In a little over a week, I will have been posting to this blog for a year. And in a little less than a week, it will be my birthday again – the start of another new year for me. New adventures. New resolutions. New goals. And when my birthday draws this close, I like to remember where I’ve been – especially as I start trying to work out exactly where I want to go.
I don’t always catalog my year in photos quite as well as I have this year. I blame the smartphone craze. And, I suppose, being in a relationship with someone who was overseas for half the year (and during the duration of the relationship) had a lot to do with it. You learn to manage with what you have. So here it is… for retrospect’s sake:
Botboy Daily Series
While Botboy was in Afghanistan, before we’d ever met, I’d decided to send him a photo a day until he got back. I started with the older stuff I’d done when I was beginning my modeling career (years and years ago). But, after his second extension, I realized that I didn’t have enough sendable material and needed to make more. I plunged my way back onto the scene, and created, in total, 130 files that were sent to Bot over the course of 130 days. Here are some of my favorites (click to enlarge):
You’ll find here photos of the Botboy adventures. The Priority Mail box on my kitchen table is one of the “coffee” shipments that he enjoyed. I think this was the March one. The box in my floor (and the one Satine is sniffing) is his first and only shipment to me of his things from over there. The TransFormers and Nerfuls are part of his collection, which was stored at the top of my closet (at climate controlled temperatures and with the greatest of care) and which he promptly cleaned out when he returned.
I kept myself busy while he was away. I reorganized my apartment and got it ready to accommodate a second person. I bought a new car. I did the shoots. I also redecorated my bathroom – and did all of the artwork for it myself (except the clock and shower curtain). I even went to Ohio and went to the Broken Hearts Masquerade of 2013. My outfit was awesome.
After his return (and prompt, abrupt departure), I was lost for a little while. I filled my time with Gatsby, and Gatsby’s almost nightly parties. I started drinking again. I rode a motorcycle for my final shoot of the year. I learned to read Tarot cards and figured out who I was and what I could do. I even found a twin for my stuffed rabbit that I’d had for 27 years. In essence, I healed completely. Not just from Bot (though the larger part of that was from Bot) but from the leftover shit that was left behind from Gatsby/3.0 that ended as my year started in November 2012. It had to be done. No matter how painful, these things had to happen. I understand that now.
And finally, whether I was really ready or not, I put myself back out there. I started simply; I went to the Military Ball with Metalhead. I gothed it up for work. I celebrated my 16th birthday in Ybor with Metalhead and took a selfie in the bathroom of the cigar shop (drunk, of course). I’ve been on dates with others since then. It was hard at first. I wasn’t really ready. But it’s better now. And it gets easier every time I do it (even if I get disgruntled with all the failures).
And now, I’m here. Staring down the barrel of 31. A birthday I assume (and I say “assume” because my world changes very quickly) that I’ll be spending mostly alone. But you know, I’m okay with that. I’m okay with that because it is preferable to spending it in a relationship that is fragmenting just a little more by the day. It’s quiet. It’s relatively drama free. And it gives me the peace I need to make the new resolutions I need to make. It gives me the quiet so that I can figure out what I want for 31. It gives me an opportunity to set my intentions, which I’ve learned, is a very important (perhaps the most important) part of the process.
Granted, I didn’t end this year quite the way I wanted to. I don’t have the rock-solid relationship I wanted and I’m not really any closer to having one than I was at the end of May after Bot left (and honestly, looking back on it, I’m not sure that what I had with him was really as rock solid as I was led to believe). But… thanks to Bot and the ones that came after (and even Gatsby… a little), I am much clearer on what I want in another person and, ultimately, in a relationship. So, even though things didn’t end quite the way I wanted them to, I don’t feel as though any time has been wasted. Isn’t that how things go, anyway?
As of next Sunday, it’ll be a new year for me. A new beginning… with new goals…new resolutions. And a whole new way to handle all the shit that gets thrown at my head.
It may not be pretty, but I got this.