(Photo: Some ask if the glass is half empty or half full. I just wonder whether it’s enough.)
Recently on Facebook I was tagged with that overly persistent 25 Things meme. What could I write about myself that I haven’t already shared on the blog?
About 25 other things, as it turns out. An injudicious after-hours call to a friend last night helped me see which 25 other things they might be.
As with the rest of my life, I’ll share those details here. That saves me and 25 other people from perpetuating this chain letter which obviously emanated from (choose one): a.) a well-meaning but lonely teenage girl; b.) the prideful first terrace of Purgatory.
My money’s on the latter. Pride comes before the fall, and as you’ll see, my list catalogs more self-perceived fault than anything else. I’m like the gay male version of Sally Harper from Coupling. She looked at her lover and told him how sure she was that she had completely and unconditionally fucked everything up the moment before he asked her to marry him. Well, except in my case, usually the only ring to be found is the ring of truth.
Boy, what I wouldn’t give to hold onto a few false expectations every now and then.
MY 25 OTHER THINGS
- I have a tendency to do exactly those things I know I shouldn’t. Late-night phone calls, included.
- No matter how hard I try to shake it, I’m always afraid every good thing in my life will fall apart.
- That fear can be so overwhelming, sometimes I help things along in the falling-apart process. (See #1.)
- I am all show, or at least that’s how it feels. Others can tell me I’m talented, knowledgeable, and successful. But inside, I’m painfully aware how much I make up as I go along.
- Every man who has ever loved me has left me.
- I used to blame every man for leaving me until I discovered my codependence issues (thanks, family of origin) and was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (thanks, genetics). Now I just think I should come with a warning label.
- Making a joke out of #6 doesn’t change #5 from being true.
- My house guests play with my cat more than I do.
- My brother and sister, both a generation older, are (were? for all I know now) lifelong drunks and drug addicts who made my mother’ life–and by extension, my own–a living hell throughout my childhood.
- I have no consistent recollection of my childhood before the age of 14, when my mother sent me to live with my cousins in New Jersey for 18 months to escape my siblings’ behavior.
- Sometimes my ADD makes it so hard to concentrate, I can spend an entire day sitting in front of my computer with a page-long task list and instead bounce back-and-forth between YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, meta-chat, and Googling for public-transit railcar photos for eight hours.
- If I had it to do over again, I probably would still be with my first boyfriend, Alberto, whom I dated in my very early twenties.
- If I had it to do over again, I would have let Devyn go a year sooner, when it was obvious he wanted out and tacitly told me so by not spending his fortieth birthday with me.
- Sometimes…often I need a brick to the head to get the message. (See #13.)
- I tend to fall in love hard and fast. While I’m doing so, I fear it’s just codependence. Only hindsight can tell me which one happened.
- I used to trust my feelings far more than I currently do. But ever since I’ve become aware of my tendencies, I have to stand back–sometimes way back–to question what’s honest emotion and what’s knee-jerk grasping.
- Because of #16, sometimes I back away from the very people I should be reaching out to.
- Because of #16, sometimes I damage relationships with friends and lovers without meaning to.
- Sometimes I feel ashamed of my body.
- Sometimes I feel ashamed of my behavior.
- Often #19 and #20 discourage me from pursuing quality relationships, forcing me into a self-fulfilling cycle of rotten dates with inappropriate partners.
- For a Buddhist, sometimes I show an astounding lack of compassion. Mostly towards myself.
- On February 2nd, I wrote a poem to my unmet lifemate telling him that although we never found each other, I would have loved him.
- No matter how close I push it to the end, this list would be incomplete without noting that making a joke out of #6 doesn’t stifle the fear that because of my DNA and the way I was raised, my behavior makes it impossible for people to love me over the long term. Some days, I really believe that.
- Standing at my bathroom sink at 2:30 this morning, as so often happens after my injudicious behavior, I came to believe in #24 again. I leaned on the wall, looked in the mirror, and cried.
See what I mean? Why, if not for the magic of Double Rainbow chocolate sorbet, I might never be inspired to leave the house. Luckily, Trader Joe’s doesn’t deliver.
Yeah, that’s the bright spot…
Michael Thaddeus Doyle
I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.