Understanding Children

I know, you just read the title and thought what would a gay man know about children? I mean until the other day, I didn’t have a full understanding of the female reproductive system and the in-depth knowledge of what happens when a girl has her period (apart from the horror movie style bleeding scenes that we love to imagine!) nearly 12 months ago my best friend had a baby, and it was such a terrifying time for me, usually in the past when friends have had babies, they morph into this monster that see single people as “sad” and “lonely” and the worst “unfulfilled because you don’t have children” So naturally I expected the same thing to happen, and while they assured me nothing would change, I was convinced it was only a matter of time.

The baby arrived and (not biased at all!) is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. She is funny and smart, with personality to boot! I always used to roll my eyes at children and think meh I could never be that interested in one, oh how wrong I was!

I already felt like a member of the family, and them having this child only accelerated it further. I can’t even describe how protective and loving I am of this child, and it didn’t even come out of me!(so I can only imagine how my friend feels about her!) All I want to do is cuddle and kiss her and wrap her up in a fuzzy pink dressing gown and have her stay that way forever!

We were at the show and I wanted to get her something for Easter that wasn’t chocolate (I am waiting till she is a little bit older, I can have her for the morning, pump her full of chocolate and send her back to Mum & Dad with a new drum kit!) and found the most precious beautiful hand made plush bunny rabbit. The stall lady wrapped it in a brown paper bag and we took it back to her. She opened the bag herself and pulled the bunny out, and the look of pure joy on her face smashed my heart and as she cuddled it to her head and smiled I am not ashamed to say I got a little teary and the love I felt in my heart-like area was unlike anything I have ever felt before. My Mum always says that Christmas isn’t the same when your kids grow up and you can’t see their faces, and I always say “Yeah yeah whatever, we are still your children, you can still buy us stuff up!” and grin at her stupidly. Now I think I understand what she means, if I could I would buy her a present  a day just to see that look on that beautiful little face, the pure joy and love from something so simple.

The day went on and on and I had that “ah-ha!” moment, this is what children are, this is what they bring that I have never understood before. So as I was walking home, the undeniable question lingered “Do you want kids?” and to be honest, it was never something that I considered to be a possibility before, I have always been that “self-involved” person so it never occurred to me that I could love anyone more than myself. But I love knowing that question is lingering and I now have a deeper understanding of what children are and why breeders (hehe) go so crazy over them.

Motivation

So the holidays are over and my birthday is looming closer and closer. (AH! The dreaded over 30’s birthdays) I find myself having “rewarded” myself over the holidays a little too much, and the gym sessions declined to a whole week of nothing, that’s right NOTHING and it was pure fucking bliss. I ate what I wanted, I played video games for hours on end, ate bread with no guilt whatsoever and desert! OH DESERT HOW I MISSED YOU! I gorged on Drumsticks, Puddings, Cakes, Profiteroles and Messina!

I took a week off working out and felt like absolute shit, Like complete and utter crap, I felt slow and tired, I was grumpy living off a constant trans fat high and I was begging to go back to the gym and eat better (well the last part…sort of…) It really showed me just how far I  have come, if you had told me this time last year that I would be craving going to the gym and not eating and playing video games, I would have laughed in your face and called you crazy.

I went back to the gym today and worked so hard, I poured all of my energy and frustrations over my “week off” into my workout and was so happy with the results. Yes I am exhausted, Yes I am a little cranky at my small portion dinner of chicken and brocolli, but I am happy and knowing that 2015 is the year that I will lose ALL of my gut and have defined abs. It is a hard goal to want, but I know I can do it and it all starts with what I do now.

So my birthday is now less than a week away and I have a goal, along with my things to do this year and some other prospects that I can’t say too much about at the moment, things are looking up in 2015, I know that this year I have to DOUBLE the energy, double the effort, double the enthusiasm and passion for life that I had in 2014, and while a lot of it is physical, it really is just a state of mind.

If you are lacking motivation at this most auspicious time of year, don’t let it run dry, don’t do the new year new me thing and get bogged down in the same business that will stop you from becoming the best version of yourself, because above all else, you owe yourself that life.

Society’s Stigma

Attention – the following is a little “ranty” and is heavily opinionated from a white male’s perspective. If this offends you I implore you to not read on, and instead go and click on something else.

On the weekend I logged into Facebook on a breezy Saturday morning and found that one of my oldest friends had posted a rather long and honest status about the state of his mind and the state of society. It is 731 words of delicious and raw honesty and as I read I felt my inner fist pump happening and I just had to share it and add my own thoughts about.

“A few months ago I posted a ‪#‎5NegativeThings‬ to counteract the 5 positive crap people were posting .. “everyone’s news feed is filled with negativity” which at the time I disagreed with.

I must say that everyday now all I see is negative crap!
So maybe I’m behind… or maybe I was fortunate enough to not have the negativity prolonged?!

However, all I see now is hate!

I think hate has become addictive for everyone.

The whole “I’m entitled to my opinion” has made this so much worse!

Suddenly everyone’s differences are on display… And many people make it a nasty opposition!

The only way to make news now IS negativity and sensationalism!

I’m not going to deny that shit happens and we all won’t agree on why, how or when.

To selectively post/share stories to hate (or provoke it) is VERY BAD…

Don’t you see this? Really?

I’m once again not going to deny the problems of people … But to keep highlighting certain topics will only result in opposing opinions and never amount to a solution… or peace.
It only raises fear and hate! The two thing most destructive!

I seriously want to kill myself when I read shit everywhere opposing me!!!

I’m not going to deny it… Ive been pretty low lately, very dark places.

Are you all aware suicide rates have risen??

Why don’t you all care?

I think “WTF is wrong with you?”.

Because I was born with a God damn PENIS I suddenly become hate #1.
Being male means I’m going to rape a woman or treat her inappropriately. “Social experiments” show this to be true! … Yeh ?!
Now don’t forget, When my dangling penis ages = well guess what I’m a fucking pedophile! Yup!

Please hate me!

Wait! What? I’m gay!!!

Mmmm, well I better not go to Russia for a holiday!
Even being in my home country gets uncomfortable and unaccepted by my own government…. Not to mention the stigma mention above … “I’m pedo who will take advantage of of children”…
WTF …seriously… What????

Fuck me and my family entitlements right!

How dare a gay male like children like any other male with children!
I can’t have children in my relationships… Does that mean I do enjoy childhood? Even tho as a child (once) I knew what life meant?!

I have NO fucking chance of love, and how dare I even think of saying I love ‘another’ man….

Even in the ‘Gay scene’ I’m a bloody ‘minority’ by public opinion.

Do you know that I am NOT a slut, and I don’t have HIV/AIDS.
I’m even lesser so than the heteros spreading their promiscuous behaviour around!

I know right! Fuck, wow!

Let’s not forget I have a penis right now!!!.
We know Lesbians are socially more accepted in public, and even seen desirable?!?….

I have a penis and I’m a gay male… Hate Me !

(Oh!you already do!)

Now, regardless of having relationships and experiences from different cultures (because I’m accepting and love everything life offers me) …

Although I am Australian,
I am therefore a racist!
A RACIST!

Hate me!

Can I just say…
That having such an easygoing, loving, accepting and grateful personality is very much a minority in this world!
And it’s much harder than being a part of more than ‘half population’ democratic.

I have a penis and I’m a gay Australian male…
Hate Me !

U hate me yeah!
That’s all I see!

I don’t see myself as gender, race or sexuality… Except where I ‘need’ to declare myself … Like this post!

Fuck that being born with an Australian with a penis and liking only circumcised Aussie men makes me a pathetic person !

Hate me !

I don’t want the “woe is me, everyone hates me” vibe in my life…
But because of the society (you) fuckwits have created, I have no other option.

U post it and I start believing it’s a mass representation of life as a human….
People don’t understand when I say “I hate people”… But really I do.

There was once a time I felt confident and loved. Now my mind sees everything negative toward me.
I now even hate myself.

Life is bullshit!
But only because of the opinions and hate of everyone else.

Can we take a national shoosh on the hate PLZ ?

Peace out x”

I have so many opinions on this and I cannot help but agree with a lot of it. Recently two of my best friends had a child and often I have been there visiting and watching them change her, bathe her and dress her, most of the times the baby has been naked. The first few times I felt really uncomfortable, like should I turn around and not look? Are they going to think I am a dirty perv for not leaving the room? Are they intimidated that I am in the room with their naked child, and I am a gay adult? These are the thoughts that plagued me as they bathed their beautiful baby and she splashed and giggled with delight. These words were never said and would never ever be in their thought process (I hope!) but the stigmata of our society makes me feel like that. At the moment I live with a single mother who was a son of her own (he is 10 I think? Sorry B if I’m wrong!) and he often loves just sitting on his bed with the door wide open with no clothes on (and to be honest who doesn’t!) this still is awkward and I think the same? Does she think I’m a dirty perv? Is she scared to leave him alone with me? When did we get like this?

The same goes for being out in public, since the birth of my best friends child I have noticed children a lot more in public. The cute things they do, the funny things they say, the way they act in public so carefree and reckless. If a child looks at you and smiles or waves, I always feel awkward if I do anything back as I am single gay man in my early 30’s with no partner, no wedding ring, so I must be a child predator and a creep. I think this is a disaster, our divorce rate is high in this country (and the world for that matter!) I grew up without a father influence in my life (for most of it!) and feel like so many experiences were missed because I had a working single mother of 3 as my guide (please note this is NOTHING against single mothers, my own did an outstanding job while fighting depression and illness) but I taught myself how to drive, I figured out what I wanted to do with my life, I don’t have that “parental unit” to fall back on for support when I need it, I don’t have a father to give me guidance on “guy stuff” and honestly it fucking sucks. So many other children out there are growing up without father figure’s in their life and missing out on that male influence that honestly we all need. So when we look at things like gay marriage and such people’s arguments are that they would only get a male’s influence or a female’s influence, and yes it does come down to the person, but our society is set on gender role’s and still to this day we need both to feel “complete” according to the underlying rules to western society.

I remember back in the early 90’s my family went on a trip overseas to the U.K. I was always an inquisitve and independent child (and still are to this day!) so I had no problems taking to adults, finding out things, asking other adults about sights and tours we went on. As a result of this I made a lot of adult friends, I was 15 at the time and my parents never stopped me or warned me against doing this, by today’s standards this would be seen as “neglect” and I made so many friends on these trips just from speaking to adults and learning about their country.

Now moving onto the gay thing, in my own minority group I am a minority inside that. I am not a young muscle mary with a good head of hair and rippling muscles, I am also not the opposite end, the older, mature guy with a head of silver hair and tons of cash. These are the two groups that our minority acknowledges, if you don’t fit inside either of these you are pretty much fucked (well actually no you are not! You are about as dry as Madonna after her latest world tour!) So not only does straight society put these pressures on me, my own minority group that I am meant to fit into looks down on me.

So what do we do? Because I am white, male and live in a Western country my opinion is suddenly invalid because I am “privileged” But let’s not forget the gay part, so I am infact a white, Western male living in a minority inside a minority who just wants to live my life without feeling like I can’t be involved in the raising of young people who are not blood related to me. What’s that old saying “It takes a village” and I know that Hilary Clinton did not invent those words but in her speech in 1996 at the Democratic Nation Convention in Chicago she did say (and I leave you with this)we have learned that to raise a happy, healthy and hopeful child, it takes a family, it takes teachers, it takes clergy, it takes business people, it takes community leaders, it takes those who protect our health and safety, it takes all of us.

Yes, it takes a village.

Source : http://www.happinessonline.org/LoveAndHelpChildren/p12.htm

 

 

Inspiration : Carol

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Rather than post about me (yes i’m find thanks for asking!) I thought I would take today to talk about someone who has inspired me through this whole journey, and no it’s not another post about Levi (sorry Valvo!) This is someone I met through Levi, her name is Carol. She is simply in three words a force of nature. I have never heard Carol complain, she is ALWAYS smiling and I mean ALWAYS!! She busts through circuits that see me withering on the floor in minutes complaining and fake cramping, making me look like a sad little weak child.

Carol is one of those people that is contagious and is ALWAYS smiling. She makes friends with anyone and is constantly encouraging anyone she can in their fitness journey. Carol usually has her sessions with Levi after mine, and like clockwork arrives early to the gym. I am usually at the “giving up I am over this”stage in my session and she always comes up, smiles, and encourages me and she has no idea how encouraging it is.

This is a MASSIVE thank you to Carol, you are totally yourself and you encourage me everytime I see you. I am so proud to see you going hard at it every day and your never-ending well of positivity is inspiring.

Since starting the challenge Carol has lost 26cm and 4 and a half kilos in 4 weeks! To top it off she is still positive and pushing herself harder every day. Every week she goes on an epic trek outside at Merewether and swims 1 km, walks 10km,rode 6 km and rowed 2km, then goes to the gym and has a personal training session! I couldn’t even do half of that, let alone adding a p.t on top of it!

Keep going Carol you are truly inspiring and I wish you all the best with the rest of the challenge and achieving your fitness goals!

 

2013 – The Year Of The Happiness Jar

2013 – I can’t believe it’s over already! But it is and here we are starting a brand new calendar year already! At the start of this year I started a happiness jar from my favourite author Liz Gilbert and every time something good or something that made me happy I wrote it down and put it in the jar. When I had bad days when I felt depressed or sad I would empty out the jar and re-read everything in it in an attempt to reflect on what was important in my life and what makes me, me.

I have gleefully watched this jar fill up and up all year long and decided that NYE was the perfect time to reflect on the year and remember the happiness over the sadness and stash the happy times in a scrapbook and start the jar empty again!

1) My sister came today! We got to spend some good quality time together, just the 2 of us

2) I got rid of all the poison and went to work HAPPY and with a positive attitude

3) I got to hang out with my brother for a few days! WOW I MISS HIM!

4) I went out clubbing and didn’t get drunk. I reconnected with old friends and had such a great time

5) I realised who my true friends are and who I have to cut out of my life to move forward and be happy.

6) I’m going to find better friends and do what Tim did get rid of the losers and abusers

7) Mum is home from hospital and she is safe, happy and healthy!

8) Dinner with Sonia and Hannah. I feel supported, loved and appreciated

9) Today I got the email about the internship! My life could CHANGE!

10) Today I started going to the gym…oh god what have I done? This will be good for me! Stick with it

11) Feels like Tim and I are getting our friendship back on track. This time I won’t let it slip away!

12) One of my friends got a job at a newspaper as a journalist and thanked me for my help with his writing. What the?? Crazy but ill take it!

13) First personal training session today – the guy is a little weird, but doesn’t seem like the typical gym douche. My whole body is crying in pain but I am feeling good for doing it.

14) Holy Boobs Batman! I went down a pants size!! WHAT THE??? So happy! Keep going

15) I got offered a management position! Seriously? Ok this is scary but I am excited for the challenge

16) A work colleague I struggled to get along with is now someone I consider a friend. Seriously never EVER saw this twist coming! Such a great guy and a great support.

17) MY whole family is coming for christmas! I am so excited to see everyone and have some great quality time with them all at our house.

18) Queensland was AMAZING! So much fun, so much sun, I loved the energy in that place.

19) EB Expo was today and got to go as media. Such a great vibe and buzzing with next gen goodness. I feel so blessed to be a part of this! I feel like I am starting to be taken seriously as a writer!

20) My bestie is pregnant!!! OH MY GOD! So excited for them! I cannot imagine two better people as parents!

21) I got a new job, a new job that appreciates their staff! Wow! haha but seriously seems like it’s going to be a challenge but I feel like it is the right move!

22) OMG I got good marks at uni? WHAT THE!!?!!!?!!?! So proud of myself right now

23) Finished 5 chapters!! AWESOME!!! KEEP GOING! DON’T GIVE UP! Am so excited for this world I am creating.

24) Just got another game from Black Panel to review. Feel out of my depth but am loving the challenge

25) Newcastle Mirage!! WOOT WOOT! Bring it ON! Exciting new zine for Newcastle, so honoured to be writing for it!

These are the 25 pieces of paper in my jar, and while yes it may not be the most revolutionary pieces of happiness on the planet, they are mine nonetheless and I will treasure them for 2013.

So out with the old and in with the new! I will attempt to do more than 25 this year and welcome the influx of happiness in my life! Let the photo’s roll!

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4 kilos down…

So here it is, week 4, nearly at the month mark, I am 4 kilos lighter but am sore in every part of my body, tired and grouchy all the time but I am starting to feel a difference. My pigeon like chest has started forming muscle mass and while they are hardly pumping pecs, they are a lot better than what they were. 

What is surprising me most of all is how much my mind is taking a beating as well, I know that my mind is strong and can withstand anything after what I have been through, but this is really taking a toll. I am finding myself just completely shattered when I get home, not just physically but my brain is just complete mush. I am going to bed earlier and the constant ache in my body is starting to get annoying, especially when at work in a physical job all day. 

This morning as I munched on a brownie I forbid myself an hour earlier from eating I got to thinking about everything that has changed in the last four weeks, I barely recognise the person I am now and if I keep at this in 6 months time imagine what my life will be like, even 12 months! 

There is a lot that is going to change in my life in the next few months, and although it is really frightening, I do recognise that I have become comfortable and complacent and this is not a good thing. Anyone who knows me personally will know that I am not good at waiting for things, I keep getting told “You have to wait for the right time” “Things happen when they are meant to, you cannot make it happen” I am starting to find that this is a complete load of shit. My plans for my future are controlled by me and while my body and mind may be exhausted and going through big changes, I cannot sit back and just let it happen anymore. 

So here is to writing more, to loving more, to connecting more, to doing more of what I love, to take a massive leap of faith and do the thing that I want to do. 

The Core

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So I am a few weeks into this lifestyle change and I have to be honest and say it is the best thing I have ever done. I don’t know why I was so afraid and waited for so long to do this. My journey so far has been incredible, adjusting to the food changes is not as bad as I thought. Getting my butt to the gym is not a strenuous task anymore, it is just part of my daily routine, and part of this routine is getting someone who knows bodies and fat and getting them to help get it off me. That’s right I enlisted a personal trainer to help me with my journey, and it is the best decision I have ever made. 

My trainer’s name is Levi, he is a firefighter/mechanic/personal trainer/ideal boyfriend (oops did I say that??) and to add to this he specialises in weight loss, particularly getting rid of fat. The first time we met I went into great lengthy discussions (seriously who is surprised?) about my life, my journey, where I wanted to go, what I wanted to achieve, what had led me here and a lot about my past. 

After he got me to shut up, we went out into the gym and started the training session. I am going to be completely honest here and tell you that he killed me, he shattered every muscle, every bone, every molecule of my being was screaming out in pain after not being used for so long. We did some boxing exercises, some rowing and weights (oh god!) and then he asked me this curious question “How is your core?”and me being me replied “Well that is a very good question, I have been working for the last several years on my core, it was blackened and then ripped out by a selfish man who wanted me to be something I wasn’t, and then I was left feeling completely empty so I went on this journey to find myself again and actually have something inside me that I could be proud of.” He looked at me and smiled and said Üm, mate I meant your core, like muscles, stomach etc” I was so embarrassed and we both started laughing, as I got down on the gym mat on the floor to do this horrible exercise in which you have to lay down but put your palms on the ground and elevate your body, holding it steady for as long as you can. “This activates your core and tells me how strong you are” Levi said. I assumed the position and forced my body to stay there for a whole 30 seconds, that’s right 30 seconds of shaking, sweating and trembling, as I was trying to prove that my core was strong. 

This got me thinking about everything I have been through, everything I have accomplished and achieved to make me the person I am today. Having the core of my life ripped out by someone else was the hardest thing I have ever been through, and dragging myself through that muddy mess to recreate and shape the core of who I am and want to be was a lengthy and frankly exhausting feat. Yes I only worked on my insides, but really at the time that is what I needed to do to move on, to be the person I am today. While I feel that I will never stop learning, changing and growing, I am now just allowing my body to catch up, and it is this sheer determination that will not stop me for achieving my goal. 

As I am typing this my arms are killing me, my legs giving way but I feel more alive in my body that I have in a long time. I look forward to my training time, it awakens me and gives me a sense of pride and purpose and I cannot wait to see the changes in my body. 

PS I promise I won’t leave it so long between posts!