Sunday, October 27, 2013

Maybe She Was Right

Lately I have been wondering if my friend was right. After my blog on my anxiety attack, she commented privately she thought my anxiety was a sign I was suppressing my true feelings regarding a relationship (or maybe even just a fling); that I really wanted one, but was denying it. I went one step further and agreed she may have a point, and acknowledged I may be denying it out of a multitude of fears. 

I'd like to add here, I've had anxiety attacks as far back as 1986. I understand anxiety is a fear of the unknown; worrying about the future. I do accept the fact there is nothing I can do to change or control it, so what gives? Maybe it's a fear of the future turning out like the past. 


Following our conversation, I did begin thinking about what she said. And blogged about it. 

I then caught up with a second friend, who gave me yet another point to consider. He asked how much of my idle time I spent thinking about a relationship. After I calmed myself down from laughing over the concept of idle time; after all, I have so little of it between my commute, my approximately 50 hour work week, managing my house and yard, attending to my aging cat, working on my second, third and fourth novels, trying to fit in some exercise, socializing with friends, and taking some time for me, I thought about what he said. After a day or two, I realized I don't think about a relationship, I fantasize about it:

  • What would it be like if he were honest and didn't play games?
  • What would it be like if I came home and he had dinner ready for me?
  • What would it be like if he rolled over in bed and put his arm around me and just held me close?
  • What would it be like if I sat on the sofa playing Words with Friends as he massaged my aching feet?
  • What would it be like if we went for a walk on the beach?
  • What would it be like if we could talk and share our hopes and our fears?
  • What would it be like if he knew how to listen?
  • What would it be like if we sat quietly, each of us reading a book? (Maybe each other's?)
  • What would it be like if we took the time to explore each other's heart, mind, and soul before exploring each other's body?
  • What would it be like if he first wanted to be my friend, then my boyfriend, then my husband?
  • What would it be like if he helped me through an anxiety attack?
  • What would it be like if he understood my fears because he has the same ones?

It would all be wonderful.

I feel I am open to the idea of a relationship; but maybe not to the actuality of one, and maybe not at this time. I am experiencing major changes in my life right now. While change is a good thing, mostly; too much change all at once can be overwhelming. And the beginning stages of a relationship when I'm trying to figure out what he means by what he says or does drives me up a tree and a wall at the same time.

I'm currently gathering confidence to work on a new novel, a very complicated one for my second piece, and that has me flustered because I'm not exactly sure I know what I'm doing or how to proceed. I've always been a logical, linear thinker- wanting to know what I'm doing and how to do it. Even though I have received very supportive suggestions and ideas from a great group of local writers, it's still daunting because of the theme, and plots, and as I explore the characters, I'm exploring myself. And maybe that's what I need to do before I can get to know someone else.

And, maybe it's all right to learn as I go. After all, isn't life itself a learning experience?

Who knows what I'll find and learn along the way?
Hopefully more about myself:

As a writer;

As a gay person;

As a man.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Called Out

A dear friend and frequent reader of my blog called me out on something. After the post on my panic attack about having "animalistic thoughts about the young man on the bus" she lovingly suggested I am only kidding myself. Her conjecture is that I am actually suppressing my feelings about a relationship and that I really do want one, perhaps even more than I am willing to admit to myself or to anyone else. 

Fair enough, she might have a point. I thanked her for sharing her point of view, and thought about it. Could she be right?
Could I be so afraid of a relationship, I'm actually suppressing my true innermost desires for one and hiding behind my fears? Fears such as:
  • Rejection
  • Overstaying the relationship
  • Settling for someone just because he's nice, but less than what I deserve
  • Not learning from my past
  • Settling for someone just to avoid being alone
Or am I playing the "I've-been-in-a-relationship-soooooo-long, I-need-time-for-myself" card too much?

Especially when someone is in front of me.

I've made it clear I am looking for someone closer to my age this time. The Young Man on the Bus seemed much younger than my ex is now. In fact, Bus Man seemed to be about the age my ex was when we first met, 20! I actually think Bus Boy might be a bit older, though. I'm putting him around 25.

But, Bus Boy is history as we never spoke, and he didn't follow me off the bus. And unless our paths cross in West Hollywood (I hardly go there) or on the number 720 bus (which I only take when I go to WeHo) chances are we'll never meet each other again in the wilds of Los Angeles. Unless the Universe's strange sense of humor makes it happen.

I've also made it clear I believe a relationship will happen at the time the Universe says it should. I'm also trusting my gut instinct which tells me it will happen. Sometime, down the road, in the not-too-distant future.

Maybe my friend was suggesting I'm more interested in a fling than a relationship. That, too, is a possibility, maybe even a necessity. Maybe I do need to kiss a few toads until I find my Prince.  Perhaps it's the fears of the fling I'm hiding behind, like:
Disney's The Princess and the Frog
  • Rejection
  • Diseases
  • Lack of expertise
  • Settling for someone just for the sex sake of it
  • Hating myself in the morning
  • Poor performance anxiety
I believe that a fling, if it is to happen, will happen at the appropriate time. And I will just know it will somehow all be okay.

But, for now, I'm happy just as I am and also just where I am on my path because I'm still moving forward.
Who knows how I'll feel when I actually do meet someone interesting?
Maybe that's when I'll freak out and have another panic attack.
Maybe he'll hold my hand through it.
And maybe he'll be there when the attack is over.
My Prince.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chapter Next

I have been so overwhelmed recently. I was in a very upbeat mood, feeling very positive.

Three days later, I am not.

But, I still am, kind of.

Positive, I mean. But, not right now, I will be later.

And, yes, I'm just as confused.

I had a recent epiphany of sorts about two different men who had recently broken my heart. I have come to a place in my healing with both of them where I can wish them every happiness in their lives. And I sincerely mean that. If they are happy where they are, I am happy for them.


When I had that revelation a couple of weeks ago, I felt lighter, as if a huge weight had been lifted off my heart. It also meant I was ready to move on.

And maybe date someone.

I said, maybe.

I recently spent some time in West Hollywood, a place I have mixed feelings about. I had wanted to go out one Saturday night, but changed my mind. A Facebook friend encouraged me to change it back, but I didn't. I stayed in and began reading a book by an author friend so I could review it and help promote it for him. 

I decided on the spur of the moment the next day to go to the West Hollywood Book Fair.  It was smaller than I recalled from last year. And therefore a bit disappointing. Yet, something else was upsetting me about it. But, I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

When I'd had enough of the fair, I decided to head home. As my car is aging, I choose to take public transport when possible, and I had chosen to do so that day. I headed to the bus stop for the bus that would take me to the subway station I needed.

When I boarded the bus, it was semi-full and I found a seat on one of the benches that faced into the aisle. A couple of stops later a man took the seat opposite me and our eyes met and lingered for that gay-nanosecond that told me we might be in the same brotherhood. I have been wrong before. But, the fact we were in WeHo and the slogan on his shirt, "It's free to look!", suggested I might be right this time.

After that millisecond eye lock, he took out his phone, checked a couple of things, looked around the bus, but not back at me. Okay, he's not looking for a daddy. Good, I don't want to be one. 

Yet, the idea of being with him, began to intrigue me. He had a nice guy aura about him, he was kind of cute, dark and tall with a bit of muscle. He must be intelligent because he was reading about Aerospace Engineering Software, or something like that. Definitely not light material. I kept thinking interesting thoughts about him, and this surprised me as I haven't had these thoughts in a long time, especially about someone who wasn't trying to get my attention. I kept glancing at him, he kept not glancing at me. Or, I missed it if he did. But, I don't think he did.

I began thinking of the afters. Was he a cuddler or an "I'm done and out of here" kind of guy? Was his chest hairy since his legs were? Would he want to see me again? Would I want to see him? How would I feel about myself? And I still wasn't seeing him catch my glance. So, time to stop thinking about him.

At last we arrived at my stop and as I got up to leave, his eyes locked on mine and followed my gaze as I gathered my belongings, stood up and made my way to the exit. He continued eastbound on the #702 Express as I descended below Santa Monica and Vermont Blvds.

It actually started happening on the bus. A small, sharp pain in my chest. It stopped. It continued off and on all the way home without getting worse. I could easily breathe, so I didn't panic. I suspected indigestion, as it wasn't radiating into my arm. Yet. I began to suspect I was having an anxiety attack over my lascivious thoughts about that young man. Was I really ready to move on and begin a single lifestyle of wild abandon?  Or maybe I had just overeaten? But I only had a turkey burger and fries. The discomfort increased as I arrived at my station and eventually my home. Having been through several anxiety attacks in the past, I began to suspect this was a major one and as I could still breathe easily and had been singing along with the CD in my car, I did not believe I was having a heart attack.

I also began to suspect I was having anxiety over getting my next novel(s) written and figure out how to better market my first one, so I can market my subsequent ones better, triggered by the bookfair itself.

Or, maybe it's anxiety over all of it; closing the chapters on the two men above, recognizing I might be ready to mingle a bit more, thinking about sex, and beginning to take myself seriously as a writer. And with retirement looming a mere six years away, it's all together a bit much to think about. Plus, the added anxiety of being at mid-life, owning a home, driving an aging car and being the sole person responsible for it all. Perhaps the stress of recognizing it all collectively was far too much.

I don't have all the answers to the questions. But, it does seem clear my life is making a huge change for the better. Maybe the Young Man on the Bus was simply the catalyst after all that had happened in these last few weeks. Maybe all he was telling me is that I am human, I am male, I am gay and I am not dead, emotionally or physically.

I'm facing a blank page in the next chapter in my life. While it's exciting to see what may lie ahead, because so much is changing all at once, it's also scaring the hell out of me.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fishes, Bicycles, P!nk and Cher

Lately, I've been reminded of the saying "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle." 

It seems all I've been seeing and hearing around me is how much I need to be with someone. 

And that's true, I do need to be with someone. 

I need to be with me. 

For twenty-four of the last twenty-seven years I was with someone, two different someones at different times, actually. I feel I gave those two men everything. I gave them so much, I don't know if I have anything more to give. 

(I do, but we'll talk about that later.)

I also feel I gave so much of myself, I don't know who I am anymore. And that is the path I walk; the path to me.

Friends are telling me I need to be with someone who understands me. 

I think that's a no-brainer, but I also need to understand myself first. 

Others have told me I need to be with someone who looks like we belong together.  A bit superficial perhaps, but if the physical attraction isn't there from the beginning, while combined with the other attractions; mental, spiritual and emotional, then I don't feel it's going to last.  And let's face it, men are attracted to looks first and when you put two men together, sometimes it seems they can't get past the outer packaging.

Other friends have mentioned their single gay male friends in passing, their hidden intentions not lost on me.

Other friends have told me it's my writing that will bring me to my next partner. We shall see. One friend spoke of my writing in general, while another believes my next partner will be an author in his own right. Time will tell. 

I see little posts on Facebook saying things like, "to love and be loved is the real purpose of life," "Allow yourself to HOPE, BELIEVE, and TRUST again. Don't let a few bad memories stop you from having a good life NOW!" That's true and I'm working on it, but it still takes time to heal from past hurts.  

I watch some of my friends, both gay and straight, and when their relationship ends, they begin embarking on another, taking little time trying to get to know the other person, and when that relationship fails, they embark on another. Almost immediately. But, I ask, have they  taken time to get to know themselves? Have they taken time to know what they truly want? Only they can answer that question.

I openly admit to being a HUGE Cher fan. She just released her first CD in over eleven years. One song spoke to me as I walk this path. (I love the whole CD, but some songs reached deep into my soul and affirmed to me I'm moving in the right direction.)  I'm not a huge P!nk fan, I really don't know her music well, but I have blogged on one of her songs, Try, in an earlier blog, and when I heard she was collaborating on a song with Cher, I was intrigued. And this is the song they worked on, and in particular, it's the second verse and chorus that really hit home:

From I Walk Alone

There's a tightrope that I've been walking
There's a daisy in my hair
There's a heartbreak that has taught me 
what is raging and that's only love and fear
There's a sadness in my confessions
There's a healer howling at the moon,
And there's a gypsy in me that keeps on roaming
and there's an anger as I get closer to the truth.

But there's a time to dance, time to laugh
time to cry, time to go, time to grieve, trime to cope,
Well, I've still got time to fold, time to hold,
time to play, time to grow, but for now I gotta walk alone.
I've gotta walk alone, I gotta walk alone, I got to walk alone,
But, for now, I gotta walk alone.

Rest assured dear friends, I won't walk alone forever. He's out there. I feel it. I know it.

But, for now I gotta walk alone.

And this is where I need to be.

For now.