So, the end of the year approaches once again. Before that comes around, Yvie and I have to face our first Christmas without our mum. They’ll never be quite the same. But in some sense, I’ve felt like that for half of my life. I still struggle with this time of the year generally but right here, right now as I type this, I’m largely fine. I’ve started down a new path and whilst that path still isn’t particularly clear, I’m the better for it. I have financial security for now, I have my [rented] flat, and I have my mind.
I finished MPS at the end of November. I’m essentially now a contractor but I no longer have a boss and I’m free to do what I will with my time, and that control, the power over my own destiny, is extremely refreshing. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about how not to run a company, and hopefully that knowledge will be of use at some point. And I’m understanding that no matter how much they did to make me feel stupid, the biggest loss is theirs.
Now, all I need to do is find the headspace to build again. I’ve spent time in the last few weeks doing easy things, like building a couple of one-page websites for myself and for my new company, and I’ve done a bit of work here on Graham of Anywhere. Relearning, getting up to speed with newer standards, kick-starting the technical and creative processes. Reminding myself how to achieve things.
I haven’t been wholly productive. I guess I’ve just taken the last few weeks to recuperate to some degree, and I’ll give myself some proper[-ish] time off over Christmas and New Year. But in 2017 I’m going to have to get back into serious work-mode. This time, of course, for nobody’s benefit other my own. I’ll have to fight procrastination but I’ll also have to fight sadness.
Sadness. I think I’ve talked about this before. I’ve never really felt that I’ve had depression, and I still don’t feel like I’ve ever known depression personally. I’ve experienced it from the outside, seeing it in friends and family, so I think I know what is — and what isn’t — depression. No, I think I just suffer from sadness, loneliness-induced, perpetual but mild melancholia. A feeling of being very much alone, and an expectation of being so for the rest of my days. I don’t think it’s possible to find what I’m looking for — a 25 year old, who is as cute as he is clever, who wants to share life and settle down, and who wants to do that with me. I wish age wasn’t important, I really do. If I could see myself with a 35 year old, or a 40 year old, then I’m sure that would be easier. But I’m one of the many doomed gays who fancies younger guys.
That’d maybe be okay if I were Dustin Lance Black. But, unfortunately for me, I’m greying and balding and hairy in the all the wrong places. I don’t feel attractive. I’ve never really been made to believe any different and I think I’m probably stuck with that perception now. Day to day, I’m not bothered by such things. I can handle being non-photogenic and I can accept that was never going to be my card to play. Though, when it comes to dating, when it comes to doods, nothing holds me back more than my own lack of confidence in my body.
I understand that, in theory, it’s not real. To quote an Arcade Fire lyric, “My body is a cage but my mind holds the key”. But for me, this feels increasingly unsurmountable. And, I’m sure I’ll be repeating myself using much the same words in 12 months time. A year older. Another year.
And as the years pass by, I cultivate my own isolation. This is where I find myself. Because this is where I put myself. I live in the absolute hope that someone will demolish this cage for me — and not because I want to be saved, because I’d hate to feel “saved”, ha — but because I so desperately want to live a more fulfilling existence.
I’d love to not feel so alone, and so hopeless about finding love, sure, but more importantly I’d like to be free of the fight against sadness. I feel like, if I didn’t have to do that anymore, I could do some work again that would be of benefit to others. It’s been two and half years since I closed QueerAttitude.com, and while I don’t think I could ever go back to running a youth community, because I’m old enough now to fully appreciate the pressures of it, I think there’s got to be more to life than cinema. And I just want to be a better, more engaged person. Less scared of the world and less of an outsider.
I think, no matter how much I might try, this one is not within my power. And I’ll continue to find myself wherever the wind takes me.
Graham's blog: politics, poetry, and introspection