10% I woke up confused in a hotel room, looked over and realized, “Oh right, I fucked a celebrity” smiled a bit and went back to sleep.

9% Realized I was content with my life

8% I take that back, help me I only have 8% battery life and I need a ride home.

7% Wondering why you didn’t text me all weekend

6% My sex life is not for you to explain to your friends, I am in control you cannot shame me.

5% Why haven’t my friends picked me up yet?

4% Wishing you were texting me but realized you were probably three beers in at 8am and realized you are too self absorbed to remember my name

3% If you aren’t 3 beers in, maybe you were in someone else?

2% MAY-DAY MAY-DAY 2% HELP ME

1% It’ll be okay.

It has been two years since I made the conscious decision to take time off of school. Two years ago I left home and joined a program where I would be traveling the country doing disaster response with a team of like-minded individuals. After that year was coming to an end I decided that I wasn’t going back to school anytime soon. I now live in Chicago (New Jersey transplant) and I work as an HIV testing counselor. Leaving school has been the best decision of my life. While I understand the importance of getting an education what I don’t understand is the massive amount of stress we put ourselves under trying to get there. So you do the thing you were programmed to do which was graduate high school, get into a great school (heaven forbid you decide you want to go to community college, you are looked at like a pariah), graduate from school. Then get several unpaid internships, which do nothing for the $50,000+ debt you are in. What is next? The next logical step would be to go to graduate school to put your already increasing loans on hold to accumulate more debt. In America we feel it is appropriate to decide what we will be doing the rest of our lives at the age of 16. How in the hell does someone with raging hormones decide what their life will look like in the next 40 years. When I was 16 I was trying to survive high school just focused on getting out of that systematic prison. Okay, high school was not that bad but I didn’t like the environment I was put in, that is a whole other demon I won’t get into here. After going away to school for a semester I looked at my life and said, “Fuck this” and moved back home to do one more semester at a community college. While doing this I applied to the program where I could make a difference and travel and meet great people. I was accepted and embarked on a new journey. If you asked me two years ago where I thought I would be, I would have said something along the lines of still in school earning my degree in Biology and secondary education. If I went down that path I would be very unhappy where I would have ended up. Through my traveling and working in Chicago I realized that I want to get into psychology and sociology and work with those in need. I am happy where I am and what I do. But I made a decision when I was a young boy and told myself that traveling would be a huge aspect of my life. Due to this, I have booked my ticket to Europe for the summer, with no return date. I have been told my people that I am so inspiring and they could never do what I do; they are stuck in school and wish they could be like me. I am glad I have been able to show people there are other options out there than one set path but anyone can do it just takes the courage to one day make the move and change your life. I know that this is not an option for everyone just like I know school is not for everyone. So do what you feel is best for yourself and just do it with all your heart. I said that leaving school was the best decision I have ever made in the beginning of this now what was the best decision YOU have ever made?

Ticket purchased: Check.

July 17th I embark on yet another journey. I have booked my plane ticket to Lisbon, Portugal. I will begin my journey there and backpack across Europe for the summer. I am supposed to be going with an old friend but that doesn’t look like it is happening so I am now taking this journey by myself. If that is the case, I am excited and nervous but I cannot wait to experience something strange and unforgettable again. I made a promise to myself and that is to continue to travel, see the world, and do some good in it. I am trying to live up to that and do something worth writing about. I am always inspired by friends of mine that I have made throughout the years, they are all such free spirits, traveling anywhere they can, anyway they can. I love that my friend circle has grown to such wanderers. Not all of us are as lost as we seem, we are exactly where we want to be and exactly where we are supposed to be. A wise man once said, “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” Robert Louis Stevenson knew that traveling was good for the soul and is very much needed. Experience cultures unlike your own and fall in love with everything.

“The journey is the destination.” -Dan Eldon

Haven’t kept up with this lately. Maybe it is because I have been so busy or maybe it is because I have nothing of huge importance to write about. Either way I am trying to figure it all out. I have made some choices that many people would consider taboo; and I am okay with that. I am learning that how to grow up and I am not sure what that even means yet. I am learning that rules of life are meant to be broken and no one is at fault for messing up. I am a huge fuck up and I am in love with that fact. All others fuck off.

Traveling made me a better person, how about you?

Thought Catalog

If you have the opportunity to pack your bags and go, do it. Go alone if you have to.

Don’t do it for vacation. Don’t do it for luxury. Don’t do it to take pictures for your Instagram account. Do it because it will make you a better person.

And here’s why:

Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 11.37.43 AM

1. Learning to be alone.

Have lunch with yourself. Sit with your thoughts and be okay with them, whatever they are. Love yourself whole-heartedly, especially in times of solitude. And when you think you can’t sit alone any longer, order coffee and a dessert.

2. Relying on the kindness of strangers.

Foreignness does not prevent random acts of kindness. Accept them. Give them. Appreciate them.

3. Learning to live with less.

This does not mean claiming hardship. Let this manifest in small ways. Recognize your…

View original post 234 more words

I never Reblog others posts but this deserves it. SNAPPING EVERYWHERE THIS IS MY LIFE SO ACCURATE. LOVE IT

Thought Catalog

When I started traveling, my dad asked what I’m running away from. My mother constantly wants to know when I will “settle down” and join the “real world”. Someone once commented on my blog and told me to stop running away and live life. There was even a blog called “Mom says I’m Running Away” once.

I’m not sure why, but there is this perception out there that anyone who travels long-term and isn’t interested in settling down or getting a conventional job must be running away from something.

They are just trying to “escape life.”

The general opinion is that traveling is something everyone should do — that gap years after college and short vacations are acceptable. But for those of us who lead nomadic lifestyles, or just linger a bit too long somewhere, we are running away.

Yes, travel — but just not for too long.

We nomads must have…

View original post 653 more words

I have known pain, I have suffered. being a closeted gay man in a town full of macho men is not the easiest thing in the world to do. I battled anxiety, depression, hate, bigotry over the fear that I would be found out as a gay man… When ever since 7th grade they already branded me as a faggot I never had a choice to be who I was and that is where I will stop talking about me. Pain is something I have seen in my friends eyes constantly. Some are just better at hiding it than others. I know that growing up in a town filled with middle and upper class people isn’t always the worst thing. But we are given white privilege without even asking for it. We are spoon fed, what is “Right and Wrong” when lets fucking face the facts people there is no such thing as as right and wrong. We are raised to believe that skinny is pretty and that love is something you have to be a straight cisgender couple to have. Growing up like this leads my friends to do things that they aren’t proud of they are only doing it because society has told them that they are fucking ugly. When they are probably some of the most stunning people I have ever seen, so here is where I stop talk and here is where I let a dear friend someone who has done things in the name of fashion, beauty, wealth when all along she was stunning:

The first time I remember ever really feeling bad about myself was in fifth grade. I was in a one piece, orange Speedo, sitting on my Dad’s lap. He looked down at me, “Ariana, you have stretch marks,” he must have seen the look on my face because he followed with, “but don’t worry, I won’t tell Mommy.” No of course not, Miss I weighed 92 pounds when I got married could not know that her 10 year old actually had stretch mark on her thighs and was already pushing 86 pounds. I had always been different. As mentioned, I grew up with the fact that my mom weight a mere 92 pounds when she got married drilled into my head. My brother and sister both took after her, thin, almost frail looking. My mother even ate bread with butter and sugar on it, as a teenager to try and gain weight, but couldn’t. I ate a candy bar and seemed to go up a pants size. I wasn’t obese, but I wasn’t the skinniest either. I was a child; children have baby fat, just because I was different though, that didn’t make me wrong. I remember my brother jokingly calling me fat, when I told him how much I weighed I had to reassure him that most kids in my grade were around that weight. My mom always warning, “If you can pinch more than an inch” and reminding me to suck it in. I felt so alone; everyone in my family was thin. Who was I supposed to turn to about my insecurities?

         By 8th grade I was eating lettuce for lunch, I guess that should have been a warning sign that I was headed down such a horrible path. I remember one day at lunch a friend turned to me and said, “wow Ariana, you actually look skinny today.” I wasn’t the only one filling my head with “fat” thoughts; it was others too.  I have a Journal entry from February 24, 2009. I had just begun high school, was meeting all of these new people, making new friends and I was worried about my weight.

         Dear Journal,

… I hate food, I mean and the way people react when I don’t eat it. I sometimes think that they think I do it just for attention and not the fact that I am extremely self-conscious and have low self-esteem. I hate gym so much. And no one understands the real reason I don’t want to do any of the trust activities. No! It is not because I don’t want to be touched! It is because I feel very uncomfortable with people holding me I feel as though they all know my weight. In fact I basically never sit on anyone’s lap unless they are a girl that I am very close with. Otherwise I usually freak out especially if someone decides to randomly pick me up. For example this past weekend, when I was at Matt’s house and Dom decided to pick me up upside down so let’s think: My chub was flailing all over the place, he knew how much I weighed, and he was probably struggling to hold me. Also, yesterday after school when Andrew picked me up over his shoulder twice, he knew how much I weighed. And not to mention when he and Sal lifted me up and dumped me outside.

I used to tell my friends, “don’t touch the chub” I turned it into a joke. It was a defense mechanism, I figured if I made fun of it, maybe they wouldn’t want to, or I could feel better about myself. I didn’t.

By my sophomore year in high school I was eating less than 500 calories a day and had stuck a tooth brush down my throat, eventually I resorted to using my fingers, I found this was easier. People joked when I wouldn’t eat, one time at my friend Matt’s house a whole bunch of guys tied me to a chair and tried force-feeding me ramen noodles; I started to cry. I was so disgusted with myself, but I would secretly binge and purge. I was at war with myself, always comparing myself to others. I was short and stumpy, my friends had long legs, flat stomachs, boobs, butts, and all I had was an okay face.

         I didn’t even make out with a boy until the end of my sophomore year in high school. But once I did, I didn’t stop, it made me feel good about myself; like someone wanted me, when all they really wanted was a hook up and nothing more. I never really “talked” to a guy before, not until my freshman year in college, but we will talk about that later. I have a word document from May of 2010, it reads:

         Weight:

Heaviest: 115

105  

104

103 5/6/10

100 5/7/10 1:15 PM: with a tampon, earrings, bra, underwear and hair tie.

Lightest: 99 1:30 PM with tampon.

 I would weigh myself over and over again, if I ate something, went to the bathroom, worked out, whatever the case. I felt in control with my eating disorder, ironic isn’t it? So many things in life I had no control over, but I could control what went in and what came out of my body.

         The summer going into my freshman year in college I got really into working out, afraid of gaining the FRESHMAN FIFTEEN. My mom had just competed in a figure competition and only weighed 103 pounds on the day of her show. My mom weighed less than me, could fit into my jeans better than me, and could rock a bathing suit without feeling self-conscious. My mom was 50 and I was 18. I had my brother train me, I was losing weight and getting in shape, I was happy. I continued his workout regiment in college, only it wasn’t enough, I was making myself throw up more often than usual, I would hide it by saying things like “yeah I worked out too hard at the gym” I would even start to “feel sick” on the walk home from the gym so that when I threw up it wouldn’t seem so out of the blue. I was good at hiding it; I had already been hiding it for so long.

Then I met a boy, the first guy to actually talk to me, and eventually my first boyfriend. I came clean to him about my eating disorder, he told me if I wanted to be with him I would have to stop, and I did. He’d lay with me in bed one day, and I pointed out everything I hated about myself, and he told me how beautiful I was, how I had nothing to hate. And I believed him. He was the first person to ever get through to me, the first person to truly make me feel beautiful, and have me believe it. All of the things he said to me though, all of the confidence he gave me, evaporated. He ended things with me, cheated on me, and told me that he never loved me, and he had been using me the whole time. I meant nothing to him, and that every time he was with me, he was thinking of her. The night I found out he cheated on me was the last time I ever made myself throw up, August 9th.  I figured, I must be this disgustingly ugly and fat person if no one wants me, even someone who claimed to love me, was just using me for a hookup like everyone else. Why didn’t anyone want me? It made me question every time he told me I was beautiful, if our relationship was a lie, wasn’t everything he said to me a lie too? After that day, I realized I didn’t want anyone else to be in control of how I felt about myself, screw society. I am beautiful and I am strong. I would like to thank him for putting me in such a low place, and forcing me to be the only person who could take myself out of that mindset for good. The hurt made me realize how much I could accomplish on my own, that I am invincible, beautiful, intelligent, and brave. After 6 years of mutilation, it has been 76 days since I have starved myself, made myself throw up, and hated myself. In that time I have overcome so much, I have learned to love myself, my body, I wake up each morning and tell myself that I am beautiful. If I am having a rough day, I give myself a pep talk about how awesome I am. If my heart is hurting, I remind myself that not everything is meant to be, and that is okay because now I am one step closer to finding my own happy ever after. And I’ll be healthy and alive to see it happen, I won’t let this disease consume me any longer. I am brave and beautiful. I am Ariana Evans and I am a survivor.

We all have our own stories. Feel free to share yours here, on your blog, with your journal, with the public. You are in control, you are loved and you are beautiful!

Do not forget it

Do not throw me in your bed without asking and telling me a few important details first:

1. My name

2. My HIV Status/Your HIV Status

3. Do I have an STI/STD’s?

4. Do you have a condom?/I have condoms

I think those are simple enough questions to ask someone before taking me home? I mean I could be wrong but I think I deserve a least a little respect after all I am a human being and deserve the same amount of respect you give to others in your everyday life. If you see me out in public and then message me on a dating site I am on saying something like I see you. Don’t bother just come up to me and strike up a conversation. I am a human being. I do not bite. Unless I really want to. Also No does truly mean No. If I don’t want it I will tell you and you better respect my decision I am no piece of meat. 

That is all.

-S

http://www.nj.com/middlesex/index.ssf/2013/10/edison_teen_who_caused_triple_fatal_crash_left_suicide_note_on_his_arm_official_says.html#incart_river

Suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem. Bullying is never okay. This should be addressed more heavily at schools. It is not. It should be. 

 It is a shame that someone who was bullied had to think of a permanent solution for a temporary problem, and whether intentionally killing those other 2 or not. I think when someone is so desperate for death they obviously aren’t thinking clearly and not thinking of other options to end their lives. I am saddened to say that this is the new normal. Suicide is I believe the 11th cause of death in America, and I foresee that number growing because kids in school aren’t taught not to bully, and they learn it at home from watching parents discuss those who are different. I would like to think that schools now have a better anti-bullying program or better systems in place but I find it disgusting that some teachers see bullying happen and say nothing and do nothing. And then wonder why schools are being shot up and the number of kids (especially LGBTQ) are killing themselves at alarming rates. And when I do get my mental health degree that is something I would love to be a part of, changing the social divide on what is moral and what people can over look. Seeing people kill themselves because they believe no one will love them, I feel like we have taken one step back towards the closet when we should be taking steps further away from that door. 

Do not put me in a box. I am a complex multi-functional machine with different buttons, switches, cogs, and the like.   I have been noticing a lot lately that especially in the gay community there is always someone asking how I identify in the “Gay Farm?” Yeah lets call it that. Not everyone has an animal name but the two main animals are Bears and Otters. Then you have Daddy, Geek, Jock, Leather, Poz, Rugged, Twink, and Trans AMONG many other names. My appearance does not define who I am as a person nor does my sexual identity. I am a hard worker, I am a friend, a brother, a son.  I spend a good majority of my life moving and traveling.  Because if you stay in one place too long then you get potted and you leave roots in the people you meet. That is not a bad thing but it is nothing something I see myself doing for a long time. But back to labels.  I am all of these things and A LOT more. I am a lot more complex than most people take me for and that is at no fault of their own. They see me as one thing and I am forever type-cast as it in my own life. I refuse to be type-cast, I have dared to break the mold and try new things, leaving my town and the ones I love behind and maybe it isn’t for ever but it is for now. And all we have is now so why waste it being something just to appease those around you.  Fuck that.

 

-S