Summer in New York City | July ’17

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted anything. I have A LOT of things I want to write about, I just haven’t had a ton of time to dedicate to it, SO more to come on that.

But …….today I wanted to share July’s collage vlog! Very delayed I know….but without further ado, here’s what my friends and I did in July:

Pride Month: Kevin

Like I said before, this Pride Month project has given me such an amazing opportunity to get to know some really unique, talented, and beyond-awesome people. Going into this, I was hoping for some sort of outcoming like that, but I can assure you that this collaborative experience has become way more than anything that I could have imagined. 

Each person that has been willing to bear a bit of their soul for the purpose of this month has blown me away, and it makes me so excited to share their words each day. 

Today’s piece is written by Kevin, whom I was introduced to by my very great friend Louise. Before I even talked to him, I knew he would be cool. Louise just has this way of gravitating towards people that are worth knowing. Here is how she describes Kevin: 

“From meeting Kevin Freshmen year, covered in highlighter in the basement of Llamda Chi, to watching the soulful, creamii rapper perform live – I could tell that he has always had a gift for lighting up a room. I’ve always admired and loved how Kevin could make everyone instantly feel at ease, no matter the situation, like a friend you have known for years. I’m excited for you all to read on about how he finds solace in being part of the LGBTQ community in the same way in which I, and many of the people that know Kevin, have found comfort in him.

He has more talent than Pablo Picasso, the dance moves of Brittany Spears, and an absolute soul of gold. I hope his story inspires you as much as it continues to inspire me. (p.s. Kevin, ILY and miss you more than DHAWL DASH)”

Check out his words here:

I remember laying in bed at night as a kid, in the late 90’s through the 00’s, worrying about my own future. I vividly remember wishing my gay away as I would try to fall asleep. I had instincts of how difficult coming out would be when I got older. I would lay there worrying about how my older brother would view me — worrying about how my straight friends react. Coming out is very mentally taxing. The process is truly the most exhausting thing I’ve endured, just because of how patient you have to be when you receive insensitive or rude responses after you open up with somebody who may not have ever even met a gay person before. BUT it’s worth it. It feels good.

Today, I recognize that being gay is both electrifying and frustrating. I love the camaraderie I share with my “sisters” and I feel like my truest self when I can say whatever is on my mind, without non-identifying people making remarks or raising an eyebrow. This feeling is something my immediate family probably won’t ever understand. The relationship I have with people who are gay or sexually fluid or trans or queer is something I’ve become quite protective of — it is something that I honestly don’t want to share with straight people. Too often, they just don’t want to hear about what is really happening in our world… they may think they do sometimes, but I’ve noticed that even if it’s through their stiff body language — queer-talk can easily make straight people uncomfortable.

Sometimes I wonder how my parents and brother would react if I talked to them about what I talk about with my LGBTQ friends. I’m sure they’d be super uncomfortable and want to crawl in a tiny hole and die — and that kind of makes me giggle. Just because everyone knows for sure that I’m gay, doesn’t mean they can handle the full experience, and honestly, I’m learning to feel content with that. My immediate family offers me strength through advice and love and concern and care. They are what keep me from not tattooing things onto my face that I’d probably regret and adopting 13 cats… they keep me grounded. Even though sometimes I want to be a lot more reckless with my behavior– my family as a unit is always on my mind during the trials and tribulations of life, which is something not everybody can say, so I do my best to not take that for granted.

Friends can shift. You get into fights, you have falling outs, you say words that ultimately break bonds you thought could never break. But there is always community in being gay. In just 5 years, I’ve gotten to meet some people I never thought I would connect with and the common denominator between us is —– gay. We share a bond that is felt without always having to say what you’ve been through in words. We already know first hand how difficult gay experiences can be, especially when you’re young and don’t have a single outlet to open up to, which is why the common threads in our community feel so special and deep. 

Speaking of special and deep…… Love. If you’re gay, you’ve never grown up knowing what a prototype of “love” is because it is so underrepresented in our culture. It leaves many of us jaded by the mere idea. I like to speculate that if and when LGBTQ-identifying folks DO experience love, that it may be even more special and even more deep than those prototypes that were always shoved down our throats. Speaking of love – ily Samuel.

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Like Louise mentioned, Kevin is an artist!!! 
Check out his work on his website: https://www.artbysabo.com/
(it seriously will mesmerize you) 

You can also follow his work and life on Instagram: @bb_kv 

This is What Two Years in Jail Looks Like:

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Earlier today I tried to write a really lengthy post about this….and my computer crashed right before I posted it. L O L was that a sign? I’m not sure!! But here I am writing it again!! I can’t guarantee this will be as interesting because my brain is still mostly consumed with my anger towards Tumblr for not automatically saving drafts of my posts every couple minutes incase of potential computer crashes!!!! But anyways, 

I’ve tried to sit down and write about this so many times and I’ve never been able to find the right words. Are there even words that can be correctly strung together to formulate sentences to explain what it’s like to have a dad that’s been in jail for two years? I’m not sure. Probably, but I haven’t found them yet. 

In a lot of senses, I think its difficult to explain because my problems with my dad began well before he was in jail. In a way, two years ago was not the beginning of my problems, it was the beginning of my freedom. 

Two years ago was the first time I was able to separate myself from my dad. It was the first time in years that I wasn’t consistently feeling responsible for him. I didn’t have to be the parent anymore. But at the same time, it was the first time my problems were exposed to the world. It was the first time I couldn’t just pretend things were normal or perfect or easy. Two years ago I was forced to start learning to let go of my fear of judgments and outsiders’ opinions. 

A lot of losses are easy to understand. With a death or a divorce, most people can fairly easily interpret the pain you’re feeling and appropriately comfort you. With incarceration, no one ever knows what to think or say. In my opinion, so much of that lack of appropriate support comes from confusion. 

To start, it’s extremely difficult to explain the complexity of the flaws within the criminal justice system. On top of that, it’s even more difficult to understand what it feels like to be trapped within that system (whether guilty or innocent). And then to be an outsider looking in, watching a loved one suffer without any ability to help or control the situation is another demon entirely.

Two birthdays. Two Christmases. Two summers that would have been spent at the beach or by the pool. Two years of missed calls. Two years filled with hand written letters. Two years without my childhood home. 730 times that I could have processed my feelings. 730 days to pick up the phone and say “hello”. 730 days to write you back.  

The best thing I’ve learned over these past two years is that change does not happen overnight and progress is not linear. Sometimes I go weeks without crying once. There are periods of time where my life feels flawless. Then there are periods of time where my entire day is filled with shame and anger and pity. Sometimes I feel proud. Other days I feel beyond weak. 

I used to think that was wrong though. I used to think that time just healed wounds. But healing also takes work. And just because you’re healing doesn’t mean it always happens in a sequential order. Sometimes you’ll take 3 steps forward and then 5 steps back. Sometimes you’ll take 10 steps forward and only 1 back. 

I’ve learned that the whispers behind your back are sometimes unavoidable. I’ve learned that the silence after sharing the truth is okay. This situation is just as new for me as it is for everyone else. Judgments and criticisms directly stem from confusion. 

I’ve learned that people can be both good and bad simultaneously, and that doesn’t mean you were ever wrong for loving them.

I also learned that I’m allowed to love the parts of my dad that I see within myself. Just because I am made up of parts of him, doesn’t mean I am him.

My dad showed me a lot of beauty but he also showed me a lot of darkness. 

These past two years have been filled with growth and acceptance. 

Incarceration. Is. A. Loss. Too. 

Maybe it’s not as conventional as other losses, but it’s a loss. For the past two years I’ve felt, more or less, unable to openly share what I’ve been going through. I’m not going to let my shame control me anymore. I am proud of the person I have become. 

My dad is in jail but my life wasn’t perfect before that either. It has been two years, but I am the happiest I think I’ve ever been.

Something Short

… Because I haven’t written in a while. (And because I’m feeling mildly anxious!!!!)

I’m going out this weekend for the first time in almost a month and I’m very nervous about it. As I’m sure I’ve explained before, my bottled up emotions expose themselves in very inappropriate, anxiety-ridden ways when drink… i.e. I get very stuck inside my own head, I replay really negative thoughts to myself over and over, I usually cry a lot, then feel super anxious and embarrassed about crying, realize I’m unable to openly express what lead to said crying, and by that point the night is ruined and I’m lucky if one of my friends notices and decides to take me home.

This endless cycle has been occurring more and more frequently over the past year or so and at this point I basically expect it to happen the minute I’m drunk. I know a lot of people use drinking as a way to escape their problems but likkkkkke my question to those people is: HOW DO YOU DO IT???? If only that was the case for me WOW would my life be a dream.

Anyways, I started a new medication for my anxiety/depression a few weeks ago and I haven’t drank since I started it so I am also very apprehensive about that!! ! ! ! Yikes! !

This post really has little to no point, and I wrote is in about 2 minutes without even checking to see if any of it was grammatically correct (heh sry low quality content!) But I am sitting on the train on the way to the beach for the weekend, and I’m silently PANICKING about the fact that I don’t want to socialize and that I will probably ruin the weekend by crying once again. And the kicker is my therapist keeps telling me I need to try harder to put myself out there. I DON’T WANNA, OK.

*insert upside down smiley face*

But seriously does anyone have any tips and tricks to being more carefree when you drink?? LMK I NEED ALL THE HELP I CAN GET! ! ! K wish me luck, thnx.

I Haven’t Written in a While

Here is why: 

  1. Writing, for me, is therapeutic, but only to an extent. When I’m feeling more drained/stressed/tired/sad than usual, sometimes writing just seems impossible. Sometimes I can’t even comprehend how I could find the energy to put words on paper. I’ve felt that way a lot recently.
  2. On a lighter note, I’ve also just been busy. I’ve been apartment hunting like crazy, traveling a lot while it is still summer, and working non-stop. I usually have a lot more alone time to write, but I’ve been so exhausted by the time I get on the train home every night that all I’ve wanted to do is turn my brain off for a little bit.

Here are some updates that I want to elaborate on in future posts: 

  1. I had a meltdown on my birthday. I think a lot of it stemmed from seeing my dad’s parents the night before. Seeing them put me in this dark place and I just couldn’t shake it because I couldn’t even really put my finger on why I felt that way. I just knew I felt it and I just couldn’t stop crying all day. In a way it was helpful though. I haven’t felt that low in a while. I think I needed it.
  2. I’ve been feeling extra disconnected from my friends recently. Usually I’m very extroverted in the sense that being with people energizes me. It lifts my mood and distracts me from the thoughts in my head. Recently I have felt the exact opposite. I feel unlike myself, lonely, and frustrated around friends. I cried on Friday night (while we were out celebrating my birthday) partially because I felt this way and just couldn’t make it go away. I feel increasingly more interested in being alone now, and I’m afraid its only going to get worse. It’s such a double edged sword because I’m lonely alone but unhappy when I’m not alone. 
  3. I bought a book called ‘Stop Walking on Eggshells”. Sounds cheesy, but its been great so far. It’s about dealing with friends/family who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. My dad has BPD and it has been realllllllllly difficult on me specifically. Hopefully I’ll learn how to create a relationship with him that is healthy and not overbearing. A lot of my trust and self confidence issues stem from my relationship with him so I’m hoping this helps me rationalize those insecurities more. 
  4. I’ve been extra hard on myself about money recently. I used to get this way all the time while I was living in DC, but since I moved home, I haven’t had to pay rent and things have been *slightly* easier. I’m always pitying myself for having a job that doesn’t pay me that well, and I’m always jealous of friends that have a lot of financial support from their parents. When I was at my low point on Tuesday my mom told me she would give me $20k if she knew it would make me happy. I’ve been thinking about that a lot since then. Aside from the fact that I wouldn’t take that money anyway, because my mom simply doesn’t have it to give, it’s an interesting concept. It has made me wonder whether I’d be just as hard on myself about money even if I had that much more of it. It’s also made me wonder how much of my confidence depends on my income (bc clothes, makeup, nice things, etc).

I’ll write more later. I’m going to Rehoboth this weekend with my friends from DC and I’m really excited! I’m going to try to drink less while I’m there. I think a lot of my anxieties and negative thoughts have been surfacing once I get drunk and I’m hoping I can contain that for the weekend. 

LOL GUESS WE’LL SEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! DOES ANYONE EVEN READ THIS ANYWAYS???????