ThoughtsOfAnEnglishMajor

My thoughts on life.

Archive for the category “Denial”

Think About It..

Just a little while ago a man by the name of Ryan James Yezak released a video to promote awareness of the lack of gay rights in the country. Its other goal is to bring attention to a documentary that James was making detailing those discriminations within our society. I have a few things to say, but I really ask that you watch this video. It will take up five minutes of your day. I ask that you watch this with an open heart and think about it..

I was raised in a country where the members of Congress, the President, and the American people wanted a seperation of church and state. In fact, this country’s founders, despite what many people want you to believe, was founded by people who were tired of religion in government. So why is the notion of gay people marrying still even a debate within politicians’ minds? Because, there is bigotry. Simply put, in its most unrefined definition, people don’t like people different than themselves. Often times, this mindset is most prevelent in religon.

It was the idea of religion, you know the one about “its in the Bible”, that people used to counteract the abolition of slavery, women’s equal rights, and cross-ethnic marriages. It was those people, who do not have their scientific facts together, that scared the country into thinking all gay people had HIV, and that they shouldn’t give blood, semen, or bone marrow.(By the way, all of those statutes are still in place today.)

There is fear of the unknown; I get that. I understand the tiny, yet overwhelming, thought that enters one’s brain and can disrupt an entire life’s worth of thinking. I know what its like to be afraid, scared of thinking, scared of acting, scared of being who you really are. I have been afraid for many years, petrified really. I can connect with the idea of losing everyone, everything, around you.

To have walls is normal, we all build them. We lock people out; our ideas and thougths are our hostages. We take a single thought, decipher it, reword it, reword it again, and again, and again. We try our best to take that thought, which doesn’t fit into society, and make it fit. We polish it, buff it, chip off the rust; we make it look as good as we can. Then we release it into the world.

I can remember the first time I had the thought that I liked boys. I was in third grade. I remember quite clearly that I not only wanted but needed to be around him. I wanted to kiss his cheek so badly. Then as I grew, those unexpressed thoughts became stronger but so did the hatred for gay people.

I come from a divorced home where half of my family is Catholic and the other half Protestant. Needless to say, I have been exposed to the traditional Christian menatality concerning gay people. I have heard the bashing, experienced the bullying, and have been one of those kids who contemplated suicide. I’ve hated myself. So, I prayed. I prayed every night for years. I hoped God would take this away from me, this sin.

Yes, I am Christian. I believe in a God that loves his creation. I believe that all people are his creation (that also includes gay people). I believe that one day we will be judged for our actions, lack of actions, hate, and love.

It has taken me this long to announce proudly that I am gay. I was born gay. It is not a choice. So, for those of you who want to start pointing the finger, let me ask you a few questions. Why would I choose a life where I can’t marry, can’t adopt kids with my husband, can’t give blood or bone marrow? Why would I choose a life where people spit on me, are afraid of me, look down upon me as if I am the dirt they walk on? Why would I risk loosing friends and family? Why would I choose this?

Also, you say this is a sin. The Bible calls it an abomination. You seem to miss the other verses where shelfish, leather, short hair, and showing skin are also an abomination. You seem to miss the verses where kids are stoned to death in the town square for disobeying their parents, or brides are murdered because they aren’t virgins on their wedding day. You say this is a sin. Therefore, you say its a choice. If my homosexuality is a choice you have to accept that sexuality as a whole is a choice. So tell me, when did you choose to be straight?

I am the happiest I’ve ever been, and I hope that one day the feelings that I have for myself, and who I’m becoming, will be the broadcasted message to gay youth. Being gay does not mean you will live a horrible life without family or friends. No, being gay means you will live like everyone else, get a job, have fun with your friends, and find someone that you love. That person will just be the same gender.

Let your light shine in the darkness to be a guide for others. Love.

Do I Really Look Good?

Insecurity is something that every person faces. Sometimes it’s a man worried about his bald head, and other times it’s a woman worried about her weight. However, what I am discovering about my own insecurities is that they come from a place much deeper within my psyche than I ever imagined. After a few things have happened to me in my life, I have a great fear of abandonment. Usually, I handle it quite well. But here recently, it has stepped up to the plate and keeps hitting inside-the-park home runs.

Insecurity, for me, is the worst internal conflict to go through. I am an extremely confident person who has worked very hard for everything that I have and everything that I stand for. So to be crushed like a little girl (no offense to any little girls who read my blog) by a single statement, tweet, or text message always gets to me; it slams me down to the ground.

“Each one of us requires the spur of insecurity to force us to do our best.” -Harold W. Dodds

The thing that bothers me the most is that I was an extremely insecure individual for my first eighteen years of life. I monitored everything I said, how I talked, what I wore; I was always conscious of how I was coming across to others. Enter college: I finally had a chance not to worry about what others might say or who they would say it to. So I let go of those insecurities; I was myself.

Now being back home for the summer, not being around all my amazing friends, getting thrown back into an environment where I feel like I have to fit a mold, those same insecurities I buried are starting to resurface; I hate it. I am determined to be me. Plain and simple, I will continue to be myself and if doesn’t make everyone happy then that’s fine; it’s my life anyway, right?

My Imaginary Friends Are Mute

I have some tragic news to tell my handful of followers. It is something that has haunted me for months now…writer’s block. (Dun Dun Dun)(Camera quickly zooms in on a woman who is unknown to the audience sporting a confused and scared face.)

Yes I have fallen, yet again, to the monster that lives in my blank word document; it seems to be a recurring theme for me. This pattern of having a month of strong ideas, creative characters, interesting and diverse scenes to only be pushed aside by two months of nothingness is starting to get old. I mean, seriously, you would think that creating a piece of fictional magic that envelops the reader in the world of the author would be easy, right?

Since November, I have wanted to write a novel. One that would incorporate a character going through immense changes of self-discovery, treacherous emotional warfare, experimental love, and finally a huge cathartic release of the soul. However, it is much easier for me to describe the type of book I want to create rather than the book itself. I have had at least twenty of thirty complete story ideas and have written pages upon pages of dialogue, scene, and character descriptions only to be left wanting more.

I think I have built up too high of an expectation. I have created this idea that there is an American classic sitting somewhere in my head, and that it is my job to get it out. However, nothing I write is living up to my own harsh critiques. As a result, my entire creative process has tuckered out from exhaustion like my ten year old dog that has hip dysplasia.

Hopefully, by the summer’s end, I will have more of a focus, more of a vision, as what this book will involve, and I can begin my writing and kill this writer’s block.

Marriage Equality: It’s Simple

In the past week, marriage equality has taken center stage across the nation with the ban of gay marriage in North Carolina and the announcement by President Barack Obama supporting same-sex marriages. In fact, it seems to be the central social issue for the coming election.

The fact that this “issue” is even an issue astounds me and leaves me flabbergasted. This should not even be a debate in a country that guarantees the pursuit of happiness. There should be marriage equality in this country regardless of the people being talked about. So whether you are black, Muslim, atheist, gay, Buddhist, Christian, Native American, or if you believe that ducks create magic clouds full of money you have a right to marry.

The rights of my fist end where the rights of your nose begin. I particularly like that phrase. It is so symbolic of the ideology on which this country was founded. Meaning: I can do whatever I like; it is my right. However, once my right to do what I want interferes with someone else’s right then I am limited. This mentality seems to be manipulated by ridiculously conservative Christians to say that a same-sex marriage affects a heterosexual marriage. How? After all, those two people are still going to love each other with or without the document. So by not allowing them to marry, their love is not crushed just their spousal rights. How do the spousal rights of one couple, heterosexual or homosexual, affect another couple?

The United States of America has always striven to have a defined line between state/federal policy and religion. This is something that the founders thought necessary after being under such oppressive religious intolerance. This includes Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, Atheism, Satanism, and any other religious organization. So the arguments proclaiming homosexuality being condemned in the Bible, which is also another argument, is completely irrelevant to the marriage debate because the argument is strictly about the legal document. If you don’t want to have a gay marriage in your church, that’s fine. But to deny the legal document, that grants special privileges to two people who have chosen to live their live together as one, is preposterous. After all, we allow atheists to marry who think Christians are loony and don’t believe God has anything to do with the institution, or that God even exists.

Now, I am a Christian. Obviously, I don’t fall under the general consensus of the Christian population. But anyway, I believe that Christians in this country are far too entitled. Why their personal religious beliefs should be shoved down the throats of all of America is unknown. It is easy for Christians to want a “Christian America” because that is all they have known. However, who’s to say that in 50 years the majority of policy makers won’t be Islamic; it is the fastest growing religion worldwide. I wouldn’t want any other religion in government, and if I apply that mentality to other religions, I must apply it to Christianity.

After those bullet points have been address, one might wonder what else is left to debate. Quite honestly, any other argument is just a last-ditch attempt to keep a separate but equal mentality in the country. This debate is bigotry at it’s finest. Marriage equality needs to be written into federal law. It should not be left up to the states. Otherwise, half of this country would still ban interracial marriage.

Sure, the definition of marriage is changing. It has always been changing. It went from men owning wives and concubines to same race marriages all with many different interpretations in between. Now, we need to define marriage based on what is experienced, that’s love. Now, for those of you about to make the argument that bestiality and polygamy are examples of love please just take a second. In the issue of gay marriage we are talking about two individuals of the same species not more than one person of an interspecies marriages So, please stop trying to make the argument that the next thing will be people marrying goats; I doubt that will happen anytime soon.

If you like what I have to say or don’t like it but find it interesting, sign up for the email list or follow me on twitter @vaughn93. Please leave a comment! However, know that I will only host comments that are respectful and allow for communication, no bashing of thoughts of ideas.

In short, let people live their lives in peace. They are simply asking for equal rights; they don’t have some agenda to take over the world. Love.

Yeah, I’m Single, So What?

Why is it that I cannot open a book, turn on a television show, or have a conversation with someone without seeing or hearing about how awful it is being single? The single guy on the sitcoms is always creepy, and the single girl is always desperate. Why do we gravitate on having someone?

Before you start judging me and thinking of me as a shrill, bitter, and pathetic guy who is just venting about not being able to get a date, hear me out. I am just trying to figure out why we, as a society, put so much pressure on finding our “other half.” Personally, I love being single. Sure, there are those times where having someone to share your world with, cuddle you, or just talk to you in the wee hours of the morning are nice, but not necessary. I mean what is this “you complete me” crap anyway? I’m sorry, but if you are not complete, in and of yourself, then there is no way I’m going to enter into a relationship with you knowing you’re off your emotional rocker. (OK, I must admit that the paragraph did sound a little shrill and bitter, let me try a different approach.)

I feel like half of the want and “need” for a relationship is instilled into our minds from everyone else who is in a relationship so we can join in their misery. I mean let’s just take a look at the relationships around us and see what they get us. Sure, Jack and Jill are the perfect couple, always holding hands, groping each other, but every time you invite them anywhere they cancel because they have to attend to their “soul mate.” So, their social life goes down the drains. Then we have Dan and Denise, they are the on again, off again couple that requires a scoreboard to see who is winning their most recent fight. They consume themselves with how they can one up the other person and blab on and on until you pull out all of your hair. Thirdly, there is James and Jennifer, they seem like normal people who hang out, still have a good relationship, but give each other space. However, seven months into the relationship James finds out that, even though he was cheating on her the whole time, she was too and both of them are so heartbroken they don’t know how they will ever cope.

This is the reason why I am so happy with being single right now. Of course, I want a relationship someday and I want someone to be there for me. And no, I am not nearly as crabby about love and relationships as this post makes me seem. However, I am not one to be in a relationship just because its been three months, the television says I’m incomplete, or someone is bragging about their great relationship. I think the mentality of using someone else as a crutch to stop dealing with ourselves is the exact reason why so many relationships fail, the divorce rate is so high, and people are generally unhappy. I have this odd idea that you should only start dating someone when you are crazy about every aspect of them not because Dr. Phil says so.

Forgive and Never Forget

As the end of my freshman year of college comes to a close in these last 4-5 weeks, I have been looking back on the year a lot. I am astounded by how fast this school year has gone and by how much I have changed in these nine months. I entered school as an annoying, loud-mouth kid who was so sure of himself and where he was going. The person writing this blog for you today is not that same boy. I am not sure of where I am going, who I will be with, what adventures I will go on. I am not sure that I will even be feeling the way I feel now in five months from now, but I am sure of one lesson that recently smacked me in the face. Forgive and forget. (However, I edited it.)

Sure, we all say this to someone who has been hurt, trampled on, tossed to the side of the road only to be eaten by ravenous vultures. However, do we ever really mean it? Do we ever apply this concept to our own life? Yes, I’ve been hurting lately. Actually, it’s really been more of mourning, and I kept telling myself to just move on, let it go, to get over it. But, I couldn’t. It wasn’t until the other night that I was having a conversation with a friend, we’ll call her Jill, and that she told me it was normal. That the feeling of loss over someone, who isn’t dead by the way, is exactly what I should be feeling. Then it hit me. I was so caught up in “moving on” that I never properly grieved the loss of someone out of my life that was such a huge influence. By not grieving, I couldn’t forgive this person, but ultimately, myself.

So as I went to bed the other night, I finally accepted the fact that my life has chapters, chapters come to a close, and new ones begin. I finally accepted forgiveness for myself, and right when I was about to push that chapter out of my life I realized I couldn’t forget, that I shouldn’t forget. I realized that the greatest novels of all time have moments of extreme emotion within every range of the spectrum. That chapter was one of the best chapters of my novel so far. However, that chapter does not define the novel.

As always, if you like what I have to say let me know by leaving a comment or signing up for the email list!!

Sorry, My Brain Just Farted

Have you ever been sitting on a bus, next to a very attractive person, when all of a sudden you smell something awful? You try to avoid the smell, you really do. You desperately want the smell to go away because that girl/guy was perfect until you smelled them. You smile, and put on your best poker face trying not to let them know that you smell the remnants of his/her lunch. However, no matter how hard you try you have to distort your nose, hold your breath, and shift to a position with your face as far away as physically possible. Sometimes though, even with your best effort, the persons next to you realize that their secret has been discovered.

Yes, what I am describing to you is a brain fart. You know, that awful thing that happens when you’re in a conversation with someone perfect and you have something so great to say, but in the middle of thought your mind goes completely blank. It is an embarrassing thing that leaves the stench of stupidity. You want to run, but you sit there and do your best to fight through it.

Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?

Answer: “I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever,” – Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss USA contest.

Why do we call this slip-up what we do? Brain fart. I would like to know who was in conversation one day saying, “Oh, yeah I know. I can’t believe that………um….um..Sorry, my brain just farted…whoopsie.” What was the reaction of the person on the other end of that conversation? How is forgetting a memory anything like passing gas from your body? It scares me that someday archeologists will dig up some piece of our history and find out that we used the phrase “brain fart”. I can only imagine futuristic scientists huddled around their lab benches trying to figure out how this blob of tissue could have gas exchange through our skulls.

“It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it” – Al Gore, Vice President

Brain farts haunt college students constantly. Their lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and high caffeine intake make college campuses reek of forgetfulness. Often, while taking a test and sitting in a crowded auditorium, the college student will have an idea of great potential. This idea would not only ensure a passing grade, but would revolutionize the entire learning process. These ideas can be understood in fractions of a second, however, they can leave the mind one hundred time faster.

The worst part of the brain fart is the bombardment of information back into your brain hours, sometimes days, after it was needed. It is a slap in the face, as if to say, “Yeah, I know the cure to this disease, but I’m not gonna tell you.” Why brain fart? Why do you pick on me so?

If I ever address a problem in theses blogs that I personally struggle with, I will always try to give the best advice I can on how I solve the issue or justify it. I don’t think that brain farts can ever be prevented; they happen. No matter how much we don’t like it, it happens. However, I think that, for the majority of the time, we can play it off as part of the conversation. Also, try Gas-X. If it helps at the bottom, it probably helps at the top.

“If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.” – Bill Clinton, President

I Deserve A Break

Um..I think I am just going to write this blog later. I can always work out tomorrow. I could probably wait a couple of days before I NEED to start studying for the exam. I deserve a break. These thoughts, or thoughts like them, run through my head all day now that I am on my own. Procrastination is something I think many people struggle with in their day-to-day lives. So much so, I am pretty sure the American Medical Association declared it a disease(Don’t quote me on that). Whether or not it is a medical issue, doesn’t seem to dampen our moans and groans when it hits us in the face; when it cause us to stop everything we’re doing.

“Procrastination is something best put off until tomorrow.” ~Gerald Vaughan

So what are the symptoms of this silent killer, you ask? At first you are extremely motivated, in fact, you would never know that some evil was lurking around the corner. However, once you are content with actually doing the work it is too late for it is nothing but a lie that your body believes. Second, while starting the project, you start thinking about how long it will take to actually finish the task in its entirety. After working very hard for thirty minutes, you decide that you should reward yourself for putting your name at the top of the page and remembering the date without looking it up. So, the social networking sites grab your attention and hold it for ransom. Two and half hours later, once you’ve found out Theresa’s baby’s name, the type of tattoo Jimmy got, and the color that your aunt chose to paint her living room; you can move to picking out the “right” song to help you work faster. As if  John Legend is really going to help you solve the Calculus problems. And so, the cycle will continue and continue until there seems to be no hope.

Children, you can stop crying. Random woman in the street, you can stop screaming. Mob, holding pitch forks and fire, you can get back to other mob things because I found out the secret thing preventing the procrastination monster from making you another victim in its path to world domination. The trick is to fight fire with fire. Although, water with water would work too. We need to procrastinate procrastination.

Whether you or I like it or not, we are nothing more than our minds and our will power. So if procrastination takes our will power, our aimless minds are left there to fend for themselves. So procrastinate procrastination by allotting the same amount of time you would normally visit the social sites, watch T.V., trim your fingernails, or whatever else you would do. However, do it all at once after you’ve accomplished your task instead of taking “breaks” throughout. That way you still get want you want, and I find it relaxes you right before bed which translates to more sleep.  It also helps when you’re not stressing about all the things you failed to do because you were to busy looking at what J. Lo was doing on her Wednesday afternoon.

I am no doctor, but I believe this tip will help you; I can say this because I have applied this trick to my life. Although, I am writing this blog at 4:30 in the morning instead of doing a Biology lab due later in the day. After all, I do deserve a break.

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”~C.G. Jung

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