ThoughtsOfAnEnglishMajor

My thoughts on life.

Archive for the category “Love”

I Sit

In the morning, I sit. I wake up, climb out of bed, and I sit. My posture is slouched, my mind blank; I simply sit. Ideas are not zooming from one side of my brain to the other, but I still feel as if I am contemplating something amazing. It is this moment that I want to be my subconscious. I want to be the person inside of me that I’ll never know. For as long as I am me, I will never know my subconscious. That’s a strange concept for me to try to wrap my head around. It’s strange not because of the complexity of neuroscience, but because I can never know who I am when I’m not paying attention. For all I know, I could be a marvelously mean man who is bitter at everyone and everything, and the person the world sees is simply his facade to get through it all. Perhaps, my subconscious feels transgendered, but it too shocked and appalled by the outside world to let me know how he feels. Maybe I’m exactly the same, but the possibility of me not being the same is something that baffles me entirely. So in the morning, I sit. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I’m waiting. Maybe I’m hoping that one day I’ll discover who I am when I’m asleep.

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Self-Worth

Fight for yourself. Know that you are worthy of love from a slew of sources: family, friends, lovers, humanity as a whole, but most importantly, yourself. In life we find ourselves in many different situations, interacting with people from different backgrounds, interpreting philosophies, combining, ideas, and creating this emotion that we call love. Too often we search for this in other people and the things in our lives. We struggle to remember the simple fact that we are our own fountain of happiness, our own center of love. Everything in your life is nothing more than a reflection of you own self-worth.

Every relationship I have in my history has been a learning experience. All in all, they get better as I move on, grow, and discover ever more discerningly what I am wanting in not only a relationship, but in myself. This feeling of never knowing yourself fully, due to the fact of change, is as liberating as it is terrifying. Often, people will combat the question, “What do you want to do?” with a more philosophical approach saying, “Who do you want to be?” However, I have no idea what I’ll be doing, or who I’ll be. I can only live in the present. I can only soak in the current moment like the dry cracking soil of the Serengeti.

You are not just worthy of love or happiness; you are worthy of greatness, high expectations for yourself and the people around you, respect from your peers, and the knowledge that you are stronger than any environment that could surround you. As a gay kid who grew up in a tough financial setting, who was in a very conservative environment, who took care of a family member that struggled with addiction, who managed to keep it all together for the public eye, I realize the feeling of unworthiness. However, I also obtain knowledge, coming from the pit of my gut, that I am worth something; I am worth love. Amazingly, you are too.

 

Love vs Hate: Not the Only Dichotomy

In one of my English classes we have been talking about the idea of Apolline nature versus Dionysiac nature. We talked about how the world, specifically Greek tragedies, has been influenced by the ever competing views of one’s self. Apollonian nature wants to say that we, as humans, are always striving to build one’s character, to be better. However, the contradicting Dionysiac nature says that in order for our interest to really be sparked, we must tear ourselves apart. We are always competing with our very own thoughts. We are at war with our shadow.

My mind has been wondering lately down the road of literary theory, and god forbid, the ever allusive philosophy. I have been questioning the balance of these two great concepts and have been struggling to find where the line is located that keeps the balance in humanity, and even within my own mind. How are we supposed to balance the construction and destruction of our own moral, intellectual, and emotional character? We don’t.

If we look back on history, we find that great civilizations seem to have times of great peace and great disharmony. In fact, the only time that things are “average” is during those transitions between the two. One could argue that, as a society, we only know the extremes. In addition, we thrive in the extremes; it is in those moments that humanity shines. We are built not to balance everything like the circus performer who rides on a unicycle, juggles bowling balls, balances a broom stick on his nose; all while wearing a ridiculous costume. We are too simple. We struggle to balance those things that we lust for and those things that we know are not as appealing, but every bit necessary.

It is from this ability, or some would argue lack of ability, that we are capable of a slew of other dichotomies in our lives. For instance, we can love someone and hate someone in the same thought; we have the ability to be interested in two different courses of study: English major who is also pre-med. We can laugh while we cry, or cry while we laugh. We can beat ourselves up, and feel impassioned about our life. We are living our lives while we are actually dying. We are walking dichotomies.

We are an architect who has recurring memory loss. Every day he comes to the job site, cancels the current building plans, and tries a new design. He doesn’t realize how much work he is putting into the building. However, he knows that when it’s finished, it will be spectacular. Sadly, it will never be finished; it will always be under construction. Yet another interesting point.

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You are Beautiful

When going through life, often times, our self-image and self-respect are ruined. We idolize the wrong people, try to blend into the crowd, we take our uniqueness for granted. At one point in my life I thought like that. I fought tenaciously to not be noticed or heard.

Life is silly. It offers us these wild adventure rides where the only admission is hope in the unknown. We pay the toll, hop on the ride, and are ultimately disappointed in the end. At first, we think nothing of it. It’s normal. However, after several rides, we start to get discouraged and then comes the crazy part. Instead of seeing fault in the ride, in the journey, in the rollercoaster of events, we find fault in ourselves. We focus in so finely on the outline, the general shape, that we miss all the stuff inside.

I’ve come to realize through many events in my life that life, even in its confusing moments, has purpose. However, it has only been within the last week that I have learned another valuable lesson; I am beautiful. You are beautiful. We as a people are beautiful. Whether you’re male, atheist, straight, catholic, female, jewish, asian, gay, or muslim, you are beautiful. No matter your creed, race, religion, you are an amazing being with unlimited potential. You can change the world. You can do great things. You are special. You are loved.

I am different. I like to smell drinking glasses when I pull them out of the cupboard. I have no idea why, but I do. I enjoy cleaning and find it theraputic. I have a great fear of geese. I am, at times, very loud. I am addicted to junk food. I am who I am. You are who you are. Despite the self confidence proclaimed by my outward appearance, I have been not had a high self-image. Today, however, I think I will look in the mirror, make eye contact with person I see not the person the world has seen, and will say, “You are beautiful.”

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?

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.

Dance

I am starting off this post begging those few loyal followers to forgive me for my tardiness in writing new posts. The last two weeks were finals, and I seriously had to commit to my studies.

With the closing of the year, I am feeling so many different emotions. I feel like a pregnant lady in the mall who finds out she has to start shopping in the maternity section. At first though there was only one looming feeling that has been anchored into my heart. Sadness.

Over the course of nine months, I have gained so many new friends. I have grown more than anyone could ever imagine. I have changed. So much so, that the group of friends I have surrounded myself with have ultimately changed my life. and I couldn’t imagine my day-to-day life without them. To begin to think about leaving them was something I was dreading. And so the emotion-packed excursion began.

First, one friend trickled out. I wasn’t that sad, not because I didn’t care about them, but because their leaving was not real inside of my head; it hadn’t set in. Then another left and another and another. With each friend, the emotions rose. However, it wasn’t until my hour-and-a-half drive home that I broke down and started to bawl. Then, a song came on my ipod that seemed to change my thinking.

Now, call me corny or cheesy, but I believe everything in life has a great meaning and purpose. The song “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack seemed to be translating that great message. Yes, I know it is about leaving the one you love and hoping the very best for them. I know; I bought the song. But, in this situation, it seemed to be applicable to me and my posse.

I realized that in four months time I will be right back to listening to stories that will cause me to cry with laughter, and telling stories of my own summer adventures. I will continue to grow and live life, as will my friends. I want them, not to be thinking about me, but to be enjoying one of their last summers as young adults. I want them, pardon the expression, to dance. Yes, I will miss them, but I know that four months will fly by as fast as first semester.

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.

Do I Mean Something to the World?

“I have learned that you can go anywhere you want to go and do anything you want to do and buy all the things that you want to buy and meet all the people that you want to meet and learn all the things that you desire to learn and if you do all these things but are not madly in love: you have still not begun to live.” 

-C. JoyBell C.

I mean something to the world.This sentence is what we all long to say one day. It is the thing we search and long for in our lives. We go looking for this sentence in colleges, our jobs, our families, our travels. We always are wanting to know whether or not we will even matter 20 years from our death. We try, even in our passing, to be remembered, to be known.

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”-Albert Camus

I was thinking about this concept last night when a friend was trying to figure out what she will do in her future. Should she stay in this major? Should she switch? Should we all just become homeless people in California?( I personally would like that.) So after a conversation, tears, and just a time out from life, we were able to at least calm her down and help her realize that it was going to be ok. But then that statement popped into my head, I mean something to the world.

Here is my dream; it may sound silly or ridiculous to some, but here it goes: I want to live in San Francisco, Chicago, or New York. Really, as long as it’s a big city, I’ll be fine. Although, I like San Fran because its warmer. I want to work in the writing world. What facet of that world? I don’t know. I would really like to work in publishing, teaching, public relations, maybe marketing, or some other job I’ve probably yet to discover. I want to write a book. Quite honestly, I would like to make enough money from that to where that’s all I did, but I have to be a little realistic.

“Because children grow up, we think a child’s purpose is to grow up. But a child’s purpose is to be a child. Nature doesn’t disdain what lives only for a day. It pours the whole of itself into the each moment. We don’t value the lily less for not being made of flint and built to last. Life’s bounty is in its flow, later is too late. Where is the song when it’s been sung? The dance when it’s been danced? It’s only we humans who want to own the future, too. We persuade ourselves that the universe is modestly employed in unfolding our destination. We note the haphazard chaos of history by the day, by the hour, but there is something wrong with the picture. Where is the unity, the meaning, of nature’s highest creation? Surely those millions of little streams of accident and wilfulness have their correction in the vast underground river which, without a doubt, is carrying us to the place where we’re expected! But there is no such place, that’s why it’s called utopia. The death of a child has no more meaning than the death of armies, of nations. Was the child happy while he lived? That is a proper question, the only question. If we can’t arrange our own happiness, it’s a conceit beyond vulgarity to arrange the happiness of those who come after us.”-Tom Stoppard, The Coast of Utopia

I was asked last week by a family member why I liked English, why I liked writing, why I wanted to create novels. I couldn’t answer them until after my conversation last night with my friend. I realized that, for me at least, writing is how I am searching to mean something, to be remembered, to have an influence on others lives. For me, it is how I am happy. My career will be a major portion of my adult life. I have to be happy with what I am doing. I have to accept I am who I am. I like what I like, and that I will mean something to world even if it’s not in the capacity I originally thought.

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