The Endless Cycle Of Giving Up

It’s hard to put your experiences out there for the world to see and judge.

Sometimes, after I have almost finished writing a post of mine, I can’t help, but stop and take a look at what I have written. And after rereading a paragraph or two for who knows how many times, I think about what my parents or family members would say if they were to somehow come across what I had written. And out of this irrational fear that any of them would find my blog in this empty and lonely space of the internet, I start to delete truthful passages and rearrange my thoughts so that they don’t sound too depressing. And with all these changes to my story, my life suddenly becomes flooded with fake memories and arbitrary emotions that were written and put into a specific place in my post so that my family could be protected from reading about my reality.

And the truth behind these stories no longer make sense to me. And the motivation to write about my experiences fades away to the point where I am no longer interested in writing about them. And I start to give up.

And I put away my laptop and go back to not discussing any of my experiences with anyone. And for a while, the comfort of not being burdened with spending hours upon hours writing and editing stories takes over. And I can’t help, but smile.

But I know this feeling will not last long. And before I know it, my shift in perspective changes.

I go online and a story of someone who has gone through similar experiences as myself catches my interests and provides me with some much-needed inspiration. And I begin to think of all these different ideas and concepts for posts that I could write. And they start to race in my head and bump into each other almost as if they were all competing against each other.

And I begin to tell myself that writing about my dyslexia, my brother, my drinking problem, or my meaningful friendships are interesting topics that are worth putting online for others to possibly relate to when they are done reading my posts.

And an outline of all these posts begin to form in my mind.

And then I start to type. Playing music that triggers my depression or anxiety and puts me in the right state of mind for the post that I am creating.

And my mind forgets about everything around me. The people walking in and out of the coffee shop, the elderly lady next to me, and the group of business men greeting each other two tables away from me don’t concern me. And I get lost in the world in my own little world.

Hours go by.

And I pour my heart into my writing. The best that a non-English major with a degree in Psychology can write. Informal writings from a twenty something year old that will hardly be noticed.

And as I am almost finished writing my post, I stop and I edit.

And I can’t help but feel how hard it is to put my experiences out there for the world to read and judge.

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The Endless Cycle Of Coming Out

I first came out to my roommate a week after he moved into the house where I was renting in San Francisco. I was completely nervous and I repeated myself a few times in order for him to hear my words clearly. He responded by telling me that he would take it upon himself to expose me to the gay world and to show me all that it had to offer.
 
The second person that I came out to was my landlord. She was an elderly Asian lady who instantly asked me all these personal questions to determine if I was telling the truth or not. And it wasn’t until she noticed my change in demeanor and my uncomfortableness that she shifted focus and told me that as long as I didn’t bring another guy to sleep over, that everything would be fine.
 
The third and fourth individuals that I came out to remain a blur.

And as much as I always tried to stay calm before every “coming-out” conversation, an overwhelming feeling of uneasiness and worry would always take over me and I would be a nervous and incoherent mess as I uttered the words “I am gay” to whoever was in my presence that day.
 
Regardless, I soon had a small support system of friends who were accepting of my identity as a gay man. And with their support, I gained the confidence to come out to my family and finally be open about that part of my life that I had been hiding from them for years.
 
And as much as I tried to plan these coming out moments, the next two were spontaneous.
 
The day I came out to my older brother, I was an emotional wreck. My ex-boyfriend at the time had called our relationship off and I was unable to hide my crying from anyone. So, when I uttered the words that I was gay, I cried even more. My brother, in keeping with his humorous self, told me that he already knew about me being gay and to be quiet because we were about to walk into a public school to see my little brother perform in a play for the first time. I guess, during that moment, I was just grateful that he had invested some time into getting to know me that I just had to laugh and thank him for hearing me out.
 
A few days later, my little brother made an ignorant comment about gay people and I responded by taking him outside the house and then coming out to him. He and I both cried and then he hugged me. He then followed this by telling me that he accepted me for me and then as if nothing had happened, we went back inside and proceeded with our lives. It wasn’t until years later that he disclosed to me that I had made him feel like crap for thinking negatively about gay people, but that I was the reason his view of gay men had shifted completely.
 
Yet as much as I was being accepted for being gay by my friends and brothers, I knew that my parents would have a harder time dealing with the outcome of me coming out to them.
 
And a few months later, the stage was set for me to speak the words that I was truly convinced they would not accept.
 
It was a late night. My mom, dad, and I were finally in a room together and for some unexplained reason, I opted for this night to be the perfect opportunity for me to come out to them. But first, I had to complete a family tree assignment for one of my classes. So, I asked them questions to get information about our family and to my surprise, they were genuinely happy that someone was taking an interest in getting to know their family.
 
And as the night went on, and no mention of a family member coming out as gay was disclosed, I began to doubt whether I should follow through with my plan. For some reason, the thought of being the only gay member in the family made me feel so alone and I didn’t want to burden my family with my problems.
 
And just as I was about to forget about my plan to come out, my aunt’s “lover” was mentioned.
 
And I don’t know what saddened me the most, the fact that my parents were laughing at her for liking someone of the same gender, them not wanting me to write her relationship with this person on my family tree, or that they were openly mocking a family member without realizing the impact that it was having on me.
 
I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t say anything.
 
My face turned red and I could feel my heart racing fast. I looked down on the ground. Hoping that somehow, they were going to apologize and say that their previous comments really didn’t mean anything. But when I looked up at them, they were smiling to themselves and then at me.
 
The next couple of moments were a blur.
 
But I can remember coming out to my parents and looking away because I feared their reaction. I can remember both of them crying. I can remember my mother walking up to me and hugging me for the first time in years. And how much it meant to me. I can remember crying and crying. And my parents letting me cry until I was ready to talk.
 
I wish I could have stayed in that moment for a bit longer.
 
After I was done crying, my parents and I were ready to have a conversation.
 
My dad told me that I could have told him anything besides the fact that I was gay and he would have been fine. He then talked about how he feared for my safety because gay people end up murdered when people find out about their lifestyle. And finally, he compared me to a “prostitute” because, in his mind, they flaunt their sexuality around for others to see just like all gay men do.
 
My mother held my hand. And after telling her that I was scared to come out because she laughed at my aunt for being in a relationship with a woman, she apologized and told me that because I was her son, she would always love me no matter what I did.
 
In the end, they both agreed that I shouldn’t tell anyone about me being gay and especially not other family members because they feared how they would react to my coming out. They then advised me that the best course of actions was to keep things to myself and that my lifestyle choices were not appropriate topics to discuss during family gatherings.  
 
I didn’t say a word. I thought about what they said. And then, I went back to the room and fell asleep.
 
After that encounter, I feared going through the process of coming out again. And when my aunts or uncles would ask me questions regarding when I was going to get a girlfriend and about marriage, I would quickly change subjects. Similar comments were said over and over again. Suggesting to go to the strip club, asking to rate women as they passed by, discussing the women they slept with, objectifying women, these comments from family members didn’t stop.
 
And I slowly withdrew. Getting angry at them for continuing to push their sexuality onto me for years. And then getting angry at myself for not speaking out. For not saying what was on my mind because I feared their reaction. But by then, I had enough. And I was committed to not lie to myself any longer.
 
So, I came out to a few more family members. Either directly or indirectly. And to my co-workers. And to my peers at school. And to their partners and their family. And with each “coming out” conversation, the easier it became for me to deliver those words confidently.
 
But it hasn’t been easy. And not everyone in my life knows that I am gay. But I have gathered enough support that when a family member brings up questions regarding my sexuality, others come to my defense and help guide the discussion.
 
And I smile. Knowing how far I have come. And I can feel the love. And I guess, that’s all I can ever asked for.

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The Endless Cycle Of Overthinking

I can’t seem to make the right decisions. Well…at least not as fast I want to make them
 
Seriously.
I can walk into a convenience store with the intent of making a purchase, spend thirty minutes comparing two different products, place each of them back on the counter, and then walk out of the store without buying anything because I couldn’t make a final decision.
 
And it’s not like I haven’t tried to change my way of doing things.
 
I have tried repeating phrases such as:
Go for it. Do it.
Don’t overthink things.
Just choose!
Only to abandon everything and pick the option of no choice.
 
That’s been the story of my life for years
To over complicate things to the point where nothing gets done.
 
It’s a viciously draining cycle.
 
But as strange as it may sound, I have somehow been able to manage my life accordingly.
 
And how, you may ask? Well…it’s quite simple.
 
I give myself extra time to overthink.
 
If for example, I am having difficulty picking between writing a post on my anxieties or my self-loathing, I purposely give myself an extra day to select between my options, knowing well that I will probably settle on writing a post about the ways in which I contradict myself.
 
It’s honestly quite a fascinating process to witness.
 
And it’s not as if knowing about how I overthinking everything makes the process easier.
In fact, it seems to make things more intense during the moment.
 
I don’t really know how to explain it.
 
But the best way to describe my overthinking is to visualize yourself wearing headphones with the volume turned on high and then you suddenly hear the song that makes your heart race and it gets put on repeat for an unknown amount of time.
 
You may want to sing along. You may want to break out and dance. But you can’t. Because then others will look at you weirdly. So you have to restrain yourself. And you sit or stand still while all these background noises surround you. And people go on about their daily routine.
 
And you’re there. Trying your best to block out the noise that others can’t hear.
 
Over and over again.
For the small decisions and the big ones.
I can’t keep track of all the time that I lost engaging in this process.
But now I have simply learned to enjoy the music and hope for the best.
 
So when you walk into a store and see someone holding and looking at two different shampoos and they’re still comparing the two when you’re walking out of the store, don’t judge them.
 
Simply walk past and enjoy your day.

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The Endless Cycle Of Celebration

For the time we spend together is all that we need. It’s all that we have ever known.

Familiar figures migrate back and forth across our rented space.
Reluctantly sitting. Assimilating to the world around them.

Endless bottles of alcohol at hand.
Drank ever so slowly.
Destined to be abandoned on the living room floor.

Small children gather to hear parents speak.
Hearing gleeful stories of a troubled past.
A passion in their voice.
To hide the pain of a world left close behind.

But the sound of laughter fills the air.
Echoing past the narrow halls.
Into the shared rooms where children play.

Bodies begin to stumble. Alcohol starts to spill.

While our aunts and uncles move their bodies to the rhythm of that melodic beat.

The booming sound of music now deafens our ears.
Muddling the words of our conversations.

Incoherent talk of the future.
Of our families and ourselves.
Of what we could be. And what we ought to be.
Dialogue soon to be forgotten.

Yet the talk of gossip remains intact.
As known secrets hastily reveal themselves.
Shining light on strained affairs and strengthen relationships.
No longer rumors left unspoken .

Innocent children stop their play.
To carefully watch their parents with curious eyes and open ears.
Unknowingly learning how to bury the judgment from the world outside.

And soon the night will come to an end.
So, we race to share what our incompetent selves could not do sober.
Conveying our appreciation for what the world has taken and for what it has given us.
To an empty room with no one listening.

Finally, we wave goodbye and roam back to our cramped room.
Turning the lights off as we lie on our twin-size bed.
Our bodies intoxicated and our minds numb.
Anticipating our next celebration as we close our eyes and go soundly back to sleep.

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