Live A Little

Someone once told me; 
“Do not not live your life so cautiously that you forget to live at all”. 
I took that to mean that you can take measures to protect your life and your heart but still have fun. For the most part I have followed the advice. 

Unfortunately somewhere along the way, I lost track of the meaning behind those very profound words.

As a young boy I grew up in an environment filled with love, at least that's what I thought it to be, but as an adult I would realise that it was a cocoon. When I was 6 years old my mother came home from work and my understanding of the story is that my dad had not been home for few days, again. 

In that moment she thought she'd had enough, packed her bags and left my father. We went to go live with my grandmother and that's where I spent the rest of my childhood.

For much of my childhood she never said 'no' to me. She didn't have much to offer or meet my childish materialistic demands but when she could she never hesitated to let me have whatever I wanted. Damn, truth be told, she let me getaway with pretty much everything. 

Lucky for her I was never a delinquent. child. I liked school and stayed away from trouble mainly because I had my own issues to deal with. Of which I now know had something to do with my sexuality. 

Throughout those years I watched my mother work herself to the bone so that I could have a 'normal' life and to prove to everybody else that she could make it on her own. 

See, I come from a family of women who believe that, you stick it out in marriage no matter what. I have always admired my mother for taking the plunge and rebelling against that by leaving my dad.

Anyway, 5 years short of her 50th birthday she died. I was devastated. I have never really had to deal with life and learn the lessons of looking after myself because she was always there to do everything for me. 

Now she was dead and I had no idea of how I was going to cope in the world without her holding my hand. I started resenting her instead of mourning her death. I was angry with her for dying and leaving me to fend for myself without ever equipping me with the skills a parent is supposed to her teach her child. 

There was one gift that my mother gave me which contributed a great deal to the fine man I have become – if I do say so myself. She allowed me to be myself and made me realise that I do not have to subscribe to society's expectations of who I should be. 

She left my dad with nothing and had to start from scratch even though everyone thought she was insane to do that. Though we never had the “Mom, I'm gay” conversation she always made sure I knew that I was special to her. I figured, she gave birth to me so she knew who I was. 

I'm in my mid 20s now and have done relatively well for myself given where I come from but I feel myself slowly losing it. My career looks set to blossom but my personal life is in disarray. 

See, I made a choice a long time ago that I would not let myself fall for the trappings of “The city of gold” or this industry. I made a promise that I will work hard to achieve my goals and be independent and once that happen I will not settle for anything less than what I am worth. 

Sounds good and it has done wonders for my life but the flip side of it is that it has left me alone and miserable more times than I care to comprehend.

My little “rule” in life has sabotaged every relationship I have had. I refuse to surrender to the elements and have build this wall to protect myself from being hurt and exploited. Freud would have used my life as a selling point for his theories. 

Through some long overdue introspection I have realised that I'm falling into the same trap that killed my mother even though I have spent my entire life telling myself that I would not be her. I have been so caught up in trying to do the right thing and live a clean life that I have forgotten what it's like to just live. 

Granted, my cautiousness has saved from silly situations that I see some of my friends end up in but I am probably the loneliest person I know. Not from the lack trying...

I have no issues with hooking up with guys. Hell at this stage with my career and the perks that come with it, I could have sex with different people every day of the week if I wanted to. BUT I don't wanna live that kind of life so I have been trying to build relationships instead. 

I have met some incredible individuals in my life that would probably have made me happy but for some reason it never worked out. I ended most of those relationships because I wasn't getting what I felt I needed out of them. Except for my recent ex was a lying bedhopping opportunistic cheat so I can't be blamed for that breakup. 

This past weekend I met someone I liked. Naturally my defenses sprung up so I ended up judging him for some silly misunderstanding and decided he was a jajarag guy who would just bring drama in my life so I bailed out. 

Needless to say, I was wrong. After connecting with him for the past few days I learnt that he was actually a nice dude. With that all cleared up we moved forward and.. BOOM, it happened. This will probably go down in my life story as they shortest relationship I have had. 

In just 48 hours we went from being smitten with each other and planning the future to breaking up just like that. Reason? In trying to get to know each other I realised that he doesn’t meet all the requirements I have set for myself in terms of a relationship.

Some might look at that and think, good for you Phil for knowing what you want and not settling just because you want a relationship. However, it's 5am and I haven't been able to sleep because I have been thinking that I might have lost a chance at love because of this “perfect” expectations I have about the guy I want to spend my life with. 

I am not saying I should just lower my standards but I have been thinking that perhaps I should have given the guy a chance. Who knows maybe I might have learnt in time to embrace the qualities in him that caused me to bail. 

Juxtaposing this to a life of loneliness and endless search for my perfect match, I think it's the closest chance for happiness in love I could have ever gotten recently. 

Here's a gist of what happened without revealing too much, I'm learning to keep certain things private about my life. I have told myself that I will not get into a relationship with someone who is not content with who and what they are. 

I have dated guys who had issues with their gayness and trust me it always ended with drama and I believe drama should be left actors at-least they get paid to for it. What I failed to think of is that not everybody had the privilege of growing up in an environment that allowed them to be themselves without shame or judgement. 

Not everyone had the parent I had. We live in a world that still harbor a lot of prejudice for being gay.

My ideal: A black, independent, driven, guy who is willing to be in a committed relationship with no baggage may not exist in that order or better be in my immediate future. Yeah right. Truth is, I might meet someone who at first does not fall into those expectations but in time be that and more. 

That's the epiphany that prompted me to share this at this ungodly hour. As I am lying here tossing and turning with my emotion getting the better of me, I am contemplating the idea that maybe... just maybe, I need to loosen up a bit. Lest I woke up 20 years from now and wish I had taken the time to give so and so a chance. 

I do not wanna be my mother. Whom, though there's a lot about her that I admire, died young and never really got to enjoy her life because she was so focused on giving me a good life and proving to the world that she can provide for her kin on her own without having to settle in an unhappy marriage. 

Sometimes we can be destroyed by the very same tools we try to use to protect ourselves with. Yes, I will be cautious and conscience about the dangers that lurk in this world but I now make a pledge to myself to break down the wall around me and live a little. 

I will give people a chance and hope for the best instead of always expecting the worst because the present is not wrapped in perfect package.

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