An Open Letter to Myself

Dear Me,

You will be alright. You will be okay. This past week has been rough, and today was the boiling point of all the bottled up emotions that you’ve been trying to hide and push deep inside the darkest parts of your mind.

You will be alright. You will be okay. You know it is over. There is nothing you can do to change that fact. This, you have accepted. The only way to move is forward. And that’s okay. I know it’s scary. The unknown is scary. Starting over is scary. It’s okay to be scared. But, that is life. You know that.

You will be alright. You will be okay. Stop comparing yourself to others. Stop looking at his profile to see how he’s doing. Worry about you. Focus on you. You’ve given so much of yourself to him before. Now is the time to take care of yourself. All you did was give and give. Be selfish. Focus on you. Focus on being better.

You will be alright. You will be okay. There are others fighting bigger and more complicated battles than you. This is but a step in your journey. It is by no means the end of your story. This experience will help shape you and mold you into a unique person as a whole.

You will be alright. You will be okay. It is okay to cry. Let your feelings out. Bottling them inside only for them to explode is not healthy. It doesn’t help with your progression. Talk it out. Learn to let it go. Stop having pretend conversations in your head. Those do not exist. The ‘what ifs’ only confuse you and cloud your judgement.

You will be alright. You will be okay. Time heals. It sucks that time is slow. I know you’d like to fast forward to two years from now when you’ve comfortably left all this behind you. Such is not the case. Time heals. It forces you to go through all the necessary steps you need to take to get to where you need to be. Embrace the journey of healing. Pick up your shattered pieces and build a completely different you. A better you.

You will be alright. You will be okay. There’s no rush in jumping into a relationship. Enjoy dating. Enjoy meeting people. Enjoy the fact that you are available. Enjoy having guys chase you. Enjoy chasing guys. Enjoy just having a casual meet up. Enjoy a stranger’s company and share stories. Don’t rush. Enjoy.

You will be alright. You will be okay. Keep the faith. It is what makes you unique. Your optimism is what shines most brightly about you. When your faith starts to falter and it feels like the world is caving in on you, take a deep breath and remember that there are people who love you. There are those who support you and want to see you succeed. Do not dwell on the love lost, but on all the love that surrounds you. You are very lucky to have such wonderful family and friends.

You still have much to go through, much to experience, much to learn. This is but one chapter in your life journey. Take it one step at a time. Take it in stride. Enjoy it. Be strong. And most of all, always always remember, that you will be alright. You will be okay.

Home Remedy That Works (for me at least!)

This season’s flu virus is working on overdrive! At the college campus bookstore I work in the students are dropping like flies. They are dragging themselves to school. Everyone is carrying tumblers of tea, some kind of juice mixture, or other home concoctions. Sales of medicine and anti-flu preventatives increase. I get the “Where’s the (insert brand name medicine here)?” every other customer. Of course, everyone has their own potion and routine to fight the flu.

It's not as bad as you would think, plus it works!

It’s not as bad as you would think, plus it works!

For me, my warning signs that I’m about to get sick (I tend to get sick twice a year: once in Fall and once in Spring, when the temperatures shift) are sore throat and the chilly feeling, especially my feet. This is when I try to nip it in the bud before it becomes full blown anguish for the next 3-4 days. I drink tea (throat coat is an amazing discovery!) to fight the chill that I start feeling. That’s when I bundle up in a comforter and enjoy the tea. Then, I munch on ginger candy – the 100% ginger candy kind. Ginger has very good natural properties. I chew the ginger candy flat and leave it under my tongue. When I was a kid, my grandma would thinly slice ginger and have us keep it under our tongue. It gets spicy! But, for some reason, it makes the sore throat go away if you just keep sucking on it. And if I have a stuffy nose, it’s vapor rub to the rescue! I actually love that stuff. I also dutifully drink my fizzy medicine and make sure I time it so that I have to take it right before I go to sleep. If I do everything right, and lucky, the symptoms will go away overnight, and I’m fine and dandy the next day.

As someone who works with the general public, the most important things I try to remember to do most often throughout the day are wash my hands and use hand sanitizer.

How about you? What special home remedy or flu-fighting routine works for you?

Never Let Go Of The Good Days

Never let it go index card

I don’t have cable. I’m quite content with just the antenna on my TV getting regular channels. I admit I miss watching the cable channels, like Food Network, but I just don’t have the time to watch as much TV as I really would like. So, I’m content with just watching the news before work and before bed, and whatever shows are on to keep me occupied for a couple of hours a day. Notably, the news is dominated by the day’s crimes, disasters, catastrophes: murder, corruption, natural disasters, diseases, etc. I understand why my sister chooses to not watch the news as much as I do.

Which is why it warms my heart when I hear those rare good stories on the news, or commercials featuring acts of kindness, or posts on a social network such as the one featured. It reminds me that there is still good in the world, and it is right for me to keep faith in both humanity and life. It serves as a reminder that you just have to look for those good things, like a hot cup of tea or a small fire, and hang on to them. Coz we always notice the bad things, the things that put a dent on our normal routine. It helps to remember the good times, to “hold on to the warmth and never let it go.” Life happens.

(Photo taken from Tumblr. Origin unknown.)

An Open Letter To The Lost.

My comment: Suicide is not just for the depressed. It’s for anyone who feels hopeless. It’s for those who truly genuinely feel that everything and everyone is just going against them. It’s when you truly feel that there is no way out, and there is no future to look forward to. This blog post successfully shows the emotion of suicide: what it feels when you contemplate that option, and the emotions that run through the ones you leave behind.

Please help raise awareness about suicide. For those who do not understand, do not hastily judge that it’s a mental condition, or a breakdown of some sort. Far from it. It is what could be the end of a long struggle, a losing battle, and suicide might be the only option they think they have when all others have failed.

You've Been Hooked!

This is for everyone out there who is currently hearing the whispers of desperation, the call of the void reaching out to them, even in the places we hide.

My name is Robert and I have something to say. I live in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, a place of great natural beauty surrounded by the trappings of humanity. (Yes, parts of Niagara are ridiculously tacky, but on the plus side, Rob Ford isn’t our mayor and we’re not bankrupt like Detroit.) Every day we welcome strangers to our home; everyone is greeted with a smile and the hand of friendship. We never turn anyone away and regardless of how these strangers feel when they leave, one thing is certain: No one is unaffected by the unimaginable power of the Falls themselves.

The rushing waters are a symbol of purity and power and as they fall to the earth below they…

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Sex and the City with Chicken Soup

I just recently went through a break up, and that is why I am creating this blog. It’s as simple as that. Things were going well at work and with everything else when life reminded me it was there and I have to deal with it. Everyone keeps telling me I need to have a journal. It’s such a good outlet, they say. It’ll help you with your thoughts, they explain. Well, here I am. I’ll outright say that I’m definitely not the next Carrie from Sex and the City. Going through this break up has me riding the rollercoaster of emotions. I’ve been reading other blogs (mainly Chicken Soup for the Brokenhearted) and it somehow feels uplifting that someone else out there feels how I feel: like something that should not have been blended and has now exploded across the kitchen ceiling and floor but is too disgusting that not even the dog would dare taste it (imagine the color of Pepto Bismol).

However, despite the previous statement, I am slowly and surely moving to being better. Definitely, I am far off better now than I was 10 weeks ago when it happened. After weeks of crying senselessly in the shower, in bed, at work, on the drive to work, on the drive from work, and every other waking moment of my day and night, I started feeling better when I was finally honest with myself. After the grieving phase of poor me, why me I was finally able to honestly tell myself, It’s over, and it will never be the way it was before. Get over him. Coming to terms with that fact and telling yourself that hurts more than I thought it would. Ever since then I’ve consciously made efforts to be over him, over the situation, and start living life without him, live life about me, and live to be a better person. Truthfully speaking, there are still times when I stumble and fall. I’d be lying if I said that I don’t miss what we had before. I’ve been reminiscing what we had: the companionship lost, the daily routine, the conversations we have on our long drives to Ivanhoe. I’ve always had moments of missing what had been. But, today is the first time that I actually miss him. Today is the first time in a long time that I actually had that painful feeling of missing that person; wondering how he’s doing and what his plans are for the holidays. I think it’s the holidays that’s getting to me.

Anyhow, I hope to form this blog as an honest outlet of my life and my views. It’s coming from the perspective of a 29 year-old gay man, residing in the wonderful Bay Area, recently single, trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces and move on, living life and whatever life throws at me, and a dog-owner. As I’m coming to learn, coming to terms with, it may not be perfect but this is who I am. This is me.