Getting Over Fear of Making Big Life Changes

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As much as some try to say they enjoy it, change can be difficult and stressful regardless of what the change is or how big a change it is.

And sometimes despite the benefits to our lives, we can get bogged down in how tough change can be.  We’ll worry ourselves to death whether we’re making the right decisions or how we’ll even get through the changes ahead.

Getting past our fears and move forward with whatever changes that are on the horizon can be difficult.  And all too often we’ll doubt ourselves even when we know it’s a change for the best.

Hopefully the following tips will help you move forward and make that positive change in your life you truly need.

Nobody has all the answers

Before making any important decision, it’s always a good rule of thumb to collect as much information about the impending change as you can.  And doing a bit of research into it can sometimes help make that decision even easier, one way or the other.

But can you sometimes go too far with the research?  Of course you can.  All too often we get paralysed with fear because we think we couldn’t possibly have enough information to make a proper decision.  But the truth is we need to stop waiting for the crystal ball to appear with how everything will turn out, and just make that (informed) leap of faith.

Trust your instincts

I can do itAll too often we’ll make excuses for ourselves why not to make the important changes in our lives, but underneath it all we’re just not putting enough faith in our own ability to make the decision.  Who hasn’t hemmed and hawed over making some decision, only to put it off instead of going ahead with what we know we should be doing?

It’s all about the fear of the unknown and being afraid to see where the future will lead us.  It’s also about getting too comfortable in our current situation, so much so that we’d rather keep the status quo instead of leaping ahead.  No matter what is on the horizon, we need to trust our ability to handle anything the future will throw at us.

Stay positive

We always worry too much about the worst case scenarios when making a big decision, and sometimes that will cause us to put off doing what is necessary.  It’s always good planning to figure out what the worst that could happen, but at the same time, we need to look at what the positives could be.  And if it’s the right decision, then the positives will always outweigh the negatives.

Enjoy the process

don't be afraidAll too often we get way too wrapped up in the end results, that if we try to reach for that big life goal that we’ll never make it to the finish line.  But you know what’s even more profound and enjoyable?  The journey towards that goal itself. You chose that goal, so enjoy the process of getting to it.

Life is full of twists and turns, and what may be your end goal today, may not be tomorrow based on how your journey there unravels.  Life changes, and so should your goals.  And if you don’t reach your initial goal, that’s ok because you’re allowed to change to a new one as you go along.  It doesn’t mean you’re being flaky or indecisive, but instead means you’re weighing your options as you go along.

Life is an opportunity

Don’t let yourself sit on the fence about making a big life changing decision, or allow yourself to get stuck in a rut.  Or even when it comes to making a little decision really.  big or small, each choice you make in life opens an opportunity to something new.

And you just never know where that opportunity may lead you.  It may even make you change your initial goals, and allow life to take you to somewhere even better than you thought it would.  There are always choices in life, so go ahead and see where they lead you.

Make the effort

Whenever we get stuck in a rut, it’s usually because we haven’t made the effort to exorcise the change we need to move forward in life.  It could be we get settled into an easy job instead of going for one that could possibly propel our career to places we never thought it could.  If you don’t ask for what you want in life, then you’ll never get it.

It’s also too easy to make excuses why we haven’t gotten where we need to be in life, so why not put them aside and just go for it already.  If you don’t even try then you’ll never get what you want in life.  And don’t let your own laziness stop you from even trying in the first place.

Build up to the big stuff

Let’s be honest – you can’t really go for the huge tasks if you haven’t mastered the little ones first.  Sometimes you need to build up to where you want to be in life, and start from the ground up.  If it’s regarding a career change, then see what you can do to improve your skills so you meet the qualifications of the new job.  Or if it’s a more physical goal, like running a marathon, then start off with small runs and training first, and allow yourself to build up your stamina.

It’s not about completely changing your world around you at the drop of a hat, but instead doing it progressively over time.  In the end, only you can truly affect the positive changes you need to get to your end goal.

This post was inspired by: 7 Ways To Get Over Fear and Make Big Life Changes

the first step is the hardest

Back to the Beach – the Countdown Begins

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Although I booked it back in January, I’ve started counting down to my next holiday the last week of April. I had such an amazing time back in November, so I’m going back to Gran Canaria for another week.

The place definitely had a profound impact on me.  I can honestly say it was my best holiday ever, and it helped me feel more liberated when it comes to my body and being naked in public.. And I could use some of that confidence back.

Last time, I’d spent my days naked sunning on the beach.  It wasn’t my first time to a nude beach, but it was the first time that I was comfortable enough to stand up, walk around, and even walk down to the water for a swim, regardless of the clothed people walking along the beach.

tumblr_lfqtqpsYuy1qfvz41o1_500I’ve never been very comfortable with my body, mostly due to being chubby and feeling unattractive.  But what I found there was nobody really gave a shit.  In fact, there were people there who were even bigger than I was and they were comfortable naked on the beach, so why the hell shouldn’t I be as well.

The most liberating was the apartment I’d rented.  It afforded me even more time and space to spend my holiday naked, especially after I’d rigged some towels on the balcony railing so I could sit outside naked without worrying (too much) if the neighbours or people walking along the street could see me in all my glory.

It was amazing.

So back in January, I started looking around for another beach holiday for the end of April (as that was the only time I could get off work), and the only place I found within Europe that had decent beach weather was Gran Canaria.. so off I went to book myself into the same apartment as last time for a week.

If it worked last time, why change it, right?  LOL

The difference this time is that I’m not going alone… although it was originally planned that way.

A mate of mine had mentioned after my last trip that I should let him know if I was planning on going again, and maybe he’d join me.  I’d just assumed he was joking, especially since we’re not super close friends or even hang out all that often.

So when I made this upcoming reservation for the end of April, he once again started considering the possibilities of joining me.

hot naked bear beachI’ll be honest.  I was of two minds about this idea.  Firstly I was looking forward to my naked freedom and the opportunities to have whatever ‘fun’ I wanted to have without having to think about the person I was with.  And secondly, I thought it be nice to have someone to go on holiday with, even if we didn’t know each that well.

He’d initially talked about getting his own place to stay so we each still had our privacy, which would have definitely worked.  He said he’d go off and think on it, but when I didn’t hear back about it for the longest time I assumed he’d changed his mind.

Then this past week, he messaged me to say he was still interested in going, and to ask whether I’d be cool with us sharing the flat for the week.

I of course immediately warned him that it meant we would be seeing each other naked, and I explained that I didn’t wear anything while in the apartment last time and that I would be naked on the beach.  And that there was only one bed..

His response?  He laughed..  He could think I’m joking, but after speaking to each other in person the other day, he seemed to be okay with it all.  He’s said he might not get naked on the beach as he’s self-conscious (he’s much thinner than me…), but may be fine after a day or so.

In the end, it’s always great to have another person there with you when on holidays.. someone to share the experience with.  I just hope it doesn’t stop each of us from truly enjoying ourselves, and the ‘fun’ to be had while on the island.  Hehe

Let the countdown to end of April begin!

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Making a Good Impression on a Date

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Dating is never an easy thing.  Meeting someone new for the first time can be quite daunting, and the desire to make a good impression can be high.. sometimes to the point where you can try to hard.

Dating should be a fun and exciting part of life, so why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to ensure we connect with our date?

Here are a few things you can do to ensure things end on a more positive note.

To drink or not to drink..

Probably the easiest thing to do on a date is to meet for a drink in a bar, pub or restaurant as they’re meant to be social places.  The problem is sometimes guys will tend to drink to much as a way to relax or loosen themselves up.. and nobody wants a messy date.

A date is a social engagement, and if you’re pissed off your tits, then you’re more likely to be jarringly obnoxious as you waffle on like some aging party boy instead of being your truly interesting and personable self.  There’s no race, so don’t try to down your pint in one go.  Keep it to a drink or two, and only if the other person is having one as well.

gay-dating-headlineChoose a mutually beneficial location

 

The best thing to do when setting a place to meet on a date is that it’s both convenient and beneficial to you both.  For instance, if one of you lives in North London and the other in South London, the logical thing to do is to arrange to meet somewhere in the middle, and not one that only benefits one person location-wise.

And as important as location is, the atmosphere of where you meet is super important as well.  The last thing you want is to be in a popular crowded pub where you can’t hear each other, so why not pick a more out of the way place that’s quieter.  As well, you don’t want to pick somewhere either of you might be likely to bump into someone you know.  The last thing you need is someone trying to edge in on your private time together.

Know when to make a (sexual) move

two-men-kissingThere’s nothing less sexy or enticing than a guy who goes in for a kiss or a grope in an inappropriate location or too soon into the date.  There’s nothing wrong with a bit of a public display of affection, but don’t be going in for a deep, wet snog right away.

Oh and as for those roaming hands of yours?  How about you keep them to yourself while we’re just getting to know each other, especially when we’re in public.  There’s more to meeting someone for a date than sex, so no need to go into intricate details of your sex life or what positions you enjoy or even that thing you did on holidays that you probably shouldn’t have.

Don’t be a Judge Judy

Part of getting to know someone new is learning what makes that person tick, as well as what they consider their limits to be.  And we’re not talking sexually either.  Some people hate certain words, especially the more derogative swear words, and you really need to pay attention when they say they hate that word.. not continue to work it into the conversation.

As well, if the conversation turns to politics, religion, or any other potentially explosive topic, don’t let it get your back up and judge them for their views on life.  We’re all different people so are allowed to have differing points of view.  Be willing to have an open conversation, not try to take them down because their view is different than yours.

Be real and keep your promises

If you’re truly interested after the first date and genuinely would like to see them again, then tell them.  Don’t leave them hanging, waiting for you to say something.  There’s nothing wrong with putting yourself out there, just be careful to not get too attached too soon.

As well, if they tell you they’re interested in seeing you again and you’re not, then say so (NICELY!!).  There’s no point dangling the carrot in front of them if you’re never willing to follow it through.

Oh and for goodness sake, stop trying the whole playing ‘hard-to-get’ thing.  It really doesn’t work.  If a guy doesn’t message back, it’s not a game move.  It means they’re not interested, plain and simple.

newgrindrlove_2606161bThis post was inspired by – How To Make A Good Impression On Your Date – GayGuys.com

My Fourth Liebster Award

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The Liebster Award seems to float around every year around this time, and once again I’ve been nominated for this award by my fellow blogger Vinnie of the eponymously named blog vinneh (vinneh.wordpress.com).  Please check out his blog as well.

This is now the fourth year in a row I’ve received this distinction, and it always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling that other bloggers are enjoying my writing enough to show some love towards it.

Now to answer Vinnie’s questions, some random facts about me, and set out a few nominations of my own.

  1. Do you prefer a shower or a bath?  Always love to read while soaking in a nice bath, but generally go for a quick shower instead, especially if I’m rushing to work in the morning.
  2. Have you ever met a famous actor or actress?  Yes – many years ago I worked in a coffee shop in Kingston, ON, Canada and served Dan Ackroyd and his wife.  They were somewhat regular customers and my co-workers had always said they were rude.. but was the opposite for me.  I think they used to hound them for autographs, where I just served them without any fuss.. and I got a nice big tip for it too.
  3. Do you consider yourself a talented dancer?  If only!  I can keep a beat and have been told I dance well for a guy my size, but tend to get self-conscious.
  4. Have you ever skinny dipped before?  Many times.. most recently while in Gran Canaria on holidays.  I spent each day on the nude beach and swam in the sea several times a day.  Was a glorious feeling.
  5. What is your birthstone?  The moonstone, but have read June also counts pearl and alexandrite among it’s stones.
  6. What movie, no matter how many times you watch it, makes you cry?  Probably ‘Steel Magnolias’.  It’s a beautiful film full of amazing actresses.
  7. Who is your favourite author?  It’s a toss up between Stephen King and Anne Rice.  I’d love to have a writing career even half as popular as either of them.
  8. Are you a person who sleeps for a long time or rises early?  It’s changed over the years.. used to be able to sleep for ages, but nowadays I find I’m rising early when I don’t need to.  Which sucks cause I love nothing better than a long lie in on the weekends.
  9. What is your favourite holiday?  Pretty much anything that gives me a day off work.  LOL Have always been partial to New Year’s Eve, but think I tend to put too much pressure on having a good time to set the tone for the following year.
  10. Are you a horror movie fan?  Oh yes, though I don’t watch as many as I used to when I was younger.
  11. And finally, describe what you think of my blog with five adjectives.  Witty. Intriguing. Informative. Entertaining. Fun.

11 Random Facts About Me

  1. I have dual citizenship – Canadian and British.
  2. My first time flying in an airplane was when I moved from Canada to London.
  3. I have an honours diploma in Computerised Bookkeeping.
  4. I worked in an accounting office during tax season after graduation and hated it.
  5. I lived in Montreal for 8 years and I still only speak basic French.
  6. I regularly get mistaken for someone of Mediterranean decent – Italian, Spanish, etc – due to my dark complexion.
  7. I eat way too much pasta.
  8. I’ve been a smoker for over 20 years.
  9. I won a Gold and Silver medal in Bowling at the 2009 World OutGames in Copenhagen.
  10. I’m a comic-book geek, though haven’t read them in years.  Love the movies, TV shows, and some of the games on the iPad.  Make mine Marvel:)
  11. One of these days I’ll finally finish my novel.. or my series of erotic short stories.. or my ebook compilation of self-help articles I’ve posted on here.  One of them at least.

Now here are my nominees and my 11 questions for them.  All I ask if they continue to pay this honour forward towards other bloggers they enjoy reading.  It’s a great way to support each other.

    1. Ivan’s Blogworld – https://ivansblogworld.wordpress.com
    2. lgbt Icons – http://lgbticons.com
    3. Things I like.. and then run – https://trunkguy.wordpress.com
    4. A Life (not) in London – https://johngodley.com
    5. Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights – http://flightstightsandmovienights.com

And here are my questions for my fellow bloggers.  And the above list is in now way exhaustive.. there are tons of amazing blogs out there.  Please support them anyway you can.

  1. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  2. If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
  3. What’s your favourite holiday destination?
  4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
  5. Newspapers or online magazines?
  6. What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
  7. What’s your most embarrassing moment?
  8. What’s the most public display of affection you’ve ever done? (And I don’t just mean kissing LOL)
  9. Are you the little spoon or big spoon when cuddling?
  10. What is the one thing on your bucket list you absolutely must do before you die?
  11. Describe my blog in five adjectives.

Well.. there it is folks.  Please do check out my nominee’s blogs, as well as the blog of my nominator Vinneh.

Keep reading and checking in and supporting your favourite blogs.  Your continual viewings is what keeps most of us going after all this time.

~M~

A Dating Dry Spell

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I’m not sure what’s changed, but I’ve found my dating life going through yet another dry spell these days.  I’m sure this is normal for most people, and it sure as hell isn’t the first time it’s happened to me, but I can’t help but wonder if sometimes there’s something I’m doing that causes these recurrent episodes.

Now I’ll be honest – sometimes it’s hard to separate my dating life with my sex life, because occasionally they’re not mutually exclusive.  I admit that a shag doesn’t necessarily constitute a date, and a date doesn’t always end in a shag.

But of course there are always exceptions to this. 😉

turkish kissFor me, things seemed to be going fairly well after I moved to my current flat, and they definitely picked up (sexually) once I returned from Gran Canaria back in November.  After spending most of a year of feeling sexually frustrated, it was a nice change.

The best part was that I was going out more often.  I was usually out on a Friday night (and some Saturday nights too), which is a huge help when trying to meet new guys.  Not that there were many of them, but at least I was meeting a few new guys here and there.

I only had a small handful of dates during that time, none of which lead anywhere other than sometimes the bedroom for a one-off romp, but at least it was something.

But something changed after the New Year.  Suddenly, I was spending most weekends at home alone.  The invitations to socialise died out, and any attempts on my part to drum up interest to do something were met with either disinterest (or so it seemed) or the classic ‘I’m busy’ and ‘I’ve already got plans’ responses.

And both my sex and dating lives ground to a complete halt.

I’m sure there’s all sorts of things that could contribute to this current dry spell, some of them my own doing and some from others.  Or perhaps there’s something I’ve been unknowingly putting out there that’s putting guys off.

I’m not saying that the past couple of months have been complete no-sex zones, but it’s been so far and few in between that it might as well have been.  There’s been many times where I’ve been chatting to a guy about meeting up, and just as it seems it’s going to happen they end up pulling out (no pun intended) at the last minute.

Annoying, for sure.

I have had a couple dates with one guy who lives locally to me.. and by dates I mean actual dates, where we met up for drinks or dinner and talked to each other.  And didn’t have sex (though there was a bunch of kissing and cuddles on the second date…).

IMG_0302But unfortunately that’s as far as it’s gone, and that was probably about a month ago.  There’s been no third date as of yet, despite us regularly chatting online.  I’ve tried suggesting things here and there, but he’s out of town a lot on the weekends and works long hours during the week.. meaning it doesn’t leave much time to meet up.

He’s a lovely man and I do want to see him again, but I’m unsure if it’ll actually go anywhere.  There didn’t seem to much of a mad, crazy, sexy, tear-off-your-clothes passion between us, but perhaps that was because I was purposely trying to take things a bit slower that I normally do and not jump right into bed with him.  For once.

You know, actually get to know the man before I got to ‘know’ the man.  LOL

I don’t know… Sometimes I wish I could just maintain that care-free attitude I had after my holidays and see what fun I could get up to.. even if it’s not ‘fun’ that I’m wanting in my life.

Or perhaps I need to stop hoping for more than what’s on offer at the moment.

Time will tell I suppose.

The Flat Disruption Issue

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It’s been close to six months since I moved to my current flat, and despite a couple little structural issues, I’ve loved living there.  My flatmate and I get along really well.  It’s been relatively issue free, and any little things that have popped up we’ve just talked about them instead of letting it bother us.

It’s been great living with someone who’s just as interested in ensuring we’re both happy living there as I am.  We’re friendly without being too much into each other’s lives, give each other space as required, and are always up for a laugh or chat. We’re both gay and have a few ‘friends of friends’ in common.

And we’re both adult enough to not make a big deal if the other has someone ‘special’ over for a visit.

Well that nice little bower of life we’ve made for ourselves was shattered this past weekend when the landlord came to town and announced he’ll be working in London for the next 3 weeks.  And that he’ll be staying at the flat.

Umm.. what??  Fuuuuuuuck!

Although small, our flat is technically a 3 bedroom, with the landlord keeping a tiny room for himself.  I’d always assumed that was just to store some of his things while he lived in Switzerland, and that we were renting the rest of flat from him.

In reality, we’re just renting rooms off of him as it’s still his flat.  He’s got the room set up as a little bedroom for himself, which allows him to keep a toe-hold in London while living and working abroad.

repair leakIt be one thing if he was staying there while he did some repairs to the flat, but the very few things he’s done over the past week have been more of a band-aid measure than actual repair.  And it be completely different if he was going out of his way to not disrupt our lives.

For instance.. he’s a musician (works in theatre) and he announced when he arrived that he’d have to practice his flute here and there.  What that actually meant was he’d be practising every evening after work, regardless if we were okay with that or not.  Loudly.

It was especially frustrating Thursday evening when I’d come home from work with a bit of a headache so was laying down before I made dinner, and he started in on his flute.  It pissed me off so much that I kinda snapped at him when he came down to the kitchen later on.

He ‘says’ if it’s bothering us to just tell him, but how can you really tell your landlord to not practise his instrument when it’s his livelihood.  It’s a bit difficult to tell someone to ‘shut the fuck up’ (nicely of course) when they own where you live.  That would just be asking for trouble, if you ask me.

I know it’s only for 3 weeks, but the timing of it couldn’t have been worse for me – my flatmate goes on holidays on Tuesday for 10 days.  I was so looking forward to having the flat to myself while he was away.  The lucky bastard is going to miss most of the landlord’s ‘visit’.

So this means I’ll be stuck alone with the guy for that time.  He’s friendly enough, but it’s not the same.  There just doesn’t seem to be much in common between us from what I’ve seen so far, and his tone can come across as a bit condescending at times.

landlordOh, and I definitely don’t feel comfortable having someone over, be it to hang out or for a bit of fun (something I was hoping to do while the flatmate was away… hehe).  The landlord is clearly straight and doesn’t seem to realise we’re both gay (How?!? LOL), so am unsure how he’d react if I brought a guy home.

I’m trying my best to not let it get to me, and to obviously not become resentful towards the flatmate that he’ll be away for most of it.  He’d booked the holiday months ago so would have had no clue the landlord was coming at the same time.

I suppose I just have to grin and bear it for now.  And hope my frustrations don’t get the better of me.

Midsummer’s Night Disappointment

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Sometimes life can get way too busy and before you know it, weeks and months have passed since you last chatted to this friend or that one.  Is it just a matter that you’ve gotten too embroiled in your day-to-day lives that you ‘forget’ to keep in contact with certain people?

I try my best to keep in contact with people, but it isn’t always easy.  I find it hard because no matter how much you try to keep in contact with some people or arrange to do things together, they’re just always too busy to meet up.  And in some cases, too busy to even return a simple text message.

From my perspective, it seems these people all have their close-knit group of friends and regularly do things together, despite some people’s insistence that they never ‘plan’ anything.  Or at least that’s the response I get when I ask I wasn’t invited along.

Yeah, right.

I admit, I’m horrible at making plans weeks or months in advance, unless it’s something big.  Generally I get to Friday afternoon and realise once again I don’t have anything planned for the weekend, so I send off a bunch of messages to see what people are up to only to get a load of ‘I’ve got plans’ replies.

I was told a few months back by one of these ‘too busy’ friends that perhaps people don’t include me because I don’t make the effort to invite them to things, to plan something for a bunch of people to do together.  Or perhaps they’ve just assumed I either wouldn’t be interested in what they’re doing or that I have my own group of friends to hang out with.

Ummm… what utter bullshit, huh?

Shakespeare son & lumiereSo I tried an experiment that ended with my own disappointment – I created a Facebook event over a month ago and invited a bunch of people to it.  It was to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, with a light and sound show at Guildhall Yard (event details HERE).

I thought it be fun and interesting, and something different to do on a Saturday evening (aka tonight).

Mostly people put themselves down as a maybe, with a few saying outright they couldn’t go and one friend saying they would join me.  Even if just that one friend came, it would make it worth it really.  And perhaps a step forward for me I think.

But fast forward to this past Thursday when I posted in the event suggesting where and when we could all meet, and asking everyone to confirm if they were coming or not.

And this is where the disappointment set in – not a single person could make it for whatever reason.  Some explained, but most didn’t at all.  And that one friend who said he’d come?  He pulled out as well, saying he was too busy this weekend (he’s taking a masters while working full time so spends his spare time studying).

Which left me with nobody to go to this thing with.  I even messaged a couple of non-Facebook friends to see if they were interested, but nothing.  So come last night I up and cancelled the Facebook event and now am not even going myself.  It wasn’t exactly the type of thing you go to alone.

man in bedSo what is a guy to do when all he wants to do is spent time with his friends and those friends are too busy to hang out?  I’ve barely been out of the house the past month and a half, and as much as I love quiet time at home, it’s really getting to me.

A person can only spend so much time by themselves before they start going stir-crazy.. or (over)thinking that perhaps he’s wasting his time on trying to get those ‘friends’ to spend time with him.

Life can be hard when you’ve tons of friendship to give and there’s nobody to give it to.