More Noise Than Usual

So today started off like any normal day since moving into the Nest. I woke up feeling good. I fixed myself a nice cup of bustelo with the right amount of milk and sugar. I finished watching episodes of Fuller House. I put on a nice outfit and came to this earth shattering conclusion, “I don’t need to look good for someone else! It’s better that I do things for me!”

I made a Facebook post about it. Got a nice response from a friend who commented, “That’s when you look your best. Fireworks don’t explode or light up their brightest for the people down below to watch, to them, the pleasure isn’t the explosion or blast, it’s in that ignition, that spark, it’s a satisfying energy, it’s friction, its heat, it’s a pop, the brilliance of what follows is simply the aftermath of a beautiful experience. Ignite that spark. Feel that chemical reaction, that minute but wonderful experience, an instance where you what you were meant to be.”

And I added, “I’m not limiting this mindset to appearances alone.”

My friend says, “Everything you do then is beauty in action.”

I concluded that with, “Poetry in motion.”

So I go to my one class of the day. My professor came in and asked if I had forgotten my book. Apparently there was a reading that was due today and I didn’t realize it. I didn’t even realize that my book was missing until this morning because I was caught up with other assignments and the usual neurotic crises I deal with on a regular basis.

He asked if I left my book and I’m confused. Again, I didn’t realize that my book was missing. I’m putting the puzzle pieces together in my brain and thinking out loud, “I can’t remember the last time that I was holding it in my hands and I didn’t see it at the house…”

So then he placed it on his desk and walked off to his computer and I could hear him speak under his breath, “Well it sounds like you didn’t even try looking for it at all.”

I felt like I had just been sucker punched in the gut.

“Did he just throw shade at me…?”

Immediately I had scribbled down on some paper, “Over it?” I circled the phrase. Drew a little arrow that pointed to the answer I had written, “So over it…”

What am I over? Here’s a little something I neglected to write about. I have a crush on my professor. He’s a young professor, 100% gay, and conventionally good looking.

I have a crush on him. I gushed about it to my friends. I day dreamed about it. I kept saying, “Hey! Attendance isn’t going to be an issue!”

I even went through the trouble of making myself look presentable to him since the semester started. That’s hard for me to pull off because I’m probably the one gay man that didn’t grow up with a Fairy Godmother that’s supposed to hit me with the pretty stick and infuse me with all the knowledge on looking good and catching a man. Nor am I armed to the teeth with wit whenever I have to speak in class.

But then I decided to give up on the idea of pursuing him when I got a paper graded back from him. I got a “C” for an assignment that should’ve been an easy A for me.

On the one hand I misunderstood the assignment. I made a fool of myself through writing and that irks the hell out of me. I hate it when something I wrote turns out horrible. I even wrote his name wrong on the paper!! But then I reacted with a thought like this…

“Wow….you are so not cute anymore….”

I was mad about the assignment. I already figured that because of that I no longer had a shot with him. Plus that “C” was a hard blow to my ego.So I told myself, “Not worth it anymore. This isn’t worth pursuing. It’s a stupid crush. That is all.”

So back to the present….

I’m sitting in class, not looking at my professor, choosing to focus on jotting down notes based on what we’re discussing in class. I didn’t do the reading, I needed to do something productive with my time in class. Writing has always helped me. And I was writing notes. I could’ve jumped into my fiction writing except I chose to sit in the front row of the class so I would not have the compulsion to go off into my own little world.

But then when class ended he asked to speak with me. He’s genuinely worried because evidently he’s noticed how withdrawn I’ve been in class. I’ve pretty much shut down since that “C” graded paper. This was probably two weeks ago.

He says he noticed me withdrawn, writing stuff, not participating, and I explain myself, “I was writing notes.”

He brought up the reading assignment, “I didn’t have my book. I didn’t even know it was missing because I was busy with other assignments and I thought we were doing something else.”

He asked, “What’s going on with you?”

I just blurted out, “I have a lot going on in my mind. A lot of stuff that’s best left discussed with a counselor.”

When I said that he reassured that he wasn’t trying to pry into my business. I knew that but I said it anyway to get him to back off. Even though it wasn’t a complete lie.

I said, “I’m sorry if I made you worry. I’ll catch up with my work.” And then I quickly grabbed my stuff and got the hell out of there.

The entire time I’m walking back to the bus stop and the whole ride home I’m replaying the conversation in my head. Bits and pieces of it anyway. My thoughts became fragmented. And I’m criticizing myself. I’m nitpicking at the way I sounded, the things I said, whether or not I even maintained eye contact with him, how many times did I look away, and blah blah blah. I feel like an even bigger fool now.

But then I’m thinking dumb lovesick thoughts like, “OMG he noticed me!” “Does this mean he likes me after all? “”He must like me!”

And I’m pissed at myself when not one hour before that conversation I had convinced that I was, “So over it”.

And here I am now trying to hold it together because I don’t want to lose my shit over a goddamn crush. The whole thing has made me crazier than I already am and I have no choice but to let it work its way out of my system.

I don’t know what to do. I’m 31 years old for fuck’s sake and I don’t know what to do. I don’t have anyone to hold my hand and coach me through everything whenever I’m like this!

I just needed to get that out of my system. My thoughts were scrambled, my brain was blowing fuses, and I couldn’t find the words to describe anything until now.

I need to calm down and eat something. All this has left an empty pit in my stomach. I’m so hungry that I could eat a small child.

Bye.

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Sarcasm is Not a Hidden Language!

So I’m known for being the sarcastic one in most social groups that I hang with. Growing up gay, being a writer, and living in the bible belt will do that to you.

Anyone whose ever read through any one of my posts will know that I have a very dark sense of humor. I haven’t let it show until lately because for the longest time that I’ve been living in Boone, no one understood a fucking thing I’ve said.

I quote a line from “Archer” and it flies over their heads. That still irritates the shit out of me. But I have to show restraint because there’s a line between being a wiseass and being some asshole that spews shit. I used to hang with the later and I got really sick of it. What’s even worse is that these guys were like a pack. I wouldn’t dare to say a pack of wolves. Because wolves are noble creatures and they’re my spirit animal. They’re more like the hyenas from the “Lion King”. What’s even worse is that they were bullies, in person and on social media. They would pounce me on Facebook all the time. One in particular, who I’m pretty sure was butt hurt that I turned him down for a coffee date. And I turned him down gently when I should’ve said, “I’m not into girls or bestiality.”

I love being sarcastic. I love my dark sense of humor. I love having the opportunity to use it whenever I can. But I also believe in tact. These bitches had no tact whatsoever. And they take pride in their sarcasm like they’ve mastered the art of some hidden language and I’m like…

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When in reality all they’ve done is binge watch Mean Girls, Daria, and Kevin Smith films and repeat whatever they’ve heard. Oh but they think that they’re armed to the teeth with biting wit for life. And then they top it off with more Mean Girl quotes. I used to like that movie, now it’s forever ruined with their bullshit. Always reminding everyone, “On Wednesdays we wear pink.”

Yeah, Mean Girls wear pink, but a real bitch will be wearing black. I’m the latter!

Sarcasm is not a secret language! It’s not a merit of higher intellect! It doesn’t make you edgy, hip, cool, or better than anyone else. And if you abuse sarcasm and come off as an asshole you can’t just fall back on “I was just kidding” when someone is pissed off and doesn’t want to deal with your shit anymore.

I used to be no different from that. So I’m checking myself and going, “Hmm…pot, kettle, black?” But ya know what? The fact that I’m even aware of it shows growth. I’m certainly more grown up than those basic little fuckwits.

So fuck the tactless. Fuck Mean Girls. Just…fuck that shit.

Thus concludes this snarky queer rage filled rant.

I Face Myself

It’s Fall. So that should mean a guarantee of cooler weather and pumpkin spice lattes, right? That’s the ideal scenario but here I am chilling out in the campus library, waiting for the temperature to die down so I don’t have to be sweating buckets while walking from my bus stop to the Nest (my Boone home) while sporting my blue varsity jacket, which by the way I think I look pretty fucking cute in it.

I’ve had quite the week. My anxiety levels were kicking in. And was it for good reason? Nope, of course not. I was feeling down, my symptoms were acting up, and everything from my house work to my school assignments felt like these daunting tasks to take on yet again. Yup, they became monsters in my head that I had to put down. For those that have been faithfully following me since the summer time, remember that post “Being Real”? Where I compared my anxieties to fighting the actual Babadook? Yeah it was kinda like that. It wasn’t as extreme as that time, but it still had some force behind it.

So yeah, that happened. But I powered through it and lived to tell the tale. I still have some work to catch up on for one of my classes, but the teacher is very cool and understanding. There’s a box of fresh baked cookies in her immediate future, I guarantee it.

I was able to get some writing done over the last few days. And not just for one story either. There’s no outlining or anything. I’m flying by the seat of my pants with these drafts that I’m writing and I’m loving it. It is such a rush to rack up the words. What’s even better is that I’m finally able to cancel that part of my brain that’s always casting judgements that kept obstructing me. I’m writing like you would be dancing in a room like there’s nobody watching. It’s liberating! And it’s because I’m at the point where I can finally do it for myself. I’m beyond wanting to impress anyone. If only I had this mindset a long time ago. Things would have been wildly different I’m sure. But better late then never.

I don’t want to get into exactly what it was that triggered my little mental crisis because I was painfully aware of how dumb it was. My inner “Mr.Monk” came out to play. But I can take pride knowing that I’ve gotten stronger. I chastised myself about how foolish I was being and that going through it meant that I was weak. That I had been breaking apart again.

A bunch of interesting stuff came to mind when I realized that I’m never going to be Mr.Perfect, I can’t keep everything together, I can’t conform to someone else’s perception of what makes a functioning human being, but I don’t have to be ashamed of that. I feature two beautiful words that epitomize this concept. And a quote from one of my favorite movies.

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I’m sloppy. I’m emotional. I’m a mess. I say things that make no sense sometimes. I do things that make no sense in the eyes of others. I’m different from others. I make mountains out of mole hills. I get knocked down. I get beaten. I break down. I’m full of flaws.

But I get back up. I keep trying. I take the broken pieces of myself and put them back together. I share my stories to show that I’m still standing. I survived what I went through. I’m a better person because of it. If someone wants to take all that and call me an attention whore, someone who loves to play victim, or whatever then I have nothing but pity for that person because I cannot make them understand. My experience is my own. My journey is my own. They do not get a say in it at all. I’ve got better things to do with my time and energy then to try and make them understand.

I am who I am. This is who I really am. You can accept me, love me, as a I am or you can stay out of the way. I will stay true to myself and I will gladly live with whatever consequences come with it.

Dilly Dally Shilly Shally

Random PenSword Fact #6: I have a huge crush on Ty Burrell from Modern Family and I feel no shame in it!! He’s my TV hubby!

So the weather cleared up and I cleared my little Gauntlet. It’s so nice outside that I wish I had taken the time to make a bento boxed lunch. My symptoms have calmed down. Aside from the occasional intrusive thought now and again there’s nothing to worry about.

To lift my spirits up over the weekend I treated myself to some retail therapy via Amazon, a movie night that featured lots of nice guy candy, and some cooking. I was able to do a recipe that I had been meaning to experiment with for a really long time.

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I made empanadas with curry filling. This is the first time I ever made anything from my actual heritage. I don’t know if anyone else has ever tried to experiment with this, but I can conclude that it works. And it tastes good. I had made a nice curry rice dinner the night before and had plenty of leftovers to work with so there was no real difficulty in making this at all. I’m proud of it.

Memories from the past keep returning to me. I think about that old friend and how our creative process worked. When I left I wanted to take on a different approach toward brainstorming and writing. But now I think I’m going to experiment with my methods and the old methods. If you could dive into my mind and see what goes on inside you’d see how fantastical I view the process in a way that makes the mundane process seem more magical.

I still stand by my decision to not go back to him. It wouldn’t accomplish anything. I’ve been taking what I’ve been feeling and thinking as creative fuel for my writing. I know it sounds no different from what most other writers do, but it’s a big deal for me. For the longest time I’ve been writing to escape from things instead of confronting them. That’s what makes it seem different for me. Plus it’s helping breathe new life into characters and plots that’ve been left undeveloped for so long. Old stories are reviving, getting a massive makeover, and flourishing more.

I’m not just getting memories of that old friend, but memories from different parts of my life. They’re good memories. The more this happens the more I feel like my old self again. In the good way. Before the “Nightmare Syndrome”, before I started having death wishes, and before I became so jaded and cynical. Before all the malice and sorrow. The best parts of myself are reviving and flourishing in the same manner as those old stories are.

I notice around me how people carry on and are always complaining about whatever. Here’s an example; My female roommate hates on our manager. They had a pretty heated argument a few weeks back about the house, the bills, the lease, etc. I wasn’t there when it happened. I’m kinda glad that I wasn’t. The house we live in is far from perfect, but it’s still better than the Cottages. It’s not a slum house. And this roommate keeps talking about things like the structure of the house, pointing out errors because evidently she has a more trained eye for details than I do. She hates on the manager as if he’s some evil slum lord. I understand her frustration, but flipping the house was also a first time project for the manager. At worst I say his inexperience shows. Don’t misunderstand. I like my roommate. She’s been really good to me. We’re becoming really good friends. But I can’t help thinking how this resembles my Dad’s frustration at everything.

My Dad’s mentality and frustration is epitomized in one sentence.

He gets pissed off drinking water.

He’s always been like that, and now I can’t help but see the same thing in everyone who whine about whatever. Then my memories flash back to people that I’m happy are no longer part of my life. People who exude this cancerous air when they walk into a room, always focusing on the bad, always attracting something to fuel their own negativity with their toxic auras, and then they’re left bamboozled wondering; “Why does shit always rain down on me?!”

Answer: Laws of Attraction at work. Like attracts like.

I realize that I’m happier now because I make a choice to count my blessings and not my problems. I’m collecting the silver linings, I’m accentuating the positive, and keeping it moving.

I’m getting more comfortable being in my own skin. I’m letting my freak flag fly without a care in the world. I’m happy being the person that I am and I’m happily living with the consequences that come with it. I make a choice to be happy and positive. All that noise that I’m hearing from everyone else is just “dilly dally, shilly shally”.

My depression isn’t a choice, but my happiness is. There might be a future entry there for further development. Let’s wait and see. The same applies with everything else.

Where will my creative spark take me? What other treasures are buried underneath years of memories? What else is in store for me?

I’ve got the questions. So now I’m going to go seek out the answers. Signing off.

P.S.) After watching “Beauty and the Beast” I now have the HUGEST crush on Luke Evans. Cono…que papi!! Gimme 50 Shades of that any day of the week!!

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The Academic Gauntlet

Random PenSword Fact #5: On Wednesdays I wear black. Then I go watch MMA.

Damnit I am hungrier than Venezuela right now. My family is Venezuelan, I can make that joke. Waiting up on some pizza and figured the best way to kill the time is write something.

Fuck this weather, I swear. I will be so happy when Mother Nature calms her stupid tits already. Sometimes I imagine that if Mother Nature had a face she’d resemble Ann Coulter.

My female roommate is complaining about how cold it’s gotten. Which is ridiculous because this is nothing compared to the winter season. And she’s supposed to be from Illinois too. Last time I checked that wasn’t a very balmy place either. And yet she’s still complaining? Life is so gonna kick her ass.

It’s time to buckle down. The work is really beginning to pile up and I’m already having issues with keeping up. With my symptoms acting up it’s making things more challenging than it needs to be. But there’s nothing else I can do except to just power through it all.

*sighs* All right then, I’m gonna brew some coffee, blast some music, and get to work. I’ll knock things out of the park and when I’m done I’ll give myself the time needed to sit down and write something for myself. Something that’s not for a grade or for WordPress.

Here I go!

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White Knuckling

Random PenSword Fact #4: Yes I am Hispanic. No I do not like eating tacos or burritos. Ese mierda no es comida real!!

I’ve always carried this perception that if you can’t handle anything on your own, if you have to depend on someone else for help then you’re weak, feeble minded, pathetic, or completely worthless. I’m pretty sure this mental seed was planted in me while growing up. I can’t say exactly when it happened. But growing up with a dad who gets pissed off just from drinking water and blames everyone for the slightest thing gone wrong didn’t help. Especially when I knew that I was different from other people.

My anxiety is acting up again. I’ve started feeling them rising up like a week ago. I’m not entirely sure what triggered it. The intrusive thoughts about self harm and suicide also returned, but I’m more capable of fighting them off unlike before. I don’t have a scratch on me.

The counselor that I was seeing over the summer is gone so I can’t go to him. I’m going to this group counseling called Mindfulness. I had a pre-counseling meeting last week. There’s nothing else to do except to wait to hear back from the office and let me know when the real thing begins.

Until then I’m left to fend for myself. I like to think that I’m better equipped to handle things on my own now as opposed to how it used to be. But then again having to grit my teeth through uncomfortable situations is hardly what I’d call new. I like to think that I’m a third degree black belt in the art of white knuckling.

What bothers me more is that I feel like I’m slipping back into old bad habits. Normally I’d be pissing and moaning about it. Calling myself stupid for letting it happen. But I’m at the point where I can say, “Be cool. People slip. You can bounce back from this.”

I’ve been able to keep fiction writing. I had forgotten how cathartic it can truly be. I’m starting to care less about how sloppy the presentation might be. I’m actually giving myself permission to write a shitty first draft. I’m letting of the idea of having to to draft and edit everything all at once while fighting off thoughts of, “That’s so cliche,” “This not an original story,” “Give up writing and look into a new career”, and blah blah blah, yada yada yada. Maybe writing here on WordPress has helped with that.

It’d be amazing if I were able to complete writing an entire novel without having to jump through all the hoops. But it’s something I cannot avoid. The true writing process is just another thing that I have to white knuckle through. There can never be any short cuts. Not in writing or in anything else in reality. People can try to take the easy way out, but based on what I’ve seen it always blows up in their faces eventually.

Back to the subject of my anxiety, I’m dealing with it. I’m allowing myself to feel it for like a good 5 minutes and then I do what needs to be done; cooking up dinner, do my assigned reading, pay my bills, something productive. I remember writing about how the parts in my mind that are plagued with depressing, suicidal thoughts is like a muscle. Maybe this is my way of working the other mental muscles that’ve been atrophied this whole time. If so it’s definitely working. I want to get to a point where I can rest easy with everything and feel happiness without strings attached, never have to worry about the world around me being destroyed.

I’m not quite there yet, but I want to believe that I’m heading in the right direction. Maybe the recent eclipse wasn’t complete bullshit after al. Only time will tell. I still got things to do.

That’s all I felt like writing about. Good day everyone.

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Musings of a Broken Dreamer.

Random PenSword Fact #3: I’m Venezuelan-American. But I’ve been mistaken for so many different things. I’ve kept a list of it; Mexican, Puerto Rican, Peruvian, Turkish, Arabian, Egyptian, Greek, Italian, Philippine, Korean, Russian. There are some days where I don’t even know what the fuck I am anymore.

It’s game day here in Boone. Um…yay…

I’m not a football guy. If it was a WWE or UFC event that’d be a different story. Any sports that involve the use of a ball I just cannot get behind it. It doesn’t help that in my Venezuelan household there was always some stupid baseball game playing in the background. Baseball is a huge thing with my Dad. Baseball is hands down the most boring sport ever. Every discussion at the dinner table revolved around baseball. Who’s got the best batting average? Who makes the best pitches? What team is going to the World Series? Whose out with a torn ACL?

It took every ounce of willpower I had to not take my dinner fork and use it to stab my eardrums with it. That’s one thing I really don’t miss about living at home. Oh wait there is one thing worse than hearing people get so excited about baseball. Fucking Nascar…

The fact that my Dad loves the whitest sport in the world proves that we’ve been living down south in the Carolinas for far too long. This concludes the mindless ranting portion of the post.

After the last post where I mentioned that old friend I had gotten really emotional. I started remembering all the talks we had, all the laughter, all the dreams we had together. I was remembering all the good things. I had to fight the temptation to connect with him.

As much as I’d love to catch up with him, what would the point be? I’ve already pointed out that it’s just a cycle of reconnecting that leads to a disconnection. I’d just fall back into repeating a bad habit all over again. Something that’s counter-productive to everything I’m doing to keep my current positive momentum building. Besides that, I get back in contact with him and what then? I have nothing newsworthy to share with him.

I’m in a better place mentally, but I’m not in a position to boast about anything. In fact in a lot of ways I’m still that same kid with lofty dreams.

We dreamt of going to Japan together. We dreamt of becoming writers and having our work published. We dreamt about making it big in the world. We called ourselves A&A Inc, to represent our names. We dreamt the most loftiest of lofty dreams.

I used to get the biggest high from those dreams. I remembered feeling that passion, that desire to work toward them. I remember those dreams coming back to me at the age of 23 after I tried killing myself. I remember when those dreams returned they came back with greater intensity as if to prove that I was no longer in that dark place I kept myself in the furthest depths of my ruined mind.

Those dreams meant the world to me. They still do to this day. That’s why I overreacted the way that I did back then when he ran away from home and didn’t say anything to me about what he was going through at the time. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking that he turned his back on the dreams we shared as friends. I felt like he “sold out” and I remember vowing that I wouldn’t give in. No matter how grueling reality would become I wouldn’t give up on anything. I wanted to carry on with those dreams and realize them for myself. Without even thinking about it that mindset is what brought me to this point.

I’m don’t feel any closer to fulfilling those dreams than I was all those years ago with my friend. Now that I think about it I might have tried taking one too many short cuts along the way. Trying to find a suitable someone to replace that friendship that we had, someone who shared the same vision as me, someone who I could happily speak to about the same interests we share. But that went nowhere. And look where I’m at now. Even the friends I did make after the seperation are no longer by my side.

I remember the first signs of changes in me when I walked away the first time. Everything felt so foreign to me in the beginning; I came out officially not long after that, I fell in love with someone for the first time, I was speaking my thoughts without fear, I was more honest with myself, I took more risks. And after my first stint in therapy I felt all that increase by 100 fold. I felt powerful. I felt like I was no longer the child that my friend saw in me.

Now I’m starting to think that last part was all an illusion. I have this moments where I feel like I never changed at all. Like I’m still stuck in the past. I don’t want to be, but now that I think about him it’s all leading back to that moment.

“Until we’ve truly learned our lesson we will be given the same test again and again”. What am I’m supposed to be learning here?

That I’m some immature, selfish little brat that throws tantrums when reality gets in the way of things? That I can’t change reality? That I can’t take on the world? What?! What big lesson is there I’m supposed to be taking from all of this?

As usual I’m lost. There’s a lot that I do know and all I can do is stick to what I do know. I can’t focus on the things that I cannot do, but always make it about the things that I can do. I can’t let go of those dreams. There’s something in me that just refuses to let go. I can let go of the past and the bitter idea that my old friend and I have grown so far apart. But I can’t give up on Japan, writing, getting published, and wanting better for myself. This much I know is right.

The answers will come to me in one way or another. Right now I don’t want to forget the good times I had with that friend even though it came to an end. I’ve been fighting those memories as if they were my “Nightmares”. It’s like keeping them locked in Pandora’s Box in my mind. Maybe my answers are in those memories. But that doesn’t change the fact that I cannot ever go back to the way things were. That’s a dream I learned to let go.

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