About this blog

"One of the greatest moments in anybody's developing experience is when he no longer tries to hide from himself, but determines to get acquainted with himself as he really is." - Norman Vincent Peale

Friday, December 26, 2008

Drama Free...Got Me Again!

I thought that by volunteering to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I would be able to avoid the usual holiday family drama; but, "The Family That Preys" once again showed me the extent of their reach and how impactful a three minute conversation could be.

I went and saw my play-brother's family first because they live closer, then meandered to my paternal grandparents' house for the good food. They're the ones who raised my hard-headed a** from thirteen to eighteen, the real defining years - lol - We laughed, I got a gift (what?!), and then I brought my butt to work @ 3 PM to make that time and a half (whoo-hoo!). Boring day at work elapses....naps are taken...and I finally get off work at 11 PM. En route to go partake in some last minute Christmas festivities, my mom calls.

Me: Hello
Mom: What you doing?
Me: Just getting off from work...
Mom: You did?
Me: [Isn't that what I just said?] Yes. I did.
Mom: Oh. Everybody asked about you; And ya grandma did too. You don't ever go see her, and that's not right blah-blah-blah
Me: What? You went to Grandma's house?
Mom: Yeah, I been over there "all day." But yeah, you don't ever come see her and...

Jesus once stated, "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." Well, I am certainly not without sin, but she started throwing rocks first. I've been tolerating this crap for over a year and you calling me with this s#!t on Christmas?! I released the inner psycho, went in and let have; hung my balls all in da wind!

Me: "Let me tell you something 'mom.' You are not going to call me on Christmas after I have been at work all day and do me. Clearly just because you reconciled with the family after putting yourself in exile, you obviously think you have a right to call and chastise me because your example I somewhat follow. Just stop right there, because I refuse to listen further. You have your nerve thinking you can do this; I'm twenty-six years old! Doin' me on Christmas, geez! "
[brief pause]
Mom: Let me tell you something - your days are going to be short because the Bible say 'Honor thy father and mother' and you be disrespecting me
Me: I'm tired of having parents who act like adolescent teens in puberty!
Mom: You are gong to pay for the....(I stopped listening)
Me: Happy holidays Mom, I gotta go
Mom: blah-blah-blah death and then what blah-blah-blah
Me: Happy holidays Mom, I gotta go
Mom: yada yada attitude ungrateful child yada yada
Me: I love you and I'm hanging up now
Mom: Bye.

If this results in me getting enormous lumps of coal for Christmas, I'm burying them to see if I can make diamonds; I've got a better chance of that happening than my parents actually growing up. This conversation drove me to a local hole in the wall where I was approached in a very direct manner by an "it." "It" told me I was cute and inquired if I was in there with someone, then proceeded to get "it's" feelings hurt when I showed "it" my "get the hell away from me" symbol - a faux wedding band. With an 89 percent deterring rate, I successfully drove the burnt brownie with the horrible weave back to its point of origin - for ten minutes. Then "it" came and gave me a refresher, and reminded me to come see "it" later. I smiled and heavily sipped my Grey Goose and Cranberry....then immediately scampered out the door and went home.

Next year I'm celebrating Hanukkah. At least it comes with proper instructions.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Who's There To Save The Hero?

"There comes a time in your life when you finally get it... When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out- ENOUGH! Enough fighting, crying, or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink-back your tears; and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world from a new prospective."

I have my fair share of issues. I am not a perfect person, but I strive to be a good one. I am at one of those points where I feel I just can't get ahead - like I'm stuck in a situation I can not get out of. I wonder, "Does Superman get tired of saving the world?" Does he have moments he feels like a maid...? "I just cleaned this mess up!" I feel like I'm never going to be able to [once again] break away and really begin to live for me.

The things holding me back are the very things the world says you should never let go of. How can one live if he is being bound by the life he can't leave behind? I'm not trying to abandon the ones I love; I'm trying to become someone to love, as the past year has hardened my heart to a point past stone. So I guess I'd better finally tell the story:

October 16th, 2007
I'd just returned home two weeks ago from narrowly escaping my third trip to the Iraqi sandbox when receive a phone call that changed everything. My mother and two sisters had been evicted from their apartment complex after getting into an altercation with some neighbors...words were exchanged, bleach was thrown (I still don't know the WHOLE story)...and they needed a place to stay until my mom found a new apartment. I mean, what do you say? Its your mom. So of course I said, "Yes." Now a year and some months later, I am ready to pull out my hair.

When are they going to leave?!?!?! I want my apartment back, Law'd!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Awakening

*I did not have the pleasure of writing this, but I had to share it, because it
describes what we has humans go through in life when we experience.....


There comes a time in your life when you finally get it... When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out- ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world from a new prospective. This is your awakening.

You realize that it is time to stop hoping and waiting for something, or someone, to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that there aren't always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you. Then a sense of serenity is born of acceptance. So you begin making your way through the "reality of today" rather than holding out for the "promise of tomorrow." You realize that much of who you are, and the way you navigate through life is, in great part, a result of all the social conditioning you've received over the course of a lifetime. And you begin to sift through all the nonsense you were taught about:

. how you should look and how much you should weigh
· what you should wear and where you should shop
· where you should live or what type of car your should drive
· who you should sleep with and how you should behave
· who you should marry and why you should stay
· the importance of having children or what you owe your family

Slowly you begin to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really believe in. And you begin to discard the doctrines you have outgrown, or should never have practiced to begin with.

You accept the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are... and that's OK... they are entitled to their own views and opinions. And, you come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 30 waist or a "perfect 10." Or a perfect human being for that matter. So you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head or agonizing over how you compare. And you take a long look at yourself in the mirror and you make a promise to give yourself the same unconditional love and support you give so freely to others. Then a sense of confidence is born and you have self-approval.

And, you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer," hungry for your next fix, a new dress, another pair of shoes, or looks of approval and admiration from family, friends or even strangers who pass by. Then you discover that "it is truly in giving that we receive" and that the joy and abundance you seek grows out of the giving. And you recognize the importance of "creating" & "contributing" rather than "obtaining" & "accumulating." And you give thanks for the simple things you've been blessed with; things that millions of people upon the face of the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed and the freedom to pursue your own dreams.

And then you begin to love and to care for yourself. You stop engaging in self-destructive behaviors including participating in dysfunctional relationships. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and exercising. And because you've learned that fatigue drains the spirit and creates doubt and fear, you give yourself permission to rest. And just as food is fuel for the body, laughter is fuel for the spirit and so you make it a point to create time for play.

Then you learn about love and relationships, how to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. And you allow only the hands of a lover who truly loves and respects you to glorify you with his touch. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say, intentionally or unintentionally and that not everyone will always come through and interestingly enough, it's not always about you. So, you stop lashing out and pointing fingers or looking to place blame for the things that were done to you or weren't done for you. And you learn to keep your Ego in check and to acknowledge and redirect the destructive emotions it spawns; anger, jealousy and resentment.

You learn how to say I was wrong and to forgive people for their own human frailties. You learn to build bridges instead of walls and about the healing power of love as it is expressed through a kind word, a warm smile or a friendly gesture. And, at the same time, you eliminate any relationships that are hurtful or fail to uplift and edify you. You stop working so hard at smoothing things over and setting your needs aside. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK and that it is your right to want or expect certain things.

And you learn the importance of communicating your needs with confidence and grace.. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that eventually martyrs are burned at the stake. Then you learn to distinguish between guilt, and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that you don't know all the answers, it's not your job to save the world and that sometimes you just need to Let Go.

Moreover, you learn to look at people as they really are and not as you would want them to be, and you are careful not to project your neediness or insecurities onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be, more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name.

You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love and relationships and that that not everyone can always love you the way you would want them to. So you stop appraising your worth by the measure of love you are given. And suddenly you realize that it's wrong to demand that someone live their life or sacrifice their dreams just to serve your needs, ease your insecurities, or meet "your" standards and expectations. You learn that the only love worth giving and receiving is the love that is given freely without conditions or limitations. And you learn what it means to love.

So you stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that "alone" does not mean "lonely" and you begin to discover the joy of spending time "with yourself" and "on yourself." Then you discover the greatest and most fulfilling love you will ever know. Self Love. And so, it comes to pass that through understanding your heart heals; and now all new things are possible.

Moving along, you begin to avoid Toxic people and conversations. And you stop wasting time and energy rehashing your situation with family and friends. You learn that talk doesn't change things and that unrequited wishes can only serve to keep you trapped in the past. So, you stop lamenting over what could or should have been and you make a decision to leave the past behind. Then you begin to invest your time and energy to affect positive change. You take a personal inventory of all your strengths and weaknesses and the areas you need to improve in order to move ahead.

You set your goals and map out a plan of action to see things through. You learn that life isn't always fair and you don't always get what you think you deserve and you stop personalizing every loss or disappointment. You learn to accept that sometimes bad things happen to good people and that these things are not an act of God... but merely a random act of fate.

And you stop looking for guarantees because you've learned that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected and that whatever happens, you'll learn to deal with it. And you learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time FEAR itself. So you learn to step right into and through your fears because to give into fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. You learn that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophesy and you learn to go after what you want and not to squander your life living under a cloud of indecision or feelings of impending doom.
Then, YOU LEARN ABOUT MONEY... the personal power and independence it brings and the options it creates. And you recognize the necessity to create your own personal wealth. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart's desire. Then a sense of power is born of self-reliance. And you live with honor and integrity because you know that these principles are not the outdated ideals of a by-gone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build your life. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting and to stay open to every wonderful opportunity and exciting possibility. Then you hang a wind chime outside your window to remind yourself what beauty there is in Simplicity.

The Short Story Told Long

This is the flash forward of my life from my awakening (isn't this a neat way to describe when you said, "I am...this.") up to today. Order up some cocktails and take a load off.

High School

* Where it really all came together; I was a freshman in high school, and the new kid to the neighborhood. After finally introducing myself to one kid, I began to make friends. One wonderful day, one of my new friends whom I shall and forever refer to as "Uno" [because he is the first] and I were just kickin' it around the neighborhood. Boys being boys, our conversation throughout the day bounced from school to girls to life to sex. We'd just walked from the store and back to his house. Uno was telling me a story about participating in a contest to see who had the bigger.... and how the same person always won. I was just listening and laughing because I'd never heard of such shenanigans happening in the projects I grow up in. *This is the part you've been waiting for*

The famous dialogue:

Uno: "Let's do it."
Me: "Do what?"
Uno: "Have a contest..."
Me: "I don't know, man..."
Uno: "I knew you was scary."

Now you KNOW you can not let it get out in the 'hood that you are "scary." That's an automatic rep killer! And since I was still the new kid, I thought I had something to prove. So we go inside Uno's house to see who's really packing the power. Conveniently, his parents were not home.

Uno: "Pull it out."
Me: "I don't think I'm going to win..."
[The unveiling of meats]
Uno: "Hmm..."
Me: "For real Whats with the 'hmm'?
[Holding it, examining it]
Me: "Ay, what you doin' dude?"
Uno: "Chill, man"

And thus, I began receiving fellatio for the first time....from a dude. No, I did not say, "Stop/wait/hold on..." because I was clearly in, you know.

And I don't care what you say or believe, I was coerced/seduced! So what if I liked it... however, this first encounter sparked the spiral of madness that lasted five years and a lot of tears.
* At this point I can not even finish this blog, because the memories are flooding back and I need to regain my composure * Damn, I need a drink.

The First One

To the person who truly inspired me to start this journey: "heartbreaker." Thank you for being brave, courageous, and strong enough to tell the world your story.

"So what are Ah-Ha moments?

I like to describe Ah-Ha Moments as those when the intellectual mind, the emotional mind and the physical body all come to an agreement at the same time. It’s when you have an idea or problem that you have struggled with in your mind, it caused icky or conflicting emotions, and your body usually tensed up or got stressed out when you thought about it.

Then in one fell swoop, your mind “gets it” - you have a flood (tiny or huge) of good emotions, and you feel a physical sense of relief and happiness, joy or resolution." - Wendy Piersall

This perfectly describes my recent 'ah-ha moment' I had this morning, as I was mindlessly sitting at my workstation [pretending to work, whereas I was actually reading my favorite blog, "The Other Side Of Me..." http://xctd2.blogspot.com/] when it hit me: I need to be citing these crazy misadventures I experience daily. I am a blog reader, so what's hindering me from becoming a blog writer? This one question alone opened the floodgates to many more questions. By choosing to blog, I am opening up my life to the masses. Becoming a source of insight and entertainment to an already complex world; I would have to face the proverbial music.

Blogging would help me come to terms with who I am.

But who am I? So far, I know that I am Terrence - 26 years old, an intellectual, cultured, logical thinking young man with a passion for music and a desire to save the world. I love all things artistic: musical theatre, art galleries, symphony performances....the sound of a piano being played with soul does things to me illegal in 16 states. I work for a decent hotel chain, involved with handling public relations for a regional entertainment company and volunteer free time to reading to younger kids and feeding the less fortunate. Aren't I awesome!? But....then there's "Jhontaivius." Now most people who have alter ego's manifested theirs from childhood trauma, life-changing events that have shattered their psyche, or for the pure purpose of escaping their current situation. "Jhontaivius" is 22, sexy, studios, and a seducer of weak souls who was manifested when I came to terms with the fact that I was...gay. I created this alternate version of myself whom I felt was everything I was not at the time of my awakening in November 2002. There is so much to tell...I don't want you to learn everything right away, otherwise you wouldn't read, and I (nor you) would not learn anything from this!

So I begin to chronicle the life and experiences that were "his" and are now mine. Yes, the lines will blur and you will be confused from time to time & that's okay - I will be, too. But the journey from then, to when the two personas reluctantly intergrated into one and beyond, will be perilous, insightful, and quite the tale to tell! Here begins MY story; the story of T, "N 2 My Own...Life."

- Terrence b/k/a "Taye"