25 Years Ago(-ish), I Started College

Around 25 years ago, in late August 1992, I started college (erm, university for you British English speakers out there). It’s a right-of-passage many Americans go through every year when they’re 18, and I’m sure there are many stories about how that first year went for a great many people. Maybe my experience was unique, but I’m pretty sure it’s not.

What I can tell you is I remember my Mom crying when I started college at Northern Illinois University. My excitement due to my freedom was tempered by how upset she was. Being the very anxious person I was and continue to be, I wondered if I’d made the right choice. As an aside: my counselor keeps telling me I do things to please other people instead of myself, and I’m not living my life authentically if I keep doing this. On the other side of this argument, I stayed at college because it was what I wanted, even though it did hurt my mother initially (and maybe it was more of a, “Oh my God, my oldest son is 18 and leaving home and I can’t protect him any more”, which I understand but I’ve never been through so I can’t compare that experience to my own experiences).

Sorry. I digress. You should be used to that by now if you read any of my blogs.

Read 25 Years Ago(-ish), I Started College

A Happier New Year, 2017 Style

When another New Year rolls around, quite a few of us make resolutions to make this year different from the last.  We’re going to lose weight, or stop drinking so much, or run three times a week.  How often we stick to these resolutions really depends on our outlook and our drive to make such a significant change in our lives.
Read A Happier New Year, 2017 Style

Learning to Enjoy Things Again

One of the side effects of the dissociative disorder known as depersonalisation, for me at least, has been the lack of finding enjoyment in many things I used to enjoy.  This has been particularly disturbing for me, as, for those of you who know me can attest, it usually doesn’t take much to amuse me.  That makes me sound rather simple, but, at one time, I would find enjoyment in something as simple as reading a book in my bedroom or listening to music while doodling on a piece of paper.

Yesterday, my counselor asked me point-blank about what I enjoy doing now.  We had been speaking about my falling out of love with Star Trek (something that had been happening for a while, I must admit) while feeling so upset and then overwhelmingly relieved and happy that I was still able to continue portraying Ken Kato in Henglaar, M.D., which, to be honest, was one of the few remaining things I used to like doing that I still enjoy doing.

Read Learning to Let My Guard Down

1995: A Turning Point in My Life

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Part of me feels I should say I’m sorry but I’m not sorry.  A lot of shit has been going on in my life, and I’d like to hope most people would agree that real life takes precedence over a blog or keeping others entertained.

There’s a lot to write about, a lot I need to tell you, but I had a bit of an epiphany today, and I wanted to share it with you all.

Last night, I was feeling a bit nostalgic, very awake, and slightly under the influence of a few glasses of vino, so I rummaged through our cabinets below the bookcase with our DVDs and Blu-Rays in them to haul out my old photos from my pre-New Zealand days.

Some bring tears to my eyes.  Some make me long for yesterday and for those who are no longer with us.  Others make me smile.  Others again make me laugh heartily.

I found a photo of someone I haven’t spoken to in a long time, someone who, to be totally honest, hasn’t crossed my mind a lot lately.  He does once in a while, but with time marching on and a million other memories cramming their way into my head every month or three, and having seen each other last in 1995 when we were both totally different people, these thoughts grow fewer and farther the more distant that year becomes.

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I Didn’t Realise…

Moving to New Zealand, I left behind a close circle of really good friends and a lot more friends who had touched my life in various ways.

Those who have moved to another country, giving up pretty much everything, know how this feels. Alienating in a way. Humbling in another. A bit powerless too.

For many years here, I was happy with the status quo. Noel was now my life. I slotted in with his friends and that was that.

But after my Grandpa died, I felt that making my own friends, and friends more my age, would be healthy. To be honest, I couldn’t go on being the social hermit any more; I felt it was ageing me too quick and killing me.

So Noel and I put an advert on a few Internet sites, like NZDating (yes, people meet friends there too… it’s not all dodgy slutty stuff), to meet some new friends.

Noel and I met both Adam and Dave O. on there, both of whom have become such wonderful friends who, to be honest, I don’t know what I’d do without.

But for every success there are probably ten failures.

One example was a few years back (around Christmas) a guy who seemed nice contacted us; he, like us, was looking for friends. As a part of that, we exchanged photos.

Do you know what he said?

Basically, I wasn’t good looking enough to be his friend.

Sorry, I didn’t realise friendship involved a beauty contest.

I didn’t realise I needed to be Marcus Schenkenberg or Brad Pitt to be a friend.

I didn’t realise friendship was purely based on how hot I was and how much my stunningness would reflect and enhance your own.

Friendship, to me, is obviously a totally different concept than it was for him.

But the story doesn’t end there!

Shopping for Christmas cards at Merivale Mall — and Noel had wandered off to look at CDs, I think — I bumped into this guy. He proceeded to say, yeah, maybe we should meet up and be friends. I retorted that I thought I wasn’t beautiful enough to be his friend, but he replied the picture didn’t do me justice.

Do you know what I told him?

Fuck off!

Friendship, to me, means finding someone you have a connection and things in common with. Friends are there when you need them, during the good times and the bad, and lend an ear when you need someone to talk to. They give you advice, sometimes candidly, but that’s what you need to hear. And they add to your memories with good times, love and laughter.

So to those friends who touched my life in the US, thank you. For the friends who stood by me through thick and thin, you mean the world to me. The friends in New Zealand, the few and far between ones, thank you for standing by me, even in my darkest or stubbornest of hours. All those friends I’ve met on the journey through my life: you rock. I’ve lost contact with some friends, but they still deserve a thank you. And to the friends I have yet to meet… I look forward to it.

I didn’t realise how blessed with wonderful friends I am. And for that, I’m truly grateful.