This sun sets at dawn…

letting-go

So here we are. I’ve never been very faithful to this blog, and I feel that it has dragged me down at times. However, it represented a very important stage in my life – one in which I forever changed from the insecure new homosexual on the block into a relatively self-assured young gay man.

And now, while my life still is terribly confusing, I feel ready to handle it.

More than anything I’ve learned the importance of keeping things to yourself, of giving yourself time to think, react, and grow. Life evolves – you can’t have someone holding your hand the whole time . Which is why somewhere out in this cyber world my thoughts will continue, but that place will remain a secret, one only I know.

I hope my thoughts and experiences have helped you in some way. I wish you all the best.

Good Morning and Good Night,

CF

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Well I guess you left me with some feathers in my hand…

alone

https://lifeontheephemeralplane.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/12-fondu-au-noir.m4a

Well I’m back at Duke. And again I’m spending my weekend in my room working – inefficiently. This weekend I have to stay in to do consulting stuff, but the last two weekends…

My friends were too busy for me.

And… that hurts. And I’m already sick of it all over again. Just like before. I just don’t get why people my age don’t get that texting works both ways, that I shouldn’t always be the one that picks up the phone and makes things happen.

It fucking pisses me off. It makes me doubt my friends.

But I know they care. They are just part of the most selfish generation in history (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2257715/Study-shows-college-students-think-theyre-special–read-write-barely-study.html#axzz2Ji5E8uWC). It’s just so damn annoying to walk across campus and bump into people like crazy, have great conversations, and feel like everyone is my friend, only to then get home and receive 0 text messages all night… And it’s not like I don’t send any. Today alone I called 5 people and only one texted back saying why she couldn’t answer and what was up.

I’m friends with ghosts. And I hate ghosts.

I love being back at Duke in principle, but the reality is less rosy.

Because the sad truth is… when I make time for people people, they rarely do the same.

But that’s not to discount my friends, I love them so much. I just hate being back in the same rut of not in an SLG = no friends on the weekends. I don’t know what to do about it, but it’s really fucking depressing.

And then there were none…

bubbly

As one flies off, another self-destructs before my eyes. I’m done with all of this. It’s  just not worth it anymore. I’m tired of being tired with the merry-go-round that is my dating life. There’s a guy at Duke I have my eye on, but otherwise I think I’m ready – after a year of searching – to recognize the fact that my Mr. Right isn’t nearby, he’s not even in the same state. Instead, this will be the year of friends, the year of no-more-missed-opportunities, the year of fucking awesome. This year I will turn my support network into my joy network and let the chips fall where they may. My happiness is all I can work towards, and at this point I don’t think a man can provide that in any lasting way.

To all of the men that I’ve met, dated, and shagged over the last year, I salute you. You’ve made me realize that I’m worth it, that I never should settle, and that most of you aren’t up to snuff. If I’m supposed to spend my life with one man then I don’t need to have 5 on the line. I’ll find him, and until then I’m going to have a damn good time without him.

Here’s to 2013. Treat yo self.

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do

FairyinHand

I clasp my hands together. I shut my eyes tight. I focus.

It’s raining in Paris. The wind raps on my window. I stare out into the dark night wondering about what has happened in these last few hours.

The just side of me lashed out. With vengeance I read scores of articles on guns, murder, and American society. But all of that’s on facebook, and I don’t come here to write down what my just side thinks.

I come here to let my fragile side breathe. Waking from a dormant sleep it rises, gasps for breath, and then I set it down here. My little creature of hope & despair, fear & loathing, and longing.

Its voice is weak from lack of use, but as it stumbles out it can’t but help to wonder like Miranda about this brave new world.

But I’ll let it speak for itself.

Sometimes I think back to when I was a kid and about how much I would dread going to school. Sometimes I think about those fights my mom and I got into when I was 7 and so mad that she was late – that she wasn’t there for me until all the other parents had taken their children home from latchkey. Sometimes I think about the night my dad let me watch a scary movie and I was convinced that every shadow was about to bring about my premature demise.

Then I come back to today and I realize that I’m still weak in these same ways. So much of my life is beyond my control. I don’t take solace in this fact. I’m not going to lie and say I love the spontaneity of it all, or that the predictable is boring.

Routine is fucking great, as are safety, stability, happiness, comfort, and love.

In this crazy world of ours we forget that we are fragile creatures, or as one of my favorite lyrics goes, “What a shame we all became such fragile, broken things.”

Except I don’t agree. We don’t become fragile. We are born this way. We have to accept that we live in a world that is weak and broken, a world of souls pushed out into something they were never prepared to handle. So, we learn to handle ourselves, and by golly we come to think we’re pretty good at it. But to be honest, to be.. completely, brutally honest..

we aren’t very good at it.

Sometimes I stare up at the ceiling and wonder about things, like most people. I wonder if people love me, if I’m happy – actually happy, if my life will be a success, and more than anything else, I wonder if I’m good enough.

I think these are important thoughts to think. In the nebulous void that my thoughts dance around in I kind of lose track of myself. In fact most of the day I feel like I’m just floating through, like nothing is real.

And then there are these moments, these wonderful moments in which, for those precious seconds, I feel alive. I’m connected again. And all of my weakness fades. And all of my thoughts crystallize. And I’m back.

I like those moments. In fact I love those moments. I’d like to have them more, not less, as seems to be the case with each passing year. But to do that, I guess we have to show ourselves a little more, take those risks that take us out of our routines, even if they are fucking great.

I didn’t start this for any reason, and I don’t have some profound thought to impart to you before we go.

Instead, I just wanted to say that I love you. I want you to be happy, as I also want to be happy. In this scary world we live in sometimes we act just as irrationally as I did when I saw that movie with my dad. Sometimes, we’re just kids in big kid suits. And as one kid in a big kid suit to another, “Let’s run away. Don’t stop running. Take it all off. Shake it out. Bring it in.”

My only faith in myself and everyone else lies in the fact that we have emotions that run deep as mine shafts, broad as the surging sea, and shine like the Hope Diamond. I am not great, but we… well… we are.

Grab someone by the hand and tell them a secret, then tell them you love them, then promise you’ll never let them fall.

Don’t turn away, I’m grabbing yours right now…

Angels of the silences…

428783772_c095567874_z

Every night these silhouettes appear above my head, little angels of the silences that climb into my bed.

What do you write when you feel like you’ve written everything? When that existential need to express yourself falls hollow? I would say I am an upbeat person, I’m certainly an optimist. I would say that my friends care about me. I would say that I would be remembered.

But, then you have these moments, these paradigm shifts where the Earth trembles and suddenly you’re falling. In that flash, you doubt – what’s going on? will I be ok? who’s going to catch me?

I’ve gone many places, I’ve done many things, and I’ve cemented many friendships, but more than that I’ve met many men in this last year. However none stood out so much as Hollen. In the course of a few nights we had become as most couples do after months of dating. There was an effortlessness then, an effervescence that sparkled in every ounce of me. It just felt right, and who questions that feeling? Something so fleeting, so craved that even if it is ephemeral who cares? Seize it.

And so we did, and the story unfolded as you have already read and I have bemoaned.

But, recently I have changed. I don’t need a knight-in-shining-armor anymore. Months of almost complete gay isolation have given me time to recollect myself, to reprocess who I am, what I want, and why it’s all worth it.

And my answer to all of these is I don’t know.

Who does? And why do you have to? Sure I could be writing this as some sort of cathartic expression of psychosis, but I think that the worlds of black and white, of gray and grayer, are rational attempts to define the irrational. Try to define your essence in a few sentences and see how little you know of yourself. What we want must be beyond our absolute understanding, otherwise wouldn’t we all be happy? Or at least on the path towards happiness?

Which is why I’m glad that I’ve written Hollen off. I don’t care anymore about how great he was because no one who truly cared about me could so completely brush me aside later. A friend could never do that. I will not linger in the corners of despair or the shadows of melancholy. Instead, I’ll find a clean, well-lighted place: a place beyond the horrors of the shade, where the menace of the years finds and shall find me unafraid. I need find no mate, I need pay no toil or toll. I am master of my fate, the captain of my soul.

In these final days abroad, these last hours of pause before my regular life recommences, I can only reflect on the fact that life in and of itself is meaningless. And so we must fill it with meaning, bring it to a frothy foam. A foam that drips over the edge, that bursts forth and sloshes with every toast, every dance, every nod, every touch.

I may not know where my soul need go, but I will lead it.

Walking miles in my moccasins…

2440611

So despite the fact that I’ve spent the entirety of the last few days watching Girls, True Blood, The Newsroom, organizing my computer, and kind of doing work, I feel like I need to do something for real. Let’s write. I feel like all of my posts are so maudlin, which doesn’t reflect the reality of my life here.

I quite like Paris. Love would a strong word reserved for occasions when my BAC is over what a salty cop would waive. But I quite like it.

Nothing titillating has happened in the last few weeks, and I quite like that as well. My life has become pretty tranquil, though my classes forever stress me, in large part because I’m too lazy to actually do my work until the absolute last instant. However, there have still been some absolutely lovely moments lately, and I’d like to recount one.

To begin, the absolute best moment ever happened on the metro the other day, let me paint the scene:

I’m three stops from Place d’Italie on Ligne 6 bound for Sully Morland, the stop nearest my Duke classes. It’s been a typical hustle and bustle kind of morning. I woke up at 11:45am for my 12:45pm class that takes 28 minutes to get to. Thinking this would give me plenty of time to get ready, as I always do, incorrectly, I leisurely proceed through my morning routines and find clothes only to realize that it is now 12:27, exactly when I need to be leaving. But I am not currently leaving. Yet I must be leaving. So I skip breakfast, forget my gloves, and dash down the stairs. And yes, this is literally how it always is. Always. I know I know, I bring it on myself, but ehhh I just love staying up late and I neeed sleep.

So I know what you’re thinking, so where’d the metro story go to? My response? Oh yeah, that.

So I dash down the stairs into another blustery November day: gray, overcast, and cold in that penetrating moist sort of way. Aka terrible. In that I trudge a few metres down Rue Boulard, turn a sharp right onto Rue Ernest Cresson where I stumble through the mass of tightly packed cars and pass our building’s homeless man reading today’s paper in the neighborhood’s coin laundromat. I stare at the Woody on the bench in front of the iPhone case store, creeped out as always, only to avert my gaze and see Ile Maurice, which only conjures up more horrors as I think of the boudin, bony fish, and awful cocktail that I lost 17 euros on in September. Then with a tight left turn I’m on Rue General Leclerc. Fully realizing how late I am, I walk briskly, occasionally breaking into a swift jog – the only running I’ve done in 5 months. I pass five homeless people: two might be asleep and that one is definitely drunk. And suddenly the Monoprix is upon me, along with the unceasing crowd spilling out from Rue Daguerre. I slow down, ducking and weaving between the cold strangers who have become my morning compatriots. With all of this behind me, I descend into the tunnels.

There’s always someone fumbling with their ticket at the turn-style closest to the Rue Daguerre entrance so with a huff I rush past them, whip out my wallet, slide my fingers into the little crease between my driver’s license and the leather and pluck out my Navigo pass. A nonchalant drop and the light green arrows glow. Paris’ metro is mine – so long as I stay within zones 1-2 during the designated hours. I race down the stairs, round the corner – hitting a maternal woman 23% of the time, a forgotten yuppie 16% of the time, and a hot guy never, only to arrive on the platform of ligne 4. Which I don’t need. So I keep walking down the quai, go down two flights of stairs and after all that I’m at last bound for school. Oh wait, no I’m not…

For once I board the godforsaken ligne 6 I have 4 stops until Place d’Italie. I memorized these stops in a forlorn attempt to understand Paris’ metro system better. Unfortunately knowing Denfert Rochereau- Saint Jacques – Glaciere – Corvisart – Place d’Italie has not ever come in handy. After approximately 4 1/2 minutes on ligne 6 I bound out of the doors before the train stops (love doing that) and stagger step onto the platform. Through more tunnels I go, walking with typical oh-shit-why-am-I-always-late pace: 19% chance the tunnels smell of pee today, 3% chance someone has taken a poo. I arrive on the platform for ligne 7 and after 2-3 minutes (normally, though there are those glorious, day-making times when the train arrives as I do) I’m finally school bound. And it only took 771 words. 

Great right? Now the story,

So after all that I am three stops into my four stop ride to Sully Morland (Place d’Italie – Les Gobelins – Censier Daubentons – Jussieu – Sully Morland, I got this girl), leaning on one of the poles in the center of the car. An elderly couple is next to me, not terribly old, but definitely of retirement age like that bus driver you had in fourth grade that shouldn’t still be operating large machinery, but you were like “well she still seems spry so I won’t alert the PTA.” Yeah, you were cool like that.

So her, and her husband, were casually talking next to me. She wore a casual off-white pants suit, little pearl earrings  and a darling bracelet of emerald-colored stones. Her husband – or lover ? – was dressed like all old Frenchmen: light brown tweed suit [with elbow pads – safety first], brown loafers, antique spectacles, and a lack of height. Ok so maybe that last part isn’t a piece of clothing… but it is nonetheless ubiquitous here.

Suddenly, we arrive at Jussieu. The doors open and a rather disheveled man walks on with what looks like a small grocery cart. Then, with the same look the dinosaurs must have had when they saw the meteor seconds away from impact [yes, exactly the same look], the woman took a step back. “Non, non, non, non! Monsieur, non! Nous ne voulons pas ca.” [No, no, no, no! Sir, no! We don’t want that]. Evidently used to this response, he replied with something to the effect of, “But beauty is for everyone Madame.”

Meanwhile, I’m dying. I’m laughing so hard that a few chortles escape despite my best efforts to suppress them. Her response is exactly how I feel every time I see one of them board a subway car, and I’m loving that she’s saying it out loud.

The doors snap shut, he reaches down to his cart, and he does it. Nothing more can be done.

He flips the boombox on and starts singing an awful rendition of some awful song from that most awful of decades, the 1980s. The woman and man go the opposite end of the car, and I unfortunately have to leave this lovely scene as soon as we reach Sully Morland.

What a 28 minutes.

Who is “we”

I’m trying to understand people. After a childhood alone, I find it hard not to take things personally, but my generation is weird. We don’t take anyone seriously. We do what we want. We are selfish. We resent those that call us out on it.

You can’t blame people my age for acting this way because everyone else does and surely no one can stop it alone.

I’ve tried not to care. I’ve tried to just focus on people that I consider my best friends. Yet, no matter what I do, people let me down. And maybe that’s my fault. I think I give my friends what I seek in them, but maybe not? After all I am biased.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t assuage the pain I feel when my friends blow me off, when I am ignored, when people completely forget my 21st birthday. But that’s life I guess. What I have learned and tried to internalize is that I need only care what my few intimates think of me the rest are, as the French say, “les connards.”

And I don’t care about connards.

I’m trying to live this philosophy, as the last few weeks have resolutely convinced me of the failings of my peers as friends. I just cannot keep thinking about things that no one else cares about. I cannot be wounded by the indifference of others for it is not malice, merely their own problems with affection and relationships.

Living in France and traveling this summer have opened my eyes in so many ways. When I consider the incredible love of my French host family, who were complete strangers that I was foisted upon, and the indifference of my supposed friends from Duke here I realize that good friends are something you can never let go, for they are so rare.

There’s a reason why the French use “pote” (acquaintance) most of the time, not ami, it is because few deserve the monicker of friend. In reality most of our “friends” are acquaintances that only speak to us over cocktails or when circumstances bring us together. Think about how many friends you can truly rely on. And that’s what you believe, not the true number.

Of course some will surprise you, but I’ve learned such an invaluable lesson here. It is not to be callous. It is not to spurn friendship or affection; rather, it is to keep your true friends close, to never let go of those you care for. They are not replaceable. Treasure them always.

I love you MC, Akshita, Liz, Danny, Samm, Melissa and everyone else that truly cares for me. Life is only worth living if you have wonderful people to share it with.

Here’s to them.

(Fittingly, when I wrote this in the car on the way back from a party in Bordeaux, the song that came on when I wrote here’s to them was “I can see clearly now the rain is gone” by Johnny Nash)

But, what if we are not really alone afterall…

The following is a conversation that I had with one of my dearest friends at home. I do hope that whoever may read this profits from it. Even the weak may be the strong.

2:44 AM B: hey you
2:45 AM me: bahh I hate scheduling when it doesn’t go my way
  how are you doing?
B: 😦
  im okay
2:46 AM me: I’m fighting aces atm…
B: ugh
  its actually the worst
  do you have time for skype?
 me: it’s super late here
2:47 AM B: oh shit
 me: almost 3am lol
B: hahahah
  oops
B: hahahah
  np
  but tuesday? I have a test monday I have to study for tomorrow and a concert monday night but after that my week is free
2:49 AM B: i just had this realization that one of my friends i spend so much of my life focused on, listening to him, trying to help him, making time for him just doesnt care nearly in the same way
  which is life
  but i just feel stupid
  like im a close friend because i sit and listen to him and am there for him
  but now that i need it, its too much
2:50 AM me: wow
  Do I know this loser?
B: hahahah no he’s not a horrible person, i just didnt realize that im more willing to be emotionally there
  and im embarrassed
  like 4 times tonight
2:51 AM he asked me something about my life
  and when i started to answer
  he got distracted and went and talked to someone else
  and like it SHOULDNT be a big deal to me
  im just fragile right now
 me: but still… reciprocity dictates that if someone else relies on you, then you should be able to rely on them
2:52 AM
 B: and like i know that my issues got to be too much for him to hear
 me: yours
 B: but like
  i dont even know
  i feel so guilty for being a burden
  i feel guiltyliterally all the time
 me: don’t
  that’s stupid B and we both know it
B: its just like
 me: Major life problems are not a burden, they are genuine issues
B: im so alone here
  im so in my own head and so afraid
2:53 AM im fucking terrified
  thats it
 me: No I do understand my love.
  My advice, and it’s the hardest to do, is to face your head.
B: i only just identified it
  like right now
  im so scared
 me: Face it directly.
B: of the judgment and of myself
  and of the future
  and if i have the capacity to be unselfish enough to love and be loved
 me: Think about why you are afraid.
2:54 AM Then break it apart.
  Our fears stem from irrational amalgamations of emotions. If you can logically break them down then you can beat them.
  Start writing.
B: how do i start?
 me: Start reading
B: where do i even start?
 me: Start thinking, but with purpose
B: i have 20 years of lies
and of cruelty that ive laid on people to try and compensate for being afraid
 me: Go to the library and pick some philosophical books, surveys of ideas
  You need a roadmap to the mind
B: i used to be numb but i cant ve anymoe
 me: they will give you that
B: im just scared and angry
  i will
  thats a good idea
  i need to understand why i think what i think
me: Yes yes my darling I do know, but you cannot let it consume or paralyze you.
B: becaues the irrationality of it all and the suddenness of emotions is scary
  i know
 me: In the end that is your greatest fear, is it not?
2:56 AM B: i know that and i just need to move on
  yes
 me: to be stuck
  to be worthless
B: because right now i feel so stuck here
 me: Yes, and that is why you must find your path.
  and unfortunately the labyrinth that you are in is seen only by you
  that’s why you feel so alone, for you are the only one there.
  No one can truly join you until you make it out of that thicket
2:57 AM B: that makes so much sense
me: The other thing I would advise you to do
  is to write it all down.
  start from your childhood, and with hindsight reflect.
2:58 AM on it all
B: i know how painful thats going to be but i think i need it
 me: on what you used to think X meant in your past but why it now means Y
  exactly, it’s quite brutal
B: like i cant be numb anymore, i cant drown what im feeling
  nothing works
  i need to start
 me: yes, exactly you (and I) are passed the point of ignoring it, we just can’t any longer.
2:59 AM we have to find solutions, but we’re literally facing the existential, metaphysical problems of the ages.
  Happiness
  Value
  Worth
  Love
  Serenity
  Which is why I love philosophy
3:00 AM B: i just have always been seeking an outside validation
  for everything
  and nothing can do that because nothing can know whats in my head
 me: because it allows the wisdom of the ages to be passed onto us, for us to skip the steps that those before us had to tred “We see that much further standing on the shoulders of giants”
  I know 😦 I feel the same way
3:01 AM I find school & activities so trivial now because i don’t enjoy them truly, I only enjoy the success and the attention, but those are so finite
  and when you reach the ends of those all-too-short moments you are left back where you started, alone and unhappy
3:02 AM B: we need to get to the point where we can be happy to be just be
  where we love ourselves
 me: Read this too, “Religions of the World” by Houston Smith. It’s my favorite book.
B: or at least i do
  i think youre probably closer to that
 me: no, you are so right
B: a lot closer haha
 me: I do as well
B: just like i tried so hard to be a christian, have faith, but it just wasnt true.
 me: I may be closer, but that does not make advancement any closer
  that’s why I love that book
3:03 AM it looks at how religions have answered life’s questions
  and what we can learn from them, or even maybe subscribe to one that just fits us
 B: oh thats so fascinating
  because they were all created from human needs
 me: yes!
3:04 AM B: so if you look at all of them, you find what we feel like we need
  oh thats so interesting
 me: and that’s why I love that book so much
  that’s the genius of it
  it takes no sides, it only seeks to understand, to heal, to explore
  my 3rd piece of advice is to go on walks
  like 4 hour walks
3:05 AM walks that make you focus and drift at the same time
3:06 AM B: ooo ill do that
3:07 AM i need to figure out where around here i’d go
 me: you could drive to the eno river reservoir
3:08 AM B: i dont think ive ever been there
3:09 AM me: neither have I but I’ve only heard lovely things.
  And I think we could both use some more lovely in our lives.
B: I fully agree
3:10 AM me: My love, you have so much to offer this world.
  Never forget that.
  Never give in.
3:11 AM B: that goes for you too
  also
  idk why
  this struck me today
 me: I was going to wait to share this with people but I believe it may do you some good.
3:12 AM B: is this you??
  I just followed it
 me: indeed but I have done almost nothing with it
  though what I have done I hope you like
3:13 AM and I quite enjoyed that poem 🙂
B: i LOVE your title description
 me: it makes you think
  I’m glad !
B: “she wasn’t sure she liked that
she has invented herself so well
she’s not sure she can
escapeI know that song”
  gah
  so much from that
3:14 AM me: that was my favorite part as well
  though I also loved “With a mind as wild as Egypt”
 B: oof i dunno
  i know
3:15 AM your quote about overanalyzing
  my life.
 me: I thought you might find that one apt
  and the very first gif at the top of the page about being tested
3:16 AM B: YEs
  when you sent me that quote, it was perfect
3:18 AM me: It is so true. So painfully true,
B: ach
3:19 AM my friend (the one who i was talking about when my quick breakdown started) texted me and was like are you okay?
  did I do something?
  and i was just like no, just not doing well
  he was like whats wrong?
  and i dont even know what id go over there and say
3:21 AM ugh
  this is not what i want.
3:23 AM me: but B
  it is what you need
B: i know
  im trying to think of what words to say
 me: Do not fear those who try to help
B: and i dont even know
 me: Don’t think about. Just say them
3:24 AM about it*
  I’m crying right now over this gif, this scene is actually one of the most subtly beautiful and devastatingly sad moments that I have ever witnessed.
3:25 AM B: downton gifs literally make me sob
  its pathetic
3:26 AM me: but this one. At her bed, after she’s died.
  That moment
  Between mother and dead child. It is just so raw, so real
B: so unbelievably incredible
  they are so good
3:29 AM me: I just don’t have words
B: me neither
  regarding that gif
  or my current situation i should deal with
  hahaha
3:30 AM me: yes
  but
  do see her
  do not let it fester
  or it will wound
  and you will grow more isolated
  and you will feel more alone
B: i know
 me: seek safe shores
B: where is safe even
  so unclear
3:31 AM me: one can only know once they’ve made it there. So voyage
3:33 AM B: i know
3:34 AM alright love
  you go to bed please
  its hella late there
 me: haha indeed it is
B: but thank you so much
  i miss you infinitely
 me: I do love you
B: and im so proud of you
 me: Oh so very much
B: for everything.
 me: You are the courageous one
  regardless if whether you will admit or accept it
  of
3:35 AM Now, do rest easy my love. Now is the time for you to find yourself, there is no greater priority and luckily you do have the time. Seize it while you can, for we shall not pass this way again
B: 🙂
  Truer words.
 me: Goodnight my sweet
B: We’re gonna make it.
  Good night (morning) to you
3:36 AM ❤

I will walk this way but once…

Dearest reader,

Today is a new day. A day past the last and before the next. A day which neither you nor I can ever reclaim. In this day I have not done particularly much aside from indulging in my love for Downton Abbey and rehydrating myself after a true night of debauchery chez moi with my host sisters and their friends while my host mother is away.

Yet, I believe today I am forcing  a change upon myself. I have been reflecting today upon a quote I recently heard, “You are being tested, and do you know what they say, my darling? Being tested only makes you stronger.” 

It was uttered to a desperate girl, a woman trapped between the life she has and the life she believes she should be living. In the aftermath of one of life’s true tragedies, being left at the altar, she breaks down, her last hopes evaporating like a lake dammed from the waters that had nourished it. I watched her cry and writhe. I felt some of her pain, understood some of her tears.

But I will not be Edith.

I am fed-up with myself and the maudlin musings that I make in lieu of change. It’s scary to face myself truly, but I can’t avoid it anymore. I am skinny, even gangly, I am rather lazy by my own standards, I have unrealistically high expectations about whom I want to date, I can be irrational, impatient, impersonal, and impossible. I don’t like doing that which I am not good at, and I don’t like putting myself in situations in which I could truly fail. In short, I hold myself and my world to impossibly high standards, but then refuse to try to meet them, only to then mourn the universal failings of myself and those around me.

So today I will change this. I will. And I have to. I have been unhappy for far too long to keep doing what I have been doing.

I will not make a list of what they are because whenever I make a list it assuages my worries and allows me to put them off for longer. So instead I will have to do it on my own, and I can. I will. I must.

TCF

We flew home chasing the sunset…

Hello whoever may read this,

I don’t have enough self-discipline to update this regularly, or to do much lately for that matter. I don’t know why. I make schedules, list, alarms, reminders, plans, and yet, at the end of the day, I don’t want to do it.

Am I lazy? Should I change my life? I mean I’m living in Paris, so it’s not like I’m stuck back in my Missouri rut. I think instead it touches on something deeper within me. As to what that is I have no idea, but I don’t much like it.

In fact, I hate it.

 

On a less melancholy note Paris is sublime. Well, okay it’s not always that great, but I like it. I think I just miss structure. My days are totally open except from noon-ish to three-ish which means that I slack basically all day because who can do work immediately before or after class? Evidently not I.

I’m not even going to try to organize this post. I’d prefer to unzip that little barrier that cradles my thoughts, that inner space no can penetrate, and let a few things slip out. Then of course I must seal it back up, even I don’t really know what’s in there. Sometimes that scares me a lot. But, I try not to think about it.

Europe has gotten kind of old. I mean I still love it of course, but after awhile it becomes the same old churches, weird languages, and overpriced sandwiches. Some still take your breath away like when I saw the quasi-ruin of a still-functioning renaissance cathedral in Chartres, the joyful cadence of two Italians rendezvousing, or the $12 paninis in Geneva. Yet those instances are few and far between.

I appreciate Europe. I love its good parts, and I know that everything is nuanced, so I try to not condemn it for its faults. But I’m not enchanted by it. The south of France is great for vacations, Geneva for lakeside strolls, Berlin for counter-culture, Amsterdam for canals, Prague for Habsburg opulence, London for cosmopolitain flair, Paris for effortless elegance, Edinburgh for life’s simple pleasures, and the US for life itself. Yes, that pattern did end quite abruptly. I apologize for those startled by it, but that was the point. Despite all of these great traits, sights, sounds, and lifestyles, it is only in the US that I feel I belong. In France I’m “l’Américain” (the American), and no matter how many compliments I get on my accent or how well I speak French, every French person and I know that I’m the foreigner in their country. I’m the one that will never know all the acronyms, which root vegetables are in season in Limousin, how many bullet holes tore up Charles de Gaulle’s Renault, why Rosé will never equal Rouge, or why the French are so god awful at English.

On that last point I do feel quite bad as I am also a traveller on a formidable language journey. However, I hate the way the French say English words. I find it stuffy, annoying, and stupid. Unless they have a really good accent I would really just prefer to speak in French regardless of my French ability or their English competence. Of course though, I couldn’t be so direct with Valentine, and I told the first lie that I regret in quite a while. Valentine, my oh too dear host sister, is my favorite person here. She’s so pretty in that effortless French way, and her personality is even more beautiful. Rarely have I met someone that is so simply, so purely, good.

Two weekends ago I went to this business conference in New York for gay students looking to go into finance and consulting. It was really interesting, and I definitely would like to consult for a bit post-Navy or MBA, but these last two weeks (since the conference) I’ve gotten more jaded about relying on other people.
I met all of these great people (peers and professionals) at the conference, but when I got back and sent hey it was nice to meet yous (to peers) and thank you notes (to profs) I got a few really great responses, but on the whole all these people that I thought I had made a good connection with forgot/ignored me just as soon as I left.

I mean I get that people are busy and that it’s not always intentional, but I just don’t like being ignored. It’s especially annoying because it was basically students from Ivy-league schools and their peers who are interested in business aka it is a conference of very intelligent, driven, and gay(!) men (and lesbians, I fucking love lesbians).

Do you realize how rare it is to meet 200 gay men that aren’t a mess? (Though obviously there were secret sluts and problem children, but on the whole it was a great group).

I met 3 guys that I at least thought were interesting, but all of our conversations have trailed off since I got back to Paris. Luckily one goes to Duke, but the other two are at Stanford and Harvard so I’m just going to forget them for now.

In looking back over everything that has passed, the one lesson that I’ve learned from the last 10 months that I think is the most important thing I’ve ever learned, and it’s something you can only experience otherwise it sounds cliche or overly simplistic, but there’s really no meaning to life if you aren’t happy. The money, the awards, the lunch dates-social hours-VIP rooms, and travel really don’t mean anything if they aren’t tethered to someone (or some people) that you love.

How to do that is hard. I think that’s really why I made this blog. I honestly don’t care if no one reads it or 1000 read it. I just need to say these things, and there’s never anyone to listen. I don’t know how it’s possible to have so many friends and feel so alone. What I really need, more than anything, is someone truly close to me. Someone that calls me everyday, jogs with me on the weekends, rages with me, smiles when they see me, and, most of all, someone who will listen to these things.

Easier said than done.

Happy 21st birthday to me.