Alexander Q: The most successful failure in the world

A gay man's quest for successful weight loss, a fullfilling love life and professional validation that opens doors, brings down mountains and summons the full fury of Olympus upon the world…all before 2

Unfamiliar territory

I’ve been PT employed and on benefits for a while now (5 months I think).

It’s never a fun experience, nor do I recommend it for anyone else, but it is what’s needed and needed it surely is.

It never feels good to be in this position. With the limited income comes the uncomfortable stuff of having to pare down your life to the basics; it seems as if the world is moving on without you, howeverm it has always done this. You have to change the life you lived in order to successfully accomdate the life you live now. It is a very scary palce to be, especially if this is your first rodeo.

I didn’t come to talk about money though, I came to talk about what happens when you arrive in unfamiliar territory and you’re forced to sit in the room with yourself. When your lifestyle changes, even a bit, it tends to change the way you perceive the world, change the way you look at things and reevaluate where you are in life.

I do not like the asshole I have to share this body and mind with. He’s a bit selfish, he plays the victim, he tends to be passive aggressive. He sees only his faults and doesn’t move forward. He compares his life to others and always loses, he’s gone after things and people he shouldn’t have gone after and on rare occassions, allowed his pettiness to evolve into sheer cruelty. He’s talked big and sometimes failed to deliver.

He could be better, but will he try? Or will the laziness and lack of focus overtake him?

Long story short, this is what I have to work with.

It might be easy for me to be dismissive over all of this, go back to playing video games and move on, unfazed by what I’ve have been exposed to. I could also respond by being afraid, being afraid and ashamed of what I have witness and allow the fear to paralyze me into inaction.

There are many analogies and personifactions out there about the negative qualities inside of us; monkeys, demons, dragons, etc. I like the dragon one the most as I can relate it to a dream I had not too long ago (plus, dragons are cool)

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Like this Dragon from Skyrim, surprisngly, I’ve never watched an episode of Game Of Thrones

I discussed my dragon dream with a friend a while back. In my dream, dragons were attacking; killing and burning all within thier path. I saw people running for cover and taking shelter wherever they could find. I also saw a few individuals, however, engaging in combat with the dragons, but rather than defeat them, all they were doing was keeping them at bay, exhausting them until the dragons were fed up and flew away.

Waking up, It occured to me that the dragons we battle with every, our fears, our insecurities and everything that makes us horrible people, can’t be slayed completely, and if they can, it is never an easy process. Every morning, you wake up, ready to battle the enemy from outside and within. We often struggle with the inner battles, since they force you to confront the very things we are bothered by.

These things that appear to hold us back, actually remind us of our humanity. Imagine if you had nothing holding you back, oh the things you could accomplish. But also remember that the lack of empathy is the surefire road to hubris, which in turn lead us down some pretty self destructive shit later on down the road. Anyways, the people who’ve lasted the longest and most successful in life have learned that its not about defeating the dragons, but learning how to deal, cope, reconcile, etc. with them when they come up. We’re imperfect human beings, and when you can accept everything, imperfections and all, it is then you can be a powerful force for change.

I guess I want to everyone to know that being where I am now, it sucks. But, I feel that if Im going to move to the next phase of my life (whatever that is) I need to shed the excess baggage and come to terms with the person I am. I need to find the way to deal with my dragons and how to reconcile both aspects of my persona. I need to learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable in unfamiliar territory, and to know that I have what it takes to get me out of this mess.

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I.M.NOT.O.K (to be quite honest)

glass-101792162016 has not been too kind to me. I hate to say it, but it sucks

Deciding that changing the course of my life would’ve been the best idea, it has turned out to be the worst idea I have ever had.

I’m chasing a dream of leaving retail and transitioning into a new career path, and so far, its only left me depressed and worn out, which has made me sad, which makes me lethargic, which makes me exhausted, which makes me grouchy and finally, it makes me angry. I then lash out at people, either through agressive reactions, or passive aggressive jabs at a person’s intelligence, apparent lameness or perceived lack of utility for my current situation, and my mind has crossed into a few dark paths that I’d rather not get into right now. The few people who have been brave (or stupid) enough to stick around have been burned out and just as exhausted. This, combined with my erratic schedule, has been leaving me feel isolated and alone, not exactly a good way to deal with this stuff

I’ve also been eating like crazy, also derailing my plans to get back into shape to help find a partner. As you can see, this was an unintended consequence of an unintended holistic approach to changing my life.

If you were to ask me how I am doing, I will be honest, I am not okay.

I’m frustrated, by the pace, by the amount of times I have to repeat everything while it seems that everyone I know gets it on the first try. It just seems like I should’ve known this shit by now.

I’m gonna catch flack from this from the guys, we’re not supposed to crack like this, we’re not supposed to express our frustrations and anxieties from life. I know a few of you will call me out for this, go for it. At this point, there’s not much that can be said that I haven’t already heard from others.

In any case, I just needed to get this out. The cathartic release was needed.

Next time you ask me how I am doing, I will be honest, I hope the answer doesn’t scare you!

 

 

Thursday Thought: Switching Paths

Dear reader,

If you’re thinking of switching from one career path to another, specifically, retail to non retail; I have one word of advice.

Don’t

Don’t try it. The career world isn’t ready for you, nor are you ready for it. You have skills, yes, but your skills aren’t what the world wants, especially in the corporate world, which is far removed from where you are now. You are better off just resigned to your path and hope you make it as a store or district manager.

Still reading? Hoping to find something more meaningful? Well, that ends here. I’m going to assume that you were not put off by the first two paragraphs. I’m going to assume you’re ready.

Guess what, no one ever is, but now’s as good a time as any no?

If you’re still reading this, then I assume you are really wanting to change your career path. Let me tell you, prepare for a bumpy ride on all accounts. I’m going through it right now, sending out the resumes, networking with the influences and game changers in the field, whoever I need to talk to to make things happen. I’m doing the rounds of interviews, getting turned down or just flat out ignored. I’m going to tell you that the ride there has been one of the most draining things out there, and it only gets more exhausting and draining as time goes on.

This is going to be an endurance test not only of your persistence, but of your extraversion and your resilience. Every rejection email you receive will be just as heartbreaking as the first, but the time spent mourning get’s shorter and shorter, and you may find yourself telling yourself less and less that “you just weren’t good enough”. You will become short and very easily agitated by your peers and family members who seem to have this job thing down easy; they’re trying to help you, but may lack the empathy to truly understand what you’re gong through. Just be patient with them and know that their concerns come from a good place.

Speaking of which, your friends and family doing well now? As the old saying goes “This too shall pass”. Everyone’s lives their lives in seasons, and no one ever lives in eternal summer.

Ah, people, can’t live with them…no, that’s about it. You will encounter recruiters who have a backbone, but no compassion; compassion, but no backbone and everything in between. You’re going to have recruiters who can’t seem to make sense of your current career and where you would fit into their organization. It’s okay, those recruiters who can’t comprehend you probably aren’t the ones you want to be working alongside with. Recruiters are human, like you though, they have hired the wrong candidate at least a few times in their careers and they are just as uncomfortable telling someone no as much as you are receiving that no from them.

Speaking of No’s, you’re gonna hear it a lot. Do yourself a favor, if and when you get that No, tell yourself that you are okay. By all means do you have permission to go through the stages of mourning when you get that no, rejection should be mourned. Don’t spend too much time by the graveside of a potential career path though, time is of the essence. Keep moving forward, even when your mind, heart, body and spirit tell you that you should’ve quit a while back, that one more emotional and psychological heartbreak isn’t worth the effort. You are worth the effort, remind yourself that.

If you’re going go through changing your career path, or losing weight, or finding love, or any other significant life change, If you take nothing else from this, its two things

  1. Be ready for heart break
  2. *Left unfinished, this isn’t over just yet*

“The realest job hunter” Sloppy Seconds: Why you dont want your friend’s old job

 

You get an email from a friend that says a job has opened up in their workplace. You decide to take a look at it and discover its a job your friend has or its one you’re taking from them due to a promotion, move, etc. It sounds like a great deal, but somewhere in the back of your head, something is telling you not to take it. Whether it is nervousness, fear, or the sudden realization you’re taking a “hand me down” from a friend or colleague, you’re not alone.

In my experience as a manager hiring for in the retail, I’ve noticed that there were two reasons why someone didn’t want the job a fellow colleague has either left or moved up from.

–  The hand me down issue or
–  The legacy Issue

The hand me down issue is simply our desire to be on par with our peers. We don’t like the idea of our friends being our bosses and so we feel that in order to appear successful or worthy of their time and attention, we need to be where they are at right now. If the job at hand is a stepping stone in the right direction for you professionally, you’re going to have to eat some humble pie and accept that no one is ever at the same level at the same time as everybody and that there’s someone looking up at you whose wondering when they will be able to catch up with you.

The legacy issue may be a bit more complex. When a friend leaves and you take their spot, you may have just inherited all of their allies and cohorts in the office. While that can be a good thing for those who were popular and well liked, it may not be so good for someone who left on less than desirable terms. The former can also be a bad thing as the expectations others had of the friend might be placed unfairly on your shoulders; “If Janice could do it, you should be able to do it too.” At this point, if you do accept and take the job, you will have to work fast and diligently to differentiate yourself positively from Janice through willingness to observe and listen and to

Overall, Humility is one of the catalysts to success in this case. Don’t be ashamed or nervous about taking a job from a friend, if it got them to where they want to go, it could help you out too.

Tell me, what do you think? I’d love to hear your feedback.

Faceplanting is a way of life (Why you should always take a chance on love)

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During the BART ride home from Pride this past weekened, I somehow managed to get a very nice looking man the chance to chat with me on the train. We basically shot the shit until he mentioned he had a boyfriend, which was not brought to my attention until after the nice lesbian who was sitting next to us told me after he left. Needless to say, I was feeling, of all things, embarassed.

Later on, after a pep talk from my friend Rob, I gave a group of other guys a chance, I managed to flirt with one of them, finding out they lived in our area and were even going to go eat somewhere afterwards. For some reason, theres a part of me that forgot to ask for a number, IG account, FB page, something. Perhaps it was some fallout from my last encounter. Strike 2.

Overall, I was a mess. I didn’t feel good about myself and was feeling kinda *ugh*. But hey, you do realize this blog was originally about failure right?

Because of those two encounters though, I know what I have to work on.

My only opportunity is that I have some severe body issues that need to be dealt with, but until I start exercising and eating right or cheeseburgers suddenly taste disgusting (they wont) I’ll have to work on getting the body that will give me confidence to talk to these guys (Gays…ugh). I will own up to a few things though, I know I can talk up strangers, I know I can keep the convo going and I know that I can at least get some contact info soon after. I commended myself for at least giving it a shot. I hate that feeling of never knowing what life would’ve been like, I’d much rather take the opportunity to fall flat on my face than to have never even tried and wondered what was up with that at a later date in time.

Long story short, talk to that girl or guy you see everyday and see where it takes you. It’s always worth a shot and the embarrassment doesn’t usually last long…

…the regret, however, lasts a very long time.

(Shout out to my friend Rob for the pep talk)

Someday, I’ll never see you again

Someday, I’ll never see you again
An obvious truth that unites us all
Through life, love, infinte other ways
Our time will come to an end someday

In spite of our ephemeral existence
And surprisingly fragile bodies
We eventually will cease to be
You and I becomes just me.

Intertwining roads must drift apart
For they can’t all lead to the same place
Farther, and farther, and farther we go
Without you I must go there alone

Right now I choose to be with you
I’ll hold nothing back, giving you all I can
A sip of something, a bite to eat
Communal laughter, a walk on the street

Whenever it comes, our last goodbye
There’ll be no tears shed, nor regrets said
I’ll hold you close until you leave
Time well spent, less time to grieve

My admonition to you is this
You will lose the ones you love someday
You, dear reader, are in charge of it all
How you spend it, it’s your call.

Worth the effort…Part 2

A part two was not planned, but it sorta happened in my head. I was driving by an office I once shared with a few people a few years back, some of them I am good friends with and others I haven’t seen in so long. I remember one of the guys had a problem with women, he had way to many of them on the side. I remember catching up to him once online and we talked for hours, it was a pretty deep convo and it was one of my favorite moments with this guy. We talked about how, at some point, he’s going to pick one and one only to spend the rest of his life with. While sleep deprived, I shared with him my personal belief on time and money since he mentioned he spent a lot of money on these women.

“Time and money are not the same thing. You can always get your money back someday, but your lost time is lost forever.”

I asked him some pretty tough questions about why these girls mattered to him, we went over every excruciating detail over every single woman he was seeing. Of course, due to exhaustion and other factors, I was unable to figure out or ascertain what the end result was, but I hoped he found everything helpful. My hope was that he realized that money is not the issue (he came from a well off background), but that his time was the same as everyone else’s, subject to be lost every second. He had to decide for himself who was worth the time he has left on planet Earth.

All in all, when you’re pursuing relationships of any kind, you must ask yourself who is worth the time you have left on this Earth? You must also ask if they are enriching your life in any way, shape or form and adding value to it in a meaningful way. I can’t describe to you how to tell because you already know what it is for you, a feeling for many people. I know some people measure the worth of their relationships in material gain such as gifts, money, etc. but those people often don’t realize that things can be replaced, destroyed, stolen or otherwise removed from ones possession. I’m all about those times I spend with friends at restaurants, clubs, car rides, IKEA, anywhere we can enjoy each other’s company. I like the idea my friends have demonstrated to me that I am worth a very valuable resource to them, and I reciprocate fully.

What do you think? Share with your friends and comment below please.

Worth the effort

I’ve thought about this for a long time now, why do we want people who don’t want us? We seem to pine for the one who barely knows we’re there, yet the one whose ready to welcome us with open arms gets ignored every time. I’ve been on both sides of the fence, and from experience, its that everybody in this world wants to be fought for, to have someone come and “rescue” them from loneliness, or something like that. No one wants to be the $1 cheeseburger at a fast food place, but rather the carnitas bowl from Chipotle when Chipotle was going through that weird “no carnitas” available thing. Some people, either by birth, sheer determination or a plain lack of moral reprehension and/or self respect can achieve the status of being wanted, but unattainable. The rest of us serfs have to make do with dating.

In the gay world, there are many unspoken rules. You know how they say “dress for the job you want”? In the gay world, its “Dress for the boyfriend you want.”. Keep in mind, that a rule that involves clothing and shopping will certainly draw the attention of many (not all) gay men and that, with the many subsets of gay culture, it happens, either overtly or behind closed doors. Dressing also includes things like workout routines, hair stylist appointments, body modification sessions and pretty much everything under the sun to make ourselves be an extension of some anonymous stranger we have yet to meet but are ready to fall in love with.

A long time ago, I was told on some gay forum that fat men didn’t deserve men who “took care of themselves” mainly because if they had time to take care of themselves, they deserved a boyfriend. What that post insinuated in 19 year old me (an asshole btw) was that love and romance were something to be worked for at the gym, that unless you could commit to a diet an exercise routine that was draconian (by my gluttonus standards) to say the least, then no, Love was not for you. I confronted the poster online, who claimed that it wasn’t him that said it, but a friend (nice cop out dude). I held that stymied belief for years, but as time went on, I started to gain more perspective; yes, love is effort. It’s not something so shallow as gym time or grooming time (although they can be important to some) it takes hard work, dedication and the belief that two people will make it work, somehow. There are constants and variables that, as a couple, they will find out how it will test their feelings for each other.

By effort, I also mean putting yourself out there. Yeah, it sucks to go on 10 dates with 10 different people and blow all of them. But to look at it another way, you just went through 10 people to find 10 people who it didnt work out with, thats a lot farther than most people ever get, due to fear or prior commitments. I applaud those who go on many dates, they understand that it’s a numbers game. Granted, there might be some times where, what I call “preference settings” should kick in so you’re not wasting your time, but if you get out there, you’re bound to find someone that you can both be worth the effort for each other.

“Isolated incident” My thoughts on why what happened happened to the Duggards

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As you’re probably aware, the Duggards have been in the news as of late, given the recent allegations of innapropriate sexual conduct one of the members has commited against another memeber of the family. With their TLC show, they have become a name in the choir of voices singing for a stronger sense of morality from America. They denounce homosexuality and transgendered people as unrepentent sinners, yet have the audacity to ask for forgivness in the face of the allegations charged against them. Adding to this, they are part of a religious bubble that only reinforces out of date social behaviours and flawed methodology in their faith and sends a dangerous message to their children that “We are above their rules, but they are not above ours.”

As Christians, we are called to serve the people at large. Yet, all we see from them is serving people in the form of morality authorities and proponents of a potentially harmful way of home schooling which will only serve to indoctrinate their kids, rather than inform them. This form of Homeschooling, from the Advanced Training Institute seems to insist that, when handling allegations of sexual misconduct, the matter should be kept inside the home and that if the man is a perpetrator, it was only because the women of the house created an environment with their behaviours and appearance that encouraged him to act the way he did, to which they advocate repentence and prayer. To them, that its the way to solve the issue, to society at large, those in the know would say that this is simply a promotion of rape culture within a group of people everyone has the right to feel safe with, their own families.

In addition, we’re all bound by the same laws in this country, religous beliefs not withstanding. Sexual molestation is still molestation, no matter if the person is a devout christian or not. God has even mentioned that we are to follow the laws of the land we’re in.  This brings up the issue of the law enforcement official, who originally answered the call to the case, but let it be after “a stern lecture” with the boy. Later, he was convicted of possessing Child Pornography and is now serving a 56 year sentence. In this case, I can’t make the argument that this was the “old boy network” at it again, but what if it was, like in many other cases similar to this? The mere dismissal of the boys actions against these girls only sends the message to the girls that no one can help them and that they are not valued as members of society. They go on in life acknowledging this attitude and think that it really is “us vs. them” and act appropriately in their daily lives.

This “us vs them” mentality isn’t new to the church. Time and time again, christians are considered people “set apart” and “not of this world”. A lot of Christians I know (myself included) are among those who would attribute to an old adage often (Mistakenly?) attributed by Thomas Jefferson

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock

There’s also the Christianity, that is sometimes almost borderline not Christianity, where the members are locked up in some compound far from civilization, afraid of contamination from the world at large. I would say that the Duggards are somewhere between these two, probably edging towards the latter. This seems in conflict with the message of spreading the gospel of Christ, which you can’t do very well if you’re trying to yell from behind a wall. The times you do emerge from the compound, it’s almost certainly on the offensive, launching a crusade against what abnormality you wish to abolish, which in turn makes you appear aloof and unable to connect with the world around you. Being unable to connect with the world also makes empathy non existent and only reinforces the norms that where in at the time the door to the outside world was sealed.

Long story short, the bubble i mentioned earlier did a great job of preserving the morals and spiritual integrity of the group, but nothing more. It sure didnt protect the young girls from involuntary molestation (to be fair, the outside world isnt much better, however, when these things do happen, they tend not to be played out the way they are being played out now). Christians are not called to be walled inside, but out there on the front lines, doing what they were instructed to be doing in the first place.

What do you think? Share with me in the comments below.

To thy self: My thoughts on being the person you were meant to be.

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By now, it seems that everyone has had a chance to watch or review the Bruce Jenner interview with Diane Sawyer. (I have not, I was asleep when it was on). By now, it seems that everyone has had their two cents added into that, overall, the feedback seems very positive.

I’m happy for Bruce Jenner for deciding to undergo his transformation. I’ve met a few transgender individuals myself. Granted, I had to fight through a lot of preconceived notions and my own transphobia to get to know them, but what I find inside is often the same thing thats found in many cis-gendered people as well, a desire to live our lives with minimal, unintended interference from outside forces, an opportunity to live the life of a person we were meant to be.

I could make this about homosexuals, transexuals and others in the LGBTQ community, but instead, I’ve come to the conclusion that we all have our own closets to work ourselves out of. Think about it; have you ever seen someone so unhappy with their job they’d quit at the first opportunity, but at the same time, they stayed behind? What was the reason? Was it for the paycheck? Was it for the prestige? the unwillingness to learn and start again? That would be a person whose stuck in their own closet. We may never know their reasons; perhaps the pay is worth it to them or they feel they are far to old and experienced to “learn new tricks.” Whatever their reason, if and when they decide to leave their own closet, it’s best to give them the support and love they need, and will probably desire.

It takes a lot of courage to walk away from the familiar and into the unknown, but even more so when it’s becoming a person that only you knew about. Don’t be afraid to be the person you feel you were meant to be. It’s a scary world out there, it could use a few more brave people out there.