30DBC Day 11: Most Embarrassing Moments

This one’s hard. I don’t get embarrassed too often anymore. For the most part, I more look at things like, “well that sucked, but at least it’ll be a fun story for later.” So I guess I could tell a few of those.

I remember back in the fourth grade, I was in a spelling bee, and they gave me the word “idle.” I even knew there was a homonym, so I asked for the definition and everything. I had it, I was golden. And then for some reason or another the first thing out of my mouth when I opened it was “A.” And in my head I remember being like “Why did I just say that?” So that’s the earliest public humiliation I remember.

There were lots of moments back when I was in elementary, junior high, and high school where I was teased for my grades. I had the reputation for being smart, and even had the nickname “Eugenius” (and of course, because I fought it at the beginning, it stuck harder). But anytime anyone got a grade higher than me, they were like “OMG we beat Eugene?!” That shit got old real quick. But even then, it wasn’t really embarrassing, it was just annoying. Plus, let’s be real, I was valedictorian of my graduating class in high school, so we know who won that game. *mic drop*

In college, there was that public health clinical where I ended up having to teach sex ed to six-hourish-long periods of junior high girls by myself because my female partner got in a bike wreck the weekend before and was hopped up on pain meds. Thankfully my professor was there, but it just felt like a hot damn mess. The girls were uncomfortable, I was uncomfortable…at the end of the day, I just needed a damn drink. The worst part of that day was when one girl was like “Mister, what’s that thing on TV in a purple and white box?” Now, I don’t watch a whole lot of TV…I pretty much default to Walking Dead/Talking Dead and Food Network, so I was like, “I’m not sure what you’re talking about. Do you know what it starts with?” She says it starts with a “V,” and I’m thinking Viagra. Thankfully, before I said something and opened a can of worms that I didn’t want to open, the substitute teacher behind me whispered, “I think she’s talking about vibrators.” At this point, a string of expletives are just running through my head as I’m trying to figure out how to even address this topic. Thankfully, my professor was there, so I deferred to the question to her. Then she goes on about vibrators and masturbation and dips into some of her own personal experiences, which at this point in my life/career wouldn’t bother me. But at the time I’m just thinking, “I can’t unhear any of this. How can I unhear all of this?” So yeah, needless to say, drinks were had after that day.

This one isn’t necessarily an embarrassing “moment” per se, but rather more of an embarrassing habit I had in college. I had my moments where I was a little (or more than a little) drunk…particularly on the nights we dubbed “Dubstep Thursdays.” Our liquor of choice back then was tequila (Espolon was our favorite…goes down smooth). But for some reason or another, I’d start speaking Spanish when I was drunk on tequila. I’m not fluent in Spanish. At all. Like I can hack my way through a triage to get the information I need from a patient, but that’s about it. So I can’t imagine I spoke it well. But considering none of my other friends spoke Spanish, they couldn’t tell me exactly how bad it was.

I guess the only other thing I can think of is that my friends, especially when I first started drinking were always excited to get me drunk because I’d never drank before that, so it was the new shiny thing at the time. The problem is that for the most part, if you give me alcohol, I don’t get “turnt up.” I get sleepy. Like tequila makes my clothes fall off because I’m trying to get in my pajamas and go to bed. So there was this one night with a couple of friends who’d never seen me drunk at that point in time yet, so they took me to Dirty 6th. I had a couple of shots, but they kept giving me more because I wasn’t dancing, so I wasn’t drunk enough. Protip: I actually like dancing. I will dance sober. I don’t have to be drunk for that; I just have to be in the mood. Anyway, 14 kamikaze shots later, I’ve got my head down at the bar snoring.

Oh there’s one more “embarrassing” moment I thought of that’s completely unrelated. I was on a retreat team back in college, and we were staying at this church to put on a retreat for that particular parish. Now I know that I snore, especially when I’m exhausted. Knowing this information, I decided to set up shop in the cry room (which for anyone that’s unfamiliar with the set up of churches, this is a somewhat soundproofed room dedicated for crying children so that their parents can still be with their children and still go to Mass). Apparently, a buddy of mine happened to walk by while getting ready to go to sleep and could hear me through the door of the cry room. So he sneaks in and records me on his phone. Thankfully for me, this friend couldn’t keep a hold of a phone to save his life, so that recording disappeared relatively soon after.

But yeah, those are the only ones I can think of at this point in time. But like I said, there are few things that actually legitimately embarrass me…all of this to me is just fuel for some fun stories to tell later on.

30DBC Day 10: Causes I’m Passionate About

Let’s start with a story: I am in my final semester of nursing school in my public health clinical. There are ten of us in the group, and we’re all paired off. We each get to choose two lessons out of the five provided to teach to junior high kids. My partner is eager to teach puberty and hygiene to the boys and then sex ed to the girls. Her logic: junior high kids are awkward and it’s fun to watch them be uncomfortable. So I go with it. We teach the boys about puberty and hygiene, and it goes off without a hitch…just lots of giggling and wannabe chauvinistic comments from them and LOTS of redirection from us.

Fast forward to the night before the sex ed lecture to the junior high girls. My partner texts me saying that she got into a bike wreck, required stitches and won’t be able to make it to the clinical the next day because she’s hopped up on the meds. And then I made the realization that I’m taking about sex for SIX periods with the junior high girls…by myself. Thankfully my professor (who’s thankfully female) stayed with me instead of bouncing back and forth between the guys and girls like her usual. After fielding awkward questions about vibrators and masturbation all day, I was thankful to GTFO of there.

After getting over the trauma I went through with the last lesson, I realized just how important health literacy is to our society. These kids had the gist of things, but a good chunk of them couldn’t tell us the real names of their body parts, and we had to spend a good chunk of time having to correct misconceptions.

Working in the ER, we see some dumb things. Especially during this time of year, this is a really common interaction I have up in triage: “My kid has a fever.” “Did you give him/her Tylenol or Motrin?” “No.” Meanwhile, the kid is sitting there laughing playing with a toy.

…um…what? It’d be one thing if the kid was completely lethargic or the fever was something completely ridiculous or the kid wasn’t eating or drinking anything. But let’s be real here. These parents are paying a shit ton of money for us to give their febrile child in no apparent distress ibuprofen.

I really wish there was a class to teach people about their own bodies and how to troubleshoot minor problems. Oh, what’s that you say? That’s what health classes are for? I remember my health class from high school. We were only required to take one semester and ours was taught by a football coach. And I use the term “taught” very loosely. The majority of the class was spent copying vocabulary words out of the book while he shot the shit with the football players and cheerleaders in the class.

And this is leads to the problem. We get people that don’t know what the hell is going on with their own bodies, so when something goes wrong, they lose their minds. Like this for example. The other week, I got sick. I caught whatever bug was being passed around my coworkers, and I ended up with this intractable cough and lots and lots of drainage. I was getting hot and cold flashes. I checked my temperature to see if I needed to take ibuprofen. Temperature stayed around 98 degrees, no meds needed. I tried multiple home remedies, and over-the-counter meds for the symptoms. I tried to wait it out. No relief. Finally after a few days of this, I went to the employee health clinic and they wrote me some prescriptions for cough medicine and Flonase, and I was good to go. And I get that I work in healthcare, so I have a better idea of how to approach things than some others, but a lot of this is common sense.

I really wish there were a stronger health education program, at least here in Texas. I don’t know how things are in other states. For that clinical, we WERE their health program. Five weeks out of the semester was all they got. That’s it. And we wonder why people don’t know what the hell is going on with their own bodies.

And don’t even get me started about how there should be an obligatory class for new parents to take about how to care for a baby. Like how to distinguish between what’s really an emergency and what can be taken care of at home. You have no idea how many first-time parents bring their children in because they don’t know what’s going on. And especially for the first-timers, you can’t really fault them for not knowing because it’s not like they’ve got experience to draw from, and the University of Google will just convince you that your child’s intestines are going to fall out their anus because they have a fever or something ridiculous like that. But all jokes aside, I feel as though, educating new parents (or even those with prior kids) would be helpful in not only the health of the child, but the peace of mind of the parents and the traffic of ER’s.

And the thing is that this would be a worthy investment, but I don’t understand why it isn’t being treated as such. After our series of lessons, we met with parents for feedback. One mom told us that after our lesson nutrition, her son started eating more vegetables and watching his portion sizes. While it is but a single example, it’s proof regardless that if you give people the information (especially at younger ages), they’ll respond. Now if that kid kept eating healthier after we were through, there’s no telling. But at least we planted that seed.

30DBC Day 9: Things I’m Grateful For

Well, I was hoping to crank this one out real quick before my pre-work nap, and then I saw the prompt and realized this is going to take a while. So this isn’t going to be an end-all be-all list, and I’m going to fast forward through the typical “God, family, friends…” because while, yes, I am immensely grateful for all of those things, I’m not going to waste 500 words detailing cop out answers.

I’m grateful to be able to have a second very flexible job. I’m an ER nurse, but on the side, I also audit charts for my parent’s home health. This is a job that I do 3.5 hours away from the comfort of my own home. Every now and again, I go down and help at the office, but for the most part, my job is done remotely…and I get paid the rate of a Houston RN instead of having to live off of the rate I make at the hospital. But for this reason, I can afford to own a house, to take vacations, to make impulse purchases (although that’s both a blessing and a curse). In the event of an emergency, I’m not sunk.

On a related note, though, I love that I’m in a position to minister to people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a saint by any means. However, there are few things more gratifying than knowing that on one of a person’s worst days of their lives, you were able to help carry them. I had one patient that just moved to the area, and got hit while she was driving. She was pregnant, and the husband was still in their old house in another state tying up loose ends before joining her here. She ended up losing the baby, but I was able to help her get through a rough situation when she didn’t have a support system established here yet. Another man was sent over to us from a nursing home for a fever and what ended up being urosepsis. Probably because it looked like his brief hadn’t been changed in at least a few hours…maybe a day or two. But that wasn’t the only thing dirty. He had crusted drainage all over the sides of his face and in general just did not looked cared for. So I shut the door, stripped him down and gave him a bed bath because even though he couldn’t talk and may or may not have been conscious, he still deserved some dignity as a human being. He may or may not have known what I did, but at least he rolled out of my room up to the ICU looking like a human being.

I appreciate everything that I have been able to experience thus far. The good, the bad, the ugly…it’s all come together to make me who I am today. Would I change some stuff in the past if I could? Probably. But then again, if things didn’t go wrong or I didn’t have to deal with some shit back then, then I probably wouldn’t know what to do now if SHTF.

I’m thankful to have freedom and options. I am a grown ass man. Yesterday, I drove back into town, whipped out a coloring book and my colored pencils and colored for a couple of hours before going doing a Walking Dead trivia quiz by myself (I kicked ass for a solo player btw…I ended up 9th out of 20-something). I have the time and the resources to explore what I want to explore and do things I want to do.

I’m also really grateful for convenience. I don’t want to leave the house? Not only can I have food delivered, grocery delivery is an option too! I have a vehicle that gets me from point A to point B. I have the internet not only on my computer but on my phone. And regardless of where I get the internet, if I need information, it’s right there at my fingertips.

There are so many more things that I’m grateful for, but if I listed everything, I’d be here for the next month. Something that I did take up doing though during my daily meditations was listing things that I was grateful for. It’s a good exercise to do, especially when you’re feeling kind of crappy. It kind of puts into perspective that you have plenty of things that have gone right despite the fact that the few things that have gone wrong are at the forefront of your mind. But yeah, between staying here and listing more things I’m grateful for or taking a nap before work, I’m choosing the nap. It’s day 1 of 3 for me, and between the full moon on the 27th, Halloween this weekend, and DST making the time go back an hour at 0200 (I get off of work at 0300, so when 0159 rolls around, it’s just a damn tease), I’m gonna need all the sleep I can get.

30DBC Day 8: The Best Friends I’ve Had

I’m going to start this one with the disclaimer that I’m omitting family members because that’s kind of a given considering they’re the ones that have been with me literally all of my life. I do love them dearly, and they have made some major sacrifices for my well-being, but right now we’re going to focus on people unrelated to me because discussing my family will come on Day 19 of this thing.

So let’s take a short detour into my views on friendship, as told by Madea. For real, watch that video. It’s like my life motto. But to paraphrase, you’re a tree. Everyone else is either a leaf, a branch, or a root. Leaves are seasonal, they’ll come and go with the wind. They’re there to take something from you, give you a little bit of shade, but they’re not meant to last in your life. Branches are those closer friends…probably like the B and maybe C list friends; these are the ones that know you a little better and you could ostensibly call in the middle of the night in the event of an emergency. The problem is, if shit truly hits the fan, that branch could metaphorically break still.

Now the roots, these are the ones you keep. They don’t have to be seen, they don’t have to talk to you every day, but these are the people that keep you grounded, they keep you sane, they give you life…in essence, these are the ones that heavily influence who you are as a person. More often than not, these are your immediate family members, your significant other, your closest friends. So we’re going to explore some of my roots now.

We’ll start at the beginning…I met Kiley in Mrs. Wallace’s first grade class back in 1995…20 years ago. Oh hell, that number is nauseating. We’re going to pause for a moment, while I go try to cope with the loss of my youth.

Okay and we’re back. Anyway, we had at least one class together from grades 1-12, and then we both went to UT Austin for college. But even though we don’t talk as much as either of us would like, we can pick up right where we left off.

Now, let’s move onto college. Kind of. So Grady’s been a friend of mine since I first joined the youth group at St. John’s back in Baytown. He went to UT, and I went the following year. So naturally, when he found out I was going, he was like “Okay you have to go to the Catholic Center, join this, do that, go on this retreat.” Meanwhile, I’m just like hold up…I still gotta graduate first. But he basically played the gateway into both the biggest part of my college experience and me growing in my faith. He both directly and indirectly introduced me to some of my closest friends now, and to this day he and his wife Julia (also another one of my closest friends) are still a big part of my life. I love it because I get to be nerdy with them, and then when Grady loses me, Julia’s good at translating and or playing in the shallow end of the nerd pool with me haha.

Now for the Trifecta. Saul, Harding, and Rotan. I’m not entirely sure why one goes by his first name, another one defaulted to his last name, and why the third went by the name of the town he grew up in, but that’s how I was introduced to them, and that’s how they’ll be in my head by default. Anyway, these guys were simultaneously the biggest headache and the biggest source of strength in college. They’re definitely the ones responsible for me no longer being the meek pushover that I was back in my freshman year. Saul and Harding were the pledge captains for my pledge class in Lambda Omega Alpha, the fraternity at the Catholic Center. Rotan was Grady’s roommate at the time and Saul’s little brother in the fraternity. So I started hanging out with them, and it was fun. And they pushed me outside of my comfort zone…a lot. A lot, a lot. We didn’t just have fun. They taught me things, they supported me when I needed it, and heaven forbid I was in a situation where I could get hurt because those boys got real protective. It was nice. They created a safe environment for me to grow and learn who I was, and I credit them for where I am now. Because if they hadn’t been there to start me, I’d probably still be the shut in doing jigsaw puzzles on Friday nights. I mean…I still have no problem with that, but at least now it’s not my only option for plans.

Barbara is my little sister for LOA and was one of the people I would go dancing with in college. I met her through Karen, who was probably one of the first people I met at UT through Grady. She was talking to Karen after Mass, and I went up to say hi to Karen. Karen, without even missing a beat just looked at both of us like “You need a little sister. She wants to be a little sister. You should ask her! …Oh wait, was that awkward?” Meanwhile, I was like “…I don’t think we’ve gotten that far yet because I have no idea what you’re talking about.” But eventually we did, and I asked her, and she said yes, and we went from there. We bonded over a lot of things, but what really started it was swing dancing. I got into the Austin Swing Kids with a high school friend of mine (RIP Kadye), and every now and again, I would run into her at the Thursday night swing dances at the Fed. Since then, she went from being a little sister by name to a little sister by action, and for that I’m so grateful.

During nursing school, I became friends with this group of people. The “Goslings” as they’re affectionately known because they decided to start calling me Mother Goose after a river trip where I happened to be leading the caravan of tubes tied together. I liked to think of them as the Flying V because there were five of them: Tyler, Elle, Christine, Raeanne, and Blake. Blake wasn’t actually in nursing school but was a close friend of Tyler’s, so he was present for pretty much everything. Tyler and Blake eventually became my replacement Saul and Harding when they graduated because they kind of filled a similar role (S/O to the Lone Star Soldiers). Elle’s probably the one I talk to the most at this point because we work together and live about 10 minutes away from each other. The others are still in Austin, but we’re all scattered. We still get together every now and again, and it’s nice because for the most part we just pick up where we left off.

Of course, there are many more that I would consider roots, but I’m already about to hit 1200 words at this point, so I’m going to get a lot more brief. Back in high school, I had this friend Lisa that went to my same elementary school and then we ended up on the drumline together in high school. Even though we went to rival universities (her A&M to my UT), we kept up and stayed pen pals for a while because it took more effort to do that than just Facebook. We even had this campy “Gig ’em + Hook ’em = I love you” thing (but in pictures though). We were cute. Don’t judge.

Then there’s my old youth minister, Kevin. I rely on him less so now, but he was definitely my go to moral compass when I was really needing help. And speaking of religious types, Fr. Jamie at the Catholic Center is another one that I would consider one of my closest friends, and has been real helpful when I need direction.

Then we revisit college again, and we get to Kayla and Aaron. Love these guys and Sherlock, their dog/furbaby is adorable. I love that I get to indulge my nerdy side with these two. Hell after they’re last visit a few weeks ago, Aaron’s the reason why I bought a Nintendo 3DS and Pokemon Omega Ruby…because my manchild wants to relive my childhood. And Andrea and Alfonso, Andrea was my co-coordinator for this huge retreat (that got even bigger after we all graduated) back in college, and Fonzie was another Lambda. Then we’ve got Armstrong and Erik…I’m about to hit 1,500 words and I haven’t even gotten to coworkers yet. Okay, we’re just gonna stop there because I’m tired of typing and the people I love know I love them.

30DBC Day 7: My Dream Job

Oh this one’s easy. Get paid to sit on my couch in my PJ’s and do Pinterest projects. The end.

Just kidding. I’m honestly not sure at this point. I would love to work in the field of public health. Don’t get me wrong; I love being a nurse in the ER. It’s fun (for the most part), it’s exciting, I’ve got a great team, and I get to see and learn things. But something out in the community would be good.

There was one thing that sparked my interest during my public health clinical back in nursing school. We had to teach health classes (including sex ed) to some junior high kids. In my head I’m thinking, “Are you kidding? They get five weeks of sex ed, and it’s from us?!” But…yep…that was pretty much the case. And oh…dear…there were some serious knowledge deficits there. Meanwhile, during the sex ed lesson that I had to teach by myself to the junior high girls (ask me that story at another time…you’ll have a good laugh at my embarrassment), I’m sitting there like “where the hell did you learn that? I didn’t know that until college.” But anyway, there are still places where there isn’t a reliable stream of information being distributed to these kids, so they’re picking this up from whoever they think they can trust, whether it’s family, TV, classmates, etc. And we were lucky if the information was correct. So part of me kind of wants to teach some health classes to adolescents (read: not children…I still don’t like children. But I can handle teenagers). Basically, it would be nice to get them to a place where they’re not getting knocked up and flushing babies down the toilet…keepin’ it classy, Baytown.

There is another job that recently came onto my radar though. So my second job is auditing charts for my mother’s home health back in Baytown. We just had our survey. That job would be awesome. This guy that came to us had been in Hawaii and Colorado in the same month, and I’m like for real? You get paid for that? He does his survey for a few days and the rest of the time is his to spend. Hell yes, that would be awesome. Especially because I have like ten years of home health experience at this point including my three years of clinical experience. And if I could do this with the federal government and get those benefits, I’d be set. We’ll see how that goes, but it’s definitely an option. The only downside is I would be “The Man” coming in to audit things. But if I’m getting paid to travel, I think I could live with that.

30DBC Day 6: Obstacles and Challenges

Today’s entry focuses on my obstacles and challenges, and a good chunk of them go with the lessons I’ve learned back in the first entry. The biggest one is dealing with my sexuality. I came out of the closet back in May of 2011 at 23 years old. Before then, it had been a constant struggle. Even back in elementary school, I remember seeing some of my classmates and thinking, some of these girls are pretty, but I found myself being way more interested in some of the boys in the class. Didn’t really know what that meant at the time, so I just kind of moved on. Junior high rolled around, and with that came PE. We were forced to do some form of physical education (and rightfully so), but that meant that there was going to be some time spent in a locker room…with other guys…changing clothes. On top of the fact that I was kind of ashamed of my own doughy build, I picked a locker conveniently in the corner of the room where I could minimize seeing and being seen by the others. But every now and again, I would catch a glimpse of something that sparked this weird sensation in me. At this point, I had a feeling, but considering that sex and relationships and everything weren’t really on my radar, it didn’t necessarily matter to me. Regardless, I got out of PE as soon as my requirement was fulfilled. Ironically enough, the coaches seemed to like me (probably because I actually did what I was supposed to…or looked like I was trying).

Sexual education also happened during my 6th grade PE class. Yes, out of my entire junior high experience, sex ed was limited to a few weeks during my first year. That’s another rant for another day. But I remember little to nothing from the class other than a couple of pictures of STD’s and some basic anatomy. So clearly it didn’t make an impact, and they didn’t discuss sexual identity because Texas. (Note: Don’t get me wrong; I love Texas. Education especially health education just happens to be a shortcoming.) So that went by, still didn’t really think about it.

I remember in high school, we had to write this paper about where we thought we’d be in ten years. I ended up writing a bunch of stuff, but at some point there was a wedding on a hilltop in Hawaii overlooking a beach. Between the fact that the wedding was to a woman, destination weddings are a pain in the ass/expensive as hell, and the fact that I’m militantly single at this point in time, I had no idea just how much of a piece of fiction I was writing at the time. But this was the time my classmates had boyfriends and girlfriends. And the ones that came out as gay were not necessarily ostracized, but definitely judged. I chalked my feelings up to not having any experience at all in this department, so maybe if I actually dated a girl, I’d end up feeling differently.

Finally in college, this is where it came to a head. There was this girl, Jennifer. We were on a retreat team together at the University Catholic Center. She was on the publicity committee for one of the events, and my skill set naturally lends to those types of committees (e.g., Photoshop, arts and crafts, photography). Anyway, we had these mutual friends, Rob and Karen. Loved them to bits and pieces, but they were all up in our business. Apparently Jennifer “liked” me at the time, and I got along with her great. I thought she was pretty and we clicked personality-wise, so after much goading by our would-be matchmakers, I finally asked her out.

Now I wasn’t absolutely convinced because I didn’t quite feel the same sensations I did when I was around some of my guy friends. But again, I was like “Well, what do I know? I’ve never done anything in this realm before, so maybe I’ll develop a taste for it – so to speak.” Plus I figured, I liked her, I trusted her, so it was a genuine go for me. Months went on, and we didn’t progress because I was real hesitant. Partially because I was starting to realize the attraction just wasn’t there and also because I wasn’t exactly sure how far was going to be too far. After 11 and a half months we called it quits.

Fast forward to the fall of 2010/spring of 2011. By this point, my best friend had come out to me as bisexual, so I was starting to feel more comfortable with the idea. I started having dreams. There was one particularly graphic dream with a guy from my high school that I was attracted to. I told my best friend about it, and that’s about when I started to really come to terms with it. It was to him that I first said the words “I’m gay.” It was the weirdest thing. There was a little bit of release, but I still felt largely ashamed.

We went on this silent retreat in May 2011 with the Jesuits up in Lake Dallas. Now, when you’re on a silent retreat, there’s not much to do but hash out your thoughts. Finally, during one of my spiritual direction sessions, I confessed to my spiritual director that I was gay. And he reacted in a way that I did not really expect. I’d built this up in my head where it was going to be a disaster, and I was going to get kicked out of the retreat site for being a heathen…basically I Chicken Little-d the whole damn thing. But his reaction was more like “Okay. How are the rest of your meditations going?” Took me off guard with that one. I had braced myself for the worst and he didn’t even make a face.

So then the next challenge came. Considering that most of my friends from home are especially conservative and another circle of friends is from the Catholic Center, I wasn’t exactly sure how well this would be received. I started with my closest friends because to paraphrase the words of my best friend’s boyfriend at the time, if they kept Saul around, then I’m good because I’m a lot less of a hot mess. So I went one by one. In person over some food or coffee or drink if I could. By phone if not. Worst case scenario was via Gchat or Facebook Messenger, but that was absolutely last resort. And each one was like, “Yeah, we know” or “I knew it!”

My other best friend did bring up a good point though: “Did you tell Jennifer yet?” Which was an item on that to-do list that I was just putting off because I wasn’t exactly sure how that conversation was going to go. Spoiler alert: It went fine. We’re still friends, I’ve visited her up in DC multiple times, went to her wedding back in April, and now she’s happily married to another friend of ours, so everyone got a happy ending.

Another one of my close friends is a more conservative Catholic (read: wears the mantilla during Mass, kneels when receiving Communion, etc.). I was a little scared to tell her. Her husband, who I’ve known since high school youth group, already knew and didn’t really care either way. But I was still a little scared to tell her. So we were all hanging out, and a comment was made that I don’t remember anymore, but it was basically a heavily-veiled, but still pointed comment at my homosexuality. Me and him shared a laugh, and she thought we were making fun of her for some reason. I drove home, and apparently it turned into a bigger discussion after I left. So then my buddy calls me as I’m driving and has me tell his girlfriend, now wife, what we were laughing about. So I came out to her. And she got about one sentence out and my phone died. I was about five minutes from my apartment, so I was like “no big deal, I’ll charge my phone and call her back.” I turn my phone back on about ten minutes after we got disconnected once it got a chance to charge a little, and I had like three voicemails, and a shit ton of texts from her all basically saying “I don’t know what I said to offend you, but I’m sorry and I love you.” I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in my damn life. I called her back immediately and told her what happened and apologized for stressing her out for the last ten minutes.

But anyway, beside the point. It went like that. One by one, everyone showed nothing but love, maybe expressed a little bit of concern that I might change or something. But by this point, I was like I’m 23 years into my habits, and I don’t like change. I think we’re good. Plus, I gave them the preauthorization to slap the hell out of me if I ever started acting out.

Now my parents, that was gonna be a different story. I had a plan. I was going to graduate, get a job, get my own place, be stable. And only after all of those things were fulfilled, I would THEN come out to them in the event that they decided to disown me. Well that plan got derailed two months in when I got into this huge fight with my brother and mom. Finally, my dad got tired of us fighting especially since we had company flying in from the Philippines, so we had this dialogue. I was being all teen-angsty upstairs in my bedroom blasting my iTunes, and he brought me down and started by asking me about drinking under the pretense that we were switching insurances and he needed to know for a form. Then he told me that he knew that I don’t get along with my mother a lot, but if I ever needed to talk, he was there for me…whether it was about drinking, or school, or my sexuality. At that point, I was like hold up, what?

Apparently, they’d known since I was about in the 4th grade but decided to let me come out to them on my own terms. Long story short (too late, I know), I cried, we hugged. I apologized to my brother for being a dick for basically the majority of our childhood. And his response was “Gay or straight, as long as you’re not a douche, you’re still my brother.” Okay. I’ll take it. And then my mom apparently was the one who bridged the gap between my cousin and my aunt/uncle who disowned him after he came out. So at this point, I was like well…all of this would have been useful information to have earlier on.

But anyway, the whole point is that it all had a happy ending for me. I know it doesn’t always for everyone. But it was a struggle getting here. Thankfully my struggle was easier than others. Now, I can be open about it. I’m not flaunting it in everyone’s faces for the most part, but it feels good just to not have to hide it anymore. It’s not all hunky dory because this issue does bring up new questions, concerns, and challenges. But at least now I know that I have the support to get through that.

30DBC Day 5: Would You Rather…?

After the issue of trying to decide when enough was enough on the favorites entry, I’m going to limit these question ones to 25 items. That being said, here goes…

  1. Would you rather have more time or more money?
    More time. If I could just get enough time for a siesta in the afternoons every day, that would be glorious.
  2. Would you rather have a rewind or pause button on your life?
    Rewind. As long as I could fix things that I messed up.
  3. Would you rather be able to talk with animals or speak all foreign languages?
    Animals. I can learn foreign languages, but they don’t make a Rosetta Stone for dogs.
  4. Would you rather win the lottery or live twice as long?
    Lottery. Because I don’t want to outlive everyone I know. Plus I don’t want to be the senile 130-something-year-old in a nursing home, shitting myself and cussing out the staff.
  5. Would you rather be without internet for a week or without your phone?
    Internet. I’d be a hell of a lot more productive. Plus we survived without easy access to the internet for years before now.
  6. Would you rather lose your vision or your hearing?
    Hearing. I would go absolutely insane if I couldn’t see things. I’d have to give up photography, crafting, cooking, TV, internet, and a bunch of other things if I lost my vision.
  7. Would you rather work more hours per day but fewer days or work fewer hours per day but more days?
    Longer hours, fewer days. This is why I love the nursing thing. I work three 12-hour shifts a week and get four days off. What this means is that ostensibly, I can take a week vacation without using PTO by scheduling myself on Sunday-Tuesday one week and then Thursday-Saturday the next week.
  8. Would you rather become someone else or just stay you?
    Me. I know me. I don’t want to have to learn someone else’s shit.
  9. Would you rather always say everything on your mind or never speak again?
    Say everything on my mind. I love talking too much to give that up. Plus if I lose my filter completely, that’ll filter out the fake people from the ones that I’ll keep around.
  10. Would you rather be the most popular person or the smartest person?
    Smartest. Smart doesn’t require other people. Popular can change at a moment’s notice. And at the end of the day, smart is what will keep you alive.
  11. Would you rather put a stop to war or end world hunger?
    Stop war. Then this way, we can shift our energy to feeding the hungry. That, and this way we can live our lives in peace without worrying that a bunch of people somewhere else pissed off other people somewhere else to the point where we’re at risk for attack.
  12. Would you rather be a kid your whole life or an adult your whole life?
    Adult. I can do more that way.
  13. Would you rather have x-ray vision or magnified hearing?
    X-ray vision. I lose shit so often that this would help immensely. Where did I put my wallet? Oh it fell into the couch!
  14. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?
    Cold. You can always put more clothes on. You can only take so much off.
  15. Would you rather hear the good news or the bad news first?
    Good. Because I won’t be able to focus after hearing the bad news.
  16. Would you rather be in your pajamas or a suit all day?
    PJ’s. No question. And sometimes it does happen.
  17. Would you rather spend two weeks stuck in a psychiatric hospital or two weeks stuck in an airport?
    Airport. Better food, and I don’t have to deal with crazies.
  18. Would you rather be able to read words or read minds (and be illiterate)?
    Literate. I don’t need to know what everyone’s thinking. I’m not that nosy.
  19. Would you rather change the past or see into the future?
    Change the past. I don’t think I would do well with clairvoyance. I’m already antsy and paranoid enough as it is. But I definitely have plenty of “damn, I wish I’d said/did that” moments.
  20. Would you rather lose $1,000 or all of your cell phone contacts?
    The contacts. The money’s gonna take a while to earn back. But I’ve got my contacts synced with my Gmail account, so that would be an easy fix.
  21. Would you rather know the date of your death or the cause of your death?
    Date. I’d like deadlines (no pun intended), so I need to know about when I need to have my ducks in a row.
  22. Would you rather be half your height or double your weight?
    Double my weight. I can work off pounds but I can’t add inches.
  23. Would you rather be the opposite gender for the day or be a kid for the day?
    Kid. I’ll take toys and meals cooked for me over periods and peeing sitting down.
  24. Would you rather have infinite knowledge or infinite power?
    Knowledge. I don’t like being in charge of things. But I like knowing things.
  25. Would you rather be a ninja or a wizard?
    Wizard. There are so many more possibilities there. That being said, I would keep my damn mouth shut and be nice to everyone so that I don’t end up on some ninja’s kill list. Or at least have a protection spell…what? I’m not nerdy or anything…