Kyle. 19. Military Brat. Sophomore at the University of Alabama. Roll Tide.
Originally posted here.
A lot of people – from my family to my friends – have called me a cynic. And, although I can see where they are coming from, I see myself as more of a realist. Hear me out. A lot of people live in a world that is only made up of their immediate lives. They don’t read news articles and, if they watch the news, they only watch the channels that cement what they already believe. They go about the same patterns day-in and day-out and their aspirations in life are to have a stable job, a spouse that loves them and children to adore. To clarify, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this type of aspiration. It is the majority of America. But, this is not me.
I have had the privilege of living outside this great country. And, for clarifications sake, I do love this country. I have had the opportunity to travel the world and experience first hand countless numbers of different cultures from our own. One side effect of these experiences is that I can’t turn off my brain once it reaches our borders. I have attended conferences that were attended by people from all the over the world and – because of this – I have friends all over. I have friends in Syria, Libya, Israel/Palestine, Ukraine, Sudan, etc. When I read news stories about what is going on in the world, to me it is very real. To me, those are real people that are suffering and dying. They aren’t political arguments to be had between O’Reilly and [Insert random liberal here]. They aren’t points to be made in a the walls of a university classroom. They’re real.
As a gay man that has never had the luxury as passing as straight, I have always been the target of some form of harassment or another. Even when I was younger and didn’t know that I was gay, the other kids knew something was different about me and they made sure to let me know about it. Like many kids, I experienced bullying but I think it’s possible that it seeded deeper in me than maybe it does a lot of other people. To me, bullying is a mild form of the cruelty that people are capable of.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve read countless articles every day that show the very real possibilities of human cruelty. Every day we wake up and see/read the news that more innocent people have died in [insert random country here]. Actually, you don’t even have to leave America. The great “city on a hill,” is no better than any country we believe that we need to “help.”
We are the most powerful populace on the planet. People are dying every single day just to have the chance at a sliver of the power we have. And, yet, we waste it. We elect the same idiots again and again because we’re too lazy to actually take the time to learn from our mistakes. To vote on something other than if there is a (R) or a (D) next to their names. We’re too lazy to think for ourselves so we let extremists (i.e. Fox News/MSNBC) do the thinking/talking for us. We’re so worried about offending people that we actually have a list of things that you’re never supposed to talk about: Race, Religion, Sex, Politics (RRSP). How are we supposed to fix anything without talking about those four things? Those are our problems!
We have a race problem. Ferguson, anyone?
We have a religion problem. And, no, I don’t mean that the existence of religion is a problem. I mean, American religion is a problem. Like everything else, it’s become a business. It’s become a source of hate rather than a source of love. Y’all care more about who I’m having sex with than helping that poor and/or homeless person. That’s a problem.
We have a sex problem. The fact that LGBTQ+ people still do not have full equality in this country and the fact that women’s sexuality is still demonized. The fact that we tell girls/women to dress modestly rather than tell boys not to rape.
We have a politics problem. Our system is broken. We believe it’s our job to run the world and maintain order and yet we can’t even maintain order/run ourselves.
And, do you know what we’re doing about it? Absolutely nothing. A lot of you look at the world and tell yourself that God or [insert random force here] has a plan. That you can just give it to the universe and everything will work out. Meanwhile, millions of people are dying and countries – including our own – are failing. I’m not an optimist because I don’t believe in waiting for someone or something else to fix my problems. And, just because I’m informed does not make me a cynic.
On a daily basis people ask me, “Kyle, why do you get political on Facebook/Twitter/etc.? That’s not what it’s for.” To me, that is exactly what it’s for. Social media is meant to start and drive a conversation. Where else can you find such a large group of people with ranging opinions and thought processes? It wasn’t its intended purpose but social media has developed into an engine that can drive political change. Why wouldn’t I or anyone else use it to inform and/or persuade you?
My aspirations in life are to change this country and this world for the better. To open people’s eye to very real and very harmful problems human beings face every day. To hopefully engage even one person to enacting change, to inspiring them to action or to at least get informed; is the ultimate goal.
My eyes are open and I’m paying attention. Through my own personal experiences and through the eyes/words of others I have seen what human beings are capable of doing. Just because what I say or post may be uncomfortable or unpleasant to hear doesn’t change the fact that it’s real and that it’s happening. And, that realness isn’t changed by the way you or I view a glass of water. It just is.
I am the definition of a realist.
What’s the point of opening up to someone and being 100% real if, when you doing that, they start running in the other direction? Outside of your family are there actually people you can be 100% honest with? I’m starting to think that the answer to that question is no. People don’t want the truth. They want sugar-coated half-truths or lies. They want the smile. The laugh. They want you to praise them and tell them how great you are. They want to talk shit about people to you but hope/demand you never say anything negative about them because that’s honesty. Everyone has negative aspects and as much as they claim to want honesty, they don’t actually want to hear it. Does this look good on me? Is this a good design? My teacher should’ve liked this, right? I'm the best right? I don’t need to change anything, right?
At your own risk answer honestly - that’s how you lose friends.
I got my best friend to start CrossFit at the same gym as me and it worked out that we would probably never go at the same time. Well…he didn’t like that. He wanted/wants me to get up at 6:30 a.m. everyday to work out with him. We actually got into a legitimate argument about it and we never disagree about anything.
We came up with a form of compromise but the real reason (besides not wanting to get up that early) is because I don’t want to work out with him. I am out of shape and not attractive. Mind you, I’m not ugly. I’m just not overly attractive either. Which is fine. Well…he’s gorgeous. And in shape. And can just automatically do all this shit while I’m needing to alter all the workouts so I can do them because I don’t have the muscle yet. It’s embarrassing with people I don’t know there…it’s going to be a million times worse with him there.
I told him he’s not allowed to make wise cracks or jokes and he just laughed it off. He’s a straight man…if I don’t lay it out like “XYZ” he’s not going to pick up on it. But he got legitimately butt hurt when he thought I just didn’t want wake up early…I don’t even want to have the conversation/argument if he knew I legitimately just didn’t want to workout with him out of embarrassment. He’d get pretty pissed.
I can feel myself retreating back into myself. Like, I’m getting the feeling I get when I move away from people where I start shutting people out and everything. It might be for the best because I’ve gotten too comfortable around here, honestly. I don’t know. I’m back in a place where I don’t like myself and even my actions are almost subconsciously/consciously pushing people away on purpose. Like, I know how to be fake, how to act, say what people want me to say…I just don’t because I almost jut want people to drop me. I know it’s strange but having people close to me stresses me out and I just feel judged constantly and no one really understands me. Even my best friend, whose super similar to me, doesn’t get me. I don’t know…I’m just rambling at this point. Back to my comm plan.
And I really don’t get why. I have amazing friends, a family who loves and supports me, a great apartment, Spring Break plans that anyone would want, good grades, etc. etc.
But I just can’t shake this constant feeling of unhappiness. Literally, all the time. I’m disgusted with myself. I walk into Reese Phifer and I just want to turn around. I walk around campus and instead of being enamored…I just want to leave. All I think about is when I won’t be here anymore but that just seems so far away. I need to get away…
Is it bad that I’d rather he hate me than be worried about me?
I might actually be a sociopath.
At least for a while. I need to try and get back into tumblr. I’m actually taking a class this semester: MC 495 - Social Media. One of the chapters I have to take a test on is an entire chapter on tumblr. I’m living the dream y’all! Haha!
Anyways, I need to get back into my fandoms/catch up on all of my shows (Doctor Who season 7, Downton Abbey…basically all my British television). Also, according to one of my friend groups, I HAVE to watch Parks and Recreation - thoughts?
To explain why I haven’t been blogging I have to explain my semester - it was rough. Well, actually, August and September were awesome. It was October and November that beat the shit out of me physically, mentally and (most of all) emotionally.
I lost my best friend. That sounds so morbid…to clarify he didn’t die or anything…I’m just an asshole. Haha. I was treating him like absolute shit. I can’t really say why because I wasn’t doing it consciously (like, I wasn’t thinking about what I was saying/doing - I was just doing it). It all built up until he had had enough. I can tell you the exact date: September 30. I had a lot of resentment built up towards him (this is the same guy I was basically in love with last year) and once those feelings went away…well, the resentment didn’t. Hence, the asshole-ness. He didn’t deserve it at all and I’m not necessarily sorry that we’re not friends anymore (more on that later) but I am sorry with how it happened. This situation bled into one with my other roommate and now I’m not friends with her either. We were never that terribly close but it still sucks to lose a friend, in any circumstance, you know?
As all that was continually going on over 2 months, I had drama within one of student organizations on campus. I had gone on a date with someone when I went to a conference and had made 3 members of the executive board uncomfortable. My reaction to being told this…was not very good. I went ballistic. Literally. I basically went on a smear campaign against one of them. To give you an idea of how effective it was…when me, this person and the faculty advisor met: “No one has ever said meaner things about me in my entire life. You didn’t even talk to me, you jumped to conclusions based off what Ms. [insert name] told you and then said these horrible things!” It was bad, y’all. In the end - I lost. Obviously. You don’t blow a gasket and still get what you want.
After that happened (which was in mid-October so I still had a ways to go in my semester from hell), I just dealt with the stuff with my roommates (which consumed the better part of two months) and went on about my life.
December 1 was the happiest day of my year because it signaled where my life started going UP again from the rock bottom state I was in. The stuff with my roommates was over. No, we’re still not friends but we can co-exist peacefully at this point. This semester I don’t see being very bad at all because I don’t really talk to either of them. I mean, I do talk to them but I don’t talk to them about anything that I wouldn’t talk to a stranger in the Target/Walmart line, you know? We’re polite/friendly to one another and I’m cool with that.
I don’t expect to ever be anything more than an acquaintance to either of them ever again. Which is for the best. By the end of Tyler and I’s friendship, it was just a matter of who was going to cut the chord. We’ve both been happier since it happened. He’s been happier because that negative and hurtful influence (me!) is gone from his life. And I’ve been happier because having Tyler in my life caused me nothing but frustration and insecurity. That was no fault of his own. He never purposely hurt me the entire time we were friends. It was just after everything that happened, it was impossible for me to get over if he was there. I don’t regret last year at all. Some of the best times of my life, and a shit ton of my stories, were with that kid. But I firmly believe we came into each other’s lives to make drastic changes for each other, in a short period of time. It was one year but there was SO much that happened. You don’t find people like that all the time, some people never do, but even though it ended badly - I’m really glad that everything happened.
I’ve learned a lot about myself this semester. It was a time for growing, although while going through it it was one of the toughest times of my life. I grew up a lot and learned a lot about myself and how I need to interact with people, especially those closest to me. My friends have told me they’ve noticed a change for the better since everything happened, so that’s good. At my 20th birthday party I realized that I was finally out of the fire. I had finally made my way to a good place again and now I have to work to maintain it.
As for the student organization, I just won it $1000 from placing first in a national competition so my standing within that organization is still on repair but for the most part I’m in the black again (in accounting terms).
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If I continue to blog this upcoming semester, expect to hear a lot about PR campaigns and ALMUN - the model UN conference I’m running this semester! Also, a LOT of bitching about the accounting class I have to take. I’m not excited for it…to say the least. As always, if you read my ramblings, you’re amazing! If you didn’t, I don’t blame you!
I’ve missed you guys! Hopefully I stay on the bangwagon this time..sorry about all those instagram photos! That was just lazy blogging!
So, it’s no secret if you have been following me for a while that during my freshman year I developed very strong feelings for my best friend. A couple days ago we were talking on Facebook and I made fun of his new twitter handle because it was stupid (and it still is but that’s not the point of this post). He responded with, “Why does everything have to be a fight with you? Why can’t you just GIVE me anything?” That might have been the response to his “#rainbowstreetcred” hashtag which I also said was stupid but the point is the same either way.
Anyways, him saying that got me thinking. Why is everything he does immediately put under scrutiny? Why do I immediately ridicule all the stupid things he does when other people get away with a lot more and worse? The answer was obvious: because I’ve had feelings for him. I don’t know why but it happened. Maybe it’s because I was trying to justify the feelings to myself and when he did stupid things I’d be like, “Really?” Or maybe it’s because a lot of the stuff he does I’ve warned him about and/or told him about and then he has to go off and experience it for himself to realize I’m right. He’s just one of those people and, honestly, that’s perfectly fine. I’m not. A lot of the stuff I know about, I just know. You know? I don’t have to experience doing the wrong or stupid thing to know I shouldn’t do it. But I am me and he is him.
But after he said that to me I realized, I really don’t care enough anymore. It had just become such a reflex that I did it by instinct. Don’t get me wrong, I still care about the kid. Hell, I’d die for him. But the feelings…they aren’t there.
I went to visit him in his home town this past weekend and he was kind-of-sort-of seeing this guy. And, to my knowledge, he decently liked this guy so I was like…we’ve never done this before lets see how it goes. In my opinion, it went really well. I wasn’t jealous in the slightest in the romantic/physical aspects of their relationship because, well, I just wasn’t. I was actually happy for him because it seemed like he genuinely liked someone for the first time or had at least developed a crush (he had never done that before). So I was pumped for him.
That isn’t to say I wasn’t jealous at all, haha! I was extremely jealous that this guy got to be his friend. I’m 4 hours away, I can’t be who I am in Tuscaloosa. I can’t be that best friend. The gay mentor. Whatever I am to him, I can’t be that person when I’m that far away. So, in that aspect I was extremely jealous. But, this guy was really cool. A little quiet at first, but honestly, I think that had more to with that he didn’t know what to do with me, in respect to my friend, than anything else. It’s a little bit of an awkward/complicated situation so I couldn’t fault anyone for being a little tense about me or my friend…especially if they’re romantically inclined with one of us.
As for my friend, it’s not to say that I don’t worry about him still. He does things that would make any friend worry and we are extremely close, so feelings or not, I’m gonna fret. But my instinct is gone. I need to learn just let him do him and I’ll do me. I think my exact words to him were, “I’ll do my best to break this habit. And you just do you.” I’ll always be there for that and he knows that, hell black out him knows that (you little shit…I still want you to see a shrink about that) but unless he goes TOO crazy, I’ll keep it to myself. My opinion and my voice carry a weight with this kid (your words not mine, Princess), so I should learn to reserve for when it would really mean something. Like, if he goes overboard. But he’s pretty good at taking care of himself…most of the time ;)
For the first time in a really long time, I’m content. I’m content where I am. I’m content with who I am. I’m content with the fact that I’m alone. I’m content. Hell, I might even be happy. I have a great family, great friends, a dog that adores me, a successful college career, ridiculous amounts of social media to preoccupy my mind until I move back to T-town…I’ve got it pretty good.
As I look over how I feel about you, truthfully, only one word comes to mind: brother. A weird cuddling, hooked-up-once, you bite me when you’re drunk; pair of brothers…but a brother nonetheless. It only took 10 or so months but I’m finally 100% over you, Princess. And, God damn it…it feels TOO damn good!
Is this year gonna be Kyler: Round 2? (Let’s be real…of course it is ;))
Keep on keepin’ on, Princess!
Your favorite bitchy bro,
PS: Oh, right…did I mention we’re living together…we really need a TV show.