Friday, June 17, 2011

Games Men Play: An Aha Moment

I flung my prayer to heaven and it rained love.

I ran into Elvis* last night and he poured out his unyielding love for me. He described his attempts at getting my attention. He was angry that I turned him down. I heard his angst. I stood there and took it. He jabbed, to the left - to the right. I tried apologizing but he didn't want to hear it. I tried to say let's give it another try but he wasn't going to have it.

When I realized he was aiming to hurt me and make me feel bad. I checked myself out. His partner in this effort was my neighbor – Angela. I stopped. I realized the madness that was standing before me. So...I encouraged them to get together. Get to know each other. I didn't want any part of it. I walked away.

Elvis ran after me. I gently nudged him aside and told him it was ok. He could leave with her. No harm, no foul. He wanted me to feel bad. It made me wonder if he heard my prayer earlier.

Earlier in the evening, at Peavy Plaza, I stood listening to a band sing a song about love does live here and it will come along. It blared through the speakers. A sign, meant for me. An 'aha moment'. I heard it God! LOL I giggled. I knew everything was ok. My prayer was officially heard.

Needless to say, I gave Elvis my number but he threw it down as he stomped out. It was his last act of hurt. He was going to hurt me regardless. I wasn't engaging with him. I just picked up the paper then threw it away. Whatever, loser...

I imagine what could have happened if I was with Elvis but I knew. I know, I don't want to meet someone at a bar. I want someone to take me to dinner. Let's do grown up things. Let's get to know each other. Let's not pretend. I lived in my truth.

After his outburst, I went to the Saloon and danced. I danced alone. I danced with strangers. I danced. I didn't need someone to define me. I wanted to dance. I danced.

At the end of the night I said a prayer of thanksgiving. I hear you god. Thank you for the strength to keep my life in order. Truthfully...

*Note:  Seriously, his name is Elvis.  He is an African American man from New Orleans, LA

Cutty Bitch! : DO Not Engage in Destructive Behavior

It amazes me that individuals who I believe are my friends or disguise themselves as such, reach out when I am feeling good about myself and work their darnedest to knock me down. It is a sly statement here. The slithering comment there. “Nice outfit.", “Oh, you look ok.”, “I wouldn't wear that.” “Seriously, what are you wearing?”, "Who would want you?" and "You look old."

They work tirelessly til I feel insecure and feel off. They revel in my feeling bad about myself. It is strange – when I am on the ground gasping for air and pleading to god, they feel stronger. Metaphorically speaking. They've officially taken away my essence. Here is the fucked up part, I gave it willingly.

Self esteem, self worth, myself has nothing to do with anyone else but ME. Here is the nature of our reality, we are social creatures. We use the outside world to reflect back to us what we don't see. We listen to what people say. I don't believe it is bad. I believe, I have to be careful of who I surround myself with. 

A reminder:

Hurt people, hurt people.

We don't hurt strangers, we hurt those we love.

We willingly engage in relationship with people. When someone uses you to make themselves feel better about themselves then you get to decide. Decide to participate, or not.

I've learned to not. When someone needs to feel better about themselves then I encourage them to look inward to find their strength. I encourage them to do the work of caring for themselves. I encourage them to connect with what they believe and love. That is the place where you will generate your own power.

The next time you are feeling insecure about yourself then stop and spend time alone. Reconnect with yourself. If you make your insecure self available to destructive people then you will be feel used.

If you are feeling doubt about how you look. Affirm yourself. If you are feeling like your partner has a wandering eyes then let them know. If the relationship is done. Let it be done. If you are feeling like you are lacking in physical wealth then realize what you have. Take an inventory.

Looking outside of yourself for affirmation is a double edged sword. It can cut you as it cuts them. You will bleed your power as they bleed. Now is it really worth it?


I've learned to be aware of who I surround myself. I've learned to know myself enough when I need to be alone. I've learned to forgive myself when I inadvertently reached out to the wrong people. I walk away and don't engage.

Life is soooo short. Why would I spend it in a destructive cycle when I can live a full, rich life. I don't believe God hurts us. God shows us that we generate our own power. A profound connection. God=Me... That is when everything comes together. Prayers are answered. Life lived.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gender Identity: What am I?

I grew up in the heart of women, literally and figuratively.  It was women who sheltered me. It was women who encouraged me. It was women who defined me as the person I am today. It is with their strength that I am able to look out into the world. I've known their pain. I've known their passion. I've heard their secrets.

When people meet me they immediately sense that. I know. I can see it in their eyes. They look at a body of a man but sense something different. They pause with a breathe. They look, again. I hear them thinking. In my mind, the Sesame Street song: “One of these things is not like the other” begins to play. Usually in their distress they shrug their shoulders and walk away.  

I have learned over the years to accept peoples notion of what they need me to be. Man / Woman / He / She / Them / Dad / Mom... Ultimately, I'm a person. I enjoy my body the way it is. I wear clothes that are comfortable to me. I wander into the world as myself. I don't carry the weight of peoples perception of me. I'm me.

I still enjoy the company of women.  The women I surround myself with are strong women. Women who know how to get things done. They have a sense about themselves. Tall. Bold. Beautiful. They are take no prisoner kind of gals. They carry the weight of many nations on their backs. They love. They laugh. They encourage.

What community do I find myself in? Wherever I am, I am comfortable. In the community of women, I find comfort. In the community of men, I find comfort. In the community of trans individuals, I find comfort.

There should be an AGE LIMIT on blaming your parents

I was lucky enough to have my parents with me while I was in therapy. I realize this is not the case for many people. But really people, there does have to be an age limit for how long you can blame your parents for your circumstance.

My mother would take my calls in my angst. Fresh from therapy. She would stop me, light a cigarette, then state, “Ok...I was a bad mother and I didn't raise you right. What are we working on today?”

I giggle now at her forthrightness but I appreciate she was there. She understood her limitations as a teen parent. She understood herself as a human being raising another human being. She understood she was not perfect. She was fallible. For that I am grateful.

I've met many adults who still harbor ill will toward their parents. They still blame their parents for how their life turned out. They are in their 40's, 50's, 60's, and 70's. Some have raised their own children. They've lived their lives.

My father was not as demonstrative in my crying and angry calls but he sat and listened. He encouraged me. He allowed me the opportunity to grow.

I know my parents are different from many others. I can't imagine still carrying stuff from that time in my life. I don't hold them accountable for their decisions. I understand them now because I have my own kid. We make choices.  We have to learn to live with them. They did the best they could with the circumstances they were in.

I tell people who bemoan a parent when they are in their 40's that it is time to "let it go". Release it into the universe. Write a letter – send it or not. Forgive. Live your life.

It saddens me when they carry it for so long. They are reliving a life they wanted. They wanted different choices to be made. I only want for them to accept what happened. Talking about it and carrying it to beat yourself up is not doing anyone justice.

My father died by the time he was 53. He was an incredible man. I wish you knew him. You knew kindness. You knew devotion. You knew he cared for his people. He loved his children. He only wanted the best for us. He encouraged me in school. He was proud of my accomplishments. He took very good care of me in the best way he knew how. He allowed me to be me. For that I am grateful.

My mother is still here and I enjoy her calls. She is a great parent to adult children. She is much like my father. Kind, devoted, and loves her children/grandchildren/great-grandchildren/step-children.

It is my hope that people learn to let go of what was. Heal, forgive, and grow. When you stop growing and holding on then you are not living. I know my parents gave me that gift. They gave me that permission. I in turn forgave, let go, and live. I hope that everyone else who is holding on can do the same.

I'm Single not Desperate, Needy, or Stupid!

I've been on bad, bad dates, courtships, pick-ups, relationships, etc. Ok, not all were bad. There were some good ones. Just bad timing.

What I've come to know when meeting someone is:

(1) I actually like to go on a date. Ask me out. Take me to dinner. Let's see a movie. Let's have great conversation. Allow chemistry to happen. If it doesn't work out then we can still talk like adults.

(2) Sex doesn't define a relationship. Random hook ups. Just cause you stayed the night doesn't mean move your shit in. Take everything with you when you leave. Don't assume monogamy unless we talk about it. If you want something more refer to (1).

(3) Chemistry is essential. When you meet someone you know. If there is a stirring and I giggle, throw my hair aside then I'm intrigued. I'm not planning a wedding just fascinated. Refer to (1).

(4) Intelligent conversation is a must. If we sit and talk about the weather and trivial facts then here is a hint: we ain't going anywhere with this. I'm not asking for politically motivated talks with discerning ideologies but for goodness sake, be ready for an intelligent talk.

(5) Personal Hygiene is being evaluated. I wash my ass every day and I expect at a minimum you do as well. God only knows how many people I know who are afraid of daily showers. Fool me, spritz yourself, use powder or put on some cologne. If you smell sour – no go!

(6) Being alone does not equate lonely. I've learned to go to the movies alone. I've learned to shop alone. I've learned to enjoy my own company. I don't mind spending time alone. Please be self sufficient and appreciate being alone.

(7) Desperate need not apply. If we meet and you are carrying all your belongings with you then please move along. I don't have room at my house for another body nor another mouth to feed. Please have your own place for us to go to.

(8) Needy, No Way! If you require inordinate amount of time and energy then guess what, I'm not the one. I've been in those emotionally draining relationships where we talk about feelings all the time, they are on me all the time, and nope, not for me.

(9) Just cause my kid is friendly to you then don't assume. I have a pretty outgoing kid who is pleasant to be around so don't aim for his attention cause it just weirds me out. I'm highly suspicious and you will not pass go. I will avoid your calls. CREEP

(10) Laugh, a lot. I enjoy laughing and teasing. If you do not have a sense of humor then move along. I can't imagine my life with out laughing.

(11) Critic. If your idea of fun is to pick at me or critique people then stop. I'm not the one. I enjoy a variety of people and at times I know they are characters, that's what I enjoy about them. I love the diversity of the people in my life. Quirky, odd and fascinating – that's what I like.

(12) Don't fuck my friends. This should be rule # 1 but it always amazes me that I need to remind people this. I refuse to believe chivalry is dead.

(13) Don't hit on my friends. Have some class you ass. I can't believe people who think that getting to know me is your opportunity to make a move on my friends. Hell NO!

(14) Know what Racism / Classism / Sexism and other 'isms' mean and how they impact people. I don't want to be your test case. I don't want to explain the intricate details of their implications in my life. If you don't use that appendage above your neck for anything other than decorations then move along.

(15) No – I do not want to see your medicine bag in the bar. There is a time and place for a variety of discussions. Spirituality and bars do not mix.

(16) I don't care if your great grandma or that your partially Native when we first meet. If this is how you approach me then I am gone. I don't need your Tribal enrollment papers to get to know you. I'll let that unfold as time goes along. I'm an equal opportunity dater...

(17) Drug abuser...Need I say more. I don't appreciate someone who is high all the time. If this is your way of functioning in life then go right ahead, do you. I'm doing me.

(18) Alcoholic. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy a drink. If you wake up and need one to get you through the day then nope. I can't do it. I've lived through this and it wasn't fun.

(19) “I'm beautiful”...seriously, that tired old line has been used. Be innovative. Say something that intrigues me. When I hear this statement then I run like hell.

(20) Just cause I'm single doesn't mean I'm desperate. I may be out with my friends dancing or being a wing person for them. I'm really ok at the end of the night going home alone. It's not a requirement that I go home with someone to fulfill a need.

(21) If you have baby mama drama then leave me alone. Need I say more.

(22) Know who you are – Gay, Bi, Trans...however you define yourself. Just be compatible with me. I'm an effeminate gay man who borders on trans and enjoys the term queer who lives an open life.

(23) If you are still in love with someone else then deal with it. I don't want to start to get to know someone and you are still hung up on someone. How fair is that?

(24) If you don't have enough courage to talk to me then we won't get along. Speak frankly, ask. If I'm in the mood then I'll answer appropriately.

(25) I'm not a virgin. Don't assume that you are my first. I've got a history. I know you do.

I'm 39 years old and I love my life. I don't require a person in my life to define me. I don't want someone in my life who doesn't want to be there. I'm not perfect so I don't expect you to be. I just need you to be aware of you. I know what I want. Do you?

Read this list carefully, it'll save both you and me time, cause life is short. Happily Single, XOXO

Rage against the Bitterness

I've known the sweetness of love. I've known the excitement. The butterflies. The periods of time that pass so quickly you want to savor them. The tingle of their touch. The awe of their presence.

I don't believe I'm done with LOVE. I know and believe to my core God has prepared me to appreciate it. I've known pain and hurt at the hands of men. I've also known completeness.

When people ask me if I am dating someone or am I interested in someone, I reply, no. I've come to believe when I interfere with God's work then my humanness gets in the way.

I've grown more practical in matters of the heart. I have enough experience to know BS when I sense it. I don't allow myself to participate in it. I know when I'm feeling desperate or needy – I usually stay home to read, watch a movie, write, and spend time by myself.

I've known romantic love and the love of a partner. I miss it at times. The safety, the security, the sense of belonging... I just make sure those emotions don't interfere. I have gotten confused. It is during this time that lousy, low down individuals show up. I have to extract them from my life. Get refocused. Believe.

I've spent time atoning for my youthful frivolity when men offered a relationship. I reached out to them to reconnect. I sat and listened to their anger. Their longings for our future. I apologized. Accepted my responsibility in the demise.  In the end, they are profoundly happy. Many are in a committed relationship or have gotten married.

These men presented themselves to me during a confusing time for me. A time when I didn't know my head sat ( | ) above me ass. I am grateful for their presence in my life because they taught me. They loved me when I didn't believe I was loveable.

I may tease about finding love or not. I may disregard my friends statements of me needing to find someone. I know, I'm not bitter. I enjoy the attention of men. I've been lucky. I've been able to experience this.

I know there is someone out in the universe for me. I'm not going to sit and wait at home for him. I'm going to live my life. I will meet him soon enough. I can't ponder nor worry about such things because it is out my control. I have faith God's got this one.

With all that said, I do rage against the bitterness. I am not lonely or feel alone. I am a full and complete person all by myself. XOXO, Nick

Desire: YOU can LIKE the LIFE you are living or YOU can LIVE the LIFE you like?

I don't think we are meant to have a burning desire for something our whole life. It would drive us crazy. It would drive us insane. I am not sure why anyone would want it. I know it drove me mad, momentarily. I didn't know which end was up. I couldn't feel. I couldn't see. I couldn't breathe.

People are drawn to desire. Desire creates a brilliant light. People are drawn to it like a moth to a flame. They run to it regardless if it kills them. A strange vortex occurs and people swirl into madness.

I appreciate brilliant desire from afar now. I see its illusions. I see its attraction. I see why people want to be consumed. It replaces someone's lack of light.

When we fail to generate our own light we are blinded by others. They are shiny. They are new. We forget to maintain our own light. This inward exercise. Connect to the universe. Live our truth.

I wonder though – Is everyone supposed to have a light to them? Does everyone have the capacity to generate their own light? If ordinary people never illuminate the world will their story pass into the darkness without anyone seeing? Does this mean they've lived?

I wonder though - There are many people in the world who continue to live lives without desire or generating brilliance. Have babies. Get Married. Love. Survive. Laugh. Hurt. Die. Normal....

Does this make their spark less?