A few months ago, I wrote about going to New Jersey for a weekend in February and about how being in a place that was so different than sunny So. Cal., with snow having a significant impact on life and with the river down the street frozen, really shook me up and woke me up. I saw how my life could be so different, not to mention considerably more difficult, and I also got a sense that I can make my life different.
It has turned out that this was a powerful motivator. The trip really did kick my butt – in the best way. This Spring, there has been several significant changes in my life or several changes I have made in my life.
1. After about twenty years, I am writing poetry again. I used to write poetry all the time but stopped when I got into playwrighting and performing, as is I couldn’t do both. I have been wanting to start writing poetry again for a while – I have always felt comfortable doing so, and it takes much less time than playwrighting and doesn’t take other people and money for production – but, as I came to realize, the fact that I lost hundreds of poems when my computer crashed about 10 years ago was somehow holding me back. Did I feel that writing something wasn’t worthwhile if I could lose it? Writing poetry again has been thrilling and liberating. A few of my poems can be seen on the Cripple Creek magazine page on the Pixleyproject website, and, yes, I now know it’s important to back up my files!
2. I had my nipple rings removed. When I had them put in – super ouch! – 14 years ago, not long after I came out, I thought they were hot, and it was a celebration of my newfound sexuality. It turned out I just thought they are hot on other guys. Not that they weren’t hot on me, but they were a pain, literally, when they caught or rubbed on things and when guys thought they were hot on me and played with them – very annoying! I had been wanting to have them taken out, but I was afraid it would hurt like when they were put in. When I went to a tattoo parlor in April to have them removed, it really didn’t hurt. I wish I had done this years ago, but it’s done now. I am much more comfortable, and I have the rings on a tight necklace that is always on me. After all, they were a part of me – they were in me – for 14 years, and they still are a celebration of (at least) my sexuality. Plus, it looks hot!
3. I went through my closets and got rid of bags of clothes. Again, this is something I should of done years ago. I was able to get some cash for some of the clothes, and I plan to take most if not all of the rest to an Out of the Closet thrift store supporting AIDS research. Among the clothes were lots of overalls – some were quite cool and unique, but they didn’t fit or I have others like them or whatever. It was cool to say that I have 100 pairs of overalls – I have seen other guys say this online – but, really, do I need 100 pairs of overalls or whatever? Don’t worry, I still have plenty – probably too many!
4. After years of having a shaved head or a mohawk, I’ve been growing my hair. This actually started last Fall, but it has really come out, so to speak, in the last month or so. What’s more, whereas it was always straight like my mom’s, my hair is now really curly, more than my dad’s or my brother’s, almost like my sister’s, with lots of body, almost a loose fro. I am very excited about this and am thinking I may wait to see what happens and explore my options rather than braiding and dreading it as I did years ago and thought I might.
5. Last but definitely not least, I have had the opportunity to get more sexual experience, not unlike in The Sessions, the film about a severely disabled man working with a sex therapist. Without going into detail, I’ll say this has been both wonderfully eye-opening and challenging, as well as fun and hot. I have learned that I can do things that I really thought I couldn’t and also that, as in other areas of my life, it is often best if I don’t try too hard. This latter is a difficult lesson for me, as someone with takes pride in doing my best, not being lazy and relying on others as little as possible, but, for example and to put it very bluntly and crudely, it is probably best for my partner and me if I let my partner get off by getting me off rather than if I actively try to get him off. This experience actually started before my trip in February, but it has fit in with my different or new life this Spring, and I hope it leads to new adventures and wonders.