to learn about the inner workings of not only the software but all the pieces of hardware and other systems that integrate and/or connect to our system. I find it completely fascinating. So far, no complaints on the project itself.

Anyway, don’t be sad/mad if my blog posts become sparse for awhile. Lord knows I always have something to rant about. But until I adapt better to the schedule, I have to prioritize real life over cyber life.

Wish me luck.

Rebound

Apparently, the wounds from the breakup haven’t completely healed yet. Le me ‘es’plain’.

I’ve put myself back out there in regards to dating. While I’m not actively hunting someone to date, I’ve made myself available to opportunities when they present themselves. If you’ve been reading, you know my last two dating attempts were colossal failures! lol Which by itself is not a deterrent. It just makes you appreciate the right one more when it comes along. Anyway, one such opportunity is the topic of my rant today. And the catch? This time the other guy is not the one that has done something wrong.

I met this nice guy on Scruff recently. We’ve gone on a few dates and I even invited him to stay over one night.1 So as we’ve taken time to start getting to know each other, familiar feelings of angst crept up on me. I didn’t catch it at first but once or twice I caught myself falling into old trains of thought.

The sleep over was nice. We cuddled and had a nice time. It wasn’t until afterwards that it suddenly hit me what I’ve been doing. The angst were feelings of loneliness and I was acting out based on insecurities. The moment I recognized it, everything fell into place. And I say it that way because I already knew going into it there were some challenges. I choose not to elaborate at this point out of the fact I still have to resolve this with him. In an nutshell, I’m rebounding in a sense. He is the first guy I’ve dated where I’ve been the one pushing for things to happen. Unfortunately, I’ve been pushing for the wrong reasons. And I know some of your are wondering if I’m misreading real attraction for insecurities. The answer is I don’t think so. Having recognized my own actions and examined the why behind them, it is obvious to me. And the moment I accepted it, the angst went away.

Now I’m faced with a choice on how to proceed. I like him enough I’d definitely like to keep him as a friend. So do I end the romance and just focus on friends? End the potential friendship and focus on the sex? Or end it completely and walk away? I’m inclined to do option one. And while I think he’ll be disappointed, I also think on some level he probably sees it as well. Regardless, I’m grateful I caught myself before I pushed it too far and one or both of us ended up getting hurt.

So yeah, I’m still learning. Hope springs eternal… 




  1. Which is kind of a big deal as I never have ‘sleep overs.’ And if I do, clearly you are more to me than just a booty call. []

Reject

After my last rant, I remembered an email a reader had sent me previously about rejection. He basically asked how I handled rejection.

Learning to handle rejection can be a hard lesson in life. I struggled with it a lot as a young man. Not to say I’m immune to it now, because I’m not. Rejection is part of life. There are still times when it stings. You cannot get thru this world w/o facing rejection in some form or fashion. It is how you handle the rejection that defines your character and growth as a man (or woman).

The hardest and often longest struggle is overcoming your own insecurities. This is often a lifetime goal that will probably never go away. It may get better but it’s always there. We all have insecurities. Yes, read it again. We all have insecurities. And we are often hardest on ourselves. I can’t give you any specific answer here. You first have to be objective enough to recognize said insecurities first. Then, and only then can you begin to work on them. But to realize everyone has them goes a long way to help you feel less alone about it.

What you should avoid is going down a path of ‘what’s wrong with me?‘ should you be rejected. Rejection doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you, it just means there isn’t a match. No one is everyone’s type and vice-versa. In regards to sex or romantic interest, attraction is a two-way street and if it isn’t both ways then rejection is bound to happen. Of course, it stings, especially when it is someone you are really attracted to. But that in no way diminishes who and what you are. I can speak from experience. I used to internalize it something awful. I’d get down on myself assuming I wasn’t handsome enough, hung enough, buff enough, masculine enough, the list goes on and on. The reality often had nothing with what I was projecting.

Case and point, I used to have the hots for this tall older buff guy when I was living in Colorado. In my eyes, he had it all. He was handsome, hung, articulate, and buff. I’d follow him around like a puppy when I saw him at certain “haunts.” He was never rude or mean to me but he made it plain that he wasn’t interested. I was so dejected. To say I beat myself up over it would be an understatement. At it’s worst, my mood would get so bad when I ran into him I’d often leave.

Be it pity or just kindness, he sort of reached out and befriended me. After we became friends I quickly discovered he had a penchant for young, smooth, pretty blond boys. I mean this was pretty much his only attraction range. There was nothing wrong with me, I was simply not his type. As time progressed, I discovered the same insecurities in him that I had. If he got rejected by a point of interest, he would go into a funk no less severe than my own. It was quite an eye-opening experience and was one of the first times I started looking beyond my insecurities to the bigger picture. He also let me know that he did in fact befriend me because I never pushed it too far. He knew I liked him but because I never tried to force myself on him, he appreciated it.

While not every situation will be this cut and dry, that isn’t the point. The point is that you can’t be everyone’s type. And just because someone declines interest doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you.1 And just because you see someone as being ‘the it’, that doesn’t mean they don’t struggle with the very same issues.




  1. And frankly any person who would try to indicate it is your fault, isn’t someone you wanna know anyway. []

Big

A reader asked why I talk so much about being physically vs mentally fit. Good question. I’d dare say if you were a more regular reader *hint hint*, you’d know that I have used this blog over the last 8 or so years to try and work on my mental/emotional growth. From my perspective, it’s just the opposite. Lawd only knows I have my demons and have worked hard to exorcise them as best I can. Not an easy task but possible. I’m proud to say some I’ve killed off, others I’ve just beat into submission. And yes, even a few I still battle with. That is the nature of life.

I do spend time on a variety of subjects including religion,1 physiology, and psychology. I’ve always had a very metaphysical slant in my beliefs. One such book that was truly a revelation was Eastern Body, Western Mind.2 On the surface, it deals with Chakra development, but as you delve into the book it is clear the author has a strong knowledge of psychology. The combined outlook was a pivotal and truly life-changing read for me. It helped me identify and focus on healing fundamental parts of my psyche that were damaged and scarred from childhood. Seriously, I can’t even begin to tell you how much this book helped me.

Even if you don’t believe in chakras, I still highly recommend it.3 To this day, I can’t read the book w/o getting goose-bumps at some point. It was that profound for me.

As for the physical, having been very scrawny as a kid, I have struggled all my life to improve my size. Vanity certainly plays a role but I’ve mentioned here plenty of times the benefits of being physically fit. So yes, I do harp on my progress (or lack) in the gym from time to time. But, it is not the only focus in my life or even the most important. I wish more guys spent half as much time working on their inner demons as they did their pec muscles.

To this day, I still internally perk up when someone refers to me as big. While I was shoe shopping the other day, the sales clerk at Foot Locker referred to me as “a big guy such as yourself.” It was obvious he wasn’t trying to flatter me because he looked slightly embarrassed after he said it. I giggled inside because I still don’t exactly see myself that way. While my dysmorphia is not as pronounced as before, it still lurks in my id. I guess it is something you never truly get over. I don’t see myself as the scrawny kid I used to be but I also don’t think I see myself as I truly am.

As I always say, the important and often overlooked distinction is to find balance. Too much of anything can be bad for you. I don’t live for working out but I do spend the necessary time it takes to care for my body as well as my mind. I’m currently trying to see how lean I can get. It’s a slow process because I love to eat. lol




  1. Not so much anymore. It’s become a farce of greed and control IMO. []
  2. Available in hardback, paperback, or ebook! lol []
  3. The simplest way I can think of to describe a chakra is as a point of focus. If you think it’s all mumbo-jumbo, use my definition as a frame of reference. []

Secrets

I’m always amazed at some of the questions I get. Not because of content but the point of view. It gives me perspective outside of my own, which is always beneficial. It also helps me to learn about myself. Something I’ve always strived to do writing this here blog thingy. One such reader was perplexed by my Flip rant because I called it a secret. I guess maybe I should clarify. It wasn’t so much a secret as something I wasn’t overly proud of. ‘Lemme es’plain…’ lol

When I was younger, I was train wreck emotionally. I was very co-dependent, insecure blah, blah, blah…you get the point.1  One of my biggest regrets was in my ongoing battle with said issues, I hurt more than one person. The fact that it was never intentional is irrelevant. I had a horrible habit of pursuing someone romantically w/o ever really deciding if the person was right for me. After the newness wore off and the drama set in, I would usually just break up with the person and move on. Saying it now sounds very callous and uncaring but I assure you that was never my intention.

My coping mechanism, meant to protect me, ended up doing to others what I was desperately afraid would be done to me. I ranted on it a lot on the old blog after Drew and I split way back when. I think I mentioned back then one particular guy I dated while still in Houston was a wake up call for me. I hurt him pretty badly. I always felt my breakup with Drew was my karma for him. I did get a chance to apologize to the guy years later and he was receptive to my apology.

So yeah, I felt a little ashamed to admit it out loud because I had recognized my top/bottom complex tied into my previous behavior of inadvertently misleading guys. I’m not ashamed as much as just disappointed in myself. The good news here is I have embraced who I am and more of what makes me really happy, physically and emotionally.

So there you go dear reader. Hopefully that explains it now.

🙂

 




  1. A very few of you have been with me since then and probably remember my rants on the subject []

Anniversary

It was a year ago that Apple guy and I had to put Spike down. I still miss him immensely and not a day goes by that I don’t think of him in some way. To this day, there is a hole in my life where he used to be. No matter how much I love little Cooper, I still miss Spike. Here is just a quick shot of the hundreds I have of him. He was only in my life for just under 2 years but he brought me so much joy. I still remember the first day I met him. . .

Due to timing and cost, Spike arrived in SF before Apple guy. We had decided it best to ship him cross country instead of by air to avoid not only the extra cost but also the potential health risks. As soon as the guy opened the back of the trailer and pulled his cage out, he bounded right toward me as if he knew me. He ran up to me and promptly rolled over and presented his belly to be rubbed. I of course complied and knew I’d have no reservations about him coming to live with me. I took his blankie1 and collar and introduced him to his new home. After lots of affection and attention later, he investigated his surroundings for a bit and then decided it was nap time. This new place was his home for the rest of his life.

As time passed, he became such a huge influence in my life and brought me happiness I’d never experienced with an animal before. I never once regretted his presence or the attention he needed even after Apple guy and I split up. His death was a great loss and is still very painful for me. Having raised him from a pup, I’m sure Apple guy’s sense of loss is that much greater.

Much like Cooper, Spike was a rescue. Apple guy rescued him when he was not much younger than Cooper and gave him a life of joy and happiness. Coming to live in SF seemed to agree with Spike and he quickly settled into a life of leisure. lol He was vibrant and mobile up until the very end. His last sight in this world was of us and I can’t think of a better way to go. He was loved and he knew it.

Spike, where ever you are, you are missed and most definitely not forgotten. You brought light and joy to my life and I will always be thankful for that.

I miss you Spikey.




  1. Spike had his own blanket that he loved and it came with him to ease the tension []