#XD30-five-I Do

If I were to get married tomorrow I know exactly who my husband would be. Well, kind of, and this is all predicated on the idea that I would get to pick, and that my chosen partner would just as easily accept my nuptial offering. We had a conversation on The Sunday Afternoon Podcast this week where I eluded to my marriage. More specifically, the fact that I have a good two and half men (I consider them to be gentlemen callers) that I would be perfectly content in marrying. I know that sounds strange, but when you think about it, just how strange of an idea is it?

I believe in the idea of soulmates. I believe that I have met mine, before, and for whatever the reason our stars have not aligned, and I am okay accepting the fact that we don’t end up together. Really, I have no choice but to be. That was a struggle, it’s not something easy to get over, nor is it easily understood. I would consider him my forever number one on the list of suitors. I make mention of that situation only because it’s left me mildly jaded in several ways. One of the lessons it taught me is the fact that in many instances relationships come down to a partnership and commonality of comfort, and convenience. A lot of the times that’s the sole reason people stay in forever relationships, not because there is this mystical feeling or uncanny tie to the other individual, but because they have lived life (as they know it) with that person for so long it’s something that they are not interest in living without. But, I digress. In no way is that an ideal situation for me, but it got me to thinking that I have to be ok with a second best. When I say second best, I just mean someone who isn’t him. No Mr. Big to my Carrie Bradshaw and that is just fine!  I had an unworldly experience with that man and I would be a total fool to try and compare it or hold anyone else to that standard, the level of intimacy, connective intimacy that we had is unmatched, uncanny, and I highly doubt it will ever happen again. 

That being said, when I found the willingness to move on I realized that we’re all preparing ourselves for marriage at this age anyway! HELLO! I’m thirty. I would be lying if I said I was out here getting to know people just for the hell of it. I am absolutely grooming (and being groomed) for my husband. 

The other two prospects are perfect in completely different ways. Naturally I’m more interested in one than the other because that’s the way I operate. When I’m getting to know someone I really take the time to vest a shit load of attention into them. I’ve never been a serial dater or any good at of it, because all of my energy just gravitates to the one who’s at the top of the list. Laurè said that the idea that I’d be fine marrying one of them means I don’t love either, but I disagree. I can honestly say that I love them both. I’m not in love with either, but I love them both, romantically. Also, I don’t accept the idea that my feelings for one negates the feelings I have for the other. I know both of these men in a capacity that has led me to believe that I could spend the rest of my life with them, both, I think. 

Ultimately, you can only know a person as much as they will allow. And I’ve thought about that just as much. It makes me think of other cultures of the world. All those arranged marriages, where all you have is your faith and a responsibility to meet a person where they are. Learn their behaviors, learn who they are and really be with them. All roads really lead to companionship, and that’s something you can have with, well truth be told, anyone. 

I may not be getting married tomorrow, but I’m lowkey planning my wedding! If I was held at gun point and demanded to pick a man and marry him, I can rest assured that I’m readily prepared to spend a lifetime with the man of at least one of my dreams.

#XD30-two-We Sat

We sat. I can still feel the numbness in my limbs as my feet dozed to and fro in sleep. Restlessly. We sat there for hours, an eternity of seconds since the last gasp elapsed my lips, you took my breath away. I’ve never known silence this way. The walls in this room are yellow. They beam a brightness as bold as the mustard sky. You introduced that color to me. The flowers have not escaped the last of their scent, the lavender hovers in the air, I can smell it each time I sniffle. There is nothing I can do to stop the snot and I am too stunned, too wounded and broken to move. So I sniffle, in silence, once every three inhales I wish there was breath in my body I knew how to hold longer. I don’t want you to notice me, in this moment I want the least amount of attention as possible. But, there is no more air so I inhale, so deeply I can feel the exhale rise out of my knee’s, but it does not calm me. There is no more air in this big bold room. The walls have dimmed. Through tear stained eyes I see rust and willowed leaves. We sat for hours. You over there, somewhere else. You feel far, and foreign. I can’t feel you in my spirit, the way I could before. The only reason I know you haven’t left is because I can see your feet. Across the room you sit back to pillow, upright on the hunter green coach you helped move into this space. I had you shift, turn, and cater-corner it in every direction until you finally grew exhausted in all of my angst and sat it down in its place. It fit perfectly.

My Brother & Me .

You ever question your love for people as an adult? As children I feel that we are reared in a way that teaches the word love without always providing the context of its meaning or actions. We are introduced to family and we are taught to say that we love them. To be completely honest, I’ve questioned the love I have for my grandparents and even for my father, a few years ago. Lately, I find myself grappling with the relationship I have with my twin brother.

I decided to post this picture, not because it’s the most attractive or appealing for either of us, nor because its the only picture you’ll find of us, together, within the past few years, but because I feel it is indicative of our relationship. It almost feels foreign, strained and weary, frayed but present. My brother asked to take this picture and I was instantly annoyed. That appears to be my inclination, a defense mechanism of sorts, my first instinct most times he asks me to do anything. But, what I love most about this picture is the depth of its honesty. The half moon smirk on his face makes me feel loved. I feel like he sees me, he is proud of me and he wants to take a picture, with me.

I get it. This all sounds extremely weird to most because the idea or image you have of twins is Tia and Tamera, or Mary Kate and Ashley, two individuals that not only look alike, but are inseparable and best friends. I can’t think of a time where that was our experience. It probably started at birth, I was born May 26 an hour and eight minutes after Kenny and we probably haven’t been much closer ever since.

Looking back on my childhood, as I survey our “twinship” I feel guilty a lot of the time. We went through all the normal twin things to do. My mother dressed us identically, despite there always being a good foot between our heights, well into middle school. In fact, we were even in the same classroom as students up until the third grade. That year my mother made a decision to hold Kenny back. Y’all know I consistently pride myself on the way I was raised; moreover, the efforts of my mother. She was seamless and perfect, to me. She saw that when it came to education Kenny was not excelling. Rather than put him through a system that would allow him to pass on and be left by the waste side later, she refuted the public school system and made the decision she felt was best, one she felt would put her child in the best position for success. I asked her a couple of years ago if she regretted that decision. She doesn’t.

I think that decision gave us space to grow apart further. Kenny has always been quiet, introverted and my polar opposite. I don’t know his experience of me during those school years and I don’t really have a clear glimpse of him in mine. I went on to excel in academics. I was active in middle school and by the time we got to high school I was a superstar. I had found my passion in theatre, played sports, did chorus, band, pep rally and continued to make good grades, but where was Kenny? What was he doing? I couldn’t tell you, and that pains me. We rode the bus together, sat side by side from the elementary all through high school and I can’t say anything that would let you know who he was.

Soon after, maybe my sophomore year of high school, Kenny made the decision to go and live with my Dad. He had always been closer with that side of the family, conversely, just like the nature of our relationship, I was closer to my mom’s side. Growing up we had to go to my fathers every other weekend but by the time we got to high school we were old enough to make our own decision. There is no coming back from that. Any inkling we had of closeness was surely cast out into the shadows that come with the rift of separation.

As I ponder on our childhood experiences I feel an enormous weight of guilt. It’s something I constantly try to shake but I can’t help it. I feel badly that we didn’t have a more similar experience. For years I blamed me. I felt it was my fault because I was always living in some parts of the fullness of myself. So much so that I have wondered how could he have any space to breathe? Not that he’d have to compete, I just feel like I didn’t make it easy for him to find space enough to be himself.  I know that we all have to be who we are. I can’t take responsibility for any of his shortcoming and it would be foolish to think I would ever have to deny myself the ability to be me for him to breathe; still. I can remember sleeping in twin beds that were next to each other. We had a small room and our beds were close enough in space where I could reach over and soothe a scar he’d have by tracing the tip of my index finger around it until he feel asleep, and just as easily kick him hard enough to stop his constant snoring when he found sleep sooner than me. It never stopped his snoring for too long. Sometimes I feel like I may have kicked him out of the womb of our mother and into the world that hour and eight minutes ahead of me. Time that he may have needed just as badly to come into himself wholly.

All throughout college people would be surprised to learn that I actually have a twin brother. Many times people didn’t believe me because I didn’t talk about him enough or never produced a picture. It’s ironic because whenever I’m asked an interesting fact about myself my most anticipated answer is the fact that I have a twin brother. I always say it, and then combat or lessen it by saying, “but it doesn’t  count because we’re fraternal.” What I’m really saying is that a lot of the times, I guess I didn’t really consider myself a twin because we are so vastly different, and not close. I remember making male friends in college and I would always hold them in such high regard. I revered the men in my life I was able to grow close to because as a gay man there was a yearning in me to connect to black men, and bigger than that, I had a desire to know what it feels like to have a brother, because so much of my own experience excludes my twin.

The parameters of our relationship is not something that makes me most proud. I don’t look forward to feeling the regret of not being closer, of navigating through this world  further away from him, but I love Kenny. He is my twin brother and no part of me questions that further.

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So, sorry; not sorry .

And if I wanted hell; I’d go back to my ex.. That’s one of my favorite lyrics to “I’ve been waiting,” by CourtneyB. Probably because it’s so completely true. But, if I’m being one hundred percent honest with myself, there are times (rare occasions) when someone I’ve dealt with, or talked to before, comes to mind. I think about the experience,  ponder what went wrong, and absolutely assess how its shaped me. Yet, out of less than a palmful of potential suitors, I want zero of them back, especially my ex.

As of late, my ex boyfriend has been blowing me up! I mean hitting me up like a crack head with an itch that needs scratching, all hours of the night. All in an effort to have sex with me. Period. I was flattered when it started. We haven’t spoken in upwards of six months to a year. We had a few transitions that never ended well. There was a lot of blocking, deleting, and ignoring; so that first text left me awestricken. I knew that I was over him, but it kind of jilted my emotions and I was intrigued with his ambition to conquest me. Thats the attention seeking aspect of my personality that I’m still dealing with, so y’all continue to pray for me. But, the more he hit me up the more rooted I stood in who I am today, and what I choose to accept, or be apart of.

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I’ve been celibate for what feels like forever now (but who’s counting?). It is allowing me to see more of who I am and the strength that I already possess; spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Surprisingly enough, knowing me. With each attempt to bate me, in every attempt to be swayed, I’ve held my own. Don’t get me wrong. The allure of intimacy and physical connection is all too enticing. Of course I long to be held, to kiss, to touch; and to date. I want a sense of companionship and a partner to hangout with, it’s just not with him. I am so fortunate to have that confirmation.

This game of tug of war these past two weeks has revealed a few thing from our exchanges:

1. Being horny isn’t enough reason for me to have sex with anyone. Especially an ex.

2. Let you ex be your ex, and for good reason! Because no matter how much he calls, how much he’s changed, or how badly he may desire you and/or your body, you are not with him for a reason. He wasn’t that into you when you were together and truth be told he still isn’t.

3. Your sex is valuable so be mindful of who you share it with, 9 times out of 10 your ex aint worth it.

4. You deserve to be with the person who wants to be with you bad enough to actually be with you. 

Self worth is invaluable and at the end of the day there is nothing wrong with being a sexual person, or owning your own sexuality, but with part of that ownership comes a responsibility and that’s something we can’t afford to lose sight of. I think temptation is probably just as consistent as change in life and there is nothing wrong with taking time to sit with yourself before making a decision. Yea, I have learned that I have enough will power not to have sex with my ex boyfriend now, but I had to think about it, because its crossed my mind over and over again since I started hearing from him. But that illusion was quickly dismissed from the vision I have for myself. I’ve declined his offer to engage over and over, and over again.

I was in Target earlier this week, shopping for candles and birthday cards. Would you believe that I found a candle that smells exactly like my ex? I did. And, I sat in the aisle for a moment and contemplated not only if I wanted to buy the candle, but if I should just give in and have sex with this man. It’s a smell I’ll never forget. The whole time I was with him it felt like a deep comfort, his smell, something I’ve never scented before and I have never really known what it was, or why he smells that way.  I have had flashes of his scent throughout the years, and it has always brought me back to him. The rush of the comfort I found in so many old memories.

I bought the candle and I let the warmth of its burn fill my bedroom with his scent. In doing so, I have learned that I have no connection or tie to him. I can’t find any longing-ness or desire to have sex with him. So much of who I was in a relationship was filled with his smell. A scent that is as clean as it is fresh. Whole bodied tones, fragrant and long lasting. Burning my candle taught me that I still love this smell, but it doesn’t belong to him. Honestly. It’s just Coastal Linen, a green scented signature soy candle from target.

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And a happy new year.

The morning after Christmas Day. This year we did things differently. Instead of a traditional Christmas at home, we tarried down to North Carolina on Christmas Eve to fill my baby sisters new home with our presence. We had an amazing time. She and her girlfriend, Ty, have made quite the home for themselves. I felt love and happiness, peace and comfort. We spent the night cooking and laughing, drinking, playing games; fueled by Christmas spirit.

Naturally, I got to thinking. It’s been a many of moons since I’ve spent my Christmas unwrapping presents, tucked beneath pine needles and tree skirts, and I’m okay with that. I find that my holiday season is so much more connected to being surrounded by love. Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t want lots of presents on Christmas? But, I am growing accustomed to an environment that gives way to allowing you to just be you. Without any pretense or effort, just being yourself and sharing in the company of those who want to share in that space.

“Change aint change until you change.” My mom used to say that and it’s all I’ve been able to think about lately. Well, we traveled back home on Christmas Day listening to ‘A Christmas Carol’ on audiobook and all felt right in the world. Here’s to new traditions, I’m vowing not to spend another holiday in NN, VA.

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Beyond that, I find that it is so easy to note all the changes that I want to see in myself, over my own life. I don’t doubt that you agree and can understand how easy and tempting it can be to just bask in all of that. You know, those things that overwhelm us with anxiety and make us scurry into trying to be that which we were all the time. It is just as important to celebrate the things that you’re most proud of. Those traits and qualities that have gotten you thus far in life. The talents or dreams that guide you into greater, striving to fulfill you purpose. Don’t sweat the small stuff. As 2016 quickens her step, approaching as vivid and steadily as ever, keep a tally of all the things you are working on and don’t forget your strategy. Yet, just as important, celebrate all the victories you’ve accomplished this year and design a ‘get bag’ that shows off all your greatest assets. At the end of the day, no matter how far you have to go to accomplish your dreams, you are already a big deal, so just don’t forget to celebrate in that too.

How did you spend your Holiday? Tell me all about it. See you Sunday.

Would you attend my wedding?

Upon invite, of course! At twenty eight years old, there is no denying the fact that I live in a world filled with engagements, weddings, and baby showers. They completely surround me; either at home or work, its an age where you’ve no choice but wonder the decisions being made over your life. I’ll admit, this isn’t the first time I started to plan my own wedding or come up with baby names for that matter, and in my adult life. Moreover, as a single person! But, I won’t be judged.

A few weeks ago, shortly after the Unites States Supreme Court made history in recognizing the fact that the constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage, I had an epiphany as I discussed marriage with my best friend. He is straight, happily married, and is a father  to the most beautiful baby boy. The ruling was announced and he wanted to know my thoughts on the issue. No strangers to open, honest communication amongst one another, we gave our stance and thats when I had a moment of realization.

In nearly a decade of friendship, adult friendship at that, it had never occurred to me that my best friend would not be my best man. I made a joke about him being the best man at my wedding after we shared our difference in opinion and he was almost baffled at the idea that it was something I had not come to accept; however the reality of the situation was that its something that hardly ever crosses my mind in any capacity.

What may be one of the more precious gems of this friendship, and so many alike that I share personally, is that my sexuality rarely rears itself visibly. Sure, I am accepted, or seemingly so, but I’m grateful that I share in the experience of relationship that is not predicated on anything other than my being. My identification as gay is not the basis of my friendship. Nevertheless, I could hardly fathom joining one in holy matrimony and not having my closest friend an active participant.

It made me think. Is it possible to accept someone for who they are and not support all of who they are? Is a refusal to attend my wedding an act of rejection? Is friendship contingent on only the things that we appreciate or perceive to be viable from others? I was filled with questions, and they weren’t just because of one best friend. This was what felt like an encompassing of gray area on my life. From family to friends I was bracing myself in an effort to accept, myself, that I experience a multitude of love with people in my life that do not all agree with my lifestyle. And that is perfectly fine.

I drove to work with this realization the next day, eyes filled with tears stained. Not at mourning or any lose. I had already come to the understanding that no difference in opinion will be indicative of love, respect, of friendship. His unwillingness to accept my wedding invitation means nothing to me. It has nothing to do with me and taking it personally would only prove itself nugatory. We each have a basis of idea, opinion, or belief that is telling of our own lives and the way we see the world. We see things differently. We see each other.

The supreme courts decision of marriage equality is to ensure that the right to marry is upheld and respected across this country, fundamental rights are inalienable and need to be afforded to all persons. That decision has absolutely nothing to do with the faith, mission, or purpose of anyone who might feel differently.

The tears that I cried that morning were engulfed with an enormity of gratitude, grace and favor. To  know and experience the love of God, family and friends; those I’d not even be foolish enough to question there attendance, is what took me in. That foundation in which dreams are made of, and mine increasingly realized.

Be honest! Let me know if you’d come to my wedding! You can share why or why not in the comments below!

See you Sunday,

PS If I were wearing a dress it would undoubtedly be the one photographed above.