Tuesday, October 30, 2012
I am not sure where the term jaded originated from, yet when it's used I know exactly what is meant by it. As a matter of fact, it was only just recently that I heard this term used when describing sentiments towards dating. The same sentiments that seem to be echoed by many after a disastrous break up, more often than not when one party has cheated and/or there is no turning back.
I don't understand the jaded concept, which given my own personal situation of late, seems to be almost, well, weird. I guess I am an optimist where matters of the heart are concerned, that, or I am just plain stupid. I think I will go with the first option. Having been out of the singles scene for nearly 10 years has left me with little sensibility where matters of the heart are concerned. To be honest, pretty much nil sensibility. Kind of embarrassing actually.
So what does one do when they like someone? I mean if you like someone, doesn't that mean that you want to get to know them, and if the answer is yes, then doesn't that usually involve some sort of communication? Evidently you need to go slow, real slow. Well, slow if you have just ended a relationship recently, or so I have heard. Makes sense, sort of.
So here I am, 5 weeks later after being dumped and I find myself in this predicament. I am a communicator yet seem to not be listening to what is given to me, it's that damn heart of mine overriding every reasonable bit of common sense I so pride myself on having. Sitting at the dinner table with a friend this evening, I find myself constantly looking at my phone to see whether my mundane text has been answered yet. Mundane because I am looking for any excuse to send a text. Things like "How was your day?" or "I am not really crazy", what the hell am I writing!!?? Then there is the constant apologies for sending the bloody texts that really don't make for good or interesting conversation with someone new. Well, not in my books anyway. What has come over me?! It's like a Strawberry Shortcake doll has possessed my body and all I can do is watch on in disbelief as I slowly scratch and sniff my dignity away.
After being laughed at by my friend tonight as I sat there constantly looking at my phone, wishing I could just erase every idiotic thought that I felt was so needed to be put into a text format, I realised that this stupidity is what also makes me human, real. Sure, it must be annoying to receive them, even though annoyance is what I never wanted, but words like truthful, clumsy, silly, heartfelt and honest spring to mind. Actually in reality it's just me, plain old Matthew.
Can I redeem myself from this disastrous start to a new friendship? I hope so, but only time will tell. One thing is for sure, there will be no more texting until I am given the green light. Come to think of it, I might just lay off the texting altogether for a while, I know my fingers will truly appreciate the break. As will someone else's eyes.
Let's see what happens...
Monday, October 22, 2012
I thought I had it all, I thought that I was the exception to the "rule". You know the rule, the one that forbids gay men from staying together for longer than a year and if you do, your relationship then needs to turn into an "open" one. Who made that rule, I am not entirely sure and I guess that I did break the rule in many ways, but maintaining it for eternity seemed a very real and likely possibility. That was until recently.
I grew up with very religious grandparents who had very strong ideas on what a relationship should entail. A man and a woman court (I LOVE that word, so ye olde), fall in love, get married, have children and stay together until the day they should both leave this world. A beautiful ideal and for their generation, a very real and attainable ideal. For my generation, my parents and everyone born after my generation, this kind of notion doesn't seem to exist too much anymore, or so I've heard.
Don't get me wrong, my Grandparents were quite liberal in all their religious views (Jewish and Catholic, Catholic dominated though) and my Oma even went so far as to speak of Gay marriage way back before it was fashionable to support it. However, when I came out to my family, the one thing they wanted for me the most was to have a long lasting relationship with ONE person. Easy peasy. Man, was I in for a shock when it came to relationships and what my expectations of a relationship were to be met with by those that were meant to mean the most to me, my partner(s).
I dated a slew of guys when I moved to Sydney that just wanted one thing, sex. I was the naive and innocent guy from the country town known as Adelaide, (over a million population mind you, one hell of a country town) the guy that evidently had no idea about the hustle and bustle of Sydney and all its harshness and reality on how life was to be lived. The guy as one person so kindly put it, had "outdated, archaic and ridiculous views on gay relationships". I was supposed to be grateful that someone just wanted to fuck me and that I shouldn't expect anything more. I tried it and sure, it was fun as sex usually is, but it wasn't what I wanted and more often than not, left me with a massive void.
Finally, I met someone who, although I did not fall for instantly, showed me so much love and kindness that it blew my mind. Almost as if it jolted me back to earth and awakened something that I had been suppressing for years, my long lost values. He was so caring and obviously yearning for the same thing I was, love. It wasn't long before we shacked up together, got a cat and plainly put, "set up shop" as a duo. Years passed and so did the many highs and lows, the good times and not so good times and then the one thing that I never thought would happen, happened. Death.
I was young when he passed, 29 years old to be precise. I was discussing his death with a new friend the other day, not as morbid as you may think, more remembering the way people treated his illness. Being gay and ill meant that he had HIV according to all his friends, some of mine and the usual pitying passerby. Actually, he had Leukaemia, but no one cared about what he really had, it was just assumed that we must have had an open relationship being gay and someone "slipped up". Couldn't have been further from the truth, we were in many ways the exception to that rule.
I never thought that I would ever meet another person as kind and generous as him, but as fate would have it, I did. A mutual friend introduced me to this new found handsome intellect and from the moment I met him, I was smitten. I was nervous though, I never prided myself on being "brainy" and knowing he was, made me so anxious on how he would receive me when he realised I was a crazy, emotional loon that loved hard. All my ridiculous insecurities were to put to rest and some 9.5 years later, I look back on the longest relationship I have had and can honestly say that I have had the best time of my life. I have been loved and have loved with all my heart.
There were lows, boy were there lows, none lower than what was to erupt a few weeks ago, but the highs were the greatest of highs and are something that I feel very fortunate to have shared and experienced. Relationships are complex things and more often than not, things that people would rather quit than work on, no matter what form they come in, sexual, friends, marriage, family, they all require great amounts of listening, loving and learning. I guess when I look back and read what I have written, it just reinforces to me that I am the exception to the rule, my rule, whatever that may be. I will continue to write my rules, learn from others rules and adapt them where necessary.
The future is bright. Very bright.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
I met a lady recently who told me that she believes that everyone can sing, they just need to learn some breathing techniques, lots of practice and off you go. Hmmm. I mean sure, I step into my glass "recording studio" every morning and night and belt out classics from Stevie, Whitney and Aretha, and the acoustics are nothing short of amazing. I should add that my glass "recording studio" also goes by the name of "shower". Very powerful acoustics, especially if you have high water pressure.
So, with this new found information I am thinking that I just may have what it takes to fulfil my life long dream of being a back up singer, equipped with tambourine and finger clicking, arm extended dance moves. I mean, can it only take the above things, coupled with loads of practice? At a recent concert, Macy Gray told me that she saw me in the crowd swinging and swaying with all my rhythm, surely that must account for something in conjunction with vocal rhythm? Maybe not.
Being the music obsessed person that I am, I have decided to put that notion to the test and undertake lessons and really observe if this is in fact true. That's right people, I am about to undertake my first singing lesson in a LONG, LONG time and I am PETRIFIED. I am going to see a lady that is very well respected in the music business and I have made her promise me that should I be a complete and utter fuck up, we put it down to experience, get some food and drink my vocal sorrows away. Fair deal I think.
Stay tuned for some more musical ramblings... or not.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Sometimes I sit outside staring at my Koi swimming in their pond and wonder how it must feel for them, swimming around all day long, usually in the same direction and not doing anything other than searching for food. Is it true that they have a 3 second memory, if so, why is that they seem to remember me every time my face leers over their home. Familiarity can be such a comforting feeling.
Life is funny like that, all of its complexities and unanswered questions, yet so beautiful on so many levels. It is those unanswered questions that also excite me, challenge me and of late, sometimes sadden me. I could never have imagined that my life would take so many turns this year, turns that have tested me in all my entirety. Health issues that although are not life threatening, have made me realise how important it is to take care of my “temple”, not just for the aesthetics (this used “model” has never had a healthy take on appearance) but for mental and physical clarity. And love, boy has love taken a turn in a new direction of late.
I am a lover, really, I am. I am not perfect in anyway what so ever, but I love with every vessel of my heart and to be told that you can not love anymore is well, for choice of a better phrase, heart breaking. Sure, I love my Family and friends, but it is the love of a partner that makes me wake up knowing how safe I feel to be in that persons presence, their arms and their heart. When it ends and not necessarily the way you wanted, it cuts. Deep. In some ways it feels like someone has ripped that organ out and is waving it just above your head, so close to your reach, yet so far and only time will slowly see it disappear into nothing more than a love lost. Lucky for us humans, this kind of broken heart does repair itself, in time, but the scar will always be there. Always.
Is it wrong to be passionate? I have always questioned this as so many people around me have criticised my passion, used it as a negative or portrayed it as one of my weaknesses. I know inside that it is my passion that will allow someone to come into my life again who wants it in all its complexity and it is this very passion that will see me succeed with my love of music, in all its varied formats. Why should anyone be limited to just one thing? Why can’t you try everything and do as much as humanly possible, especially if it makes you happy? I guess out of all the challenging moments, you realise who will be there and what you truly want out of life no matter how passionate you are.
Nearly four weeks ago I was scared, scared of where my life would take me and who would be there with me. Actually, do you want to know what scared me the most? Being alone when I was ill, who would care for me? Strange that out of everything, that is what scared me the most. Well, as mother nature would have it, she threw me a few extra curve balls and I get it now, all she was trying to say to me was “you can do it”.
I remember something that my Oma & Opa used to tell me as a child, “the day you stop learning is the day you stop living”. They passed away at 84 and 93 respectively and were still learning right up until the very end. Inspirational.
Life. I still have so much to learn.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
By now everyone would have or should have heard (and formed some sort of opinion) about the marriage equality movement that has been happening in Australia and the world for some time now. A major player in this movement has been a play about the highly sensitive Proposition 8 in California, which eliminates the rights of same sex couples to marry, passed down in November 2008. 8 The Play, debuted in Melbourne on June the 8th, followed by its only other performance on June the 9th at The Sydney Town Hall, all happening right before a decision is handed down in Australia on the rights of same sex couples to marry in the coming weeks.
I knew that I had to see this play and when the opportunity came for me to also lend my time as a volunteer at this monumental event, I jumped at the chance. I had also recently attended the marriage equality campaign in Martin Place, Sydney, put on by the AME (Australian Marriage Equality), Marie Claire and Sunrise, so it was important that I also attend and help with volunteering at this event. An important thing to note here is that the marriage act in Australia was CHANGED in 2004 following the "Federal Parliaments passage of a bill amending the marriage act of 1961 to rule out the legal recognition of marriages between same sex couples". This law was amended in the new millennium, not even ten years ago, in a time where people were far more educated about gay people and their rights and more than likely know, work with, or has someone in their family who is gay. Strange.
The cast of the Australian production was stellar, with actors like Magda Szubanski, Daniel MacPherson, Georgie Parker, Catherine McClements and Rachael Blake each giving brilliant performances, amongst others. On a few occasions, Magda got laughs and unanimous applause from the audience as her right wing character, Maggie Gallagher, delivered ridiculous lines that even she could not stop herself from having a little chuckle at. Gold.
Cate Faerhmann(Greens MP), Magda Szubanski & Alex Greenwich(AME) debate after the play
The show and debate that followed were great and have come at a time when marriage equality is high on many countries lists of things to "review, debate and decide on". Australia is on the cusp of being one of those countries that embraces equality for all, and if this play highlighted anything, it was that the argument against marriage equality really had no sound platform, rather, unfounded arguments mixed with vile and more often than not, highly offensive associations that have no basis whatsoever. Let's hope that in the coming weeks Australia does join the growing list of countries that recognise marriage equality, after all we promote equality in every other way in Australia, what makes this any different?
For more information on marriage equality:
For more information on 8, The Play:
Sunday, January 1, 2012
2011 was, and by the Chinese calendar still is, the year of the Rabbit. I am one of those little bunnies (24 years old in case anyone was wondering, no arguments or smirks please) and boy has this year been a pretty full on and amazing year on so many levels.
The year kicked off with a trip to Japan and Hong Kong, a trip that was made so much better by the fact that I was able to spend loads of quality time with my dear friends Shiori and Yuakri and Shiori's beautiful family. The week in Kyoto was spent wondering all over, eating delicious food between both Kyoto and Osaka and beautiful family dinners at Shiori's house full of reminiscing and a lot of laughter (plus the odd Chu hi or three!). Tokyo and Hong Kong followed and again, both cities offered us amazing cuisine, brilliant shopping and in Hong Kong's case, familiar family faces, which is always welcomed.
The beginning of 2011 also some horrific disasters in the form of the Queensland Floods which were catastrophic to say the least and the heart wrenching Tsunami and subsequent meltdown of the Fukushima Nuclear power plant outside of Tokyo. Many lives were lost, but no one could have imagined the devastating loss that Japan would face with over 15,000 lives lost, their worst loss of lives since World War II. The floods in Thailand later in the year, which left over 3 million people displaced was not only devastating but awful for me to watch on a more personal note, worrying about my family and friends there. As per usual, Thai people being their optimistic selves, let the world know that "they were ok, and not to worry". A truly amazing country full of optimism and strength.
2011 also saw an amazing amount of stars and events visit Australia and I was there for many of them. First off the ranks was volunteering at the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, which is one of the most amazing things I have ever been involved in. Jersey Boys was first of the rank, Chelsea Handler followed (both at the taping of her show as well as her gig @ The State Theatre), The legendary Grace Jones @ The Enmore, Maroon 5 and Sara Bareilles, Kylie Minogue (such a fantastic show), Jennifer Coolidge, Hairspray The Musical, Margaret Cho (She used one of my pics of her too!), In The Mood, Jennifer Wong (one of the hottest new comedians), Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Taylor Dayne (my 80's & 90's dance goddess), Australia's Next Top Model finale (also the finale for host Sarah Murdoch), Kate Ceberano, Janet Jackson (12 years of waiting paid off, AH-MAZING!), Dolly Parton (I cried when she came on stage, nothing more needs to be said here), KD Lang (mind blowing and complete convert), Salt N Pepa, Kathy Griffin (again totally brilliant) and finally, the chic Sade, such a stylish and beautiful show to end the year with. As you can see, this year was full of some pretty sensational concerts and events for me and loved every one of them!
This year also saw the Royal wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton, like his Mother Princess Diana's wedding, over a billion people around the globe watched this beautiful union take place. Later in the year saw her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip vista Australia (for the 16th time), a visit that many touted as being their last. It was just amazing to see the crowds turn out in Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to welcome our head of state, something that I wish I had been able to join in on. The year also some amazing people leave this world and they are (in my opinion): Jane Russell (star of the 40's & 50's), Elizabeth Taylor (screen, fashion & pop culture legend), Loleatta Holloway (Disco Goddess), Amy Winehouse (so tragic and sad), Betty Ford (yes, that Betty Ford), Steve Jobs (Apple Chairman and C0-founder) and Heavy D (rapper).
On a more personal note, I started a new job "adding sparkle to peoples everyday lives" and for the last 6 months, have been loving every bit of the job. Three high school friends gave birth to their first born's (congratulations to Romina, Tracy and Kennelyn - three more little "bunnies") I purchased a new home, cleared a horrific amount of debt, finished my studies and learnt more about myself in 12 months than I have in the last 30 odd years. A lot of people have stated that they can not wait to see the end of 2011 whether it be for personal or professional reasons, but for me, coincidence or not, this year really has been my year, Rabbit or not :)
Bunny on Bunny action - Hong Kong 2011
Here's to a disaster free 2012 full of good health and fortune, amazing new challenges, lots of travel, more sensational music and live gigs, fashion to die for and being surrounded by my beloved partner, family and friends.
Happy New Year Everyone!!
Here are a few shots from the fireworks over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, hope you like them: