Dating and the Fat Man

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The other day I was surfing around a site sent to me by my fellow blogger Ivan (ivansblogworld.wordpress.com), and the below article title caught my eye.

7 Struggles of Dating When You’re a Fat Gay Man – Gay Pop Buzz

YES!!  I’m not the only one who finds it a struggle!  Maybe this would be the article that would truly get me.

Quick recap – I’m a 43 year old fat gay man who’s never been in an actual relationship.  I’ve only ever dated guys casually for a bit before they would claim I was getting ‘too attached’ and only wanted something casual.. which usually ended with them having a new boyfriend within about 6 months.

So.. I opened this article hoping to gain some mutual insight into what I’ve gone through in my dating life.  That it was going to be validation for all the years I’ve felt marginalised for whatever reason.  And as I read the first couple of lines I thought I’d found a kindred spirit as there were a lot of similarities.

fat-manBoy… could I have been even more WRONG!!!

The more I read, the more I realised this wasn’t me or my experiences.  Instead, this was someone who’s allowed himself to become so dismissive of himself, his weight, and the gay community that he’s allowed his negativity to feed into his own fat-shaming.

It was to the point where he was obsessive about it.  And he was absolutely adamant that this was the truth for all chubby gay men out there.

Well, No.  His experiences sure as hell haven’t been mine.

So based on his article, I’d like to give my experiences over the years and how I’m feeling.  These aren’t facts or anything other than my observations, and I would never allude that anyone else should feel exactly the same.

Smaller Target Audience

I learned after a few years (and a bit of heartbreak) that there really is a smaller target for bigger guys like me, regardless of what type of guys I found physically attractive… and it sure as hell wasn’t other bigger guys like me (lesbian bears, as I like to call them haha).

At first I thought, because of my own fat-shaming, that I’d have to settle for whomever was willing to have sex with me.  That I was truly ugly and unattractive, so I’d have no real choice in the matter.  But then I found the bear community and the chasers… and I was meeting some pretty gorgeous guys.  And who’d complain about that?  😉

Loneliness is best served cold.. with gravy

Like probably a lot of people out there who have weight issues, I tended to turn to food as compensation when I was feeling down or bad about something.  It was an instant gratification while trying to justify my bad food choices.

Who munches on celery sticks when they’re feeling down?  LOL

Fat_ManBut this is something I’ve recently started working on, mostly because I was starting to feel like my weight had gotten out of control (partly due to quitting smoking I think).  I’m taking it day by day to ensure I’m making good food choices and pairing it was regular exercise (walking part way to/from work).

It’s only been about 2 weeks, but I’m feeling good about it and need to keep it going.

I’m one hell of a hermit

I don’t think I’ve used my weight as an excuse not to go out and be social.  Instead I’ve allowed my laziness to justify why I’ll spend a weekend at home having a Netflix marathon alone.

I think my hermit-ism is more due to my own feelings of being left out by people, and not taking the issue in hand to do something about it (see previous post).  I know there are places I can go and potentially run into someone I know (KA in Soho for instance), but I’ll let my laziness to justify why it’s a waste of time spending an hour travelling into town on the ‘chance’ of meeting someone I knew.  Or someone new.

And that’s not good.

I do alright, sexually.. sometimes

I know I sometimes moan about how I’m not getting laid as much as I’d like to, or even as much as I used to a few years ago.  But at no point have I ever said it’s because I’m fat.  Sure that may limit my possibilities, but it shouldn’t ever stop me.

And no, unlike the original article’s author, I have never paid for sex.  Fuck no.

Instead I know my lack-luster love life is down to my own laziness and not putting myself out there as much as I used to.  If I’m sitting at home all the time, how am I going to meet someone one new and exciting?  Sure, there are the dating apps, but mostly I’m only going to get the same group of guys within my immediate area.

naked-men-in-bedA compliment is a compliment

I’ve never been that great at accepting compliments from guys, mostly due to my own low self-esteem.  Usually I’d just assume they were saying these things just so they could have sex with me (and some of them might have been..).

But I think I’ve done well to get past that somewhat and accept a compliment for what it is.  And if the other person isn’t being sincere, then that’s on them.  I’m not going to spend my precious time over-thinking everything a guy says to me just to figure out if it’s real or not.

We’re homophobic towards each other

I’ve been living out and proud for over 20 years now, and it still never astounds me how much as a community we put ourselves down by ostracising our own sub-sects or stereotypes.

no fatWho hasn’t been to a Gay Pride and watched as all the muscular pretty boys in their little hot-pants get all the cheers and catcalls, while anyone who doesn’t fit that ‘society-approved norm’ basically gets ignored.

However I won’t allow that to affect how I feel about myself.  I go to Pride most years and have a laugh, usually ending up at the bear bar drinking in the streets with everyone else.  And I just get on with my life without allowing other people’s perceptions of who they think I am stop me from having fun.

Never assume to know someone

True, I look like the stereotypical little bear, but that doesn’t mean you know who I am based on someone you’ve known in the past who has a similar look.  Or that because I’m above a certain age with a bit of grey in my beard that I must be a ‘daddy’.  Or that because I’ve attended several naturist parties that I’d be interested in going to an orgy.

It’s all bullshit.  Not one aspect of my life wholly defines me as a person.

BUT…. if I’m being truly honest, I’ve been just as guilty of it as anyone else.  I would see some pretty, young ‘twink’ and immediately think they must be a self-absorbed, fashion-obsessed, obnoxious airhead.  Or that some beefy, muscled out gym-bunny must be dumb as a bag of hammers.  And so forth.

Sadly, this is something we all have to struggle with on a daily basis.  We’ve grown up buying into the stereotypes just as much as we’ve been fighting to get past them, and sometimes still treat people of similar backgrounds as gay clones.


So… what now?

Well, not much really.

It’s not like I wrote this to work through some issue or to justify my actions.  It was more of an exercise to prove that not everyone’s experiences are the same, no matter how many factors you may have in common.

CarrotHowever I do think it’s helped show me that, although my dating life is pretty stagnant at the moment, it truly hasn’t been all that horrible.  That despite never having that relationship I’ve always wanted, I still have met some amazing guys – and yes, some assholes too – that have made the journey so far worth it.

Yeah, shocking as it is, I’m actually feeling somewhat positive about my dating past and the potential for the future.  And that it’s just a matter of getting my lazy ass out there again. LOL

Source: 7 Struggles of Dating When You’re a Fat Gay Man – Gay Pop Buzz

Stopping Self-Sabotage

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We all have things in life we’d like to achieve, be them certain dreams or goals, but never reach them.  Or perhaps started multiple projects but never finished them.  External factors withstanding, it may be the only thing that is standing between you and your success or progression in life is YOU.

Sometimes, despite the best intentions or even being the utmost capable, you could be sabotaging your own success.  And this could be from a variety of things – negative self-belief, unhealthy behaviours, fear of failure (or success), or any combination thereof.

This lack of confidence in yourself means you are your own worse enemy in your life, and maybe it’s time to tame that vicious beast once and for all.

Discover the ‘why’

Surprising as it may sound, some people actually self-sabotage out of habit or to keep themselves within a certain ‘comfort zone’.  It’s not necessarily intentional, not do they even really realise they’re doing it, but it can become somewhat routine.

One of the hardest things to determine is why you’re doing it and identify the areas it’s affecting.  You have to really dig deal inside to identify the basis for feeling unworthy or for shooting down your own success before you’ve even tried.  It could just something as simple as your own inner negativity attacking yourself due to a fear of rejection, ridicule or any number of self-limiting beliefs that could be holding you back from achieving your goals.

When in doubt, write it out

Journal_writing_coffee_journal_millsOne of the many benefits of keeping a journal, be it online in the form of a blog or even an old-school physical notebook, is that it allows you to fully explore things you’re feeling or situations you find yourself in, and you can take your time to extrapolate how you think or feel about them.

Basically, think of it as free therapy.

When it comes to this sort of journaling, it’s more about allowing yourself the space to write freely and express yourself openly without concern of judgement or over analysis.  You may want to keep all this person and for yourself (as opposed to publishing online for the world to read.. ), but this a decision only you can make.

And it’s not about being creative or writing to an audience.  This is truly and only about you and how you’re feeling or thinking.  It’s all about the expressing of your thoughts.  It could just a couple lines, or a couple pages.  Or it even could just be a doodle.

It’s your journal so you make the rules after all.

Don’t talk yourself out of it

Whether you realise it or not, you talk to yourself every day.  We all tend to have an ongoing inner monologue going on as the day progresses.  It could be about your behaviour, something you’ve overheard, thoughts about what to have for dinner, criticism of your own performance, or any number of things we all think about daily.

Self attackUnfortunately, this inner chatter can frequently turn negative, which in turn can demolish your self-worth and self-esteem.  And sometimes you don’t even realise it’s happening until it’s too late, and you’re already reinforcing any negative limitations you’ve placed on what you’re capable of in life.

It could arise in the form of guilt over some past experience, anxiety over something still to come, or hopelessness at our current situation.  Basically you have to be more aware of how often you talk down to yourself in your head, and actively adjust to thinking differently to build a more positive attitude about yourself.

No more apples and oranges

be diferentWho doesn’t compare their lives to those around them, and then start feeling inadequate or lazy because we haven’t achieved the same levels as someone else.  By doing this, you’re saying to yourself that the other person is ‘worth more’ than you, that they’re better than you.  And it’s utterly unrealistic.

This constant comparison is demotivating and will only lead you to feeling worse about yourself.  You’re lessening your own self-worth along with your own beauty or potential for greatness.  You need to remember that everyone is different, and that is what makes your life so unique – nobody else in the entire world has lived it!

So instead of imitating someone else’s success or behaviours, be true to yourself.  Realise your own authentic self and be proud of what you’ve achieved, or where you’re headed in life.

Be your own best friend.

You’ve all heard this before – you need to stop giving everyone else around us all of your life, time and attention, and start focusing on yourself.  You need to start allowing yourself time to be self-nurturing and truly enjoy your own company.  Spend quality time doing what YOU enjoy, and stop trying to please everyone else around you.

a789bff55ac029875a2b8c3a39e681d2Self-sabotage causes us to overlook other people’s issue or mistakes, and then tear yourself down for doing the exact same thing.  Is this right or fair?  Of course not because it just reinforces those negative limitations you’ve placed on yourself.

Instead, take the time for self-discovery.  Enjoy the journey to exploring yourself and your true potential.  Remind yourself regularly (if not daily) that you are an amazing person and you deserve to be the best ‘you’ you can be.

This article has been influenced by — http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/stop-sabotaging-yourself-5-easy-steps.html

Stepping Up to Mental Wellbeing

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Everyone deals with stress, anxiety or depression in different ways, and there’s no true set rule on how to deal with any of them.  We’ve all read countless online self-help articles touting themselves as being the ultimate list of how to do this or that.. when in reality, most are just rehashes of the same things over and over again.

One thing does ring true though regardless of which articles you read – If you don’t at least give them a shot, then you’ll never know if they truly make you feel more positive about your life, or even help move you down the road to your own happiness.

Side note – Happiness isn’t necessarily a destination, but more of a state of being.  And everyone’s ideal of happiness is different, so find your own happiness. 🙂

What is mental wellbeing?

Per the below NHS site, mental wellbeing is defined as such:

“Feeling happy is a part of mental wellbeing. But it’s far from the whole. Feelings of contentment, enjoyment, confidence and engagement with the world are all a part of mental wellbeing. Self-esteem and self-confidence are too.

“So is a feeling that you can do the things you want to do. And so are good relationships, which bring joy to you and those around you.

“Of course, good mental wellbeing does not mean that you never experience feelings or situations that you find difficult. But it does mean that you feel you have the resilience to cope when times are tougher than usual.”

Sarah Stewart-Brown, Professor of Public Health at the University of Warwick

Like anything in life, the more you put into something like your own well being, the more you’re likely to get out of it.  And if you’re waiting on someone else to ‘give’ you happiness, you’ll be waiting for your entire life.

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Steps to Mental Wellbeing

Below are a few suggestions we could all take to boost how we’re doing.  As previously mentioned, this isn’t an exhaustive list and some may work better for some people than others.

Connect with others

All too often when we’re feeling down or a bit blue, we’ll find ourselves pulling away from our loved ones.  Instead reach out to the people around you, be them family, friends, colleagues or neighbours.  Just be willing to make that step to open up the lines of communication.

Be active

This isn’t necessarily about going to the gym or starting some massive work out regime.  It’s more about just finding an activity that you enjoy and incorporate into you daily life – take a walk, go for a bike ride, go for a swim, and so forth.

Keep learning

Sometimes all you might need is to boost your own wellbeing is to engage your mind in something constructive.  It could be learning a new skill, taking a hobby class , getting that certification you’ve been dreaming about.  Or maybe just read that book gathering dust on your bedside table.

Volunteering your time

Being a volunteer in any capacity can not only help you feel like you’re contributing more to your community, but it’s a goldmine for networking.  But you don’t even have to go so far as to actually volunteer – sometimes the smallest thing, like smiling at a stranger or giving a kind word to something, can make the world a difference.

Be in the present

This could be called ‘mindfulness’, but it’s mostly about being aware of what is going around you at any given moment.  This can include the world around you, local/national/international politics, your thoughts or feelings, and most importantly, your own body.  However, don’t allow yourself to get so immersed in this that you block out other parts of life, as that’ll have an averse affect.

This post has been influenced by — Five steps to mental wellbeing – Stress, anxiety and depression – NHS choices

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80 Days and Counting

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November 22nd, 2016.

That’s a day I’ll keep in mind for awhile.  For most people, it’s just a day like any other.  It’s not a holiday or someone’s birthday or anniversary.  It’s just another day really.

Only it’s not for me – It’s the day I quit smoking.

Well, sort of.

Some might say that I’ve just swapped once vice for a new one, as I’m now using a Vape e-cigarette instead of actually smoking.  But to me, it’s just a stepping stone to actually becoming smoke-free in the future after about 25 years of it.  I hope.

It hasn’t been a walk in the park, to say the least.  I really loved the act of smoking (though not necessarily the smell of them).  That first drag off of a badly needed cigarette was absolutely bliss, almost orgasmic.  And the cravings for the act of smoking itself has been almost frenzied at times.

But I’m getting there, one day at a time.

For some reason, after the weekend previous to the above date, something in me snapped.  Just the thought of having a cigarette made me cringe with disgust.  For the first time in my life.

smoking12This change was two-fold as far as I could tell.

Firstly, like most people, it easily had to do with money.  Since April, I’d mostly been smoking duty-free cigarettes I’d purchased from abroad or friends had picked them up for me on their travels.

Basically, the thought of going back to paying UK prices for cigarettes made me cringe.  And with recent/new regulations, it meant things were just going to get more expensive.

But mostly I think it had to do with a (naked) house party I’d attended that weekend.

At one point during the party, I was chatting with a few guys near the garden door as I faffed with the host’s bathrobe (garden was overlooked, and it was easier than finding my clothes upstairs).  And perhaps it was just my imagination, but there seemed to be a sense of pity from them about the lengths I was going to have a cigarette.

I suddenly felt desperate and slightly pathetic about it all.  And I suddenly wondered why the hell I was still doing this to myself after two and a half decades… and just thinking about that length of time really pulled me up short.  It was quite jarring to suddenly realise I had been smoking for more than half my life.

Fucking hell…

So that Monday morning, I only had 1 cigarette left in my pack which I smoked on my way to work.  And I had absolutely no desire to buy another .. though I did bum a couple smokes off of a colleague that day to get me through.

Instead I’d decided I’d give vaping a try for a bit, and went to the local vape shop near my flat to see what options there were.  I’d heard of many people who’d turned to vaping and seemed to be doing quite well.  The model I’d decided on was out of stock, so had to come back the next evening.

So I bought my last 10 pack of cigarettes on my way home, purposely choosing a brand I didn’t normally smoke or enjoy.

vape-penAnd so far, after just over 80 days of not smoking, I’m still going strong and have only had 2 cigarettes since – one Christmas Eve, and one on a night out with colleagues when we were quite drunk.

And interestingly, neither cigarette made me want to buy a pack or start smoking again.  That alone is a good sign.

But there has been a down side as well… I’ve been gaining weight like crazy since quitting. And as a bigger guy already, it was something I didn’t need.

I had hoped by switching to the vape that the weight gain could have been prevented, and that perhaps I would start getting a bit more active.  But unfortunately, the on-and-off-again foot/ankle/knee issues I’ve been having since coming back from Canada in October haven’t helped at all.

In fact, it’s made me quite lazy.

So now here I am, more than 80 days later, and I’m having to work on my health issues alongside my pseudo non-smoking habits (I don’t really use the vape that much some days).  I don’t necessarily eat that badly most days, but it’s more about the quantities and the lack of exercise.

And I definitely had a shock upon weighing myself last week… I’ve topped out at almost 21 stone (that’s around 300 lbs or 130 kg… fuck 😦 ).

So… now I’ve started to watch my caloric intake and make myself walk a bit every day, even part way to work/home a few times a week.  And I’ve signed up for the free ‘gym & swim’ card at my local council’s leisure centre that will allow me to use the facilities in the afternoons on the weekends and any time on Fridays.

Hopefully with these little changes, things can improve somewhat.  I’m sure a part of my recent lack of feeling social has a lot to do with this, and each have impacted the other.

Oh and hopefully I can lose a few pounds before my next holiday in Gran Canaria.. I’m fairly comfortable in just my skin and all, but not when I’m feeling like a beached-whale. 😉

Close up of bare chested man holding scissors and squeezing stomach

Close up of bare chested man holding scissors and squeezing stomach

 

New Year Blues

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On New Year’s Day while driving back to London from Essex with a couple of dear friends, one of them asked me a fairly innocuous question regarding my plans for the year ahead.

“So, you have anything exciting planned for 2017? Anything you’re looking to accomplish?”

And for some reason I really struggled to answer him… and that alone threw me for a loop. Even more so than my seemingly lack of an answer.

For whatever reason I was already feeling somewhat ambivalent about it all in the lead up to the holiday season. I could have easily stayed home instead of travelling to my mate’s place in Essex for their Naked New Year’s party (which really wasn’t as exciting as it might sound lol), but I forced myself to go. It was an alright party, but not as exciting as previous year’s celebrations.

Here’s the crux of it all – Over the past couple of months, I’ve been feeling fairly anti-social.  I’ve been spending entire weekends at home alone, rarely talking to anyone let alone actually leaving the flat.  It’s happened a couple of times where, because I’d picked up groceries on the way home Friday night, there was kind of no need to go anywhere.

This is something that has continued into the New Year. And all it does is make me feel like I’m wasting my weekends.

I do genuinely go into most weekends with a basic idea of what I’d like to do, even if I don’t have anything planned ahead of time. It could be something as simple as taking the laptop to the local coffee shop to do some writing (which we all know has been lacking these past few months), going to a museum, or maybe just going out for a couple drinks with mates.

But instead with groceries in the fridge (or enough cash for take-away), I end up having several Netflix marathons.  Or on the very rare occasion, have a mate come over to hang out for an evening.

Basically I boils down to the same feeling I’ve had repeatedly over the years.  That if I don’t make the effort first to keep in contact with people or to suggest doing things, then it’s quite rare to hear from them. That could be somewhat simplistic or overly pessimistic, but hear me out…

truly caresThere are a few friends that I used to hang out with regularly (if not weekly), but this seemed to only happen when I’d message them to see what they were up to.  So when I’d stop messaging people to see what they’re up to, I kind of stop hear from them.

And that feeling of ambivalence towards my social life has clearly spilled into the rest of my life, especially when I try to think of where I’d like to be at the end of the year. What progress I’d like to make, what accomplishments, and so forth.

And that’s not a great feeling, especially after I was so driven during the latter half of 2016 to complete the Microsoft Office Specialist (expert-level) Excel 2013 certification exams. It wasn’t easy, and I had to retake them after failing the first time, but in the end I powered through and aced the exams as I knew I could.

Maybe my ambivalence towards 2017 has to do with this ‘waiting pattern’ it feels I’ve been in since those exams. I still have 2 other exams to complete to achieve my Master certification, which I have until the Autumn to complete, but I’m also waiting for the approval through work to get my Prince2 Foundation & Practitioner certification.

And that’s a great thing to be able to say is happening. I’d initially spoke to my old boss about doing this back in April, but there didn’t seem to be any movement regarding it. But once the new boss started back in October, things really started moving. And not just about the course.

This new boss is all about getting things right and is quite geared towards pushing forward those that work hard… not those that seem to flash certain attributes and turn on their gender-specific charm or get all emotional in order to get what they want.  Hell, he even pushed for me to get a raise back in October after he’d been there 2 weeks, and he wants to expand my role into more of a divisional overall one over the next year as I complete the course.

But yet I still sometimes feel that despite things actually going sort of ok at work at the moment that I need something to change?  Definitely doesn’t help any that the regional office I work in is quite lad-ish and unprofessional, which gets on my nerves at times.

Or is it more my dissatisfaction regarding other aspects of my life (ie: social and/or love life)? Could that be spilling over into my work life and tainting something that’s actually going alright?

Is there truly an answer to any of this?  Probably not, but most likely that’s down to my own pessimistic outlook at life at the moment.

*shrugs shoulders*disappointed-man_slider

Escapada de Madrid

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Sometimes you just need to get away from your daily routine and do something different.  And sometimes it’s more about getting away from your surroundings and seeing somewhere new.

I was starting to feel the usual urge to get out in the world a bit and do some travelling.  I’d come to the realisation that I hadn’t really been on holiday since last June when I spent my birthday in Rome.

Well, other than when I went home to Canada to surprise the family back in October.  As lovely as that was, it was less a holiday for me as for them if that makes sense.

Anyway, my decision to go to Madrid last weekend was fairly spur of the moment as I happened to find a super cheap flight online so decided to go for it.  Once that was booked, I found a simple little room that was quite central and walking distance to the Chueca area (where the gay bars are).

20170127_104721What also helped the decision was I have a friend that moved back there from London about 6 years ago and we hadn’t seen each other in at least that long.  We’d talked several times about me coming over for a visit, but I’d never gotten around to it.

Plus surprisingly I’d never been to Madrid before.  Any other trips I’d taken to Spain over the years have always been in the South or to Gran Canaria (where I’ll be visiting once again this coming April..).

Interestingly, unlike other trips I’ve made in the past, I didn’t really have a plan for once I’d arrived.  I’d kinda looked online at what there was to do there, but instead decided to just wing it and see where the weekend took me.

I just wanted to have a nice fun, relaxing weekend.  And that’s exactly what I got.

20170129_140357Unfortunately, my friend that lives there was going to be in Seville for most of the weekend and wouldn’t be free until Sunday afternoon/evening.  So that meant I had from Friday afternoon until then to keep myself entertained.

After checking into my little room (when they said small single, they weren’t kidding!), I grabbed a map and started wandered around the immediate area to get my bearings and to find a bite to eat.  It’s definitely a walking city (with an extensive Metro system) and I found my way around easily.

Once back in my room to relax a bit in the evening, I logged into the usual social/dating apps to see what sort of guys were in the area.  I had a few messages from a couple guys but one definitely caught my eye.. a tall, fit, sexy guy who clearly liked chubbier guys.

After a bit of online chatting and flirting, we decided to meet up for a drink and he even offered to meet me at my hostal to walk to the bar together.  Such a gentleman.

We spent a lovely evening together in a couple of bars chatting about life, drinking, and yes, flirting like crazy.  We seemed to get along quite easily and it felt quite comfortable spending time together… so much so, that I stayed at his place that night and we spent most of the next day together cuddled up on his sofa.

Such an amazing way to spend the day and get to know each other a bit.  I’d originally planned on leaving around midday to play tourist, but the day completely got away from us.  Next thing we knew it was about 6pm and he had to get ready to meet some friends for dinner, so I leisurely walked back to my hostal with a promise to meet up later in the evening for drinks.

20170130_122102What I hadn’t expected was to get to meet a couple of his friends when we went out for drinks that night.  And one friend of a friend turned out to be a guy I used to run into occasionally at the bear bar in Soho.  We weren’t friends so I didn’t even know he’d moved to Spain.

Anyway, it was a fun evening but I chose to be a ‘good boy’ and go back to my hostal for the night so I could get up and do the touristy thing on Sunday.. though I could have easily spent the entire weekend with him.  He was that easy to get along with, and it seemed like the feeling was mutual.

The rest of the weekend was spend wandering around, seeing the sites as planned, and then meeting up with my mate Sunday evening for a couple of drinks and a catch up.  He took me to an area I hadn’t explored yet but was quite close to when walking back from my new friend’s place.

All in all it was an excellent weekend away.  And as glad as I was to get home Monday evening, I could have easily stayed a couple more days.  I found the city to be quite comfortable to walk around with lots to look at. And yeah, lots of handsome Spanish men to check out.

It’ll definitely be one of those cities I’ll want to return to in the future.. maybe even to visit my new friend. 🙂

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Collage of pics taken over the course of the weekend

Hola Guapo 😉

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Yeah I know… I’ve been rubbish again with my lack of postings.  There’s loads to write about – and it’s all practically bursting to get out – I just need to get off my lazy ass and do it. Lol

As I write, I’m gawd knows how many feet in the air, flying back to London after a long weekend in Madrid. Maybe I’ll start there and see where the rest falls into place.

And yay for free wifi hahaha
Anyway, hope you’re all well and enjoying life to the fullest. 

Lots of hugs,

Martin x

Awe-Inspiring Artistry

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I saw the below video on Facebook this afternoon, and it’s just too amazing not to share.

The amount of painstaking detail this artist puts into his work – right down to the littlest detail – just puts me in awe of his talent.  I can only imagine the patience required to do this sort of thing.

The world definitely needs more talented artists like this guy.

Turning Your Life Around

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No matter what your age, there is always something you’d love to change or improve upon.  It could something to do with your career or your personal life, or even just something like quitting smoking or loosing a bit of weight.

Regardless of what it is you’d like to change, and regardless if it’s a massive or small change, it can be daunting to set up and get started.  This could be because we all get bogged down in the little details, and allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by what we’d need to do to get started.

Below is a timeless short list worth working on regardless of the goal in mind.

Stay in the Present

Let’s be realistic – the future is a wild and unimaginable entity that nobody can truly predict how things will turn out.  You’d have to be a truly gifted psychic to predict every single little bump and pitfall that’ll occur in your life in order to be 100% prepared for what life throws at us.

Instead of spending all your free time fretting over what may happen and trying to over-plan every step along the way, why not live in the present and enjoy life as it happens right now.  Stop worrying that you don’t have a 5-year plan and allow yourself to enjoy deal with the successes and pitfalls of everyday life.

The little successes you have now can potentially have a massive impact on your future, and ultimately lead your life in a totally different direction than you’d have predicted.

Enjoy Your Trip

life-is-a-journey-1We’ve all been there – focusing so much on the end goal that we’ve forgotten to enjoy the journey along the way.  As healthy as it is to have a goal in mind, it’s how we get there that truly makes that goal all the more worth it because of what we’ve gone through to get there.

Perhaps it’s a matter of hitting certain milestones along the way that make it worth it, or the physical or psychological changes we see in ourselves over time.  Whatever it is, enjoy the little things in life along the way.. and remember to take pictures.  😉

Everyone Takes the Easy Route

For something in your life to truly make a lasting impact, don’t allow yourself to take the easy route as that is basically allowing yourself a cop-out.  If you spend your entire life just reaching for the easiest and simplest goals, then your journey won’t necessarily take you very far.  Taking the easy options is being lazy.

Instead, try something new and difficult.  Reach for something you never in a million years thought you’d ever try or achieve.  Master a new skill.  Move countries.  Start a business.  Write a book.  Obviously, start off small, but the more you get used to achieving a slightly harder goal, the easier it’ll be to go for that big goal in the long run.

Plus, those harder goals?  They make the journey of life move along at a much more interesting rate than taking the easy route.  And more exciting too.

Trust Your Instincts

failure-quoteDon’t allow yourself to be bogged down in the uncertainties of life.  If you do, then you’ll never achieve those slightly harder goals from above.. or even try to begin with.

Let’s be frank – life is a risk worth taking, and if you’re allowing yourself to be held back from the unknown of what will happen next, then you’ll never truly live or know what could be possible.  And that potentially could be worse than if you’d taken the risk and tried in the first place.

Because if you’d at least tried and still failed, you’ve already achieved something because when you try again you’ll be even more ready for anything that comes up. So go for it already.

Nurture Positive Relationships

We’ve all heard it before, about how we need to cut out the negative people in our lives in order to lead a more positive and success life, be it personally or professionally.  But yet we all still allow those negative influences into our lives without meaning to because we still haven’t learned how to spot the rotten apples.

An entire post could be made up on this topic alone, but in the end it’s all about recognising those who’ll be nurturing and encouraging for your life goals along the way.  You want to surround yourself with people who’ll be willing to put the heart back into your life instead of sucking it out.  People who’ll go out of their way to help you because they want to, not because they expect something in return.

For now though, here’s a good read on how to meet the right people.

In the end, it’s your life and your journey.  It’s not a race or a competition.  So why not enjoy it to the absolute max while you’re on it, and share it with those who truly deserve to be along for the journey.

This article was inspired by: 5 Timeless Ways to Turn Your Life Around at Any Age

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Farewell to a Legend – George Michael

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Like most, I was completely shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of George Michael on Christmas Day.  As well as Bowie, Prince and many many others over the course of 2016, his passing was completely unexpected.

Especially at the young age of 53.

I’ve been a fan of Mr Michael since his early Wham! days, and have followed his career ever since.  I’ve owned several of his albums over the years, and in fact had been listening to his greatest hits album the day before he’d passed.

I still remember the summer of 1987 when ‘I Want Your Sex‘ came out and all the controversy that surrounded it.  Radio stations banned it, parent’s wouldn’t let their children listen to it.. but yet it still became a huge hit around the world, and was the anthem of that summer for my 14 y/o closeted self.

OK, I’ll admit it.. I fancied the pants off of him in that video. 😉

Another song of his that definitely made an impact on me is ‘Outside‘ – this was his post arrested-for-lewd-behaviour release that was a satirical look at the situation set to a bumping disco beat.. and also lead to him finally coming out publicly to the world.

This was the song that cried to the world ‘it’s ok to be yourself and love who you want’.  And for a generation of gay men, that it’s ok to be gay and to be unabashedly sexual.

More than anything I appreciated how he was completely unapologetically himself and didn’t white-wash his sexuality.  He did what a lot of gay men have done at some point in their lives and gone looking for sex in a cruising area… Only he got caught doing it, and it unfortunately became tabloid fodder.

Or at least that’s what I took from it all.  LOL

As tribute, I’ve posted below the video for ‘Amazing‘.  Because in my eyes, he was truly ‘Amazing’.

R.I.P. – George Michael

On a side note.. almost a decade ago back in Montreal, I was casually seeing a guy who fancied himself a ‘George Michael’ look-alike for awhile, though I couldn’t see it.  He actually used to perform (lip-sync I’m assuming) at parties on the side.  Strange.. 🙂