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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > Plus ça change
Plus ça change  [message #67721] Fri, 03 May 2013 22:12 Go to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

Needs to get a life!
Location: Berkshire, UK
Registered: March 2005
Messages: 3281



Hi all,

I thought I'd pop up here on the off-chance a few people I used to know are around -- I feel pretty guilty that I haven't kept up with everyone as well as I should have done, so my apologies!

My general circumstances haven't changed a great deal in the last five years, since shortly after I left university and got a job, and I suppose that counts as a justification, albeit a rather feeble one, for not staying in touch as I feel that there's not a lot to say. It's true that I'm still at the same company and in the same geographic location (that could change soon; I'm not quite sure yet), and I have much less free time than I used to, but now I take the time to think about it I suppose my attitude and viewpoint on life have changed a good deal more than I realised.

I think at 23 I still had the impression that everyone else in the world who was older was more experienced and therefore had more value. That everyone who had ten or twenty years working at a job was necessarily "good" at it. That a couple that had been together for 25 years was obviously in a loving and stable relationship that had and would continue to stand the test of time. That the measure of a successful sex life was being able to find sex whenever you want. I've subsequently found that all of those are untrue -- most people are coasting along, doing their best, but perhaps not really pushing the boundaries. And if you want to be or to have something truly exceptional you really need to fight for it, but that comes down to personal choice.

Part of my motivation for coming here was my concern over my sexuality. Posting here helped but also in some ways acted as a substitute for exploration and prevented me from making much in the way of progress in coming to terms with it. In the end I overcame my fears and discovered very quickly that there is not much to it. If you're gay and (ideally!) single it's trivially easy to find sexual partners if that's all you are looking for -- although I have to say it is even harder than I expected to find people with whom I might want to spend more than a couple of evenings!

I don't think I've really changed as a person; but I do feel I have more control now, and that gives me licence to worry less about some of the things that used to concern me. I still have significant problems with anxiety sometimes. I feel frustrated by my sexuality. I'm not in the hoped-for long-term relationship. I worry I'm not in the right job or the right career, or won't live up to my parents' expectations. But all these things bother me less because I'm fairly self-sufficient now and I realise that all these things are what I make of them. If they don't come out as intended, I have no-one but myself to blame.

It's extremely frustrating being a child, a teenager or even a student, when largely dependent on others (heady doses of nostalgia at times notwithstanding). Being an adult is about taking responsibility for one's situation and either deciding it is "good enough" or actively taking steps to deal with it. Either is a valid course.

I'm not really sure what sort of comments to invite on the above! So I shall finish by saying I'm very glad this place is still here and my best wishes to everyone who remembers me -- and to everyone else, hello! Smile

David
He still wears the same clothes  [message #67722 is a reply to message #67721] Fri, 03 May 2013 23:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13590



The somewhat depressing thing is that, were we to be teenagers again with the ability to retain the knowledge we have today, how much better we would be at everything. We'd make different mistakes, of course.

I could have had closure on the obsession of my life, and shagged my way around school., knowing now (then) that being queer was so unimportant. I;d have contracted HIV early in and be dead now coz I'd have shagged everything that moved, and a good few things that didn't. I'd have had a different set of jobs, perhaps even had a career. And I;d have gone and spoken to my bitch of a class teacher from when I was 7 and told her with some precision that she should never, not ever have had care of children.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Being a child  [message #67723 is a reply to message #67722] Fri, 03 May 2013 23:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

Needs to get a life!
Location: Berkshire, UK
Registered: March 2005
Messages: 3281



Things were simpler as a child: you did your schoolwork, you did what you were told, and all the tedious frustrations of adult life could be ignored. But it wasn't sustainable in the long term (either in purpose or financially) and I think knowing what I know now I'd be terribly frustrated at how little control I had then. As indeed I was frustrated then, and became desperately anxious as a result.

The problem with thinking like an adult when you are a child is that you are likely to end up being punished for being rude or out of order, even if you are just thinking for yourself or arguing your position in the way that comes naturally to us now. I'm not sure I'd have time for the inconsistency and irrelevance of school life any more, even though I sometimes wish I could return to it. (Or find myself dreaming about it.)

I don't know that I would necessarily have shagged my way round anything that moved. My concern then, as now, was to have someone to love, and I doubt that would have happened -- although I suppose there's just a chance it could have done if I'd really sought it. I am sure I would have had more sex, though. I used to equate sex and love as being pretty much the same unattainable thing. If I have learnt one thing in recent years, it's that true love is much harder to find and that still eludes me unfortunately. I also think there is a risk that one may end up idolising a particular time in the past at the expense of the present. The present is more important.
Re: Being a child  [message #67724 is a reply to message #67723] Sat, 04 May 2013 07:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Nigel is currently offline  Nigel

On fire!
Location: England
Registered: November 2003
Messages: 1756



Hey David!

Great to see you back. I vividly remember when we met in London on the 1 December 2008... and the thoughts which went through my head at the time. (I'm not willing to share them in public.)

I hope you find inner peace, but it took me years. I hope you find it sooner.

Hugs
Nigel

[Updated on: Sat, 04 May 2013 22:46]




I dream of boys with big bulges in their trousers,
Never of girls with big bulges in their blouses.

…and look forward to meeting you in Cóito.
Re: Being a child  [message #67728 is a reply to message #67724] Sat, 04 May 2013 12:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1542



Hi David

good to hear from you again! I did have a look at the most recent iteration of your website a few weeks ago ... I'd been going through a couple of old posts on here, which made me think of you.

Judging by your post, you seem a lot happier with yourself, which is really good news. You wrote "I think at 23 I still had the impression that everyone else in the world who was older was more experienced and therefore had more value. That everyone who had ten or twenty years working at a job was necessarily "good" at it. That a couple that had been together for 25 years was obviously in a loving and stable relationship that had and would continue to stand the test of time.", and I think that a key part of being an adult is realising such things may be true for some, but are always artificial and need constant work! I don't think I realised that until I was about 24 / 25 myself ... boys are so very often not grown up until their mid 20's.

Speaking of which, I can't remember whether I was with Maurice (who is still far from adult) last time we were in touch. He's a highly-disturbed 22-year-old, ADHD and dissocial personality disorder, just ex-junkie (having been introduced to crack and heroin by his father when he was aged 7), who spent most of his childhood in secure units or sleeping rough on the street. We've been "together" for over three years now, and there's a lot of love on both sides, though I guess my role is predominantly that of "carer". Things do crop up in the most unexpected way ...

We moved to Worcester eighteen months ago, and I'm now fully retired. As always,intermittent accounts of my daily life are on my website.

Anyway, good to hear from you and all best wishes !

Nick



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Being a child  [message #67730 is a reply to message #67728] Sat, 04 May 2013 21:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deeej is currently offline  Deeej

Needs to get a life!
Location: Berkshire, UK
Registered: March 2005
Messages: 3281



Hi Nick,

The latest iteration of my web site is basically the same as it has been for the last five years -- just modified very slightly for my current job title. In fact I've steadily pulled content as it gets less relevant and more out of date; I'm not really convinced that the world wants to know that much about me! I suppose I could write about my primary hobby of the last couple of years, but it's fairly uncommon and quite expensive/exclusive so probably would come across wrong -- and/or attract the wrong sort of attention.

I'm not sure I'd say I'm "happy" per se (or even "happier") so much as feeling that "if I'm a particular way, it's pretty much by choice these days". My family has changed in a few ways (mostly not for the better unfortunately), and I've become self-sufficient enough to survive by myself; I have had the option to change job a couple of times and decided against it so far, although I am starting to feel I should have; I could have moved out of Reading, possibly the most uninspiring town in England, but haven't (yet); I've put a lot of time into a hobby that has been both rewarding and a little more anxiety-provoking than I expected. I do think something is missing, but I'm not quite sure what.

Thank you for the update on Maurice and your move to Worcester. I had read some of your blog about Maurice, although not recently; I shall seek it out! I hope that things are going well. Your example helps me appreciate that if one opens one's mind a bit then almost anything is possible. It is just that most people are content to make their expectations self-fulfilling prophecies. I shall have to think a bit about whether that is what I am doing.

Best wishes,

David
Re: Plus ça change  [message #67731 is a reply to message #67721] Sun, 05 May 2013 21:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
kupuna is currently offline  kupuna

Really getting into it
Location: Norway
Registered: February 2005
Messages: 510



Hi Deeej,

It's good to hear from you!

You may not have changed much as a person, and in fact, there was no need for you to change a lot, but having more control, being more in charge of your own life, is a big step towards a happier life.

You, Timmy and a few others were some of the first people I met while testing the waters as a gay man, and I am eternally grateful for what I found here. You gave me the courage to try and find gay people in my own community. I am growing older and knocking on new doors like these was more than a bit scary, and I had no idea whatsoever who or what to find on the other side of those doors. Fortunately, it didn't take me long to realize that finding that group of gay men, and a few women, was one of the best things that has occurred to me. I now regard some of them as close friends. In fact, I probably never had better friends. If I had been 25, sex would probably have been high on my agenda, and some of the members of the group are both young, handsome and attractive. However, what means the world to me now, is that I have a friend who is more than willing to let me tell him that I love him.

Being in control often means avoiding pitfalls, but one must grasp opportunities to create one's future, and that sometimes leads into the unknown. Your sense of unrest and insecurity is, I believe, a companion to all who strive for a better life, both for oneself and one's fellow human beings. There is, of course, a balance to be struck between complacency and dissatisfaction, but I find it difficult to appreciate the companionship of people who seem to resent new questions and ideas, and who never ask what may lie beyond the next hill.

But whatever you do to reach for the heights, please don't fall out of the sky! I also mean that literally.

I haven't posted here for a long time, but it's good to know that you still run this place, Timmy. It meant a lot to me some years ago. Unfortunately, I have not yet taken the trip to Tromsø, or beyond, to watch the Aurora Borealis, but I'll have to go there some time. It's on my agenda.

My best wishes to Nick too, and Maurice!


Tor

[Updated on: Sun, 05 May 2013 21:53]

Happy birthday !  [message #67738 is a reply to message #67730] Thu, 09 May 2013 11:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1542



As I seem to have misplaced your direct e-mail, I'll settle for saying "Happy birthday" today here and elsewhere. All best wishes.

Nick



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Plus ça change  [message #67741 is a reply to message #67721] Fri, 10 May 2013 18:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
solsticeman is currently offline  solsticeman

Likes it here

Registered: November 2012
Messages: 105



Dear David (now that should make Timmy smile at least)

I am a bit of a recent addition to Timmy's circle, but he has been introducing me to the writings of the late Steve... as in Rabbi Steve. So as you were acquainted with said natural wonder I am using that to justify leaping in (slowly and diffidently, as is my way) to say welcome back indeed. You are a remnant of what appears to have been a particularly affable period of iomfats.

So welcome back... and hello

I will leave Timmy to provide the link to my cheery greeting... Dear David is much more than just a salutation, as I suspect you already know
Re: Plus ça change  [message #67748 is a reply to message #67741] Sun, 12 May 2013 06:43 Go to previous message
saben is currently offline  saben

On fire!

Registered: May 2003
Messages: 1537



Hiya,

Long time, no chat.

I think the mid-late twenties really is the settling period when "adulthood" starts to kick in. I'm getting better and better at dealing with the ambiguity of adult life. It took me a while. I was so comfortable with the discrete set of available options at school- when my decisions were defined by course guides, my goals decided for me and my achievements quantifiable. It's taken quite some time for me to get happy with imperfection and the fluidity of adulthood.

As you say it comes down to deciding if reality is "good enough" as is or if you want to work change it a little. Realising the rational constraints that exist, though.

I got engaged, btw.
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