I Love Being Single

I have been single for about 9 years. It’s been an interesting near decade of ups and downs that I have tackled on my own. While social, I am naturally an introvert. That means that I have also spent a lot of time really getting to know myself.

During that time, I chose to stay single. I also met a lot of awesome friends and found my career path. In meeting new friends (or seeing old ones), I get asked the same questions all the time. “Why are you still single?” or “I never see you dating anyone.”  I know that it’s always out of a good place in their hearts and they want to see me happy. I really do appreciate the kinds thoughts and love. However, it’s that last part that irks me a bit. My response is usually a bit shocking to some people.

I love being single.

Yes, that is correct. Personally, I am so happy when it’s just me. Yeah sure, I have hung out with a couple of guys here and there, but only for short periods of time. The thought of starting something with someone doesn’t invoke positive or exciting emotions for me. I lean closer to dread and anxiety. People have a really hard time grasping the fact that not everyone wants to be with someone.

The purpose of this post is give visibility to two very large misconceptions about what it means to have a happy and fulfilling life:

1. Being in a relationship

2. Having children

For some people, being in a relationship, or with the “one”, is not an end game goal. For a lot other people, or the same people even, neither is having children. Some of us just don’t want that white picket fence life with 2.5 kids. Personally, I think it would be awesome to have kids, but as a gay man, I’ve prepared myself with the fact that will most likely not happen.

You do not need either one of those to be happy or feel fulfilled! I certainly don’t. I said I would love to have kids, but it isn’t the end of my life if I don’t. That doesn’t make me selfish or an asshole. It just means that my happy is different than other people’s happy. My happiness and fulfillment comes in the form of traveling and writing. It also comes from developing myself and my potential while become self-aware of who I am. It can be really frustrating when I open up to people that I am not interested in dating or relationships and they start giving me that shit of “Oh you just haven’t met him yet” or “You’ll meet him when you’re not looking”. That just takes away from my vision of happiness.

I am not looking because I don’t want it! That shit always makes me feel like people think I am one of those single people frustrated with dating and just “done” with everyone. I am not that. I am not frustrated with dating or relationships. I just don’t want them nor do I partake in them.

To dig a little deeper into who I am, I like the intensity and passion of meeting new people. It’s sustaining or working on that love the following days as a relationship is where I check out. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.  It just isn’t a fun idea to me. It’s dreadful. To those who know me, that really speaks to my adventurer personality. I also like to keep my time to myself.

I am not interested in getting to know someone on that deep of a level, and vice versa.  Some people probably consider me a high-functioning sociopath, but I am okay with that. When it comes to the sex, I do not need to be in a relationship for that. I can meet guys for casual sex (being a gay man has its perks) or just jerk off. I especially love having sex with someone when we are initially attracted to each other. That stage is the hottest. After that I get bored. I don’t like the routine of it all and I like being able to flirt and have crushes on whomever I want.

I want people to understand that I’m happy. I am so happy. I know what I like and what I don’t. This free-spirit life, not being attached to any one person or thing, is who I am. I am not looking for my “other half” because I am not a half. I am a full person. A happy person.

Look, I think relationships are great for people who want to be in them. I respect that a great deal (the good ones, anyway) and I really do hope that those who are on the hunt for love find what they are looking for.  It just isn’t my cup of tea. So please don’t force that shit down my throat. Let me just be.

I make myself happy. I fulfill my own life. I don’t need anything more than that. I’ve found that the greatest love of all comes from learning to love yourself. Actually, Whitney Houston found that. I just believe it.

2017: Getting Shit Done

If you look back through some of my posts from the last year, you would think I was the most miserable son of bitch on the face of the Earth.

Honestly, I felt like it. I felt like the world had kicked me down to the ground and kept stomping the fuck out of me. The past two years were an emotional shit show for me. So many things happened, and at the same time, that I was drowning. Only a few close people know about them. My social media presence remained upbeat because I didn’t want anyone asking questions or knowing.

I am sure if you are reading this that you are probably wondering what happened. For several reasons, I cannot go into them in such a public forum (although some of my previous posts allude to parts of it).

To be quite honest, I don’t want to focus on that nightmare anyway. I want to focus on 2017, the year that I am getting shit done for myself and moving past the vaguely mentioned experiences.

Near the end of 2016, those several shitty experiences all came to an end and set the stage for 2017. The things that were seriously plaguing me were finally over. It was like the winds blowing my sails into the Bermuda Triangle decided to just change direction and take my tiny boat to happier days.

And happier days it has been! I got a fresh start and was able to start over. It was at this point that I started to feel that 2017 was going to be great. I was going to make it awesome!

I changed jobs at work in December 2016 and transitioned into a role, that I absolutely love, as a leadership trainer. I loved training Servicing and also training other trainers in the art of training. But there is just something about training leaders.

Jumping into this new role in 2017 pushed me outside of my comfort zone and made me very vulnerable, but I am experiencing so much growth of my own skills because of it. It feels amazing being able to make an impact on leaders, which will in turn trickle down to their team members (the only time trickle down economics actually works). I am part of a newer team and doing what I can to help build us up. I am so happy right now!

Personally, my mind has let out this loud sigh of relief. The past two years pushed me over the edge and I fell into a pit of mental health issues. I was seriously balls deep in Depression and Anxiety. My ADHD was out in full swing. I had to start seeing a therapist and was prescribed something for the ADHD to get myself together. So many nights were spent on being victim to racing thoughts, fear, sadness, and fear and not on sleep. I became so fixated on the negativity because I couldn’t see any light. Not even a damn glimmer of it. Life has an intense way of reminding us that nothing lasts forever though.

Many of the things I was experiencing have started to dissipate. I forced myself to start focusing on the good things, and if I didn’t feel like there were good things happening, I fucking made them happen. I was going to get shit done this year. The shit that I wanted, and needed, to do for myself. No more reasons or putting myself in situations where I can’t do shit for myself.

Shit to do #1: Traveling

One thing I decided was that I needed to travel. My soul is the traveling type and staying stationary has negative effects on me.

So I went back to New York and visited family. I went there first because it was where I was from and the first time I was able to travel anywhere for quite some time. I love to explore and it really did me good to get out and check out new places and hang out with one of my amazing cousins. I even went to the hospital I was born in to take pictures!

This is me in Central Park:

I also took myself out every single night I was in NYC. I either went alone or I met up with another cousin. I went out, had drinks, and socialized. Words cannot express how doing that made me feel. I could almost hear the sound of the top popping off and all my mental BS exploding out of me.

While I was in New York, my sister (who really loves to travel) talked to my mom and booked us three tickets to Mexico.

New York was amazing…but fuck..going to Mexico from Christmas to New Year’s Eve was FUCKING SUPERB!! We stayed in Playa Del Carmen. We were there for 9 days and we rocked out that trip! It was gorgeous every single day! Even when it rained, it only rained for 20 minutes and then the sun came back out.

While in Mexico, we hit up several (it’s impossible to do all of them) bars/restaurants on the main strip in Playa Del Carmen. We also went to Tulum where we did sightseeing of ancient ruins. We also went to Chichen Itza where we saw the amazing ancient ruins there as well as went snorkeling! I mentally needed these adventures!

This is me sightseeing:

If you are ever in an emotional rut, I HIGHLY recommend traveling to a place like Mexico. The country is gorgeous (from the tourist side of it), the people are so friendly and genuine, and the scenery is a feast for the eyes! It’s that tropical vacation you long for, but also super affordable! I promise, if you are really going through something, do this for yourself.

I have also booked a trip to Denver for April! So I am moving and experiencing life! I cannot wait to get into the mountains and just be outside in a new place!

Shit to do #2: Personal Goals 

When Old Deller, my laptop, died several months ago, I never got around to getting a new computer. No wait..not that I didn’t get around to it..I just wanted a Mac and those are WAY more expensive than a PC.

Not having a computer probably wouldn’t be such a huge deal for some people. However, I like to write these ramblings of a mad man and share them on my blog. If I wanted to continue writing and building myself as a writer/blogger, then I needed to have adequate resources, like a computer. I don’t like to use my work computer for personal business. So I actually splurged on a Mac computer today! This thing is fucking magical!

I’ve always loved writing and I think (know) being lost in so much negativity was taking that away from me. In other words, I was fucking myself because I was letting my dreams just waste away. I just laid there and let everything run me over. I am also tired of starting something and not seeing it through because of shit excuses.

I also want to get into the beard oil business. This year I registered my blog as an online store and even got an Employee Identification Number (EIN)! Awesome! I have some other stuff around that to figure out, but I have it on my Shit I Need to Do Right Now list.

Lastly, I grew up speaking Albanian, but since I never really used it where I grew up, I don’t speak it like I used to. I am working on relearning and practicing it some more.

Shit to do #3: Personal Upgrades

I first got glasses when I was in second grade. I have always worn glasses, until I became a teenager. Then I transitioned to contact lenses. After that, I went back and forth between contacts and glasses. I have always had corrective lenses in my life.

The past few years though, I found myself thinking about LASIK and eventually making it a goal. Well I can say that as of March 2017, that is one goal I turned into reality. I got LASIK! I feel like I accomplished a bucket list item, and it feels amazing! I can see great, and as my eyes heal my vision keeps getting better. I tested at 20/20, possibly 20/15.

Earlier this year I also signed up for Warrior Dash with my friends from work. I have always wanted to do a physical challenge like that. I have been working out a lot and put on some intense weight.

Last week I signed up for a 6 week workout program with a place called Michigan Kettlebells. It’s going to be intense, but so worth it. It will help me cut down some of this fat I gained and tone up my gained muscle. It will also get me ready for Warrior Dash! I also want to play rugby so this will help me with the training and conditioning of my body!

My goal is to look like this guy (or a watered down version) at Warrior Dash! I even paid for the kilt so I can really experience the event:

I am so ready to continue smashing through my goals! So fucking ready! It is really easy to lay down and die when life hands you a large glass of “Fuck you.” I am guilty of that more than I care to admit. Especially when the shit gets piled on! However, like I said earlier..the negative shit is gone! That means I only have positive things to focus on!

Seriously, if I find something negative to focus on at this point, I brought it on myself and I am a fucking lunatic!

 

I am excited to share this because I have seriously never felt happier. So many great things happening that I just need to let the sun shine on my face!

 

Fueling New Goals With Dead Ones

Admitting that your goal is dead is pretty tough. Actually, it fucking sucks. I should know because I am experiencing this very situation as I type. For the past three years, I have only had one main goal in my mind. It is one goal that many of us have in our working lives. To advance ahead. To move into a leadership position.

I seriously worked my ass off to prove I could make an awesome leader. I was passionate and determined to meet that goal. I would look at myself in the mirror every day and tell myself that I would be a leader on my team. Despite my passion for what I do and my skill set, things just did not go according to plan.

Something has changed for me, though. The drive, the motivation, the hunger, that all left. Maybe I am tired fighting for scraps at the table? Maybe I am just emotionally drained? I can feel the goal that I had been so passionate about has expired. It’s time for me to throw out this expired goal so I don’t stink up the kitchen.

If you think that this blog post is negative, it’s not. In fact, so much positivity has been born from this goal failure! This entire situation has inspired me to re-think my passion and what I am doing with my life. At my core, I love to teach. I love to help someone change a behavior and give them a skill they were unable to do before. I also really love traveling and completely dislike corporate politics.

Several years ago, I had researched becoming certified as an ESL teacher and traveling abroad in Europe. I didn’t make much money at the time so I couldn’t afford the tuition or taking time off of work. I started looking into it again recently and found that not only could I afford it now, but it was all online so I could just get certified on my own time. So I signed up!

Once I registered for the course, I lit up with excitement and am still stoked! I begin my training on April 11! This feels right. This feels like the thing I am supposed to be doing. No one knows how happy I am at the prospect of living in Europe for who knows how long and teaching English! I want to go to Kosovo, Czech Republic, and Germany.

Don’t get me wrong, I am scared as fuck about this. I have my family, especially my mother, in the US. I also own a home and a car. I definitely have some logistics to figure out. Luckily I have a while before I do anything. My main focus is just getting certified and getting my teaching hours in right now.

I do not believe that things happen for a reason. I do believe, however, that we all have choices to make when we are faced with a situation. I think I found the positivity in this whole thing and may have just catapulted myself to a different type of success more suited to my personality.

Look for more blog posts about my experience getting TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certified and whatever future steps I take with that.

This song is getting me through this so I don’t lose my nerve:

My Long Road To Education

I have been working on my two year associates degree for about five years now. I have been so embarrassed to admit that to anyone. When people ask me when I will be done with school, I just laugh and say “Oh it’ll be a while.’ Technically I am not lying.

After several years of just f*cking around, I finally started going to college when I was 25. I had decided in my earlier 2os that I want to be a PR. I think I would be really great at it. I was really proud of myself because I finally grew up and made the decision to better myself with an education. I started off light and only took 2 or 3 classes (I don’t remember anymore). I had been out of the school swing for a while and need to get reacquainted with it all. At that time I was also working at Applebee’s full time. It was perfect. On my days off I would take all my classes, do my homework, and study. Then I would work over the weekend and make my rent money. I didn’t have anything else to pay for except my phone and portion of utilities at my old apartment.

Like all things in life, change was coming my way. I then began to work full time at Flagstar Bank Monday-Friday. I was also still working at Applebee’s on the weekends. All of the sudden my free time was gone. Then I had to work both my jobs, pay for my apartment on my own, car payment, insurance, and all that other fun stuff. I was no longer receiving financial aid because now it was deemed that I make too much money for aid. Too bad no one takes into consideration the costs of being an independent student. I also had lost a huge monthly bonus that I received. That is why I had to pick up my hours at Applebee’s.

I was still managing to take some night classes and paying for my classes out of pocket. I refuse to take out student loans because I want to walk away with a degree, not debt. Anyway, I was doing pretty good. I did hit a couple of speed bumps here and there. I ended up not going a semester here and a semester there. OK fine, it happens. What are you going to do?

A few months ago I started to dabble in music. You can read about that here. I fell in love with it. The more I fell in love with it, the more I realized that I hated working in an office. Even now, six months later, I still dislike it. It is so boring, I’m tired of office pettiness and cattiness. I just waste away my energy there. I knew that music and writing is what I wanted to do with my life. When I realized that, it felt right. So my next step was to speak to a counselor regarding the educational path I was on towards an ABA and how I wanted to get an associates in Liberal Arts.

Whatever I do end up doing, I still work full time at the bank and I work part time at Granite City. So I am still crunched for time and funds for school. So school is definitely going to “take me a while.” The difference now is, I don’t care anymore. I shouldn’t be embarrassed. I’ve paid my own way and have made it this far. I am an independent person who lives an independent life. But I do need to do something, quick.

I made an appointment with the counselor at my school. I met with her today 8/15/2012. I wanted to explain to her where I was coming from and what I wanted to do. She looked up what I needed and I discovered I only needed about two more classes. Also, I could actually get two Associate degrees! One in Business and the other in Liberal Arts. However, the Business Associates would require that I take Managerial Accounting. I dropped that class once. What a beast. I might just do both. But I know my heart is not in business. Maybe there is an opportunity in a different kind of business and I shouldn’t be basing my office experience to default mortgage banking. So that is why I am going to work on getting both Associate degrees. So I can have a plan B.

Even if I did find something different, nothing makes me feel better than writing something. I love words. I love expression. I love taking words and singing them (to the best of my ability). I want to make music and write pieces. It’s what excites me.

Writing especially has been a long time hobby of mine. But I was always afraid to try and turn a hobby into a job because then it wouldn’t be a hobby anymore. They do say “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

I don’t find that to be entirely true, but it is a great goal and I plan to never work a day in my life again!

What is your passion? Do you do it for a living? Why or why not?