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Old 04-28-2012, 10:37 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by maxmordon View Post
Oh, and mom asked me today if I was attracted to men. I lied and told her no since I felt she said it in a rather accusing manner and she obviously doesn't know how to deal with it. She told me she had nothing against gays and she know some very smart ones, she implied being molested as a child as a cause, that she guesses families end up getting used to it, etc. It all boils down to her finding some shocking porn on my browsing history.
She might not know how to deal with it, at least not yet, but it sounds as though she's been thinking about it. "She guesses families end up getting used to it, etc" suggests that she's trying to consider it in a positive way.

Saying that she had nothing against gays and knows some very smart ones is way better than "I'd kill myself or any child of mine who said he was gay!"
After all, if you aren't sure about yourself and your feelings, you've both got time to grow and gain clarity.
Good luck to the both of you.
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:48 PM   #77
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Thank you, frimble. I guess she still has contradicting feelings about it. One day she hugs me out of the blue and tells that "I will love you no matter how you are" and in other times she tells me that "I know you will find a good woman to marry and have children". So, it's true, we both have lots of things to digest.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:15 PM   #78
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Just stumbled onto this thread... thought I would share a couple of thoughts. First:

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Originally Posted by robertsloan2 View Post
I've also known many, many straight women friends who described a guy a lot like you as their ideal mate. That takes some self honesty on her part to admit that she'd rather take the lead.

There's one more thing that gets gender attacks on both sides.

People who wear glasses, read a lot and talk about books are effeminate if they're male and too masculine if they're female. There's a special third sex in those old gender roles. The guy is supposed to be stupid, slow, belligerent, hooked on sports and laugh at or pick on bookish guys. The gal is supposed to be cute, simper a lot, pretend the jerk is smarter than he is and hang all of her self esteem on what he thinks of her.

Despite this, people of the Intellectual gender find each other and fall in love just as often as the conformists. The only real difference is that the straight ones buy a lot of children's books from the day she-geek realizes she's pregnant with baby-geek.
This, this, THIS. Max, you are very much like my husband, and I'm definitely your female-wearing-the-pants stereotype. Not always, not in everything, but more often than not. It's totally cool with both of us. Don't think that there's just one way to be male. Whatever makes you comfortable is YOU, and someone out there will value that.

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It's odd. I get turn on, I respond to stimulation, physical and mental, I gleefully masturbate thinking of men and women and I have been romantically interested on women before but the idea of actually being intimate with others brings thoughts of sweat and flesh and foul smells and hair in weird, unsuspecting places.

Sometimes I wonder if this is actually a manifestation of dislike of my own body or guilt about my attractions.
This is exactly how I feel about sex and body-to-body intimacy. The idea of bodily fluids and private hair and uuuuugh, yuck, it's gross. My honeymoon, partly because of this, was less than ideal. I'm not one of those people who is turned on by my husband's sweaty smell or... yeah. You know? But I love him. I love him a lot. Sex has not always been easy, but we've been married for 6 years now and I can honestly say it's gotten better with each year. I still just don't have a strong libido, but we have sex frequently and I enjoy it. It's intimate and the reason I like it is not because it's sex, but because I do it with HIM.

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You might be a demisexual...which, as I understand it, is a midway point between sexuals and asexuals, wherein people can enjoy having sex, but only once they've had a long time to get comfortable with a specific individual. Otherwise, they're generally uncomfortable with or repulsed by the thought of intimacy.
Huh. Never heard of that. But yeah, that pretty well fits me.

I think an important thing to remember is that ultimately, your sexuality is not about clothes or preferences or proclivities or whatever labels you want to insert. It's about a relationship. Not even with a group of people - just one. It's one person opening up to another, becoming vulnerable. What that looks like is completely different for every single person on the planet. There are what, seven billion people on earth? Sometimes it takes a while, a long while, to find the one you really connect with. As long as it still seems worthwhile, keep looking.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:01 PM   #79
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Thank you, frimble. I guess she still has contradicting feelings about it. One day she hugs me out of the blue and tells that "I will love you no matter how you are" and in other times she tells me that "I know you will find a good woman to marry and have children". So, it's true, we both have lots of things to digest.
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Old 04-29-2012, 06:51 AM   #80
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Thank you, frimble. I guess she still has contradicting feelings about it. One day she hugs me out of the blue and tells that "I will love you no matter how you are" and in other times she tells me that "I know you will find a good woman to marry and have children". So, it's true, we both have lots of things to digest.
Sounds like she loves you and wants you to be happy, in the way that she knows 'happy': someone to love you, and a family. Okay, she's probably thinking about grandchildren. Little tiny Maxs.
If you find some other way to be happy, she'll probably adjust her expectations. Just give yourself, and her, time.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:31 AM   #81
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Thank you all for you support, once more. It's true, I will eventually will find someone but sometimes it's dispairing. I feel myself different, not just sexually but socially from those who I consider my best friends within my classmates.

We went across the state border to visit a classmate of ours who lives on the very big state capital across the border and, as usual, when they talk about life stuff I just sit quietly. But I felt more of an outsider than usual. They talk about sports, about the local music they hear, about fighting after classes in high school and drinking 'til passing out and of course, they would talk of women like creatures impossible to understand but always needed for pleasure and a part of me felt they that talk they was somewhat childish and very much not my cup of tea but another part of me yearned that male companionship. You know, being one of the guys. Something I have never being and I don't know how to feel about it.

I remember a moment when I was listening to music on my iPod and of them told me to better listen to learn a thing or two and I said that well, better learn something about life and they told me that's not how one learns about life. One learns about life not on second-hand stories but by living it.

This is something I have felt for a while but feel more and more as years pass. The preocupation that I'm not living my life.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:16 AM   #82
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This is something I have felt for a while but feel more and more as years pass. The preocupation that I'm not living my life.
Max, somehow I found myself here and I read your last comment and had to write.

I think it's all part of it, even the disconnect--it's part of it. You're 'in process'. I think everybody is. The difference is, some are keenly aware of that, and some are not.

You are, I'm thinking.

You never know what's waiting. Who knows what will happen, or who or what you'll find. Life has a way of surprising us. I don't know you, Max, but I'm sending good thoughts your way, regardless.

Take care of your sweet self.
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:02 AM   #83
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Max, I feel for you. As I sit here at home, I can hear my neighbours, we are in rowhouses, so all joined together. They are gathered on the common lawn, drinking wine, and laughing and talking about nothing much.
They're nice people, if I went out there, they'd welcome me, offer me a drink, include me in the conversation.
They do this if I come home from work when they're gathered.
It's pleasant to hear them laughing and chattering, but after forty years as an adult, I know that I'm not the kind of woman who can spend hours every evening just sitting, sipping wine and talking about nothing.

I have never been 'one of the girls', not as a teenager, not as a young woman, not now. But, I have found friends and things that I can talk about for hours. They are interested in the things that I'm interested in, and we laugh at each other's jokes. They don't live right next door, but they're the ones I reach out to.

You say 'my best friends from within my classmates'. Part of your difficulty is the small pool you have to choose friends from. As you get older and spread your wings more, you will find more people with common interests, movies and books and so on, rather than your common interest being 'sitting in the same class'.

It's a hard thing, and a hard time, where you're at. You are learning things about yourself, who you really are, and, yes, part of that is realising that you're more than 'one of the guys', that if you want to hang around with your current friends, talking about sports and music, you're going to have to work at it, to pretend a little.

It's like me pretending to be interested while listening to the step-by-step wedding preparations, or smiling and nodding while some woman tells me all the details of her child's sports life. We cannot choose the people we work with, anymore than the people we go to school with.

But, get out there (even on-line) and find people who are interested in the things that interest you. Somewhere out there are people who don't look at you strangely when you make a joke, or refer to a movie. That way you won't have to spend all your life sitting quietly in the back seat of the car.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:09 PM   #84
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You see, I met this girl last week and she left me breathless. Turns out said girl is the campus psychiatrist, whom may be leaving her job and just teach due to the new laws that may mean they should pay her extra hours (they cut down working hours) but she says she will do it without getting paid because she cares. See? She's that awesome.

The other night I had a dream. She was telling me I need to be more proactive and that my lack of decision in life was due my fear of rejection and I always tried to rationalize the other person's point of view for this very same reason. This has led some curious things.

I was thinking on telling mom about my bisexuality. She has continued on her talk about homosexuality. Apparently she believes, thanks for her job in social services, that being gay develops for being molested as a child and that some people manage to "overcome it" with lots of will. So yeah, we will need to work that one out seriously.

Something I did that makes me feel proud on doing my part for the LGBT is helping cartoonist Erika Moen to translate his comic sheet Queer to Spanish. It came out of the blue since I asked her if there was a Spanish translation and asked me if I wanted to do it.

One a more serious note, last night, for the first time, I stood up against my stepfather when he was on his usual tirade against mom. Every now and then he gets drunk, goes out 'til midnight and comes home to give mom "a piece of his mind", punches and property damage are optional.

I never act since I know that's a problem but when he forces my 7 years old little sister to watch then it's MY problem. The issues between mom and him are their issues, but they when they drag little sister it's a whole different matter. At the end, though, little sister returned with them and even when he wanted to punch me, he didn't. Just warning me about "staying in my business" and mom telling me to calm down, to let him, that he would leave (something I have heard a hundred times before...) while I told her to leave, that I would face my consequences on my own. I'm an adult now and I did it with my sound mind and spirit.

It felt cathartic, like if for the first time I could control my life but at the same time, it felt like I feel most of my life. Like a long and boring movie that I watch that every now and then needs audience participation.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:20 PM   #85
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Thank you, fimble3, kkbe, regdog and the rest. I know on-line friends can help, they have helped me a lot. Places like AW have been a life-saver to me. But on-line life is not the only life and most of my online friends are in the US or in Europe and on-line life is not an excuse to abandon the flesh and bone and mortar and brick reality we see and have to deal every day. No matter how much I would like to be, we don't live inside our minds.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:26 AM   #86
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on-line life is not an excuse to abandon the flesh and bone and mortar and brick reality we see and have to deal every day.
I don't think anyone is suggesting that you abandon "real life" in favor of online friendships. Both are valuable.

When your circle of friends is limited, you may have to go online to find someone who can relate in a particular way. If a girl is the only lesbian in her little village, she may want to get online to find someone she can relate to. That doesn't mean she's abandoned hope of making local friends, too.

I'm the only femDom I know in my flesh-and-blood community, but I know several sub boys and Domme ladies online. Having their friendship in cyberspace helps keep me moored in reality when I feel like I'm the only one with this type of relationship. It reminds me that there are others like me and I don't have to conform or change who I am to find acceptance.

Having face-to-face relationships is important, too. It toughens you up for the awkward chafing that comes with social interaction. It makes demands and tests you in ways that online relationships don't (helping a friend move, being by their side in the hospital if they fall sick, etc.)

But even though face-to-face friendships are important, that's no reason to put pressure on yourself to be friends with every social group. Maybe you connect better with coworkers than classmates. Maybe your social circle will be through church rather than fandom. It's okay if you never feel like hanging out with guys who talk about sports, fighting, overdrinking, and pop music. There's still someone out there for you--it's just not necessarily these guys.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:14 AM   #87
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You're right, I shouldn't diminish my on-line friends. Sorry online friends, you know who you are!

Things have improved with classmates, we went out last Friday for a beer and street food (hot dogs, sloppy joes, hamburgers, chawarmas, etc.) and I was so excited since it was the first time I had such gesture. Sadly, it was ruined by a well-meaning but obnoxious classmate telling me his twisted version of "the facts of life" with such gems like "first you're shy, but after you get the hang of it you won't be able to stop thinking raping any women that you see." The rest of the group felt awkward at his comments as well.

I was thinking to tell my parents on my bisexuality, but I decided not to until I get some independence. Mom suspects I may be gay, but I know she prefers being uncertain than not and stepdad is quite narrow-minded, so I'm not sure how he will react. Dad, on the other hand, is far liberal but I would feel guilty not telling my mother first.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:37 AM   #88
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See, that's the difference, with real-life friends, you can immediately see by their faces that they think this guy is going too far, as well.
On-line, you have to wait for feed-back, and if no-one says anything, you don't know if you're the only one who thought the obnoxious guy was inappropriate, or if people just don't want to actually say anything.

And, these guys seem to like you, they invite you places, they drink beer with you.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:14 PM   #89
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Indeed, frimble. I need to be less paranoid and grow a bit of a thicker skin about some subjects and be thankful that, despite our differences, I have excellent friends in real life and on-life.

In other news, lil sis apparently has discovered there's such thing as gay people. A classmate of hers told her that in his house he saw boys kissing other boys and girls kissing other girls, she asked mom in disbelief if such thing was possible. I don't know what mom told her but when she commented it to me she said resigned "Well, I guess I can't keep her in a bubble."

This makes me sad and worries me what did she told her.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:52 PM   #90
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Do you feel that's something you could discuss/explain to lil sis?
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:04 AM   #91
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Do you feel that's something you could discuss/explain to lil sis?
Only if she brings up the subject, like when we were watching The Chronicles of Narnia the other day and she hadn't seen the WWII beginning and had a talk on war and why people fight but I don't want overstep my role as a brother as it is felt a bit as a disrespect to the roles of parents of my mother and stepdad as they have pointed it out to me every now and then.

Also, I don't want to insist on the subject. I remember the first time I was aware about people being other than heterosexual was when I saw a Simpsons episode about it with John Waters. And I thought, "OK, some folks are gay". But uncle thought he had something to mend, so we went to the store and I don't remember what he told me, I guess something among the lines of "Be a man, you like women, etc." but I remember I found the whole affair extremely creepy so I don't want her to think of it as something unsafe or unnatural, just as something as another fact of life.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:02 AM   #92
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Max, I imagine it would make you feel a little paranoid, if your friends are making a dumb joke or a sarcastic remark, that they think is just 'being clever', but that you have to consider might be directed at you, personally.
I imagine that you spend time thinking "Do they know something? Does it show?" when you've got secrets. And, a bunch of beer-drinking young men is probably not the ideal audience for your particular secret.

As for your little sister, I think you're right about overstepping, but could you ask your mother what she said? Tell her you just want to make sure that if it comes up, on TV or whatever (as in your example) that you're giving the same story. (Not that you have to give the same story, but at least you'll know what li'l sis was told.)
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:49 AM   #93
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Going to NYC

Due to my duties during the semester, I have neglected, you know, that bit of my life. I felt attracted to a boy for the first time, but like my previous attractions to girls, it felt more of a fancy whim than anything.

I'm going to NYC on late August and thought that perhaps it would be a good time to experiment a bit. Go to a club or something else, what do you think?
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:58 AM   #94
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I
Sometimes I wonder if I have to leave my cozy hometown to truly find out who or what I am.
That's what I had to do. I had some good memories there some bad, but even just moving one town over made me feel so free. Just a couple weeks ago I went to a friend's house bc her daughter had a bday party. Usually when I visit my friend it is is just me, her, and our kids. But at that party when I was around a lot of other of those small town people I realized just how different I really was in that crowd and knew that I could never move back!

Also, experimenting out of state is exactly what I did right before coming out. To small-town Indiana me, doing something that like in NYC seems like you might have to be very very careful! But at the same time, you should do what you feel comfortable with in finding yourself.
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Old 07-29-2012, 05:36 AM   #95
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That worries me a bit, Kim, to be honest. I have heard more than once of young folk who go to NYC, Miami, Barcelona, etc. who never return. Most of them are professionals who feel this country doesn't have any chances for them, I feel I have the duty to give something back and improve our country, even if it's a bit. But the enchantments of the Cosmopolis may tempt me...

There's also the comfort thing. I know that if I did what made me comfortable, I would never do anything, I wouldn't grow as a person and spent my days laying around watching TV. I feel that to progress personally I need to leave my comfort zone, but as The Fool from the Tarot Cards, I worry I may walk towards a cliff with the light blinding me.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:01 AM   #96
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well, when I experimented out of state, it was with a pen pal I'd known since I was 12. Ironically, we met through a Christian publication haha. I didn't do any random stranger type things technically. But traveling somewhere, visiting other places . . . even just going to a big city near you to see what the night life is like . . . maybe it would be interesting for you.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:41 PM   #97
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How large is the city where you live? Is there a big city in Venezuela that might be more accepting of a "different" man like you? You don't have to move to America to enjoy a "big city" culture that's more likely to be tolerant of queerness.

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I feel I have the duty to give something back and improve our country, even if it's a bit. But the enchantments of the Cosmopolis may tempt me...
This may be my individualist American upbringing talking but I think guilt is a poor reason to stay in a place where you feel you don't belong. When you "feel you have the duty", where does that message come from? Your parents? Your culture? Yourself? How do you feel when a peer moves away to another country? Do you resent the person for it? Do you fear that others will resent you if you move?

I think devoting one's life to improving the lives of others is a noble calling. (As a Christian, I see it as my primary purpose in life.) But there are people in need everywhere, Max, not just in Venezuela. You can serve the poor and marginalized in New York, Caracas, or anywhere in the world. You don't have to stay to make a positive impact in the world.

In fact, it's possible you'll have a greater impact for good somewhere else. If you stay put and you always feel shy or afraid of your peers, how far can you go? But if you live in an environment where you feel safe and you can really flourish, I think you'll have more to give to others.

Imagine yourself on your deathbed. Looking back on your life, would you feel deep regret if you moved to another country? Would you feel deep regret if you never left?

Quote:
I feel that to progress personally I need to leave my comfort zone
When I'm scared and trying something new, I set a goal that I can accomplish. For instance, if I'm scared to go to a gay bar, but I know I want to, I will set a goal that I will go inside, order a drink, and stay there for 45 minutes.

That way, I know it's only 45 minutes. Even if I'm really scared or stressed out, it's an achievable goal. I don't expect myself to stay there all night. If I'm having a great time, I can stay longer. If it's a miserable time, I still have the pride sense of, "I did it!" if I stay for the full 45 minutes.
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:36 PM   #98
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This may be my individualist American upbringing talking but I think guilt is a poor reason to stay in a place where you feel you don't belong. When you "feel you have the duty", where does that message come from? Your parents? Your culture? Yourself? How do you feel when a peer moves away to another country? Do you resent the person for it? Do you fear that others will resent you if you move?

I think devoting one's life to improving the lives of others is a noble calling. (As a Christian, I see it as my primary purpose in life.) But there are people in need everywhere, Max, not just in Venezuela. You can serve the poor and marginalized in New York, Caracas, or anywhere in the world. You don't have to stay to make a positive impact in the world.

In fact, it's possible you'll have a greater impact for good somewhere else. If you stay put and you always feel shy or afraid of your peers, how far can you go? But if you live in an environment where you feel safe and you can really flourish, I think you'll have more to give to others.

Imagine yourself on your deathbed. Looking back on your life, would you feel deep regret if you moved to another country? Would you feel deep regret if you never left?
I may not be Venezuelan, but as a Native American, I know exactly how max feels. I definitely feel a sense of responsibility to one day go back and try to help the native community and make a positive impact on the reservation. I didn't even grow up there. It's a sense of responsibility that comes from deep within me somewhere, and I don't even know exactly where. A native professor gave a keynote at a conference I helped arrange recently, and he brought up something I'll remember. Western civilization places a lot of emphasis on rights. The right to leave the rez. The right to leave Venezuela. But many native cultures have always placed more emphasis on responsibility. You can't just look out for yourself. At the same time, I want to live in a city. I want to work in the tech industry. I don't want to live on the reservation for the rest of my life. But I do want to go back and help. I think there's certainly a balance that can be made, there, max, and I think it's great that you want to go back and help your community. I think you're on a great path, and I'm sure you'll be able to find some semblance of balance between the life you want for yourself and the life you want to give to your community. I know I'll be working to try to achieve the same thing.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:23 AM   #99
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Hey Max, listen to Kuwisdelu. I don't know most of the folks in here very well but that is one heck of a good post.

Only you can decide whether you owe Venezuela anything, and we can all philosophize about it until the cows come home and never get to a conclusion. It doesn't matter. What matters is how you feel about it- it's your sense of rights and responsibilities, your impact on the world, and your happiness.

In a moment I'll tell you about feeling a similar way, but I'll leave that until last in case you want to skip it. Not everyone likes a long talker and that's okay.

My advice is twofold. First off, do not fear New York. If you have that inborn sense of duty to go back and improve things, you will feel it in your bones. These things are strong motivators and strong insulators against temptation. I think you may be selling yourself a bit short- you definitely come across as someone with the maturity and insight to do what you see as best rather than what you see as easiest.

If you are really worried, keep some kind of reminder of who you are and what you believe in around. For example many people memorize a quote or bear a trinket that has significance to them.

Second: you don't have to worried, but you may want to be cautious. If you ever move rather than visiting (I understand that you're visitng NYC this time, correct?), keep your connection with home strong. That might mean spending as much time in Venezuela as possible, or it may mean something else entirely. You will know better than I would.

The place I feel a sense of duty to is a city, albeit a small one, and in a developed country, so this may seem silly or strange. Maybe it'll be reassuring to know that a variety of people experience something like you are, I don't know.

Here comes the tl;dr part.
________

I have lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia since I was four years old, but I spent those first four years in a tiny fishing village in the neighbouring province of Newfoundland. This is the city that saved my life. In the town of my birth, if I had stayed long enough to start seeming like I might turn out as a lesbian, I would have been the victim of beatings at least and possibly worse. That's not a guess- it's a near certainty. Halifax is also the place that taught me so much of what I know. I am not exaggerating when I say my relatives in NL thought Asimov was a cold medication.

For the first half-dozen years after moving I still felt like that was my home. I was bitter about leaving, and didn't like Halifax- whether I had a reason not to or I just refused to, I don't know. And when I say fishing village, I mean 8 beaten-up little houses clinging to the rocks at the edge of the coldest, greyest, angriest part of the Atlantic ocean. So small it shares a fire department with three other towns, shares a funeral home with two, no police, no hospital for more than two hours' drive away, not even a corner store. Depressing place.

Hali and its sister city Dartmouth together form the only urban center in the province. Anyone from Nova Scotia who is not from the Halifax area is from a rural area. I love this province, the quiet little towns on the Trans-Canada highway, the mountains, the Newfoundlad-esque seafaring villages, the goddamn cow fields, all of it. And none of it moreso than Halifax.

Somewhere between 10 years old and now, Hali wormed her way into my heart. While I imagine I could leave, I don't think I could ever stay gone. The sense of belonging just snuck up on me and now I'm a Haligonian, whether I want to be or not, and weirdest of all- I want to be. 5-year-old me would be disgusted, lol. I will always have a soft spot for that little fishing village, but this is my home, and if it comes down to here or there, my loyalty is to here. That's half of this tale, really- if you don't want that to happen to you in New York (or anywhere), you may have to not let it. Live somewhere long enough and, unless you take counter-measures, you very likely will grow to love it too much to leave.

I have friends who ask me when I'm leaving Nova Scotia, and they're so surprised when I say, "Hopefully, never." It's boring, they say. There's nothing to do but drink, they say. All the jobs suck, they say. Don't you want to see the world, they say. Sure, excitement and seeing the world would be great... But nothing beats home. That's the other half of the story- it seems to me like you'll feel the same way, and I predict you will hold on to Venezuela as tightly as I hold on to Halifax. You have no reason to doubt yourself in NY, because that sense of... That sense of home is strong enough to outweigh all those cosmopolitan promises. Kapiche?

Since 17/18 when we finish high school seems like all my friends who were born in Halifax want to leave. Some of them flat-out hate it here and would fight to get out with about the same amount of passion as I would fight to stay. Very few want to leave Canada (it's a big damn country), but they never want to see Nova Scotia again. They go to the much bigger cities of Montreal and Toronto, mostly, sometimes for school or to get away from their parents, sometimes for money or just to live in a big city, sometimes for things as seemingly trivial as warmer weather. Part of the reason we work so hard to attract immigrants is to lessen the doctor shortages and such that arise as a result.

When I go to paramedic school, it will have to be in another province. It's only a 10-month course, but the 10-month course in some other provinces is of much preferable quality to the one offered in Dartmouth. And you bet your butt I'm coming back, because we have a paramedic shortage here and thus Halifax needs me. I can't ignore this city's problems or needs any more than I could ignore a broken bone. Toronto could lose their last ambulance, and I still wouldn't go there unless Nova Scotia had extra ones. Home comes first.

The place to be if you're a Canadian 20-something who wants to make a difference right now is apparently Montreal, where protests are making headlines. I want to make a difference, but if I ever went to Montreal, I know I would be back here within a year or less. A few of my friends who are Halifax buskers, drifters, punks etc feel the same way I do, and they solve it by living in Halifax when it's all situation normal and travelling specifically to join big protests, coming back here when the protest either succeeds or is stamped out. I could see myself maybe doing that if there were no way to make a meaningful impact here.

So, yeah. Finding balance, man, it can be done, and you won't be the only one trying to do it. Take heart, my friend. That is all.
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Old 08-02-2012, 11:08 AM   #100
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How large is the city where you live? Is there a big city in Venezuela that might be more accepting of a "different" man like you? You don't have to move to America to enjoy a "big city" culture that's more likely to be tolerant of queerness.
It's hard to tell due to uneven statistics, but my city is about the size of Seattle and the population of Baltimore with a density alike Milwaukee. Does this makes sense? I'm not sure. Here it is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maracay

It's pretty much a small industrial city where everyone sorta knows everyone, everyone went to the very same five or six high schools and go to the same two or three shopping malls and "exotic" is crossing the state border to the larger, older and wealthier Valencia to see their parks where they sell you carrot bags to feed the squirrels and outlet malls with bookstores that cover two floors and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Yes, KFC is exotic!

Caracas would be the first choice, but with such high crime and the whole stress of it makes more bad than good. Maracaibo is out of the question for reasons too long to list but in short, Zulia, the state which Maracaibo is capital, is Venezuela's Texas. Valencia would be the logical choice: It's closer to my hometown (only 40 minutes on bus) and it's not as large and mean as Caracas as is not so... painfully idiosincrastic... as Maracaibo but people of Valencia tend to look down the people of my hometown and the whole region who is not from Valencia, forging the same circle of friends since school to old age.

Quote:
This may be my individualist American upbringing talking but I think guilt is a poor reason to stay in a place where you feel you don't belong. When you "feel you have the duty", where does that message come from? Your parents? Your culture? Yourself?
It's cultural. According to Max Webber, English (and by extent, American) individualism came up thanks to the Puritan Work Ethic whereas "salvation" is something individually achieved though hard work for society as a whole rather than familiar and communal through rituals, shared experience, etc.

The US has a very strong ideal of the power of individualism: Jefferson's Yeoman Farmer, the Pioneers during Manifest Destiny, etc. A person controls the environment for his or her choice to manage with responsibility. Those who can't, those who are not succesful are therefore "losers" who cannot keep up with society.

While Latino culture is a culture of "Together we survive, apart we starve" God and nature is not something you understand nor manage, it's something that manages you, controls you and you learn to live with it. You try to live with the bare minimum and aspire less what you want on a long-run, since you are never sure what comes on a long-run, and try to be happy on the short-run.
This blog written in English by a Venezuelan in Montrťal sums it all pretty well:
/


Quote:

Precarious.

Today youíre alive, but tomorrow you might not be.

Today youíre free, but tomorrow, who knows.

Today you were on time for work. Tomorrow, who knows? You might be stuck in traffic for three hours.

Today you found cooking oil on the shelves. Tomorrow Ö

Today you own your house, your savings, your car. Tomorrow, you may wake up with nothing.

Today you are healthy. Tomorrow you may have dengue, or mal de Chagas.

Today you can travel overseas. It may be the last trip youíre allowed to make.

Right now, youíre reading this blog. In half an hour, the lights might go out.

I guess it helps explain why, in the midst of a precarious reality, one clings to family. Friends. Booze. Religion. SanterŪa. Government handouts.

It helps to deal with the precariousness.
I guess you may see it as The Tall Poppy Syndrome"] but I feel there's no resentment to being succesful itself, but rather being proud about it and not give something back. While you eat, sleep and live happily someone who also had the same chances than you and endured the same pains than you and didn't get to be so lucky is suffering. He could be your brother, your classmate, your neighbor or your colleague even, and you do nothing to help back even when people helped you. Your success is not yours, it's your community's, and you just happened to get lucky. You don't control your luck, luck controls you. Even if you managed alone, what about your parents, your ancestors? They helped them then, you help them now.

Did you know Spanish has no word for "Earn"? We use the same verb that we use for "Win".

I guess, in short, it's Law of Jante in a Guilt Society roughly analogue to the Anglo-American's Keeping with the Joneses ideal within a Shame Society context.

Quote:
How do you feel when a peer moves away to another country? Do you resent the person for it? Do you fear that others will resent you if you move?
I have mixed feelings about them. For one, I understand the majority's motives: Quality of life has been on decay and jobs, especially highly-especialized jobs, are getting harder and harder to find and life's getting more and more expensive here with inflation.

But then you have people like this

Quote:
To the non-Spanish speakers, what we have is a bunch of aggressively spoiled rich white kids sitting around feeling sorry for themselves that Venezuelans are so beastly that they canít even exercise their core human right to party until 4 in the morning in relative safety. Their incessant whining about the fact that all their friends are leaving town are sprinkled with a failure of understand the world around them that just boggles the mind. This film is only superficially about emigration: really, itís about a class thatís utterly failed to understand its own privilege.
For an entire week, the entire nation was united by their hatred of four preppy kids.

To put things in better perspective, I have a gay cousin. His name is Juan Carlos and I didn't even know he was gay until mom told me. We don't ask about, he doesn't tell about it. He came here due to his grandma dying in a public hospital. Can you imagine him being a doctor in the US coming to a state capital's general hospital, in a city of over 100,000 people and discovering that the hospital has no syringes? It has to ask the patients to bring their own medical supplies! Thinking how much easier is getting something so basic like an oxygen tank or Vitamin C in the US and having who you share a bond, like it or not, dying for less than nothing? Yet, this people would no doubt judge him, humiliate him for his sexual orientation, for what he is.

After his grandma died, he told his niece, who also lives with him, after talking the prospect to return here to be with his mom and his grandfather. "Why do you want to be here? It's a dead-end! Think of your career."

And the question remains: Your people or yourself?

Quote:
I think devoting one's life to improving the lives of others is a noble calling. (As a Christian, I see it as my primary purpose in life.) But there are people in need everywhere, Max, not just in Venezuela. You can serve the poor and marginalized in New York, Caracas, or anywhere in the world. You don't have to stay to make a positive impact in the world.

In fact, it's possible you'll have a greater impact for good somewhere else. If you stay put and you always feel shy or afraid of your peers, how far can you go? But if you live in an environment where you feel safe and you can really flourish, I think you'll have more to give to others.
But it's not something that I want to, it's something I feel I must. It's something I own. It's the dream, you know? To make Venezuela to flourish to others like me, to be there and assure that one can flourish here and that this, Venezuela, Latin America, etc. it's not a lost cause.

But then I hear mom making plans for me: to buy a house there, to get a job in the local newspaper since the editor owns her a favor, to marry a nice girl and get nice children. It scares me, I want to find my place in life on my own: what I like, who I am... but it scares to get lost in the trip, if that makes sense. And then I remember that old Spaniard adage: Small town, big hell.

Kat, you're one of my best and closest online friends. What do you see me doing with my life?

Quote:
Imagine yourself on your deathbed. Looking back on your life, would you feel deep regret if you moved to another country? Would you feel deep regret if you never left?
This is my biggest fear, to die full of regrets. What is worst? To live a great life and die alone and not having someone to care about you or to die unsatisfied but surounded by people who loved you?

Quote:
When I'm scared and trying something new, I set a goal that I can accomplish. For instance, if I'm scared to go to a gay bar, but I know I want to, I will set a goal that I will go inside, order a drink, and stay there for 45 minutes.

That way, I know it's only 45 minutes. Even if I'm really scared or stressed out, it's an achievable goal. I don't expect myself to stay there all night. If I'm having a great time, I can stay longer. If it's a miserable time, I still have the pride sense of, "I did it!" if I stay for the full 45 minutes.
[/QUOTE]

I like it. I think I shall put it to practice. After all, a dozen small goals can make a big one, right?
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