Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I'd Rather Be Honest Than Impressive

Being authentic can be embarrassing. In fact, it can make me kinda want to be inauthentic just for the sake of not looking like a basket-case, or worse . . . desperate.

I'll try to resist the temptation of being fake. I went to a Jay Brannan show Saturday night (which was absolutely awesome!!!) and he sang a song with a lyric that truly resonated with me. He said, "I'd rather be honest than impressive."

At the end of the day, my journey has been about discovering my own authenticity - first with myself, then with you. Being in the closet for so many years produced a dualistic persona - neither the closet-Eric nor the public-Eric were completely me. Coming out, for me, has never been about accepting myself to be gay or even presenting myself to the world as gay. Coming out is about exploring my authenticity, not my sexuality . . . .

So despite how embarrassing and uncomfortable I can feel about unpacking something raw here on this blog, i'd rather be honest with myself about how I feel. Or at the very least, for right now, acknowledge the fact that I haven't been honest with myself. The truth is that lately, I've been consciously forcing myself to deny any feelings of interest towards a person because i'm thoroughly tired of being disappointed. I found myself yelling (at myself) in the car like a crazy schizo person, "What the hell are you doing? Stop it! No! Quit doing that! You are NOT going to start liking him!"

I've been trying to condition myself not to like anyone because I'm afraid of being hurt when I realize that the "interest" is simply a one-way crush. Yeah, that's a punch in the gut. I know i'm just trying to protect myself. It's probably best that I not date until I can get out of this mode of cynicism. Either way, I want to move on with my life. It's just that sometimes, I'm frickin fed up because I feel like I can't figure out what other friends around me who are coupled (or are connecting) seem to have figured out.

I dunno. I suppose I can't like him (and expect him to like me back) if I don't even like me half the time. I know, I know - that's not so attractive. I get it. I'm just writing this out so that I can get past it.

So where am I at now with this? Well, okay maybe I do like him. That's honest. But just because I do, it doesn't mean I have to express it to him. If he's interested, he'll have to make the first move in expressing it. By default, I'll assume he's not interested in me and we'll just become better friends. And what of authenticity? Hey, i'm taking baby steps here. So what if I'm a little guarded. Besides, I don't want to get sucker-punched again.

8 comments:

devoidnot said...

thank you for reminding me of the true reasons for blogging.

Mark said...

It sucks to go through these kinds of experiences at this age.

Straight kids get to work out their crushes and disappointments and get their romantic "sea legs" in early adolescence.

It's kinda scary that you're doing it whilst you're driving ;)

You can express interest in a potential object of attraction first by simply being a good friend and hang out, go to movies, bowl, go hiking or biking, etc.

That way, if the attraction develops mutually, it's more organic.

I know you know that and you want to guard your heart --

but some things worth having aren't gotten without taking a certain amount of risk.

Blessings on the journey,

Charles said...

"Coming out, for me, has never been about accepting myself to be gay or even presenting myself to the world as gay. Coming out is about exploring my authenticity, not my sexuality . . . ."

I never was able to put this in words. Thanks.

howie said...

I'm always impressed by the honesty in your blog and your life.

Thnaks for sharing and letting us all take part in your journey

hugs from howie

Anonymous said...

Hey Eric,

Great seeing you in Chicago! Read your post today and just wanted to let you know that I fully commiserate. To prove it, here's a prayer I wrote after a guy I was into let me down...

God of my healing, remember me.
God of my peace, remember me.
God of my restoration, remember me.
God of my comfort, remember me.
God of my heart, remember me.

Lord, I feel like I am on an emotional rollercoaster. Just a few days ago I reveled in the hope of romance, love, compatibility, affection, and companionship, yet a few days later I’ve already begun the mourning process of a dream deferred.

In my grief, sorrow, confusion, madness, loneliness, and discontent, please make your presence known and felt. Speak the word I need to hear, show me the vision I need to see, provide the touch I need to feel.

For I’m afraid to hope, to long, to pine, to want, to touch, to be open to another’s spirit entering my life because such attempts in the past have proven to be disappointing. I want to run, hide, and never strive to love again.

But let your grace exceed my despair, and give me the courage to hope, the strength to bear the load of frustration, and the determination to persevere in spite of rejection. For you, O Lord, are my help, and my God.

Humbly submitted,

Tahir

Zeke said...

Straight kids get to work out their crushes and disappointments and get their romantic "sea legs" in early adolescence.

You know, being one of those straight kids I wouldn't have thought about what you just said had you not mentioned it but it makes perfect sense to me. I hope that for Erik and folks like him, exploring the frontier of new relationships for the first time a bit later in life, that they have more tools to pull on than I had when I was first learning to suck face and hold hands. Good lord, what a mess I was.

Anonymous said...

WHERE IS THE STRONG ERIC I KNOW?? I KNOW HE'S IN YOU SOMWHERE!!! UR ALWAYS HONEST TO URSELF AND OTHERS I FEEL BUT DON'T DENY UR FEELINGS FOR ANYONE ESPECIALLY ABOUT URSELF!!!! IT'S LIKE BEING IN THE CLOSET ALL OVER AGAIN!!! GET OUT!!!
I MISS U!! HOPE ALL IS WELL MY BUDDY!!!

DARIO

Steve said...

Eric, I'm going through similar frustrations in another area of my life. Not every effort pays off. Where I want to be is so far off I can't even imagine it. So I just try to do the right thing and make a little effort every week. We don't learn overnight. We don't grow overnight. Just know your own path and keep on it. God be with you, Eric.