I suppose I have wanted to write for awhile now but I always get this feeling when I am about to go to sleep so I just let it go writing down a few notes here or there, well after a year those notes start to add up.
I cannot catch you up on a year but I can try to write about right now that has lingering moments from the year itself.
To me the year does not end when a ball drops or when the numbers change on a calendar but when my life feels as though it is charting a course for change or I start to get inspired to get off my ass and make things happen.
So lets go to the last 5 months. I had just finished directing another musical production of the Fantasticks at a community theatre in Bedford NY. It was amazing how much fun I have directing. I love working with people and helping them grow as people and as actors. This was no exception. But this time not only did I work with people I did not know but I also got a chance to work with my Father. He tried out for one of the parts. For the first time my dad got to see a part of me he only heard of over cross country phone calls or coming to a show when I was younger after all the work had been done. He only really saw the finished product not the process involved, the process which I pride myself greatly upon. I believe the way I work is really what I enjoy, sure I like to watch the show with the audience but I really like to come into the “safe” rehearsal space where I drop my jacket to the ground without thinking twice, a place that is almost as safe as home. And this time my Dad got to see me in that environment and how I worked with people. It came with its ups and downs. It is not easy to work with family for business, especially when you are directing them. However, it worked out well and he was able to see me as me, not as the shadow I considered myself to him.
I always pictured myself somewhat in my fathers shadow since his life has gone on a similar path as mine. But when I got hired in California I started to branch off from that idea, but he never got to see the growth. I got to sit down with him at one point during production and explain to him, I am not him, I am not making his mistakes nor do I think negatively of his choices. I just needed him to know I was a different person and sometimes he has to, even though proximity to him is closer now, let me be me and not look to guide. I still reach out to my family for guidance but during production I needed him to not be my Dad at certain points and certain points I did. It was a rough balance that often ended in heated arguments. But he got to see and understand who I am and have grown to be. It was refreshing. We used to have a saying of me “hitting a wall” and I was always soo afraid I would continue to hit that wall when I was doing well, a sort of self destructive attribute hard coded into my brain when I was being successful. I guess that is why it was so hard for me to leave my old job, I thought fuck am I doing it again. Turns out I have grown out of that and the choice was right.
I also got to be the outside director not influenced by community ties and really cast as I saw fit, with the input of a few trusted people next to me. And even with some people screaming in my ear NOT to hire certain people, I made the choices as I saw would benefit the show. And guess what, it worked! I had my doubts at times, but when it was all said and done I was so proud.
Some of that pride however was shit on by some strong egos of the community and I learned a valuable lesson. I learned I would not support that community anymore other than for that of my family. But they burned the bridge with me, as opposed to me burning my own bridge. But that is OK, that IS community theatre.
Well right after this production , I decided it was time to quit smoking. This was influenced very much on a promise I made to a person in my life that had changed it in less than 3 conversations. So on March 15th, the IDES of march, I did just that. And without any cessation device I quit cold turkey.
What I did then was not what I planned. After that show, I had nothing else to prepare for. Up until that show I was swamped with projects here and there. Making very little money but making a constant flow of work. All of which didn’t get me any closer to figuring out the mystery of why I left my job and what I would do for the rest of my life. Part of the reason I decided to direct a community theatre gig. A way for me to get back to my roots. I wanted to see how I felt about it still.
Well, for the next 4 months I sat at my computer and build a community within a video game called APB. I played every day and gathered a following of 1600+ people viewing my live streams of me PLAYING my video game. I got sponsored by the site so I would make money depending on commercial plays. So I invested and sat and played. I made a lot of new virtual friends and loved every moment of it, but as I looked at the numbers I realized this would never be enough to live on, and that began to grow on me, and so I got depressed. I played to just keep the motion forward, but I cut out everyone in my life. The no smoking and no workout and no life outside my home was wearing on me.
Somehow I met a girl during all of this and it was the perfect relationship for what was happening. It was very independent of my life and she was passive enough to not mind my absence from life most of the time to stream a game which I called my job, but in turn it was me escaping from reality.
Lets just say at the end of the four months of doing this, things started to get very bad in my head and I exploded internally all at once. This explosion happened at my Sisters birthday party in the city. I had to leave the comfort zone of my house and go out and see my entire family, face my sisters who were being successful in college and one who just got hired in a very lucrative position at a major game company. So success was all around me, and I looked at myself as a failure, I didn’t want to sit at the table and share anything because I felt low and like a failure. I broke that night. I went outside with my sister and I grabbed at her cigarettes and smoked one down fast. And BLAM clarity. The fog of life lifted for a moment and seeing the world around me. Fuck I gained 15 lbs, fuck I have no job, fuck I need to go out, fuck I need to work out, fuck I am in a dead end relationship. That night I walked home, clouded but clear. I bought a pack of cigarettes and decided to smoke if that is what I needed to fix this shit.
The next day, I stopped streaming the game, I ended things with the girl I was dating, and I started cleaning house, literally and metaphorically. I began reaching out to stylists and friends and family, and I started preparing photo shoots and working out.
It was all such a mess still. I needed more panic attack medication than normal just to go through the day, my head was exploding with this strange clouded feeling that presses on your brain making it unable to decompress the millions of thoughts a day.
But I was going forward and I felt new.
A week went by and I setup my first photoshoot in over 6 months. I met with my hairstylist and got my hair cut, discussed life, discussed love, women, and how I wish there was someone out there that understood what it meant to have no walls and to see the world as just that, the world a place to enjoy, a place where you can walk down the street and be so tuned into one another you don’t need lengthy emails or words of passion but your eyes and experiences shape into love.
I think he saw I was still down and invited me to stay over for a little he was having friends over. I declined as I am not always comfortable being alone at things like that, and went on my way. As I reached the subway platform at 42nd street, I saw a girl with nice shoes on a smile on her face. I decided to brighten her day and complimented her shoes. She was quick to smile and say thank you, as I left the subway train I smacked myself for not saying more but was happy I said anything at all. I then opened up my OKCupid account on my phone and a new feature was available, proximity dating… I clicked it and pictures of people in the area popped up. A girl who looked just like her popped up and I clicked it quickly to say hello and see if they wanted to grab a bite to eat. But my phone reversed it and she was lost when I refreshed. I was like FUCK NOOO NO NO !!! So I went onto my browser and found it had saved it in the history and quickly messaged her.
To my surprise she answered me, and then my phone beeped as it was on 10% battery life. FUCK android phone die in seconds after it hits 10%. I tried to see if she was still in the area only to find out she was back in washington heights where I just had come from. Strange… She was passing under me on the subway and it located her in my area for that split second. Wow what a thought. I read her profile numerous times, and she said she could talk when I got home. So we talked, then we im’d, then we skyped. And it started off invasive and intense but turned into a very nice conversation and got my heart fluttering. What was this fate of an encounter through a dating site app on a phone..
So I asked if she would meet up with me the next day and we did. We met at the park I saw her crossing the street before she saw me and thought, wow… she is beautiful, long dark hair, amazing body, cute sunglasses, I hope she isn’t dumb haha. I found a nice spot under some trees by the water, watching the row boats going by. We sat together and she eventually snuggled up into me. I was amazed at how she just did as she wanted, no hesitance. She was just her. So when the time was right in my head I followed suit and having the urge to kiss her I gently took my hand under her chin point her head up toward mine and kissed, no double guessing or thinking, and it was perfect.
We continued to talk about our families and the traumas and love and siblings and everything. So fast so open, I had just told Mauricio my hair stylist, this didn’t exist in American women.
She had to go teach yoga to the homeless so we left and I followed her out of the park to a cab. It was a hot nasty sweaty day but she was sweaty too so who cared.
She said if you want you can meet me after. I was hesitant, still coming out of my 4 month shell. So she said, either way, is fine if you are there we will hang out if not no harm no foul.
So I sat on the corner for a little thinking it over and decided fuck it, and walked to where she was working. That walk itself was surreal, the transformation from 72nd to 110th and lex is crazy. You go from uptight, to rich, to students, to loud and obnoxious, to hepless, to gangs, to scared, to holy fuck I am like a shining bright star in the middle of this place with my pale ass skin. WHICH btw we checked earlier she had the same skin color as mine, whoa weird haha.
When I got to her apartment it was warm and inviting. She had a house guest staying with her, so we couldn’t really just talk, but she grabbed her laptop and began typing to me and we had a silent conversation. I went out on her bacony to smoke and just pearing into the window at this girl that came out of no where, wondering if she would be the girl to skip down the streets of New York with and see things I had seen hundreds of times before but because I was with her, it would be different and new and wonderful.
So we are at today, we are dating. Our first few DATES were intense, we talked about intense shit involving childhood, memories, lack of memories, traumas, etc. We cried we laughed and we pulled away, but she saw me each time for who I was, she saw into my emotes and knew my feelings and it was scary and nice all at the same time.
It is still a roller coaster. I wonder how things will turn out, but I know that that person I met and continue to get to know is special and adds to my life. I just need to know that we can skip down the street, spontaneously smile laugh kiss and go home wrapped up in each other without needing to say a thing.
It got me thinking, all we really have in life is our interactions and our words. We may live in NYC or in Hawaii or in a hole, but when all is said and done and we have died what did we have.. we had interactions. We had a world that says DO SOMETHING to be productive but we are all just flailing around like children grasping for that metal jungle gym that had a real physicality to it. But now that we are older it is as if we jumped from a plane and are floating to the ground without anything around us but air and looking down knowing there is a landing, but knowing that landing is probably death. So we interact, we talk. And those are what are important to me. I look forward to waking up and doin the daily flails, like a workout or homework, or looking for a job, but I know I really just want to have those conversations that take the meaningless existence and make it tolerable make it into a smile, turn it into a bbq with friends and family.
Because honestly even at events what do we do, we interact. And it is weird and scary to think of it like that. But unless you are curing the world, or solving things greater than you and EVEN if you are, you are still just a bunch of words and interactions with the people around you, and with the ones you love, those are more important than any cure or peace in the world. We sit in flat beds of trucks in the middle of no where camping, but what is camping, going outside with a sleeping bag, and laying on the ground or walking in dirt. What makes it great is the interactions with the people around you.
It is hard to really put my feelings on this into words, but I guess it all goes back to happiness is not where you or what you are doing, but a state of mind.
For instance I cleaned out my bathroom in preparation for a move I have coming up and even though I hated it, I felt happy that I was cleaning and getting it done. You don’t need to be doing things that make you feel good to feel good. You don’t need an epic story to tell a tale.
So now I am in limbo still, a forward motion that has halted a little as I struggle with the motion itself with jobs and ideas of jobs, and health and etc.
I dream of my fears often, I dream I am at my old job and I feel a sense of security that I have money coming in, but I hate that I am back. I feel wronged with that whole situation still. I was befriended when I got to my job, but a few years later, 10000 gay jokes, and belittlements to boot, I felt like I was in the position that had been talked about so often, people being put above you to make you leave, so that you aren’t fired. An uncomfortable situation that makes you want to go. I mean I had a feeling as the job was changing that the interactive aspects I thrived at were less and less that I would be less content. So it was the right thing to do to resign. But I also miss the benefits and the comfort of the job security. Problem is if I am not happy I will eventually sabotage myself and burn my bridges. And I didn’t want that. The company meant to much to me to do that to them and myself.
I remember one of the turning points was when my ex was going through drug problems and I was working out with a trainer, coming in early and saying “Nothing you can say right now can bring me down, because we all woke up today and we all have a load on our plates” before I could be told nice man purse or something stupid.
It is amazing to me that at the LOWEST OF LOW I was able to smile and make my day work, make the time go by, without fear of time. Just being in the moment to the fullest.
It helps when you can see the problems of others to help you deal with your own. But it is only a bandage to the bigger problem which I solved by moving back to NYC.
I guess a lot of these thoughts also come up again because I am moving, not into the city but 3 blocks down from my current apartment which is 15 minutes out of NYC on a bus. Which is not a problem especially because it is bigger and cheaper than ANYTHING I could get in NYC but I still yearn to just be in that life again even though I like this one, it is a conflict in my head I cannot solve.
I still search for my meaning and what I want to do. And my year started a month ago when I took the first drag of that cigarette and realized I needed a change.
And once again I order the patch and plan to embark on that one as well : )
Oh, I cut my hair short,
I lost 10 lbs,
I went from 17bmi to 14, and I pulled something in my foot that is impeding my workout at the moment. Wooo.
OH and I found out the klonopin I am on for panic attacks makes it difficult to reach orgasm. Fun times.
But I smile, I write now, I fear some of the things I write, because people can take it wrong, but I will always be me, open as a book, open to pain, resilient to it as well, because if I wasn’t how else would I know if I was doing it right.
Crying is important, and I was finally able to do so with Shae a few weeks back. But I lock it inside sometimes and wait for an explosion.
My past came back to haunt me again, with memories still hidden but words confirming they were real. Not sure how to take that one yet.
Oh I started reading a book after 14 years of not reading a single one. I just wish I could interact more about it, I don’t like to read for myself I like to read to bring what I learn to a discussion. I guess that will come with the more I read. It still pains me to read haha. The Myth of Freedom