Thursday, December 22, 2016


It seems lately I've been living in a perpetual Mercury retrograde. Everything I say to people is either misunderstood, falls on deaf ears or just plain wrong.

And it's getting effing annoying.

And because of this seemingly perpetual retrograde, I am beginning to feel so misunderstood, unheard, and disregarded.

I am walking a difficult part of my path right now; so much is going on in my head and heart it is affecting my body and spirit.
Some might call it a transition, or a mid-life crisis.

I call it an awakening to my true authentic self.

I speak my truth-I am not looking for nor wanting a partner right now. I get bombarded with "Of course you do, you need to be happy." Only I am responsible for my happiness.

I speak my truth-I don't feel I'm gay any more as I do not feel connected with the community. In reality, yes, I am still gay in that an attractive man will catch my eye, and that orientation is natural and cannot be changed, but it will take so much more for a man to catch more than just a glance from me. I've come to feel I'm an outsider. The one who doesn't fit in. I was having this conversation with a friend when a man walked by and I happened to glance at him, and my friend questioned me, "I thought you said you weren't gay." When I pointed out the woman I had watched walk by a moment earlier, that was dismissed. As a writer, I watch people to see if I can pick up any interesting character traits. And besides, people watching is just plain fun. But, I digress.
I don't throw shade to make myself feel superior, I don't hypersexualize men, I don't believe every comment has to be made into sexual innuendo. I mentioned to one gay man I had been chatting with that some workmen had been at my house and he commented, "Must have been one big pornfest." Really? I posted on a social media platform that I had stopped by a new restaurant and was treated to a free lunch. A gay friend commented "Did you have to put out for it?" Seriously? Must everything in the gay male community revolve around sex? I ask guys about it and I get the  response "It's just gay guy talk." To me, that is a lame excuse, like "locker room talk" among straight men. So, it will take a lot for me to venture back into a community I no longer feel I belong to, or at least connect with.

I offer my opinion on friends' social media pages only to be shot down because I differed from their opinion or did not follow the required format for responding. I can accept that people can have differences of opinions, but what happened to respect?

I understand my life is changing; therefore, so am I. I am overwhelmed with the changes-spiritual, physical, emotional and mental-that are enveloping me. I am also adjusting both mentally and physically to aging and the body changes that accompany that process. I am of an age where retirement is not that far off, which is something else to take into consideration. As I contemplate what may lie in front of me, and I learn to trust that whatever will happen will turn out okay in the long run, it is the short run that leaves me in a whirlwind of confusion.
So, as all these pieces fall into place, perhaps I am overly sensitive right now.

Yet, I still need to feel I am truly being heard.

I still need to feel I am being taken seriously.

I still need to feel validated in where I am on my journey.

Perhaps I am the only one who can do all of that.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Intentions 2

Why is it people feel the need to force their beliefs and/or feelings on others?

An acquaintance who is blissfully newly married insists I 'concentrate on finding a mate.'
(I think she's maybe two years into her marriage-so it's not so new, but still in the 'honeymoon' phase)

Here's how it went down. I was in a room when I felt a sneeze coming on. It began to tease me, coming on slowly, and eventually beginning to build when she entered the same room, "Good Morning" she greeted me. I held up my hand to acknowledge her, and because of the look on my just-about-to-sneeze-face she stopped and waited.

"Are you coming down with something?" she asked when it finally arrived.

"No, getting over something I've had on and off since before Thanksgiving. And good morning to you."

"Well, you don't need to be sick over your winter break. That's why you need to concentrate on finding a mate."

Why? Is he going to make me feel better? Prevent me from ever catching a cold/virus/incurable disease ever again?

"No, I don't. And my therapist actually agrees with me, I'm happier not being in a relationship."

"Well, I can take you to a therapist who would disagree," she went on. 

My defenses are now rising.

At this point, a mutual acquaintance walked in on this discussion, Acquaintance 1 turns to her and asks "Aren't you happy being married?"

"Oh, yes," Acquaintance 2 answered, "He's my best friend."

A1 turns to me, "See, she's happy. You need to...."

"NO! I don't want to." I emphatically interrupted. "And, fyi, I have tried meeting men after my divorce, only to be blatantly lied to, openly deceived, and worse," I said counting them off on my fingers.

"But..." A1 tried to say...

"NO! When I see any couple-gay, lesbian, straight-engaging in any form of intimacy, I get physically ill." At this point A2 quickly departs the room.

"Well, you just have memories of before...I'll work on you after your break."


Now, I do understand and appreciate that A1 is acting in what she thinks is my best interest. I get that. She's finally happy, so she's proselytizing the benefits of marriage/coupledom like a good little missionary. She has good intentions, I know that. Yet, isn't there something about a certain road and its paving material leading to some unpleasant destination?

What she doesn't know is my last break up led to not only a broken heart, but a shredded soul as well. So, I'm not in an emotional state for anything at this point. And she doesn't need to know.

But, what bothers me more, is that this is my life, my journey and any trespassing on my space leaves me feeling violated. And, that's all she needs to know.

And what's more, we've had this conversation once or twice before, so she's not taking me seriously. I hate being challenged, because that sets my Aquarian tenacity even firmer. We Aquarians can be very firm in our convictions. And extremely protective of our hearts.

And being told what to do is the surest way to get an Aquarian not to do it.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Synchronicities 4

Weird things are happening to me again. But, I don't know what to make of it all except I'm beginning to think I'm living in the Twilight Zone.

But this time it's all different. They're all "ghosts" or "echoes" from my past, sort of. Not repeated sets of numbers. And that has me freaking out. Kinda.

My last surviving cat passed away in 2013, and when I was emotionally ready, I set out to make her shadow box, as is my tradition. And I traditionally include the last collar each of my fur babies wore. Now, I strongly believe in keeping my cats indoors so there was no need for them to wear their collar all the time. So, I kept the collars in a safe place until I needed them, usually around the handle of their carrier. When she passed away, I donated the carrier to a rescue group, keeping the collar in a safe place for her eventual shadow box. So safe was this place, I forgot where it was when the time came to make the shadow box. I hunted and searched and looked and checked every place I knew I had remembered putting it. No luck. I had decluttered so much of my house at one point, I feared I might have accidentally thrown it out. Eventually, I began to make peace with the fact she would be the only one without her collar. But, it just recently turned up, quite unexpectedly, under a box, in a nightstand drawer I rarely open. All my fur babies now have their collars in their shadow boxes. I miss my babies so much.

Within the short time frame of three and a half weeks, four people have reached out to me to reconnect in some way; a former student, a friend, an old acquaintance, and a family member. All of these relationships had been interrupted by either time, a misunderstanding, a natural change or distancing of the relationship or something else altogether. People come in and out of our lives for many reasons. It's natural. But, four people in such a short amount of time is a bit too coincidental to not have some underlying meaning or lesson for me to note. 

Again, I believe synchronicities are seemingly random occurrences that, on closer look, might not seem so random after all. I could accept maybe two of these reconnections being coincidental, but not all four in the short amount of time in which they occurred and the vast difference in the types of people they represented in my life; my profession, my social circle, a former partner, my family.  Okay, maybe my cat's collar suddenly and unexpectedly turning up might not necessarily be connected (except the connection to my past), but these people from my past? Surely, there's something the Universe wants me to learn or be ready for. I can always exercise free will and walk away from these people, but I have to ask myself, "why now?" and "why so many?" If everything happens for a reason, I'm curious to see what the reason might be and walking away won't teach me anything.

Perhaps, one of the lessons I'm supposed to learn is that people do come back into our lives. But, they come back when they are ready, at an unexpected moment. Former students sometimes seek their teachers out for a variety of reasons, and sometimes it's just a coincidence. Friends get busy and life's priorities change and finding/making time becomes a challenge, yet can be overcome. Bridges can be mended.

Another possible lesson could be that in spite of time, distance and circumstances, I still matter to others. I still cross their minds, sometimes enough to encourage a reconnection. 
Or, perhaps, this is all reinforcing my new attitude of let it all go and it will all work out. But, on the Universe's timetable, not mine. I had given up hope on the collar when suddenly there it was.

I have been accused of, and I admit to, overthinking just a tad from time to time and I can see how I could overthink this. Yet, I beg to point out that this is an unusual circumstance. As I said before, the number of people all at one time is a bit overwhelming to not suggest something is afoot.

But, what?

As always, time will tell.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


I'm not sure if my dilemma is moral or ethical. I'm not sure that even matters. 

As I have blogged before, I've been exploring a more spiritual path. While on this path, I've come to accept we are souls having a human experience. I've also come to accept our souls have existed on another plane co-mingling with other souls until we are born into our human bodies at this time on this plane. I've come to believe people come in and out of our lives for a purpose. I've also come to believe we can see reflections of ourselves in the other relationships we have-what we may like/dislike in others is a reflection of what we like/dislike in ourselves whether we are aware of it or not. I've come to believe we had met some of these other people back when we were souls together on the other plane, perhaps conversing over a nice espresso at the Soul Plane Starbucks, and now we have re-connected on this plane as 'soulmates.' 

'Soulmate' doesn't necessarily mean the ONE person with whom you will spend the rest of your life à la Hollywood's interpretation; that would be 'Life Partner.' A soulmate is a person who comes into your life at just the right moment to help you through a particular lesson or stage, and when that lesson is learned, the soulmate connection is broken and you part ways. The difficulty of the lesson and how easily you learn it may affect the duration of time the soulmate remains in your life and, yes, a soulmate could even become a Life Partner.

As I've been opening up to what the Universe brings to me, I believe I have met my Twin Flame, a very special type of soulmate relationship which is similar to yet simultaneously different from a more generic soulmate.

As I read several articles on Twin Flames, a number of characteristics jumped out at me. While all Twin Flame relationships are different and unique to the individuals involved, Twin Flame relationships are usually characterized by:
  • A period of extremely intense growth-emotional and/or spiritual-for both persons;
  • A feeling of destiny-we were supposed to meet;
  • A feeling of immediate comfort-we can talk about anything;
  • A feeling of "completeness", even though we are complete unto ourselves already;
  • A deep connection to the other unlike you've ever felt before.
The Twin Flame relationship itself is also very intense, as it brings out your deepest hurts, fears and insecurities forcing you to confront them in order for your soul to grow and evolve. Due to the intense nature of the relationship, there can also be a resistance to face the fears from the human side of our being because they are the deepest core wounds, fears and insecurities; yet, the connection between the souls keeps bringing the two back together, as if you can't let go of each other. There can be stages of running and chasing, which suggests that Twin Flames initially meet when the timing is way off, rather than soulmates who meet at the right time.

Because it's the souls that have recognized each other (and not the human counterparts) who are trying to reconnect, another unique characteristic of a Twin Flame relationship is that your Twin can be, and usually is, someone you would least likely suspect, someone not typically your type, a complete opposite of you as this relationship reflects your deepest, darkest fears-your shadow self.

And that's how it is with me and my Twin. We fit each of the categories above and we are so opposite each other it is almost comical, "on paper" we shouldn't belong together. Yet, our connection is so deep, it's frightening because it transcends the differences, while simultaneously beautiful for the exact same reason. 

We're in a running stage (again) right now.

And truth be told, many Twins never reconnect as the fears can be too overwhelming for the human side of us to confront, and unless/until both Twins are ready to face their fears, the reunification may never take place.

While the articles have suggested we fit the portrait of the Twin Flame relationship, I have also seen numerous synchronicities, or signs, from the Universe that confirm he is my Twin. At least, I believe that's what the overwhelming number of synchronicities are telling me. I'm not sure he believes it or is even aware of the Twin Flame phenomenon.

So, here is my dilemma-if he is indeed my Twin Flame, and we may never reconnect (at least on this plane or incarnation) because our human sides are being overly cautious, even though our souls yearn to reunite, do I move on or do I wait? I have many other personal issues going on while I recover from this latest break, so I'm not emotionally available for anyone else at the moment and therefore I can't be truly present in a new relationship until I'm in a better place personally and also have let go of this old one, but the Universe keeps reminding me about him which then brings up the pain again which also makes letting go of him more difficult. And if the Universe does finally ease up a bit and I'm in a better place and I do meet someone who intrigues me, what do I do? Knowing my Twin is out there and may come back at any minute, is it morally (or ethically) fair to Mr. New Guy to start something? Is it fair to me not to explore it in case Mr. Twin never does return? 

Also, with the Twin Flame connection being so deep, Mr. New Guy would have to connect more deeply with me, or I would be settling for something less than what I've seen possible from someone else. I could have a deeper connection but maybe less in common (due to our age differences) with Mr. Twin Flame or a hypothetically shallower connection with more in common with Mr. New Guy. Yes, I understand each relationship is different, each connection is different, but when I've fallen for a richer dark roast coffee, I'm not suddenly going to start drinking a mellower light roast and be completely satisfied.

And please, the old "he left, he's gone, let go and move on" shtick doesn't quite work here. It trivializes the whole Twin Flame relationship and does not afford me the appropriate time to grieve.

I guess the only thing for me to do is continue on my path and trust that, one day, it will all work out.
One way or the other.

Monday, November 21, 2016


As I posted recently, I am having difficulty seeing myself in a new relationship. I see some very attractive, sexy men, yet cannot picture myself with them. Maybe just for a cup of coffee, maybe not even that.

Yes, I have been recently hurt, and very deeply. So, yes, 'once burned, twice shy' and all that. And I feel safe to say, this was more than just being burned-is 'conflagrated' a word? Maybe 'incinerated' is a better choice.

And a few months later, when I thought I felt a bit ready, I tried stepping out a bit, only to meet an army of dishonest or disingenuous men. 

So, it is possible I am hiding behind fears. I am openly admitting to the possibility. 

But, I think it goes even deeper than that.

I have mentioned the rampant ageism in the gay male community; that many younger men see those of us over 50 as 'gross', 'creepy' and 'shouldn't be allowed in clubs.' And many men over 40/50 don't want to deal with their own age group for the extra baggage we may carry. 

But, I think it goes deeper than that, as well.

I've also recently posted how my values don't seem in synch with what I see in the gay community. In this last relationship it took me two years to realize I had feelings for him as they built organically and very naturally and were based more on internal factors than his external appearance. We took the time to allow the friendship to develop first and foremost. Most men don't want to waste their time building a stronger foundation to withstand the storms ahead.

It appears to me that many relationships start out built on superficial attractions. And while some physical attraction plays a part, there is more to a relationship than the physicality of it all.

As humans we make time for what matters to us. We make time for those people and events that are important to us. Well, maybe with the exception of our jobs and careers. I mean, we have to pay the bills, right-so we just show up. I had met someone who said he liked me; he said I was handsome and sexy, he was interested in getting to know me. Yet, three to four days would go by before he would reply to a text message, or a phone call. Friends would frequently come into town and he'd need to entertain them. He didn't make time at least to say "Hello, I'm thinking of you." If he wasn't off to work, he was off to an appointment, or a night out with friends. He might message me on his free time, not free up some time to talk or get together with me. I was not a priority.

Granted, we don't always want to appear too eager to a potential date/mate, as it could possibly scare him off. I get that. But, what happened to good old-fashioned communication? Showing someone you care or are interested. Or, just good old-fashioned politeness; treating others as you want to be treated. Actions over words. 

Getting to know someone takes time and energy. And I don't feel I have the time or energy, right now. Okay, time I can work with, I can free up some time, but creating the energy is different. I am just not motivated.

The idea of getting to know his likes and dislikes is very unsettling. The idea of someone in my personal space feels very threatening. The idea of coming up with ideas for dates, or other fun things to do to get to know him is daunting. These ideas sap my energy. 

Yes, these may all be excuses brought on by having been so recently consumed and by the disingenuousness I've encountered, but I feel it is where I am right now.

A relationship is just not a priority.

I need to make myself a priority.

And develop a relationship with me.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Greatest Honor

My living room from the entryway
I've been learning to honor myself. 
  • To honor my strengths;
  • To honor my weaknesses;
  • To honor where I am.
As I recover from a broken relationship, I have to give myself time to heal. 

However long that takes. 

I sat at my dining table early this morning. The sun was barely rising. I cradled a warm cup of French Roast coffee in my hands. Some contemporary jazz was softly playing on the radio, the ticking of the nearby clock reminding me of my grandparents' house, always a pleasant place for me. Morning sun filtered in through the entryway windows, casting sunbeams on the floor of the living room, temporarily lighting it up.

I glanced around my living room. The combination of the cranberry, mauve and espresso colored walls always fill me with a sense of calm. The photos on the wall take me back to where I took them; Catalina Island and Sitka, Alaska-pleasant times. The many plants give the room a quiet sense of life and energy.

I turned my gaze outside to my garden, still cast in morning shadow. The silver gazing ball peeks above the lavender. A gnome sits reading under the Cape Honeysuckle. Buddha peers out from behind a slightly overgrown lantana. Sparrows chirp from the ficus while finches respond from the neighbors' guava tree. 

I wanted to sit like this forever. I felt complete. I was whole unto myself. I was at peace. 
I needed nothing more.

Or no one else, either.

My garden, when it was new
Three times in recent months during different trips running errands, some very attractive men caught my eye. All were my type: dark hair, neatly trimmed beards, muscular, with a seemingly nice aura about them. One was at a Starbucks, presumably studying as we were near Occidental College, and was so engrossed in his laptop, he never looked up. The other two I noticed while on separate shopping trips. In both cases, I needed to get past them as they were standing still in the aisle looking for something on the shelf in front of them. Glancing at them, I politely excused myself as I went by. Both smiled and nodded at me, not in the lingering gay way, but as an acknowledgment of my asking to get by because they quickly returned to their search. I found one of the men sexier than the others but there was no indication he, or any of them was gay. Yet, I found myself wondering if they were gay, would I be interested?
And I sat with the question for a moment or two.

Well, maybe for coffee, but not much more. I just could not envision it.

I tried to picture another man drinking coffee at the table with me while in my idyll this morning. 

I could not. It just did not feel right.

I honor myself by recognizing where I am on my path right now: I am not in a place to bring anyone into my life. 

By simply honoring that that is where I am, I am giving myself the greatest honor that I can: the trifecta of self-respect, self-care, and self-love.

Monday, October 31, 2016

A Glass of Red

I went on a date the other night.

It was nothing special; in fact, I almost didn't go.

I took myself out with a gift card I discovered some time ago when cleaning out a drawer. I'd actually been planning on using the card for a while but hemmed and hawed every night as I came home exhausted from a long day teaching. But, I also knew I needed to treat myself to something and soon. So, I finally made up my mind and forcibly pushed myself out of my house.

I admit I did have a bit of trepidation as I approached the host stand requesting a table for one. Not that I felt awkward dining alone, but it was a Friday night and the dinner rush was beginning. Maybe they'd ask me to sit at the counter instead of taking up a whole table. But, plenty of tables were still available. The hostess smiled and graciously led me to a table in a corner of the main room where I had a commanding view of the restaurant. 

As I scanned the menu, I noticed a touch of vertigo; perhaps it was my horrible vision having to adjust to the varying levels of darkness in the room, while trying to read the minuscule font on the menu. Or, perhaps my social anxiety was kicking in; after all, this was the first time in a long time I wasn't just picking something up for dinner, or throwing something together. I was actually out of my sanctuary and seated in a nice restaurant rather than a fast food place. And no, I hadn't had any wine. Yet.

Or, maybe it was a touch of both.

The waiter came over with complimentary bread and butter, introduced himself, and asked about my drink preference. As I was undecided on which wine I wanted, he offered to bring me a sample of their house red blend. He was very pleasant and friendly. He left the small glass of wine and went to attend other guests.

He soon returned and I placed my order; Lasagna Bolognese, side salad and a glass of merlot, as the house red blend didn't knock my socks off. 

While waiting for my order, I scanned the room and noticed several senior couples were out for the evening. They sat at their tables, adjacent to their partners with some couples being a little more cozy than others, but all seemed to be enjoying their time together. A few families were also out enjoying a meal together. The party of four in front of me was comprised of two adult women and one adult man, all seemingly in their mid-forties, plus one sullen teenage girl. Only one of the members of this party was not engrossed in a phone. 

The vertigo hung around for a while, but did not become serious enough to make me need to leave and eventually it did subside. But, I began to wonder what it might be like to be on a real date. With another man, not just myself. How badly would my anxiety kick in?

I could not get that far. The whole idea of a date became such a foreign concept, it felt so wrong. I could not picture myself sitting at a restaurant with a guy making small talk while eating. I could not even project myself farther into the future into an established relationship talking over our respective days with my boyfriend/partner/husband or wherever we were on that particular path.

This was all reinforced even more when the bill came. I mean, the bill wasn't outrageous for one, less than $40.00. But I've lived the last few years a bit frugally out of necessity, and this night I even had a gift card, but still did not order the most expensive item on the menu. (The ribeye steak wasn't even tempting.) But, I did say yes to dessert. (Can't turn down tiramisu!) Anyway, as I am needing to tighten the belt a bit, the financial aspect of dating reared its giant head again. As did the social anxiety and the trust factors, and...and...the list goes on...

As does life...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Best Policy

I try to treat everyone with honesty and respect. I'm not always successful, but I try.

The other day, a letter arrived here at my home for my ex-husband. He left over six years ago, and there hadn't been anything for him in almost as many years. After all, it takes a while for mail and address changes to catch up. This letter carried first-class postage, so I knew it was not junk but what it was, I did not know. Nor did I care. 

But, the return address, as well as the first class postage, seemed to suggest it was important. The return address contained the word "Settlement" suggesting a court case, or some other type of a finalization of something-or-other. Coupled with the fact I received a "settlement" check a week or two before from a class action lawsuit, I figured that was what it might be and that he had been living here at the time the case was filed several years ago which was why the letter came to my house.

I checked off my options. I could:
  • Trash it-but interfering with someone else's mail is a felony and even though it's not likely I'd get caught, I wouldn't want to risk it, or;
  • Contact him for an address to forward it-but was this a can of worms I really wanted to open?, or;
  • Mark it "Return to Sender"-perhaps the easiest option.

I felt an urgency to make sure he got what he was due. Because I'm nice like that.

In the end, I called a mutual friend who knows knew my ex well and asked her opinion. She thought he'd get back to me in a few days once he had borrowed an address from a friend so I wouldn't end up stalking him (like I'd want to!!) or possibly track him down for the money he owes me (I could hire a private investigator if I truly wanted to).  She was both surprised, yet not surprised that I even entertained the idea of contacting him. She suggested trashing or shredding it, as she would do, but I reminded her of the potential felony.

"Who'd find out?" she asked.

"I just want to do what's honorable," I answered.

"You're too kind."

I hung my head is sheepish acquiescence. 

In the end I followed my heart, emailed him and told him I had what seemed like an important piece of mail for him (I did not let on I suspected what it was-maybe I should have?) and asked what he wanted me to do: 1) forward it-in which case I'd need an address, or 2) mark it 'return to sender' and let the chips fall where they may. He opted for option 2 and that's what I did. 

Maybe I am too nice.

But, sometimes it pays off.

I recently had solar panels installed on my house. Part of the process involved an upgrading of my electrical panel to accommodate the new solar system. The team showed up on time on the appointed day, which also happened to be one of the hottest days of the year so far, and proceeded to make the upgrade. Once finished, they asked me to check every light switch and outlet in every room through the house to make sure there was power to them. Their policy is they don't want to have to come back. Unless it's for a new job. A good policy to have. 

I did have one outlet that didn't work and hadn't worked for a few months. In fact, it hadn't worked for a couple of years. But, as I had no need for it I never followed through on fixing it. Plus the idea of hiring an electrician and the expense all seemed daunting. But, here was my chance to at least get an estimate. So, I took a deep breath and told one of the workers about the outlet and asked if he would just take a look at it and advise me where I should begin and/or what he might charge on a return trip or if it was something I could tackle myself. And I made sure he knew it hadn't worked before they changed the panels.

He ended up doing the repair job for me. On the hottest afternoon in my backyard, with little shade.

At the end of the job, I thanked him profusely and he explained to me why he helped me with the outlet, "Because you were honest with me and didn't try to get me to fix it for free by telling me it stopped working because of the panel upgrade."

I ended up tipping him $60.00 which was all the cash I had at the time.

A few months later, a similar situation happened with my dryer door. My dryer sits to the left of the washer and the door opens from the left side, meaning I pull it toward the washer to load. I then have to lean over the door to add clothes to the dryer and that sometimes aggravates my back. I thought about changing it myself, but the manual suggested I not do that. My washer had been acting up and when the repairperson arrived with the parts I asked if the warranty on my dryer would cover switching the door from left-side open to right-side open, then I'd call and schedule another appointment. He offered to change it while waiting for the washer to finish the test cycle. I tipped him $40.00.

I believe in honesty.

And maybe sometimes I am too nice to people who might not deserve it.

Maybe it's just who I am.

And that's the way I'm going to stay.

Monday, October 10, 2016

A Fish Out Of Water

It seems the more I venture back into the gay male community, I find I have so little in common with it.

So, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm even gay anymore. Or even want to be. 

Yes, an attractive man will still catch my eye, but that's about it.

With all the emotional battering and bruising I've been through recently, I know I'm not ready for a relationship, and it will be quite a while before I may be ready due to my lack of trust in gay men and, to a lesser extent, in people in general. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure I even want anyone underfoot.

I did not go to Pride this year. Not that I wasn't feeling prideful, but because I was still nursing a broken heart and soul, and my introversion has been in overdrive lately. Just the idea of the thought of being alone in a crowd was overwhelmingly crippling; coupled with the idea of being in a sensory overload situation-hundreds of scantily clad men, innumerable references to love and sex, and people in various states of substance overload-all seemed terrifyingly paralyzing. No, I was not going.

I was recently talking with my straight neighbor who has been helpful with some home repairs now that I'm managing my home by myself. He asked me if I was seeing someone. I replied that I wasn't and didn't want to because I find myself moving far slower than most gay men. I mean faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar slower, a snail's pace.

Men are physical- and physically oriented. They are attracted to the wrapping, the external. It's a guy thing, I'm told. Really? I find that's merely an excuse or a result of socialization. I'm a guy, yet I prefer the gift itself, the internal. I prefer to wait before taking any more intimate steps. And I mean wait a looong time. That doesn't mean to say I don't appreciate a good looking man, but it is not the only reason to get to know someone. Or to simply be a piece of meat. Unless both are consenting to it. Then please enjoy, just don't expect me to be as casual as you are simply because I'm gay, too.

I also don't get the throwing shade so common in the community. Because we've been hurt by so many people throughout our lives, I understand it can be a pre-emptive defense mechanism; "I'll get you first before you get me!" But, being mean is just plain ugly. And bad karma. And the thrower usually ends up looking worse than the throwee.

Or the judgments: "Did you get a load of what she was wearing? Looks like someone threw up!" But, if she's happy, then STFU. Unless she asks for your opinion.

The ageism: "He was, like, ancient. At least forty." My young friend, you'll be forty some day. Plus, you wouldn't have many of the rights you have today if it wasn't for the generations before you. Or the reverse, the older men who will only date men under a certain age.

The shallowness: No fats, no fems, no Asians, no blacks, no Latinos, no whites, no blonds, no gingers, no brunets, no twinks, no fur. I understand we all have our preferences, and certain types will catch our eye more than others, but a great relationship just might be with someone not necessarily your 'type.'

The substances? I was chatting with a guy at a concert who said he always takes a ride service, so he can stay drunk all night. How charming. I played on a gay kickball team and every social event involved several gallons of alcohol. To be fair, I do enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with dinner; maybe a cocktail once in a while.

And pop culture: What’s a Sia? And I’m always confusing the House of Thrones with the Game of Cards, or hearing something about a real housewife somewhere near Pomona, I think. I have no idea about the new television programs. Or movies. So, I'm at a loss at awards parties.

(Disclaimer: To be fair, shortly after my divorce, I had to make severe budgetary cutbacks, and my television provider went. The only things I could watch were on my DVDs or on an app that didn't require a cable account. Nor could I afford to go to movies at that time. So, I got used to not watching current programming or current movies. And I'm still not that motivated to.)
And all the hoopla over certain actors and whether or not they'll do a full-frontal shot in their latest film! Or whether it really was him in that full frontal shot. Does the man not have a mind and a heart?

And you simply can't be gay if you believe in monogamy, or you are a whore if you don't.  

I accept the fact I might be coming off as judgmental here. I don't mean to. I appreciate the differences in the community. I'm merely trying to find myself in a community where I feel like a fish out of water. So, how do you fit into a community that encourages you to express your individuality, but decries you when your individuality goes against the grain of the very nature of the group?

Recent events have also shown me that I NEED a relationship to develop organically from a friendship first. Many gay men don't like going slow. I have often heard the phrase, "It was love at first sex on the first date." Relationships based solely on sexual compatibility or attractiveness never last long.

And it seems like everyone is relationship-oriented, or maybe just hook-up oriented. Except me.

I knew I needed to step out more; so, I decided to join an LGBT social group on that advertises itself as a "fun group of lesbians and gay men who will go hiking, have picnics, and just hang out." Sounds cool and very social. I clicked on the "Join Us" button and was directed to the questionnaire, as all new members needed to be approved by the administrator of the group. It seems to be a standard procedure for many groups on MeetUp, not just LGBT groups, so it didn't surprise me.

I answered the first question, "What part of the SFV (San Fernando Valley) do you live in?"

Okay, no problem. I answered easily enough.

Second question: "Single or taken?"

There I froze, my hands hovering over the keyboard.

WTF? This appears to be a social group, right? Then WTF difference does it make if I'm single or taken? I believe that particular conversation would be better off building organically between the parties concerned.

I skipped the question and answered the next one: “Favorite restaurant in the area?”

My favorite closed down, so I thought of another one.

I clicked on 'next' and some red words flashed, "Please answer all questions." The single or taken? box was highlighted. Evidently, I had to answer that question.

I realize that being part of a social group can lead to the formation of new friendships that could turn towards something romantic but shouldn't you get to decide when and who you want to know your status? What if I don't want it plastered on my group profile? Even on Facebook, you have the opportunity to not declare a relationship status. But, evidently, I had to put something in the box. And yes, this might not be a big deal to some but for me right now it is. Single implies I'm looking or at least available for a relationship, which I am not and I don’t like giving the wrong impression. Taken would be lying which could invite questions as to why my boyfriend never accompanies me, and there's too much to remember when you begin lying or inventing boyfriends. Plus, to me, the word taken implies being kidnapped or the relationship is against your will. I thought of some clever repart√© like neither, or unavailable, or I respectfully decline to answer this inane and judgmental question which suggests this group is more about matchmaking than just socializing. But, I decided against it.

But I was still curious as to why this relationship status question was even mandatory for joining a social group. I thought I'd email the organizer and ask. But, I was so put off by the idea of the question that as I re-read my email, I realized I came off as antagonistic and bitchy, so I deleted it. Perhaps I should forget it.

Or at least calm down, because the curiosity was still getting to me. 

Later, I tried again, a little less antagonistic and bitchy, but still couldn't send the email. I hit 'delete.'

Then it hit me. If I'm having such trouble with this question, then maybe this group is not for me. I'm not ready to venture out after my recent misadventures. Perhaps in time.

I guess I'm in my own space right now.

And that's okay with me.

Which is all that matters.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Synchronicities 3

Be careful what you ask for.

It just might happen.

I ended my last post on synchronicities wishing I could trust and let go in more areas of my life as I had learned to trust in the process of the solar project for my house I had undertaken.

I think I am.


The other day, I flipped open the cover of my iPad. The clock showed 11:11.

A couple of days later, I got in my car, started the engine and out of habit I checked the clock as I turned on the radio. Well, they're right next to each other. It was 11:11.

A few days later I was walking around my house talking on the phone. Now, when I talk with my mother or a friend, I usually sit. When I'm talking with a sales- or repair person, I walk around. I happened to glance at the clock in my guest room and yes, it was 11:11.

Three 11:11s.

So, what does all that mean? When too many "coincidences" like this happen, many in the spiritual or consciousness awakening communities suggest that the Universe is affirming that you are moving in the right direction. Any choices or decisions you have made are for your best, even if they are a bit frightening or painful; like a spiritual reassurance, if you will. Also, many mediums believe a loved one is reaching out to you with some type of message. Some others believe it is a suggestion that something unusual will take place soon.

I believe it means whatever resonates with you.

Just a few days after the third 11:11, a hawk landed on the back of one of my patio chairs. Now, I've had hawks in my yard before, usually with a nice choice pigeon for their lunch. While eating, the hawk is on the ground, or maybe perched in a tree shielding itself and its prey. As this hawk was perched on the back of a chair, watching me through the sliding glass door, I considered it a bit unusual. I checked out Hawk Medicine in my Shamanic reference books and it suggested that since hawks fly high above the earth to gather a larger or broader perspective as they search for prey, perhaps I should also check my perspective. So, I have taken a step back to look at some areas of my life, changed my perspective and began to feel a bit lighter. At least in spirit. And I feel better about an important decision I need to make and therefore act on, soon.
The hawk took off seconds after I snapped this shot

And the synchronicities keep coming.

I was anxious for the final step of my solar project; the installation of the solar meter by my utility company, and I was eventually given a six week timeframe. One morning as I was waiting for a package to arrive before heading out for some errands, the mail carrier knocked on the door and asked about the savings on my electric bill as he had noticed the solar inverter on my house. Alas, I had to tell him I couldn't answer that as I was still waiting for the solar meter to be installed so I could turn the system on. Chuckling, he handed me my package, thanked me anyway and left. And I went to run my errands.

Stepping out of my car now back in my garage, I heard someone call to me "Can you please open the gate?" (My house is right in front of the gate to my community and I hadn't shut the garage door, yet.) I went to open the gate, and the guy said he was looking for a particular street which just happened to be mine. I looked at his truck, he was from my utility company, so I asked if he was looking for my house number to install my solar meter. Yes!! he was. Now, this was only three days after I was initially given the six week window with no email or phone call to schedule the installation! It was meant to be. I found the timing of his arrival also quite interesting as we arrived within moments of each other as I hadn't even unlocked the door to my house yet. And the coincidence that the mail carrier inquired about my system only to have the installer show up unscheduled that same day to finish the job wasn't lost on me, either.

It all came to be.

The installer took out the old meter, installed the new solar-ready one and sat down to fill out some paperwork regarding the old meter.

"Well, I never," he said. "I must take a picture of this for my buddy. I have never seen anything like this."

I am thinking this is weird for him to be vocalizing all this, and ask, "What?"

He explains how he was taught to read the meter, and I'm not going into the details, because frankly I don't remember them. But he shows me the meter and all the little needles are pointing up. "Okay," I remember thinking, "yeah, that is odd."

"See this one here," he points to the far right one, "it reads a 9."

"Okay." If he says so. Yes, the needle is just past the 9, not quite to the 0.

"And this one here is also a 9, by default." It's actually on the zero.

He went on to finish the reading, 9-9-9-9-9.

Five 9s.

I took it as another simple synchronicity, an affirmation.

Then I remembered it was September, the ninth month. I also had to convince him it was actually the 10th that day. He kept insisting it was the 9th. I guess he was supposed to install my meter the day before but didn't get to, as the paperwork all had 9/9/16 as the installation date. (Okay, maybe that 9 doesn't count, since now it was actually the 10th.) But, if you add the digits in the year 2016 (2+0+1+6=9) that one does.

Seven 9s.

And I was just accepting it all.

Until he made this comment.

"Wow, with all these 9s, it's like the Universe is trying to tell you something."

Oh, no, no, no, he did not just say that! And that's when I began to freak out. Now, it seemed the Universe was using him to affirm the message, "Yes, the 9s mean something."

I looked up 9 symbolism and found several cultural interpretations, some positive, some not. But, the one that felt right to me was that 9 signifies an ending, but an ending for a new beginning to start, more of a transition into something bigger and better. I mean, what comes after 99,999 but 100,000.

I'm also just thinking this is yet another affirmation, albeit a strong one, that I'm moving forward in the direction the Universe has in mind for my greater good, and I'm letting go and just being.

Well, I'm trying to.

And I feel good about it.

 For more information on 11 11 please click on this link.

Monday, September 12, 2016


It's interesting what a huge difference just one change can make.

Over the last few years I've been working on making my house more of my home and less of the house I shared with my ex-husband.

For example, I turned his ugly orange office into my very peaceful library/meditation room, a change I find most ironic.

I hung more of my photography around my home.

I painted the kitchen (which we never had done) and added ceramic tiles to the soffit.

I bought some art from a wonderfully talented gay artist and proudly displayed it on my walls.

I took my time with these changes as mood, time, energy, and most importantly, budget, allowed. Yet, there was one piece of furniture that I had a hard time replacing. Not because I didn't want to replace it, I did. Badly. I hated that piece ever since we bought it.

So, why did we buy it?

Well, when we went to buy a flat screen television, we needed a new stand and this was our only choice at the time. It was silver particle board with two smoke colored tempered glass shelves and matching glass top. It was oval shaped. It was ugly but as I said, we had no choice at that moment in that store, which is known more for electronics than furniture.

I hated it, but my ex loved it.

My style is a blend of Arts and Crafts and California Mission which is mostly wooden furniture with minimal ornamentation. Quite a contrast from the television stand. As much as I tried to hide it, I couldn't completely. I lost the television in the divorce, but unfortunately not the stand. So, I turned it into a plant stand and placed it in front of the window. Plants need light, right? I loved my plants, and wanted the best for them.

Meanwhile, I kept entertaining ways to get rid of the stand or at least disguise it more; I kept adding plants and especially those that would drape and cover it, like spider plants and English ivy. I thought of painting it, but disassembling, sanding, painting and then reassembling it seemed daunting. I started looking for its replacement in a style a little closer to my own but couldn't find anything that met my requirements in height, length and depth. I thought of getting an appropriately styled table and trading places with another piece I already had that would work under the window but then that might entail rearranging the art that was hanging over the original table to now be centered over the new table. Too much work. And I liked the original piece where it was. But, wait a minute...
The Ugly Stand

The piece I wanted to move would work, but the color was a bit off for the effect I wanted to achieve under the window. But, what if...?

I found the same piece on sale in a more appropriate color plus I had a coupon for an additional twenty dollars off.

So, I bought it, assembled it and placed it under the window.

Now, what to do with the ugly stand? 

I contemplated my options:
  1. I could put it out on the street for someone to take, but in the meantime the glass might get broken and injure someone. 
  2. I could sell it, but then I would have strangers coming to my house. And it had fallen apart a couple of times which suggested selling it might not be the ethical thing to do.
  3. I could donate it to a charity, but if it's falling apart, it might not be the ethical thing to do. 
  4. I could simply throw it away.
And that's just what I did.

But, how to get it into the trash bins as each piece was too tall to fit, and it would take a few trash collections to get rid of all the pieces.

The two glass shelves would fit in the large recycling bin and the three small support pieces between the wooden base and top would fit in the smaller trash bin. But the base and top, and the tempered glass top piece were all way too big to fit in their appropriate bin. But...

Taking my saw to the wooden pieces and a hammer to the tempered glass brought such a relief. It relieved stress, it relieved frustration and did a whole lot more.

I didn't realize how much I hated that piece. It was also the last piece that had my ex written all over it as it was more his style than mine.

This new piece isn't as deep as I wanted, so I had to relocate some of my green babies around the house, which is not an easy thing to do as I'm running out of window space for them. But, it works and the plants are thriving.

And this change has done something else, too.  

Although this new piece is slightly longer yet narrower than the ugly stand, it has allowed me to move the sofa a bit closer into the living room making it a much more intimate conversation area. And it just seems so much neater, tidier and cozier with this new piece. 

So much so, sometimes I just like to sit and marvel at the difference it has made.