Visits home to Shamokin, PA have a way of reminding me why I left there in the first place. I tell you, Pennsyltucky has nothing on the Red States when it comes to rednecks. The only thing there is to do in town is hang out at one of the many local bars talking about hunting, NASCAR and high school or Penn State football. Other than that, the only other cultural activity is hitting the local Wal*Mart. Teenage pregnancy, drug use, unemployment and alcoholism are rampant. The place is just rough and I cannot understand why anybody who could get the hell out of Dodge wouldn't do so at the very first opportunity.
Spending time in Pennsyltucky gives you plenty of opportunity for reflection on your life and I did a fair amount of reflecting this past weekend. One of the things that I came to grips with is the fact that I am tired of trying to be someone that am not in order to make other people happy. I spent most of my adult life trying to be someone other than who I really was in order to make other people happy. I pretended to be a straight man in order to appease my family. I tried desperately (almost too desperately) to be someone who my last boyfriend would love. I am finding myself falling back into that trend again, trying to be someone other than who I am in order to get people to be friends with me. It has to stop sometime.
To quote the great philosopher, Popeye the Sailor Man, "I yam what I yam." And I can't, nor do I feel I should have to be anyone else.
The way I see it, I am a 38 year old, professional, educated gay man with a warm and caring heart. I think I am genuine, honest, nurturing and loyal. I may not be the hippest guy on the planet, but I am not a total dork either. I may not be the most cultured person alive, but I am not a complete redneck. I may not be the hottest man walking the streets, but I am not a troll either. I have a great deal to offer as a lover and a friend. And for those who that is not enough... too damned bad. Their loss. In the long run, I may actually be better off without those associations. Shallow and superficial people who cannot see that probably bring more negative energy to a relationship than I need right now anyway.
A few weeks ago, I sat at my kitchen window watching "the last few yellow leaves dancing in the breeze on the maple tree out front" and lamented the rapid passing of time and seasons. Today, I looked at the tree and noticed that despite my lamenting, the rest of the leaves have either withered and died or fallen off. They are all gone. Of course, I never thought that just because I thought about it that I could actually change the inevitable.
I went to see La Mala Educacion or Bad Education tonight with a friend. The latest film by internationally acclaimed Spanish filmmaker and director Pedro Almodóvar (Talk to Her & All About My Mother). It was an excellent movie and Almodóvar continues his spectacular use of color and imagery and music.
Once again, a trannie is a central character in his film. In this one the exceptionally hot, Mexican actor Gael García Bernal delivered a stunning performance. He is really very talented and he now has a new fan.
The film is complicated and sometimes a little difficult to follow. There are three story lines happening at the same time and sometimes you get a little (but not much) confused by the switching back and forth. There are a lot of interesting plot twists too. I strongly recommend this film. It may not be on par with All About My Mother, but it is a good movie.
I don't know what it means and I don't know exactly when it happened. But the world changed today. Sometime between 7:30 AM EST when I woke up and the subway ride back to the Bronx tonight on the D train, something changed. I am not sure what changed, but something is different.
I am not sure if it happened on the train ride to or from Wilmington, DE. I am not sure if it happened during one of the several conversations I had with friends today. I am not sure if it happened while chatting on-line. I am not sure if it happened at dinner with a friend tonight. I am not sure if it happened while watching the movie I went to see tonight. I am not sure if it happened while riding the subway for the first time in ages. But things are not the same as they were when I woke up this morning.
Something feels different, and I cannot put my finger on what it is. When I think about tomorrow, the day after, the day after that, next week, next month, next year... things look different than they did yesterday. Things seem a little clearer. My perspective seems altered. I cannot even tell if it is a good thing, but I do feel eerily calm.
The name of John has made you serious-minded, responsible, and stable. You love the security of a home and family, you are fond of children, and, as a parent you would be fair and understanding. Although you have good business judgment, you are not aggressive in your dealings because you do not like to create issues. You would be successful in any position dealing with the public as you have a diplomatic and tactful manner and possess a charming, easy-going nature which puts people at ease. People are drawn to you because they feel that you are patient, kind, understanding, and responsive. You would be effective in a career or in volunteer work where you are handling people and serving in a humanitarian way. While you are honest and responsible, one weakness that is paramount in your life is your lack of self-confidence and initiative, which causes you to put things off and avoid facing issues. Generally speaking, you have few problems with your health; however, there is a weakness affecting the fluid functions of the body.
OK, so this inspired me to look up the etymology of the name John. I found this on Behind the Name:
JOHN m Usage: English, Biblical Pronounced: JAHN English form of Johannes, which was the Latin form of the Greek name Ioannes, itself derived from the Hebrew name Yochanan meaning "YAHWEH is gracious". This name owes its consistent popularity to two New Testament characters, both highly revered as saints. The first was John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus Christ, who was beheaded by Herod Antipas. The second was the apostle John who was also supposedly the author of the fourth Gospel and Revelation. The name has been borne by 23 popes, as well as kings of England, Hungary, Poland, Portugal and France. It was also borne by the poet John Milton and the philosopher John Locke.
I have been accused by some people of always wanting instant gratification on things. I know how I want things to be and am not content if that is not the way they are right away. However, I think it is a little more complicated than that. There are things in my life that are important to me... work, family, relationships, friendships. When something is important to me I am ill at ease if things are not the way they should be in relation to that thing. If something is broken, I want it to be fixed right away. It causes me great distress to know that it is broken and I am not doing something to fix it. There are those who are content to just wait things out and see how they turn out, but that is not how I deal with things. I am not at peace until things are made right, and if I cannot make them right then I really get out of sorts. Maybe it is a control issue, I am not sure.
There are other things in life that are not so important to me... unpacking laundry, cleaning, sometimes going to the gym. When it comes to these areas, I think I sometimes do not give them the attention they deserve. It is something I have to work on. It's not that these things are not important to me, they just do not have the same priority.
To me creating, developing, growing or maintaining a relationship... be it a work relationship, a friendship, a romantic interest or a family relationship... is a high priority. There are some people who sort of put those things on the back burner and put other priorities ahead of them. It is not that they are not important to them, but they have different priorities. They may be driven by a number of other things such as spontaneity, excitement, selfishness, career aspirations or peer pressure.
It may be a personality flaw in me, but I value the relationships I have built in my life. When I feel like a relationship is worth working for, I make it a priority for me. My problems start and end with not understanding or sympathizing when colleagues, friends, family or lovers don't give the same priority to the relationship.
I have a new theory as it relates to dating and relationships. I have come to the conclusion that there are certain types of guys out there who are like Snickers bars. They are satisfying and make great treats, but trying to sustain yourself on them is not a good idea and in the long run is bad for you.
I think I would prefer someone who is more like a filet mignon, baked potato and side of vegatables.