Fareweill 2019

Ending the Year Intentionally

1. What makes this year unforgettable?

The first thing to come to mind is that, even though I closed escrow on December 28, 2018, this was my first year as a "homeowner". I had never really thought I would buy a house (condo) so it was exciting to be able to survive my first year of mortgage payments, and even refinance my loan after just 6 months because interest rates had dropped 1.5%. I know it's crazy nerdy to be excited over finances that way, but I think I am that guy now. It has allowed me to start doing MisterBandB / AirBnB, and I've been able to meet some fun and interesting people along the way.

2. What did you enjoy doing this year?

Definitely travel. This year I took 3 big trips: Colombia, South America; Montreal, Canada, Provincetown, Massachusetts. I also did a number of road trips to Palm Springs and Las Vegas throughout the year. A total of 8 trips in 12 months. Not bad. P'Town was amazing: getting to spend Bear Week with Pat and just drink and celebrate and enjoy life. Amazing. I want to continue to explore the world in 2020.

3. What/who is the one thing/person you’re grateful for?

I think I'm most grateful for a boy in my life who provides me with companionship and great sex about once a month. We've gone out of town together or he comes down to San Diego for the weekend and stays with me. He fills a need I have for companionship and pleasure and intelligent conversation. I wish he were available more often, but as he lives in LA and I live in SD, it's a casual and occasional thing that works for now. I am reminded of Armistead Maupin's character from Tales of the City explaining that you can have a hot job, a hot apartment, and a hot man, but you can't have all three at the same time. I have the job and the home down…. so….

4. What’s your biggest win this year?

Two things jump immediately to mind: first, I lost over 75 pounds between May 2018 and July 2019. I am very proud of the work and effort I put into that conscious choice. I'm also glad I stepped away from people who weren't making my life better. People who were taking from me and offering minimal company at best. I got rid of that selfishness and decided not to settle for shitty friendships. Unfortunately, this has left me very alone. I'm still struggling with making new friends. It makes me wonder if a shitty drinking buddy is better than nobody at all. I keep telling myself no, it isn't, but there are some lonely nights when I wonder. Also! I traveled to South America! So, half the continents explored - North America, Europe, Asia and now South America. Come on, Australia!

5. What did you read/watch/listen to that made the most impact this year?

I think listening to my administrators persuade me to go for a third teaching credential made the biggest impact. I am now certified to teach photography, and it has added a great deal of joy to my career to share my one real passion with young people. While I still love teaching English literature, bringing this artistic class to my schedule is teaching me how to be more patient, more encouraging, more supportive as these students discover their talents.

6. What did you worry about most and how did it turn out?

I worried the most about being old, fat, and lonely. Well, I definitely feel old, fat, and lonely. It's not easy making friends when you're out of college, especially in a career like mine where I'm the only adult in the room. I've gone on a few "friendship dates" with guys where I had zero interest in sex or romance, but they ended up with the dude hitting on me, making me feel awkward and wanting to leave and never hang out with them again. I've taken steps to hire a houseboy to live in my guest bedroom just so I'll have some company. That might be the solution. I'm going to become one of "them", except I'm not rich enough to be a sugar daddy, so not sure how that all will sort out.

7. What was your biggest regret and why?

My biggest regret is letting my feelings control my motivation to keep my weight in check. After "breaking up" with Rick in July (the not-so-good friend), There is a definite descent into depression with a corresponding gain in weight. Healthy choices were thrown out for fast food again. Cake and ice cream became a "meal" again. About half the weight I lost I have since gained back. But being intentional about my life and my choices, I'm turning it around right now.

8. What’s one thing that changed about yourself?

I think deciding that I'm worth more than a shitty "best friend". I think having the confidence to choose to be alone rather than to be in bad company. It's not ideal, but it's good. Now I need to rediscover the motivation to walk more, eat less, and mingle some.

9. What surprised you the most this year?

Honestly, how attractive I was when I visited Colombia. Boys were everywhere. Maybe it was the "rich white guy" thing, but I had so much fun when I was down there. I was at my healthiest weight in years, and I was active and enjoying life, and I know all that shone through. It's made me want to go back to recapture that feeling. To the contrary, I was surprised by how little sex I had when I was in Ptown for Bear Week. I'm sure it was the 5 guys in a cottage that dampened my chances, but I was shocked that after the fun I had in Montreal I had zero hookups in Ptown.

10. If you could go back to last January 1, what suggestions would you give your past self?

I would tell myself to start looking for real friends and to rely less on Rick. I would tell myself to step back sooner, so that I wasn't counting on him for anything and that he wasn't asking me for anything by the time July came around. I don't know if more preparation would have erased the correlative weight gain, but I like to think that if it had been a slow, steady walk away from that friendship instead of a sudden break, I might have not been so depressed to find myself alone at the start of August.
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