Courtesy: TTG 1 Train NYC
The stellar weather finally turned on us. Skies are dark, the humidity is way up there, and showers have been coming and going all evening. We are being warned at this hour that we might get “Pounded” tonight.
I’ve been so busy with things to do, lately, my plate is full. Saturday I installed Baby Mama’s air conditioner in the baby’s room. However, as of late, the baby isn’t using her room, because she won’t sleep for long periods of time. And that is proving to be quite the problem for mama.
Saturday evening I went to visit with a friend. This, our regular Saturday night to sit outside on the patio and talk for hours. We had Portuguese pastries, Portuguese cheese bread, which is totally addictive, and the never ending coffee pot.
I go there to talk to my friend about life, this week it turned out that he was the one giving me advice.
You know, I watch a good amount of You Tube. I read books written by young people who also produce content on You Tube. I read a lot. I see young men from other places, who aren’t necessarily following the North American “This is how you do life” idea.
We of the latter generation, were bred from 1960’s stock. You know that stock. The birth to the age of eighteen growth pattern. Going to school, making the grades, if you can, go to university, get a degree in some far flung topic, that may or MAY NOT get you a job in the real world.
Then you meet a girl, get married, and pop out a couple of kids. Add to that the prospect of owning a house, with the two car garage, the yard, “things” and get work in probably a dead end job that you only go to because it pays the bills and keeps a roof over ones head.
Your dreams going up in smoke, and quite literally we end up bored, sad, never fulfilling those desires or things we really would like to do but can’t, because we are locked in old ideas and ways of life.
We end up in that place where we have to make ends meet, in any way we can. And for most of us, we are not doing what we enjoy or love, we are doing what pays the bills. Because you know, it’s all about the almighty dollar.
In today’s social media driven world, an entire generation of boys and girls, men and women, have turned the normal grind of life and nine to five, into something quite different. They seem to have found their groove doing exactly what they want to do, in the way they want to do, and learning about life themselves, Doing things that the rest of us only dream about doing or putting them on a bucket list.
They have not necessarily followed the old tried and true model.
Most of these folks have been at this for a number of years, and after hours of work, and years of building a following, have lives that contribute to the greater good, in ways that the older generation had never done before.
I know of men, in my age bracket, and some a little older, who, like me, have accrued several pieces of paper, granting us degrees in our chosen fields, who for some, can’t find work in our fields because we chose fields that have fallen out of favor at the educational level, and jobs are scarce for some of us.
There are others who are at a certain juncture of their lives, where it is time to do something to produce content to guarantee us future income, and/or a retirement fund so that when we finally get there, there is money in the bank.
I watch these young people going into the world doing exactly what they want, and they are doing it well. They have built lives of substance and the give back to humanity in the ways they choose to use their fandom (read: stardom). Young people who produce content in video, they write books, the have charitable projects doing things for others, they have record ventures, they have merchandise to sell, and many of them, have done things, the rest of us, only dream about doing, like traveling the world, meeting all kinds of people, seeing places that many of us will never get to see ourselves, but through their content, we get to live vicariously through them.
So I wonder, at my age, with what I know, if the kids of this generation are doing what they love and they are giving back, and making a living at the same time, then why not me?
I’ve considered writing a book a long time ago. I wrote a single manuscript and gave it to my academic adviser when I was in university, but I never pursued it further. I started writing a blog more than ten years ago. I’ve been at this for a long time. I am not of the “Video content” circle. I have a face for writing and a voice for speaking, but I am too self conscious to see myself on film.
I look at myself in the mirror sometimes and say to myself, UGH, I am getting old, yet I have friends who love me just the same. So that’s an all about me concern.
I have over 101 stories located in my pages section. These stories and memories were written in a free thought form, as they happened, as they exist in my memory. I have over 3500 posts collected on the blog to draw from in addition to the stories section.
I was talking to one of my lady friends tonight at the meeting. She is a university professor of fine arts and she is also an academic writer. And I mentioned my discussion with my friend last night to her, and at the moment, she is working on a book herself.
We launched into a conversation about publishing, how to do it, where to find it, and who to talk to. I mentioned to her the amount of written word I have already compiled here, and she told me that unlike the young folks I am reading/watching/ and or listening to, who create content “in the moment” kind of thing, what I have going for me, is that I have content already produced and on file. All I really need to do is polish that manuscript up a bit, and put it into a presentable form to put out a prospectus and a preliminary manuscript.
There really is not much editing to be done with what is already written. I would not change any of the words I wrote, nor would I let an editor or agent, edit my stories or butcher them for the sake of a book, or my readership, in the name of money.
I’ve been reading my social media sites. I have solid life experience in areas of life that are historical. The gay, AIDS experience of the 1990’s is a story that is unique. It is my story as it happened in real time.
Young gay readers of today, have no idea what that was like. Today, HIV is still an issue. However it is not a “you’ve got AIDS kind of problem.” There is medication to be had by the masses. It isn’t what it was twenty years ago. Many of my friends believe that I have a story to be told. That my experiences over the last forty seven years are worthy of telling.
I spend a few hours a week writing here. And when a memory hits me, I sit here and record it on the blog, because I am not getting any younger, and the more time that goes by between a memory and today, my memory begins to get fuzzy.
When I worked my last Fourth Step, we used a particular method. And I was encouraged to work on a Lifetime – Timeline. It took me months to finish it, and it is written down in a journal I kept that is not on the blog. My Aunt Paula was a big help in connecting the dots between memories, and places and specific periods of time, or seasons in our lives as they were lived.
With that long form memory exercise, I compiled some stories that I have never told before, based on the emotions connected to certain memories as I grew up. It kind of goes like this: Write down your years of life, from birth until today. Now, I want you to plot, on that graph, your earliest emotions, as you remember them.
I have this list of emotions, that are connected to people, times and places. I can see them in my minds eye. And with each feeling there is an attached memory, that I can spin out and write about. Forty seven years is a long time.
Today, I have almost fourteen years of sober experience I have written about extensively here. The whole notion of growing up and finding a career that pays, is still a work in progress. Who I am, and what I know today, and how I live my life and care for my husband and my friends, is a direct result of all those people who have listened to me in meetings over the years.
My manhood, you could rightfully say, is an amalgamation of all the men I have in my life today. Not to mention all the women I know as well. They are both integral to who I am. Because if not for them, I would not be who I am today.
I just think that we can learn a great deal from the young people of today’s generation. And if you are not happy doing what you are doing, and you are unfulfilled, and need a specific focus in your life, all we need to do is spend some time watching young people do what they are doing right now, and ponder.
There are plenty of young LGBTQ folks out there, across the age spectrum. There are also a generations worth of people living with HIV because they don’t call it AIDS any more, they are in a specific metal and emotional state, that they bemoan the lives they have today as far as what they can do, who they can do it with, and they are saddled with having to take medication and what a drag that is. And my story is one that my friends think would be beneficial for them to hear, what it was like, what happened and what it is like today.
That’s the running theme in my life today …
What it was like, What happened, and what it is like today.
I have a lot to say, and my friend thinks I have a hit on my hands, in the bank, already written. I just need to get it out there. His final comment that if I self publish, I would probably make money hand over fist. I’d like to think that was possible, but lets stay in the moment and not get sucked into expectations and pie in the sky dreams.
I need a publisher. Somewhere.
Maybe a specific LGBT publisher who would think my story is specific enough and important enough to share with the masses.
So all you people who are subscribed, shoot me an email. Tell me something good.
I need you all to step up and help me as I continue this next phase.
More to come, stay tuned …