borntobebrad

I’ve been trying to clear out my email. I found this amonsgt the emails I’d skimmed through and saved to eventually read in depth. It’s a video for a song called “Magic” from a Swedish duo named The Sounds Of Arrows. I thought it was really cute.

Yesterday, I had the longest ever dream,
That the world was endless with possibilities.
It had me thinking, one should never forget
That there are wonders, we haven’t seen yet.

The Sound of Arrows – MAGIC from NAIVE on Vimeo.

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Night Cap

I find myself really tired tonight. But there’s no mystery of why I’m tired. I was up at midnight, at Kozy’s, to celebrate my friend’s birthday.

I’m a big proponent of the midnight birthday drink. I’m glad that my friends feel the same way. I met up with Christine and her cousin, Theresa, for a midnight drink. I got there 11ish and Christine had been taken over by her drunken personality, “Clovis”. Clovis was out in full force, harassing everyone who entered the bar for a birthday drink. It was pretty funny. I live in a town with a population of a little over 16,000 but, leaving the bar for fourth meal at Country Boy (the local all-night restaurant), we ran into the same people that we’re at Kozy’s earlier.

It’s really weird to be the sober one. I haven’t let my drunken personality out for almost two years. I didn’t have an alcohol problem but I did have a hangover problem. My drinking to excess results in a three day hangover. I had one drink, a Bomb Pop shot. It was delicious and I could had many more but I stuck with cola because I was the designated driver. On the way home this morning, after a round of tasty hash browns and not so tasty sweet roll, I was trying to recall the last time I was out of control.

The last time I was drunk was two years ago. It was June and my uncle had recently taken his own life. My friend, Lisa, was about to get married and her bachelorette party was going to be at a local gay bar/drag queen revue. I called my friend, Nana, and convinced her to be my designated driver. We went to the Rainbow Room and I proceeded to get smashed. It was Lisa’s party and the night before Pride and I made a complete fool of myself. I remember Lisa wasn’t really enjoying herself so I was buying her drinks and matching her shot for shot. I remember there was a hot go-go boy that gave me a lap dance. I thought I was going to be in the clear as far as vomiting went but, as I was putting on my seatbelt, everything came back up and I vomited in the parking lot. Thank God I didn’t vomit in Nana’s car because I would still be hearing her yell at me.

I find it strange how time passes. I used to drink on a weekly basis. My friends called it “pulling a Brad”. But now I’m content to stay at home. It’s Friday and I’m about to curl up under the covers and spend this rain soaked night with James Bond. And, funnily, I think it’s an almost perfect night.

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Road Trip!

I really love the Andrew Christian videos. I really like the brand too but I wish they were in larger sizes. I’m a bigger dude, a size 38 waist, and the largest is a “large” which AC considers a 32. I know I’m no twink but, c’mon. Gay guys come in all shapes and sizes and it’d be nice to be able to wear the AC brand without having to result to anorexia/bulimia.

I digress. I wanted to share the newest AC video Road Trip. All of my favorite models on a party bus. Gay heaven! 🙂

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A Change Is Gonna Come

I’ve somehow found myself on a mailing list for Hazelden, the addiction treatment center. As I’m not an addict, I’m not sure how I got on that list. I do know that most of their stuff relates to everyday life, addict or not. I wanted to post what showed up in my email earlier today because it echoes what I posted earlier.

Accepting Change
The winds of change blow through our life, sometimes gently, sometimes like a tropical storm. Yes, we have resting places – time to adjust to another level of living, time to get our balance, time to enjoy the rewards. We have time to catch our breath.

But change is inevitable, and desirable.

Sometimes, when the winds of change begin to rustle, we’re not certain the change is for the better. We may call it stress or a temporary condition, certain we’ll be restored to normal. Sometimes, we resist. We tuck our head down and buck the wind, hoping that things will quickly calm down, get back to the way things were. Is it possible we’re being prepared for a new “normal”?

Change will sweep through our life, as needed, to take us where we’re going. We can trust that our Higher Power has a plan in mind, even when we don’t know where the changes are leading.

We can trust that the change-taking place is good. The wind will take us where we need to go.

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Summer’s End

I could go crazy on a night like tonight
When summer’s beginning to give up her fight
And every thought’s a possibility
And voices are heard but nothing is seen

Indigo Girls “Mystery”

This is the last day of summer. Fall starts tomorrow. I love this time of year. There’s a certain time of magic in the air. A lot of people look to the Spring for renewal but I’ve always looked to this time of year. The leaves are starting to change their colors. It puts me in a proper frame of mind to change myself.

I need change. I’ve had a few fucked up years. I’m sure I’ll talk more about it as the days and weeks go by. But, as fucked up as my life as become, there’s always a chance at renewal. Possibility is within my grasp.

I’m a lost boy. I’ve lost myself over the years. I’ve been wandering around in the dark but I see light on the horizon. It’s darkest right before the dawn. Now I’m trying to find myself, a monumental task.

At first I thought I wanted a return. I have returned to writing but I haven’t returned to the way things were. I couldn’t even if I wanted. Life is about moving forward, not looking backward. I thought I could re-establish the old way of doing things but why should I be bound by the old ways of doing, old structures and framework that obviously didn’t work the first time. There a few traditions that I take with me into the light but I consider this new phase as having a blank slate.

I’m focusing on balance. I need to get back to basics and back to the heart of things. I feel that I’ve torn myself apart. Over the years I’ve compartmentalized my life. I’ve kept the different aspects of my authentic self apart. My friends know one Brad. My family knows a completely different Brad. There was work Brad and church Brad and drunk Brad and horny Brad and a Brad for every situation thrown my way. I’m all of these Brads and so many more. But I need to find a way to align them, to find a balance so I can be one Brad, the best Brad I can be, the Brad I was born to be.

I know that people don’t like change. Change fucks everything up. But change is vital. We have to adapt or die. Let me be clear. This is about finding me. It has nothing to do with anyone but myself. My happiness, my well-being isn’t dependent on anybody but me. I need to get back to the basics. I need pull myself together and fix what needs fixing. I have to lay a new foundation that will allow me to build a new life for myself. I’ll still be me and I still have your back if you have mine. But all the fuckery has to change. And change starts with me.

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Life In Lyrics: Sympathy

There are some days were my mere words can’t explain the deluge of emotions I’m going through. Today’s one of those days. I feel like I’m on shaky ground. I really don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I’m going to have to move soon but I don’t know where I’m moving. I worked over the weekend but I was shorted in what they paid me. I have no recourse to get that money because it was a cash job and it’s not like I punched a time clock. It’s only $20 but still money I desperately need. I’m trying to trust that everything will turn out okay. But I’m living in fear.

I usually travel with Winston (my iPod). I had Winston on shuffle and “Sympathy” by the Goo Goo Dolls came on. I haven’t heard the song in a long time. I was waiting for the bus to come so I really had a chance to listen to the lyrics. They seem to sum up everything that I’m currently going through. So enjoy the gorgeous John Rzeznik riding around in Vegas.

Stranger than your sympathy
And this is my apology
I killed myself from the inside out
And all my fears have pushed you out

And I wished for things that I don’t need
(All I wanted)
And what I chased won’t set me free
(All I wanted)
And I get scared but I’m not crawlin’ on my knees

Oh, yeah
Everything’s all wrong, yeah
Everything’s all wrong, yeah
Where the hell did I think I was?

And stranger than your sympathy
Take these things, so I don’t feel
I’m killing myself from the inside out
And now my head’s been filled with doubt

We’re taught to lead the life you choose
(All I wanted)
You know your love’s run out on you
(All I wanted)
And you can’t see when all your dreams aren’t coming true

Oh, yeah
It’s easy to forget, yeah
When you choke on the regrets, yeah
Who the hell did I think I was?

And stranger than your sympathy
And all these thoughts you stole from me
And I’m not sure where I belong
And no where’s home and no more wrong

And I was in love with things I tried to make you believe I was
And I wouldn’t be the one to kneel before the dreams I wanted
And all the dark and all the lies were all the empty things disguised as me

Mmm, yeah
Stranger than your sympathy
Stranger than your sympathy
Mmm hmmm mmm

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No Day But Today

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Join people around the world in lighting a candle tonight at 8 p.m. (in your time zone) in memory of a loved one lost to suicide or in honor of a survivor left behind when their loved one took their own life.

I’d love to be able to say that I’ve not been touched by suicide but that would be a lie. As a gay man, I have seen hundreds of stories about young gay and lesbians that have taken their own life because life became too hard for them to deal. I could have been one of those statistics.

My junior year of high school I seriously gave suicide a second thought. I hated high school, hated it so much that I’ve blocked out most memories of it. But I do remember a particularly hard week. There was this guy and he harassed me every day. I was always picked on, taunted about my speech, my walk, my clothes, my perceived homosexuality but this guy took it to a new level. He’d corner me in the cafeteria and make lewd suggestions. I wasn’t out in high school and I thought I was “man” enough but this guy would not stop with the gay slurs. It was horror.

On top of this, every day, the same week, my locker would be vandalized. Before the day was out, I’d come to my locker to find it covered with chewing gum. The embarrassment of having to find a custodian and have him clean my locker every day was mortifying.

One day I had enough. I had the house to myself and I thought about how easy it would be to end it all. I had it all planned out. I knew I couldn’t do pills or a razor or a bullet to the head. But, the oven. I could do that. I would turn on the oven and sleep. I know now that it wouldn’t have worked but I thought how easy it would have been. I wouldn’t have to deal with the chewing gum. I wouldn’t have to deal with the bullying. I wouldn’t have to deal with my feelings for the guy I was crushing, feelings I was told would send me to hell. I could go to sleep and never wake up.

My nephew, Aaron, saved me from suicide. I know I’m not supposed to have favorites but Aaron was always my favorite nephew. He was about two at that time and I thought about how my brother would explain to him that I had died and wasn’t coming back. I couldn’t do that to Aaron so I had to find a way to deal. Twenty odd years later, I’m still finding ways to deal.

And I’m glad that I didn’t go through with it. Despite the obstacles I’m currently facing, I’ve lived a pretty good life. And I know firsthand what a suicide does to a family. My uncle, Randy, committed suicide two years ago. June 4, 2010. He didn’t leave a note. We were left with numerous questions with no answers to be found. There’s a gaping hole where my uncle should be.

If you’re reading this and thinking about suicide, don’t do it. I know that things seem bad now but I promise you that it will get better. If you need help, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. If you’re an LGBT person, you can contact either that number or The Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or visit http://www.thetrevorproject.org. I love you and I want you to stick around long enough to see how great your future will be.

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Blue Moon

If they say the moon is blue,
We must believe that it is true

1528 English proverb

There’s a saying that goes “once in a blue moon”. Well, that blue moon has arrived. And I feel there is no better time to restart my journal, restart my life.

Since it’s a blue moon, I feel magic in the air. I’ve always had an affinity for the moon, for the night. Since it’s the last day of August, I thought it would be a great opportunity to check in with myself and get ready for autumn.

I really wanted to have my tarot cards read. The last time I had them read was around a decade ago. I don’t think that anybody can tell your future because your future changes with every choice you make. But I do believe that the Universe can send you signals and signs to help guide your way.

Newish friends of mine read my cards and hooked me up with what I needed. A bonfire was built and I took time to make my own burning bowl ceremony. I asked the Universe to help guide my way, to bring me renewal and rejuvenation.

A traditional burning bowl ceremony takes place either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. It is a fire ceremony that involves writing your intentions down on paper then offering them to the Universe. By burning the old, you make way for the new. I used to participate in a solo burning bowl but, a few years ago, I discovered that a local church has a New Year’s Eve burning bowl service. Not only do you burn away your past to make way for your future, you also write a letter to your future self that is mailed in late summer.

I received my letter a few weeks ago and I want to share what I wrote then.

It’s approaching 5;00 on New Year’s Eve and you’re in the sanctuary waiting for things to start. It’s been quite a year for you. You’ve lost and gained and made it through. Now you’re thinking about New Year’s Eve and the hype that surrounds it. You’re thinking that every ending is a beginning. You’re at the end of one thing but the beginning of something new. You’re going to become who you were born to be. I’m not going to lie. It’s going to be hard and you’ll think about quitting but you owe it to yourself to stay the course. Everyone takes your time. Now it’s time for yourself, your needs and wants. You are loved. You are loved by your friends and those family that stick around. You are loved because you love. Your love will attract love that is meant for you.

There’s a woman singing about how everything changes. There are a lot of people in your life that dislike change. But I remind you that change is growth and growth is vital for success.

There are two things that you’ll need to learn to help guide you in 2012. You’ll need to learn to let go. Let go of your fear. Let go off your anger. Let go of all the boundaries and barriers that hold you back. And you’ll need to learn to trust. Trust in yourself and trust in the Universe. You’ll make it through. I have faith in you.

That’s what I wrote myself at the beginning of the year. Until now, nobody has seen this letter nor have I talked about it. But, the tarot cards said the same thing. There is possibility there and if I trust and let go completely then everything I want and need will be in reach.

So, as I start this new journal and journey, I need to trust in myself, trust in the Universe and let go. Stop controlling. It’s going to be a challenge but I’m up for it.

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