Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Music '13

I used love music and listen to a lot of it. Now I love music and listen to a little bit of it. Here's what I liked in 2013:

Local Natives - Hummingbird
"hold the summer in your hands/
'til the summer turns to sand"

Bradley Hathaway - How Long
"my tea ran dry, she refilled my cup/
fresh ice cubes- i think that i'm in love."

Drew Danburry - Becoming Bastion Salazar
"when i looked up from the floorboards, i found no reason to remain/
accepting my own imperfections, doesn't mean you'd do the same."

Portugal. the Man - Evil Friends
"and all the pretty girls out there living with heartache/
crying cause they're never gonna' see their baby, oh/ we just act like we care."

Dessa - Parts of Speech
"i know that jealousy's a waste of time/ but left to my devices/
i've spent far too long wasting mine."

And, of course, I also listened to a lot of JT's 20/20 Experience, Kanye's Yeezus, A$AP Rocky's Long.Live.A$AP, and Arcade Fire's Reflector... Those were also pretty good.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Livin' Life

After a long absence from my blog (and much of my social life), I’ve cautiously decided to reweave myself into the tangle of the Internet. I understand that social networking is not exactly an accurate reflection of the life you or I live or the people we are, however I’m hesitant because I enjoy the relatively private, almost-mysterious life that has unintentionally been built as a result of my distance. Nevertheless, I’ve grown tired of uncomfortable conversations and the inadvertent dishonesty caused by the omission of my disclosure.

First, I’d like to prelude my post with the following: never, at any point, has it been unbearable to live the life I live. I have been exceedingly fortunate to have the family I have, to have the friends I’m involved with, and to have the job I work. I’m not looking for sorrow or pity because, however pompous it may sound, I have not experienced anything deserving of anyone’s sympathy.

Also, maybe I should preface the prelude by explaining that if you’ve interacted with me on a personal level any time during the past two years, you already know the message I need to convey, except for maybe a few small tidbits. And if you haven’t interacted with me on a personal level during the past two years or don’t know the message I need to convey, much like every blog I’ve written in the past, you probably won’t care all that much. Which is fine and expected.

I’m gay. I came out of the closet to my parents about two years and began the process of coming out to my friends about a week after. I say “process,” not because it has been particularly difficult, but because I wanted to tell those closest to me individually, so that they wouldn’t have to hear it from someone else or have to read it unexpectedly on a public blog post… Umm… Sorry if I didn’t get to you before this has. One thing I never anticipated and have begun to resent is the anxiety associated with “coming out” on a regular basis.

Fortunately, this process has been incredibly rewarding! It has cleared my conscious, increased my confidence, reinforced the love and support that was already there, allowed me to meet and develop a relationship with a boy who I am quite fond of, and has attached me to a family that adore. However, I realize that not every “coming out” story is as pleasant or opportune as mine, and after a few years of reflection, I can't help but feel that the people in my life are exceedingly extraordinary. Also, I can’t help but feel like my ideal situation is something that has supplied me with an opportunity to be a source of support to anyone else who feels burdened by the contradiction of who they are versus who they ought to be.

The only bad days I have are the days that I am reminded that I am living a nonconventional lifestyle.  Some days it’s difficult to recognize that I’m twenty-five years old, and if I deiced to enter into an honest marriage, I’d have to move my life a minimum of 900 miles away, or that I cannot even walk next to my boyfriend of two years without getting a few glares here and there. I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, I’m just offering my perspective. And although I’ve been called a “faggot” in the parking lot of a mall, I also have a hundred friends who would nobly defend me in any situation.

So, I guess after a long, two-year process, this is the conclusion of my “coming out” story. If you have any questions or concerns, I’m happy to help. If you have contradicting opinions, I invite you to keep them- I’m not out to change anyone’s mind, but I’m pleased to share my insight, if you’d have it. You’re a human being, just like me, and I probably love you.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

10 lessons I've learned in '12.

So, I guess it's official. We're 22 days into the year twenty-twelve. And, oh boy, it's been an eventful year so far, hasn't it? Well... Maybe not for everyone, but so far this year I have:
A) Accepted a significant promotion at work.
B) Dropped out of college (Or rather, dropped this semester).
And, C) Journeyed closer than ever to accepting every aspect of myself.

With these events that I feel hold significance in my life, also came a lot of sleepless nights, anxiety, joy, solace, shaking, and more importantly, life lessons. Amongst all the things I've learned about myself during the past three weeks, ten epiphanies stick out, in particular.

1. Question everything, including your own ambitions.

2. “Determine what success looks like in YOUR head, and pursue it.”

3. I am young and time does not have to be a burden.

4. Opportunities come in innumerable forms. Identify them.

5. The factors that brought me to this point will contribute to my future.

6. The way we hold our hearts is just as important as the way we hold our heads.

7. The “voice of approval” isn’t nearly as important as the “voice of character.”

8. Loneliness can be embraced. Emptiness cannot.

9. Life isn’t just the gift of existence, but can also be a gift of purpose.

10. I don’t know who I am, but that’s part of who I am.

     I think all of these statements deserve explanations, and I've actually written up a little something to go with almost every item of my list, but I'm not happy with them quite yet. I think I'll post my explanations, one day at a time, on my tumblr. ( ... Mostly because I just started that thing, and I need something worth while to post over there... And the formatting is strange on blogger.
     Plus, if you're interested in my life, I'm going to make you work for it!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

yes, I realize no one cares...

For the past hour, I've been looking through my old photos on Facebook (and even some from Myspace). And by old, I mean four to five years old. Hardly old at all.

At the beginning of each year, I put together a blog that illustrates how much I've changed during the course of the year. Unfortunately, they become less interesting every year, as the adult-version of me tries to even himself out. In fact, I wasn't even going to put one together this year because I honestly don't think I have anything to write. But after looking through all these photos, I feel so strange. I don't know where I fit into these photos... And I don't even know what that means... Let me try to explain:

"Sure, I know that you are tired of hearing about it, but most repeat the same theme over and over again. It's as if they were trying to refine what seems so strange and off to them. It's done by everybody because each must work out what is before them over and over again because that is their personal tiny miracle."

This is basically my life story
 This picture was taken a few months before I graduated high school, probably October 2006, actually. I really enjoyed high school. I had great friends, I made some ridiculous memories, and I honestly don't feel like I made any bad choices. I was a good kid. When I look at this picture I remember how funny I was (or at least how funny I though I was), and how I couldn't care less about people's perceptions of me. I love the reputation I made for myself.

 The night before I graduated high school, in May 2007, I let my best friend, Ryan, give me a mohawk. Looking back, it was so perfect... Of course I would spontaneously let Ryan shave my head. I thought I was so cool and funny, and let's be honest, I was pretty cool. I love it when I hear of what my peers thought of me in high school. "I didn't really know him, but I definitely knew who he was..." "I always saw him running around the hallway, but I never really got to know him." I think I'm going to go ahead and NOT interpret those kinds of statements as insults.

 This picture was taken the night before I moved to Utah for the first time in August 2007. We drove around town and spent more than $25 on fake tattoos. We thought it was a pretty clever idea. I remember all the anxiety I felt that day. I was never too nervous about going to a new place, I was just nervous that Idaho was going to forget about me. I tried so hard to have a night (or rather, be a person) that my friends (or I) wouldn't forget. I tried so hard to be memorable.

When I moved to Utah, I moved into a city where I had one good friend, and only knew a handfull of faces. It was dramatically different and liberating at first, but quickly turned lonely. This picture was taken in November 2007 during one of my visits to Idaho. I drove back to Idaho Falls almost every single weekend, so I could see what my friends were doing, and so I could make more ridiculous memories. And so I could be remembered.

 This picture was taken about a month before my first year of college ended, probably March 2008. I was so excited to go back home. But around this time I began to realize how much effort I put into holding onto a life that I thought was so great. I started to get angry at the people in Idaho for not recognizing my efforts or my sacrifices or my loneliness. It was during this month that I got on Myspace and wrote demeaning statements like, "Now that I've experienced the last nine months living 150 miles away from Idaho Falls, I know that my expectations of that place will never live up." and "My friends don't need me as much as I need them."Looking back, it was a horrible thing to say publicly about anyone else. Especially when the real reason I was upset was because I felt like I had wasted my first year of college.

 Despite the things I had said, that was easily one of the best summers of my entire life. That year taught me how to appreciate all the good times I was having. This picture, however, was taken sometime in September 2008 after I moved back to Logan for my second year of college. This year was very different from the last. I was happy. Now I had friends in Utah, and I had friends in Idaho that missed me. And as selfish as it sounds, it was comforting to know that I was being missed. In this picture, I was happy. I was confused, and I didn't understand how to feel or act or present myself in the situation at hand, but I was happy.

This picture was taken back in Idaho Falls sometime in late March or early April 2009. You wouldn't know by looking at my face, but I remember it being a really rough weekend for me.  The thrill of being back in Utah wore off, and I was back in my habit of going to Idaho every weekend. I questioned morality, spirituality, my standards, and my lifestyle. During the three days a week that I was in Logan, I researched. I read interviews and watched documentaries about how other people lived their lives. Four out of seven days of every week were spent in Idaho. I wasted so much money on gas...

 I graduated from Utah State in April 2009. I was so happy. I didn't really care about earning a degree. That didn't mean a thing to me. I was happy because I was going to take the year off and spend more time in Idaho. I moved back to Idaho without any hesitation.

Summer 2009 was great. I met so many outstanding people that continue to influence my life. I experienced so much life, and I was introduced to new ways of living it.  People began to open up to me and share stories about change and tolerance and their personal coping methods. It was exactly what I needed at that time in my life.

That summer ended, and in September 2009 I realized that everyone was leaving Idaho. I was on the opposite side of things, and with the exception of a handful of friends, I was alone in Idaho Falls. I traveled during those months, and spent almost as much time on the road as I did while I was living in Utah. I would visit Missoula and Boise and Salt Lake and everywhere else that my friends went. I did this for two reasons. The number one reason: I needed these people to know that I missed them. I had to make sure they didn't feel the same way I did after leaving. Second, I had to figure out how these people found closure with their hometown.

My nephew was born on July 3rd, 2010. I became an uncle, and I loved it. I still love it, and it continues to motivate me. Shortly after, my friends had a baby, and I felt that joy again. It really changed my life.

This summer was also the last summer that I worked at the pool. I spent seven years at that pool, and at that point in my life, that equated to one third of my lifetime. It was a big deal to me. But I needed it to happen. It provided one less reason to ever go back to Idaho. With the help of so many people and so many examples, I gained the closure that I hoped to find two years earlier. I left Idaho Falls in August 2010 and didn't feel bad about it.

When I made it back to Utah, I was determined to make life different. I didn't want to fall into the same slump. But this time was different. I didn't miss my hometown this time. I made friends that genuinely enjoy my company. I had people in Utah that would ask me not to go to Idaho because they wanted to spend time with me. It felt good. It feels good.

Life happens and sometimes you make sacrifices for friends that need help. Due to life, our buddy came and moved in with us in June 2011. It was three best friends, finally living together, like we always imagined during high school. Around this time, my life got busier. Work became strenuous and school became overwhelming. I fell into a routine and summer passed before I noticed the beginning. My schedule changed my priorities and I wasn't able to be around my new group of friends much, and I wasn't able to be around my old group of friends hardly ever. But I still manage to make memories when I can squeeze them in.

Today there are few things that I'm truly concerned about. Basically, I'm just trying to find my future. I'm trying to make rent each month. I'm trying to be an uncle. I'm trying to find the time to be a good friend. And I'm trying to be a worthwhile human being.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

sneak preview

Wild Zebras - LeAnn McIsaac (LeAnnimal)
Recorded Christmas Day 2011 in the Baby Room, Idaho Falls.
Written and Performed by LeAnn McIsaac.
Recorded and Produced by Logan Meyers.

Wild Zebras by loganmmm