Make it light

I spent the past 4 weeks staying at a party hostel. I needed it. I needed the social contact, a temporary home where I had people I knew to say goodnight to and people I knew to say hi to in the mornings. I don’t know how well I would have managed the next few months without that because when I got there I was truly tired, jaded, and unsure how to continue. The fact I recognized this when I did and took the decision to go to Loki is something I’m quite proud of strangely. I’m listening to myself and taking the actions I need when I need them. Sure a party hostel seems like a strange thing to NEED rather than want, but I really can’t imagine that I would be feeling this recharged had I gone to a regular hostel as I’ve done for the past 9 months. Party hostels have their issues, but they also have their place and for me, this time around, it was a tool for self-help.

I never planned on staying 4 weeks, but I don’t regret it. Admittedly I’m happy to be on a bus right now headed far away. 4 weeks was too much, and I’ve been ready to leave for a while, excited to be on the road again, but I don’t regret it at all. I met some really awesome people, played TONS of ping pong, a bunch of pool and even won a beer pong tournament, though in truth, my partner sunk 90% of the balls, so…

But I digress, the point of this post is to put some observations down that were forced to the surface while spending that time at Loki. It was really interesting and quite a learning experience to see how quickly a place can become a microcosm of home. By the time I left that Hostel I felt almost exactly the way I had felt at times during my 23 years spent in Montreal. In 4 weeks I experienced almost the entire gamut of interpersonal interactions that I had in Montreal, and that means I’m likely not imagining things. Those observations about myself I had made in Montreal, during different periods of my life there are likely based on something real, not imagined, and that points to aspects of me that create certain dynamics that are both cool and uncomfortable.

When you walk into a party hostel, you’re literally just another number, like a new inmate about to do his time. No one cares, but everyone is still curious to a certain extent. There’s nothing special about you, but people will say hi, maybe strike up a conversation, and you’ll do the same. Personalities start to stand out within a few hours, but then again there are dozens of other people who have probably arrived on the same night, so you won’t stand out unless you want to, or you make a fool of yourself or you’re called out. I rarely get called out, I rarely make a fool of myself, and I don’t like standing out. Attention makes me nervous. Some forms of it more than others, but most of them I don’t particularly appreciate. All but one. But I’ll get to that in a bit. But I walked into Loki the way I walked into Montreal and walk into anywhere, a bit shy, a bit confident, and always curious.

After a few days of being at Loki, having drinks every night, playing pool, ping pong, having talks in the smoking room, I soon got to know almost everyone there, including some of the staff at reception, kitchen staff, cleaning ladies, and obviously the volunteer bar staff. Thing is, I like people. I like talking to people, even if it’s mostly them talking, I prefer it that way. I’m not silent and sometimes I’ll even get quite animated, but generally I just listen, throw in a comment or 2, make fun of them, add in some humour or most commonly, make a face to mess with them, but I’m interactive and generally pleasant, so it resonates with some people, and ya, of course I like that. And the fact that I’m like that with everyone means that in a short period of time, I’m pretty much known by everyone who comes into Loki, to the point that within a week of being there, all new guests thought I was part of the staff. There’s a part of that that’s cool, but there comes a flipside and it’s the same thing that also happened in Montreal.

So, everything I’ve shared up to now is an ultra-sped up version of how my social life in Montreal developed. I get to the city, make a ton of friends in a short period of time via the university, which is just a larger Loki, then I get comfortable with that and the dynamics start to shift.

So, by week 2 the effect has fully taken shape. Most people only stay 3-5 days there and being there 2 weeks means that even if people had only seen me 5 minutes, they knew I wasn’t just a new guest. My interactions with almost everyone at the hostel inferred a sense of familiarity, so even if I wasn’t staff, which was the obvious first assumption, then I was definitely “important”. This kinda sucks. Actually, no, it just sucks. The outwardly consequence of this is that people make a bit more of an effort to get to know you, partly out of curiosity and partly out of a sense of obligation. But also people feel that because they sense that everyone knows and likes you, that they also have to like you, even if they don’t know why or whether you’re worthy of it. And this is exactly how I felt when I used to organize the Vij’n parties. By the end I didn’t feel like anyone cared WHO I really was, but instead recognized what role I played and felt an obligation to like me because they thought most others did and because I was in a way, a gatekeeper. It was fake and it weighed on me. I never told anyone this actually. This is the first I’ve ever mentioned this, but this wasn’t just about the Vij’n nights or the Loki 4 weeks, it’s the entire time I lived in Montreal. By the time I left Montreal I had really become much more of a home-body partly for these reasons, but I’ve always carried this feeling since the Vij’n community days that how people felt about me was less a question of knowing or liking me and more the result of being central to a few different social groups. By the end, I had pretty much abandoned all those posts and the responsibility of being central to any social group. It was a mixed feeling. We all like to feel needed, wanted, but it has to feel real and just too often it didn’t. And since leaving, it’s become apparent that I wasn’t just imagining all this. Sure I am still in touch with a few select people from back home and that’s all I’ll ever need but there’s no doubt that I don’t have nearly the same number of “friends” as those who professed to be friends.

This is the thing, it’s the whole high-school popular football player syndrome. Somehow he becomes popular whether deserved or not and because he’s popular people are in a way forced to like him, even if he’s an asshole. I don’t think I’m an asshole, but I don’t like being someone people feel they should like because it appears others do but this is what seems to happen and this is one of the reasons I don’t like attention. I love it when while talking to someone I can see in their eyes a certain amount of respect and appreciation grow. That attention I love, and it’s obvious when it happens, just as it’s obvious in my eyes and my words when my respect for another grows. But those who start off with that because they can feel it in the room, that I don’t like. But I don’t know what to do about that or even if I can do anything about that. I don’t know how to escape that but it always taints my environment after a while as it did in Loki after just 2 weeks. Again, Loki taught me a lot. The intensity and speed with which this happened really brought back that feeling and the memory of it; something I hadn’t thought about in a while, probably since the last party hostel and maybe to a much lesser extent at other more social hostels, but it’s always the same it seems, partly because I stay much longer than most and end up knowing most of the staff and guests, and partly just the dynamic. In a way part of me thinks, it’s not my problem; that I’m not responsible for the perspectives of others, but I can feel it, and it affects me, so it kinda is. The other part of me thinks, that maybe there’s something within me, instigating this, asking for it, maybe even needing it and people are just reacting to that. Maybe despite this whole post, in the end I want that. That’s a scary thought and I honestly don’t believe that’s the case but I have to at least contemplate the possibility. I do like being liked, I do enjoy feeling like I know the people that are there to be interacted with, learned from, shared with, but what happens later, that pattern, I truthfully don’t believe I like and hope I can somehow find a way to curtail it. I don’t mind being popular because people like me, but I hate being seen as popular. That’s the line that seems to always be crossed that I don’t know how to stay on one side of. It makes me feel as though I’m perceived as arrogant. It makes me feel self-centered. By the time I left Loki I literally had new guests come up to me and ask if I was Sasha. Before they had even met me they knew things about me. That made me incredibly uncomfortable. It was the same in Montreal, and it was the same at the last party hostel I went to. I mean, in a way it’s normal for people to be curious if they hear about someone, but being the object of that curiosity is strange and disconcerting. Sure, part of it has to do with the fact that most people there were in their 20s and low 30s, and maybe being the 41 year old was part of the curiosity, but still, it began to weigh on me. Knowing there were rumors about me spreading throughout the hostel that I had no control over was at the same time flattering and humiliating. I had started off just wanting to meet people and ended up being some form of novelty. Ok, yes I’m exaggerating, it’s not as though most people knew who I was before they met me, but enough did that I felt unwanted attention too often, from the local staff, to the volunteer staff, to the new guests. Thing is, I don’t want to change. I don’t want to be less social if I feel like it. I interact genuinely because I genuinely like to, but the end result seems to be problematic and I don’t really see an alternative. It doesn’t matter so much when I’m moving around constantly, but it doesn’t bode well for when I end my travels and want to settle somewhere and make a home for myself. I don’t want to find myself in a place where I feel the way I do about some of my social circles as I did in Montreal. I don’t want a lot of friends, I just want those who are friends for the simple reason that they like me, want to spend time with me, share with me, with no other motivations or influences. I gotta figure out how to make that happen. I don’t like this feeling that people are at once looking for my approval and simultaneously resenting me. I can’t shake that feeling and I don’t believe it’s just in my head.

This was the beginning of a series of questions rolling around in my head that have culminated in this post. Who would have thought that a party hostel would inspire me to ask some of the most fundamental questions about my role in the lives of others and theirs’ in mine? Strange as it may seem the above realizations were the result of having a great time with dozens of small moments of discomfort in a new environment where patterns were more apparent due to the compressed physical location and time. I don’t know if I would have noticed or more accurately, articulated this, brought it out from my subconscious into the conscious, had I not spent that time at Loki. But the fact that I did, lead to other questions and observations that continued to divulge themselves days and weeks after I left the hostel.

Recognizing how people react to me, what dynamics take place, forced me to look back at my relationships with women over my many years and question those; try to better understand what my pattern was in that respect and the conclusion was, well, sad.

I’ve always had a different approach and appreciation for the opposite sex than almost every guy I’ve ever met. It’s something I’ve always liked about myself and something I still do, but I’ve started seeing the consequences that approach has had a lot more recently. Aside from my early 20s when I was exploring my sexual self, I’ve always been less concerned with the sexual aspect of being with women than the uncovering of who they are. While most guys around me saw someone and wanted to fuck them, the women I’d see I generally wanted to discover and that didn’t necessarily have anything to do with sex. So often I’d find myself in conversations with groups of guys talking about things they wanted to do, or did, or planned on doing and I’d stay silent, listening and recognizing how little I had in common with most men on that level. The simple truth is, while I find many women beautiful I’m rarely attracted to any. It’s not to say that I don’t find them attractive, but it’s very rare that I’ve been truly attracted to them physically. In fact the older I get the less I find myself attracted right off the bat by anyone. In the year and a half that I’ve been traveling, I think there have been maybe 3 or 4 women that I’ve been attracted to almost instantly. Considering the thousands of women I’ve seen, and even interacted with, that’s a really low number. Attraction has always been complicated with me and I recognize that. In truth, attraction hasn’t necessarily even been the most important aspect of interest in someone as a potential partner, whether short term or long term, and especially long term. I’ve never been that one-night stand guy. I think, throughout my entire life, and only during my early 20s, I’ve literally had one or 2 which weren’t even exactly one-night stands but for the purpose of conciseness, let’s just go with that.

The truth is, I’ve been lucky enough in my life to choose good people. I don’t believe in perfect people or people who are perfect for me, but I do believe in people who have good hearts and open minds. No one I’ve chosen has had everything I wanted but each had a beautiful assortment of the right qualities and that’s all I can ever ask for. If while spending time with someone your appreciation for them grows over time rather than wanes, that’s a sign that you are with a good person. I can say that I’ve been fortunate enough to have had just that throughout my life with one or 2 exceptions when I was quite young. So, I’ve been good at choosing amazing people to share moments of my life with and I’m both proud and grateful for that. I’ve been lucky enough to love incredible women who I have the utmost respect for, no matter how things ended, and who have all taught me so much about myself, about relationships, and about people in general. I can never repay them for the lessons and knowledge they’ve imparted on me, whether purposefully or not. But that’s not the full story.

While asking all these questions of myself, remembering past relationships, the issues that plagued them, and the things that past partners have shared with me, I started seeing my pattern a bit more clearly and from a completely different perspective. I can remember how each of the most important relationships in my life started and how they progressed and when the issues began to appear. I’ve spoken in a previous post of one particular relationship and the role that my sense of balance and strength played. I can see more clearly now what other aspects of my personality affected my relationships and the dynamics at play within them.

I can be a bit intense, particularly at the beginning. I have a tendency to lay it all out, letting people know who I am and what I believe in right from the beginning. It’s my way of not wasting time. But even while I do that, I also hold some things close. I think that combination allows people to trust me quickly whilst also being attracted by a sense of mystery. Fuck, the more I think about who I am, the more I realize how complicated I am. There are so many things that seem to be contradictory if people don’t dig below the surface that it must be a whirlwind being with me at first. That’s not necessarily a good thing. That may appeal to certain people but certainly not to all. I’m not easy and I see that more and more clearly now than ever. It’s something I’ve heard a lot and never really gave much credence or thought to. I saw myself pretty simply. I don’t need much, in fact I need very little and I thought that made me simple, but it’s more complex than that and I get that now and well, I would like to apologize to those I shared my life with who accused me of being complicated and who I didn’t listen to. Not much I can do about that, but I can at least admit now that they were right. But I’m getting off-topic.

I think I have a pretty accurate view of how others, particularly women, perceive me, particularly at first. I’m not the best looking guy but I’m not unattractive. I’m not the smartest guy, but I’m not dumb. I’m not the most confident but I don’t appear to be as shy as I really am. I’m not the best dancer but I have fun dancing and I love it and it shows, and I think women appreciate that. I’m not the most fun guy out there but I’m fun enough to be interesting. Combined with a calm demeanor, a tendency to listen, an appearance at least of being responsible and having my shit together, I think at first women find me intriguing. Once the ice is broken and we begin to interact, I don’t have any glaring faults (those would come later) so things progress. If the attraction is mutual a connection soon forms and once things become physical my more intense side begins to come out and this is where things start to go wrong in a sense.

I mentioned that I’m pretty rarely immediately attracted to people. But here’s the thing, I don’t need to be instantaneously attracted to someone. Attraction of one form or another can quickly morph into something beautiful, at least to me, and usually to the other person. If there’s some form of attraction, even if it doesn’t start off as a physical attraction, it’ll soon grow and cover the physical as well if a connection is made, a real connection. I love that about me, I really do, but it can be blinding and lead me into situations where I’m with someone that I’m not inherently attracted to on a physical level, which doesn’t bode well for the long-term. But, at the beginning that growing sense of attraction inspires my intensity and my desire to uncover every aspect of my partner; physically, emotionally, and mentally. This is why I like this aspect of myself. Unfortunately though, what happens is, during that early intense phase, which by the way is unsustainable, my partners get accustomed to my tendency to in a sense overwhelm them, give, care and explore them. They take it for granted that this is how I am and will continue to be. Sure it’s who I am, but it’s not something that can last. Worse, what happens is, there’s a tendency not to look any deeper or try to understand me on a level beneath that and I get why.

This part’s going to sound arrogant, but so be it. If I get to the point where I’m being physical with someone, it’s because I see something beautiful in them. When I see that, I can’t hold it in, and I share it, and that’s a huge part of the intensity I’ve been speaking of. The effect it has on my partners is a sense of feeling appreciated and beautiful. Of this I have no doubt, not just from the times I’ve heard it from them, but I can literally see it in their eyes, the way they smile or hide. It’s apparent. If there’s anything that has shaped my relationships, it’s my ability to genuinely and openly make my partners feel beautiful in a wide range of ways. I love that I can do that, give that to someone (not that they don’t already have it or feel it, but getting it from someone else without judgment, genuinely and purely must be intoxicating). But here’s the thing, the problem is, they get used to it, they take it for granted, they even expect it. I create, right from the beginning, a completely unequal dynamic whereby I’m spoiling them with affection, appreciation and desire and they take it all in and find peace in it. Why wouldn’t they? I would. Wouldn’t anyone? I do it because something in them inspires me to do so. But again it’s not sustainable, not at that level of intensity, but what happens when you’re used to something and it becomes less and less available? You begin to get frustrated and unhappy. And there we go.

The issue is, because I’m so intense at the beginning, I set a precedent whereby they are literally in a spa, and I’m at their service and don’t get me wrong, I love it. I love that period and I remember it well, in each case for each of the partners I’ve loved. I see it very clearly now, a pattern I never even recognized until I started asking these questions. I set my relationships up for failure from the first physical interaction. That’s crazy. How has it taken me so long?

From the first time we’re together, I create a dynamic whereby I’m diving into them, covering them, showing them what I see and they are glorious in my eyes and I share that openly, verbally, physically. And it is glorious. My partner will generally just lie back, close their eyes and soak it in and I’ll love that moment like so many that will follow. But in doing this, there’s a tendency on their part to just absorb it, to take everything I’m giving, not ask questions because they are already answered. They know that I’m enjoying it, and they are enjoying it, and no questions need be asked. Here’s the thing, it’s superficial and it’s not particularly mutual. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with it being superficial at this point, as this is usually quite early in whatever relationship I’m in, but it is superficial. It’s not about who I am, it’s about how I make them feel. And I don’t blame either myself or them for this. It’s perfectly normal, but the problem is, at this point, it’s so completely one-sided that it’s almost unnatural. It’s a dream and there’s no reason to wake up. The waking up will come later but by then it’s often already too late.

Thing is, over the weeks and maybe months that this goes on, love starts to grow on both sides. It’s real love, of that I have no doubt, but it’s not complete love. The balance is tipped and putting things level is a task that I don’t believe I’ve ever managed.

See, aside from how different I think I view the opposite sex and my relation to them, as opposed to the way most men I’ve known see things, I think I also have a very different view on love. I think part of that has to do with the fact that in a sense I’m a hopeless romantic. Something which is not at all apparent to most of my friends. But I do believe in love. I can’t tell you what my definition of it is, but my views on it are different from most, and different even from most women. It’s evolved a lot over the years, at least in the way I can articulate it to myself, but at the end of the day my view on it hasn’t changed all that much from when I was a teenager, and that should already tell you a lot about how hopeless a romantic I am (don’t tell anyone). But I don’t expect anything from anyone. I don’t want more. I don’t need to live with them, to marry them, to have children with them, to buy a home with them. I don’t care about any of that. It’ll happen when it happens if at all. What I do want, what I need is to feel as though they love me for who I am, that they see into me, all of me, qualities and faults, strengths and weaknesses and even if they don’t necessarily like everything, they like me enough that they understand appreciate what’s not perfect, what’s flawed and they want the best for me, regardless of what it means for them, for their lives, for their future. That’s it. To me that’s incredibly simple. I don’t want to own anyone, I don’t need ownership of their bodies or minds, I don’t need to know they will never sleep with another or care for another, I don’t need to know that they will always desire me. I just need to know that they will always appreciate me, try to understand me, accept me for who I am and will always want to work to continue being my friend, my partner, my teammate. What more could I want than that? Life can be long and we change and grow and our desires change and I don’t expect I will always fit the picture and the needs of the other as I don’t believe it’s guaranteed they will fit mine, but I want to believe that they see me in my entirety and connect to a level that no matter what happens, even if things don’t work out, that they will always love the person I am, that they will always want my happiness, always want to be a part of that as I do and have in every case. I know that’s not how most people work but that’s what I want. I know most people have all these conditions; fidelity, desire, being the only special one, support, common plans. That’s fine, I get it, but to me those are all secondary and considerably less important. Yes we all have needs, and I don’t expect that kind of love to necessarily imply a long life together, but I do expect that it would be lifelong, real, and deep. That’s how I love and I’ve accepted and forgiven so much and I like that about myself and the way I love and I just feel that’s how it should be and I know that’s what I need. That’s the only real love that I seek. It’s not too much to ask for, I really don’t think it is.

There are a bunch of different kinds of love, even between partners. I’m pretty sure of that. There’s love that comes from familiarity and safety, love that comes from desire and attraction, love that comes from a deep sense of connection and understanding, and another half dozen. I’ve been lucky enough to love and be loved more than once. But the truth is, I see now that the kind of love that others have had for me, isn’t the kind I really wanted or needed. I don’t blame anyone for that. We love in whatever way life allows us, provides for us and there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re not always capable or ready to love in a specific way. But I can see now that the love I’ve been privileged enough to have been the recipient of, was the kind that is dependent on what the other receives. Of all my major relationships, I don’t believe any were unconditional love that is focused on the person rather than the equation. That, THAT is an incredibly sad and lonely realization. I have to admit, when I looked back and reassessed, I was really disappointed. I’m not referring to my most recent relationship specifically, I’m looking all the way back and recognizing this truth for the first time and it’s sad but understandable. As I mentioned, I set all my relationships up for failure right from the beginning and it’s going to take an incredibly special person to break that pattern, but that’s a discussion for another time. But the truth is, looking back, now I can see how in every case, except one, the love shared between myself and my partner was one based on what was received. It had little to do with me. It wasn’t a love of me as a person, it was a love based on how I made them feel, what I provided and that’s why they never really lasted because I’m flawed and imperfect and when those imperfections came out, there just wasn’t enough being received and there wasn’t enough to hold onto, to warrant the effort. So I was loved because of who they thought I was and what they thought I would continue to give throughout our lives and when that image changed, when my flaws came to the surface, the balance changed, the amount of work required would be too much and the effort wasn’t worth it. Is that love? Ya. I think so. I don’t think my ex-partners didn’t love me, but like I said, that’s not the love I needed or wanted. It always felt good at the time, but over time, I always started getting the same feeling, a feeling of loneliness and not really being understood or appreciated. As I mentioned, there’s been one exception. There was one person who I felt loved me at the core of her, who didn’t care about what I had to offer, but who understood me almost better than I understood myself, who saw my faults, understood them and accepted and even appreciated them. 40 years and there’s only been one. I don’t know if that’s beautiful or sad or both. It doesn’t matter, I at least know what it’s like to be seen. And this is what bothers me the most I think though, and again this may sound unfair or arrogant but I’m going to express it anyway.

It takes me a long time to love someone. I can easily care about someone, appreciate someone, desire someone, enjoy someone, but to love someone, is something sacred and special to me and that rarely happens within a few months. But once I do get there, it’s not always pretty but it’s always unconditional. Yes, I’ve had periods where my ego got in the way, but I think for the most part that’s no longer an issue. Don’t get me wrong, I have gotten ego pangs occasionally in all my relationships, but there were only 2 people with whom my ego really got in the way. But even then, even when my ego was tugging at me, I was always forgiving because at the core of me, I knew that they weren’t perfect, that they had their issues, their flaws, their needs and that I wasn’t necessarily ever going to be able to fill all of them and I accepted that. True in a couple cases I was too forgiving, and part of that was ego, but mainly it was because I know that we’re human, we make mistakes, we can’t always see things clearly, we get lost. To me, real love, the love that I feel, the love I want and have always wanted is one where my flaws are accepted and even appreciated. No, that doesn’t mean that I’m free to make any mistake without consequence. That’s ridiculous. As I said, we’re human and we hurt and we need and that MUST be respected. But I think the cornerstone of love is forgiveness and appreciation. And it’s not out of weakness that we forgive but out of strength. That’s something I don’t find people do much of anymore. We have a tendency to forgive out of weakness not strength and the difference couldn’t be any more stark. We love with possession, with requirement, with calculation. That feels so wrong to me. The way I‘ve been loved, feels more wrong to me now than ever. I can see how I’m responsible for setting the precedents, but that’s not all on me either. A relationship is about 2 people, not one. I may have created a dynamic whereby focus was on one person and I avoided the attention at first, but not because I was afraid of it, it was because I was enthralled, captivated and intrigued. But the tendency for the other not to dive in return is something I never really noticed. I do get it. I really do. I think it’s different for women than it is for men, in general, though obviously not always. As men, when women dive too deep into us too quickly, we become suspicious. For women I think it’s a desire that’s almost innate and as long as that dive isn’t creepy or possessive, it feels beautiful. I get that. I’m guilty of the suspicion but I’m also guilty of the deep dive that disarms someone and makes them feel safe but which also gives them no reason to look any deeper because they’re in a place that feels right, safe, and loved. There’s just no need. In fact, you don’t want to potentially uncover the flaws and ruin the dream. Why not just enjoy it, stay in it as long as it’ll last? But that’s the problem, It’s not real. Not really.

So, that’s the problem. Now that I see it, that I recognize it, I realize I’m actually really tired of it. I don’t want to change or have to think about my approach or my intensity. I don’t want to have to calculate, and maybe I won’t need to for the next years of my life as I’m on the road, given that there’s little chance a real relationship can develop while traveling, but it does make me wonder what awaits me when I settle down. I’ll have to be even more picky and discerning than I already am, and make no mistake, I’m pretty picky already. I didn’t used to be. For me, in the past a good heart was all I looked for and on a couple rare occasions, not even that, but over the past 15 years or so, a good heart always needed to be accompanied by a couple other things, things which were different depending on the partner, but I’ve definitely become more specific about the people I let into my life and even the people I shared anything physical with. Yes, I do need to think about the precedents I set at the beginning, but maybe all I need to do is talk about it without actually toning down that intensity. I love the intensity. I love making my partner feel beautiful, and I love the way it makes me feel in return. I don’t do it because I want them to be happy, I do it because it makes me happy. I love that exploration, the sense of pleasing another, of showing them what I see, of sharing my appreciation. I think that’s beautiful, but I think if I want a sustainable relationship I’ll have to be more open about it, let them know that it’s not sustainable, that what I want is something deeper, more real, more equal, and a connection based not on what we have in common or what feels good but on who we both are as people, flaws and all. That’s going to be a huge challenge but I see no other way and I think it’s worth it, and… it might even be fun.

Damn, I never expected to bear my soul in this blog the way I have over the past few posts. I thought it would be a regular travel blog where I share my experiences and my observations. I never expected I’d share so many intimate and personal aspects of myself, my views and my life. It’s out of character to be honest. I’m normally so private. In all fairness I look at the statistics often and the more I notice the readerships decreasing, the more comfortable I am to write on these pages. It was a mistake for me to post my blog on Facebook. I’m much more at ease knowing that very few people actually come to this blog. It feels more and more mine as fewer and fewer people visit. I’m glad I’ve disabled the automatic updates. It means people who come here come because they are really interested, not out of convenience or a sense of obligation. That makes all the difference to me. I suspect there will be a lot more posts like this as time wears on. I like that I’m reassessing my life, my past and my future as my travels continue. This is exactly what I wanted and while some conclusions are less than positive, on the whole, I’m happy that life is giving me reason to look at myself and my world through ever-changing perspectives. Isn’t that the point?

Let me just finish with this. I’ve had and I have beautiful friends. I have a beautiful family and I’ve had the most amazing life partners, regardless of how much or how little I speak to them, they will always have massive mansions in my heart that will always belong to them, no matter who builds a new home beside them. I’m grateful for any and all love people have shared with me, regardless of whether it’s what I needed or wanted. We love, we open up, we share in whatever ways we can, whatever ways we are ready for and I recognize that I am at least half responsible for how I’ve been perceived and loved and I can’t and never will blame anyone for not having provided what I was looking for. I am also keenly aware that I likely never provided what was needed or wanted on their end. I like the way I love but I am also aware that it won’t work for everyone and in fact likely works for very few. It is what it is. I don’t fault myself any more than I fault anyone else. That’s what makes the world beautiful, complex and exciting, is our differences and our (often failed) attempts to bridge gaps. Love is a beautiful thing that is rare and special and my only promise to myself is the next time I have the opportunity to love as deeply as I have, that I will be more open about what it means to me, what I’m looking for and to make the necessary efforts to articulate it in a more clear fashion. What more can I ask of myself?

Recent Posts