Monthly Archives: January 2019

Dispatches From The Far North

nwt

 

Have I ever mentioned that after college I ran away into the woods?

 

LA had worn me down and beaten me to the ground. I was so depressed I could barely stand up most of the time. And then that’s when I discovered American Transcendentalism, and the ideals of running away and escaping capitalist society.

I took Thoreau for his word and ran away.  And now that I’m older and read Thoreau more clearly, I’m pretty fuckin annoyed… because he never actually ran away. He lived on a lake only a few miles from town. He literally would walk home and eat with his family and shit… what a twat.

I on the other hand, during my period of total infatuation with his ideas, really did run away into the middle of nowhere. Where there were no roads. No phones. No sewage systems…

I went to the Northwest Territories, a little north of the Great Slave Lake.

There, I lived in a “cabin” which was really just a plywood box that was covered in arctic tarp. Recently, I found the pictures I took of inside my cabin.

Whenever I’m feeling down, writing and art has always saved me. And so, being up there was no different.  Armed with nothing but sidewalk chalk (why was there sidewalk chalk? I have no idea…) Anyways, armed with sidewalk chalk and bare plywood walls, I got to work.

Here are a few of my derelict masterpieces:

 

cabin1

Here, with CHERRY BOOM, I needed color, and I need fun. I went for a retro-Pac Man thing because it was exciting.  It was something that made me feel like I wasn’t completely lost from society. A memento that there was a world full of video games, ice tea, and mattresses that I could return to at some point.

 

 

cabin2

This was my manifesto to the world. I wrote this, and then read this to myself every night before going to sleep. It was a way for me to tell myself that I’m not done. I went to the woods to find myself, but the woods wouldn’t be my final resting place.

 

 

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My absolute favorite.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written these words in my journal, or said this under my breath as I’m about to take on a challenging day. The albatross has always been my spirit animal. They’re so large, so misunderstood, and so solitary, that it’s hard to imagine how they survive. But, against the odds, and against the elements, these birds flourish, even though they can spend months over the open ocean without ever even seeing land. They’re stronger than you’d ever believe. And so, I look to the albatross, flying high, for inspiration.

 

Eye to the sky!

 

~ The Dark Horse

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Can The City You Live In Impact Your Mental Health?

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The short answer (In my opinion) is yes. And in multiple ways. Let me explain:

 

For starters, if you’re living in a city where you don’t fit in, then right off the bat, you will have problems.  For example, I’m from Ohio.

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I am gay, very liberal, loves travel, and have always wanted to do something in the arts and in media, and have always wanted to somehow impact the world in a big way.

Ohio is a lot of blue collar people who don’t have passports (and who rarely even leave the state), they’re mostly republicans who fear the outside world, and life consists of going to work to make money to start a family and go to church to pray to God to let you go to heaven because you’ve spent your entire life only half-lived, because you’ve been suck in the social norms that your too afraid to ever step away from.

Ohio also has a very bad crime problem, and is part of the opiod epidemic, along with having a bad meth problem as well, but that’s a whole other story… 

ANYWAYS, the point is, someone like me just doesn’t fit in there. It just wasn’t ever going to work. My life in Ohio would always have been un-lived because there isn’t anything there for me.

And the same can be true for the other side of the spectrum as well.  If you’re a Protestant who thinks homosexuality is a sin, and loves Trump and wants him to build the wall, and you genuinely fear and hate people of a different skin color from you…  you’re probably going to have a horrible miserable life in cities line New York, LA, or San Fransisco.

And as much as I’m terrified by the idea of some Protestant with so much hate and fear inside them, part of the trick is just finding where they fit.  Just like I needed to find where I fit.

 

But there’s also more factors:  

For example, Los Angeles, is car-centered city.  When you walk out to a road, it looks like this:

ohio1

 

You don’t see many people out walking the streets. For America’s second largest city, you sometimes wonder if you’re in a suburb somewhere.

And don’t get me wrong. There are some very beautiful, fun, and lively parts of LA. Sunset Strip, WeHo, Santa Monica, Venice.  You’ll find busy areas.

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But if you ever live there, you’ll soon realize that this is a very small percentage of LA. Most of LA, on the street level, is a barren wasteland.

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And I used to find that emptiness absolutely crushing. I used to walk around, trying to shake off my depressive episodes by being in public, hoping to gain some energy from the outside world.  And I’d wander around and be like… Holy crap, do people actually live in this city?  So, if you’re like me and find yourself lonely a lot… find yourself in desperate need of some good company… try major cities like New York, Chicago, or even San Fransisco, where the streets will be full of pedestrians, mass transit is packed, and everything seems more alive.

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But perhaps you’re not like me. Maybe you’re not a guy in his 20’s. Maybe you’re a middle-aged woman who wants a garden. Or you’re parents who don’t want to raise their children in Manhattan (which, does have it’s problems for kids… the other day I watched a couple of 15 yr olds buy drugs…. it was insanely depressing.)

Then a big hustling city might cause you stress. Whereas it’s great for me, it might make you miserable. Then you gotta go and find where you belong!

 

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Maybe you need a place like Burlington, VT? A good school system, some large corporations, but also the quaint, small, safety of a little New England City?  We all need different things.  And we all need to be where we feel comfortable and happy. Because that is the first step to good mental health. 

 

Speaking of good mental health… perhaps you’re like me and you need sunshine.  Avoid Places like Chicago and Boston, which sit at the easterly end of their time zones, and the sun sets early. Word of advice from someone who has lived in both of these cities. In the winter, it will be completely dark before you’re out of work. You will spend a few months in eternal darkness.

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But time zones are the only thing to worry about. Locations like Portland and Seattle are covered by clouds most of the year. And how far North you are will also have a huge impact on sunshine….So, you can rule out Alaska.

 

Obviously, there are huge factors that make a lot of this not possible. For example, if you’re a surgeon, you probably couldn’t go live in Manning, North Dakota. No matter how desperately you want to live in a rural village, close to the great outdoors… you just won’t find employment there.

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Or if you have kids who are in school. Or if you have sick parents that need caring for. Or allergies, or skin conditions, and the list goes on and on.

 

Being able to move is a luxury that I have because I’m young, and have no spouse, or children. I understand that. And I understand that not everyone can go and try and find where they fit. But still, where you live has a huge impact on your mental health. So, if you’re in a position where it’s possible (and Im not just talking about fear… don’t ever let fear be the thing keeping you stuck where you are.)  A dying parent, sure. Then you have a srepbsobilty to someone and are needed. And you’re stuck. sadly.

But don’t hide behind excuses either.  Yes, moving away may put you further from your family, and from what’s familiar. But don’t ever let fearing the unknown keep you somewhere. Don’t hide behind the excuses of “Oh but what if one day my parents happen to get sick…” or “How will my friend group go on without me…” That’s just you hiding behind excuses because you’re afraid. If you’re truly unhappy somewhere, and you have the ability to take the leap… then honey, you gotta’ go full-blown Thelma and Louise and just gun it!

 

ohio10

 

~ The Dark Horse

Was this proofread?  I’ll say this. It wasn’t not proofread. But it also wasn’t “proofread” per-se. Does that make any sense?

 

Why I hate East Coast Liberals

hipster

So, for starters I’m going to say, I’m liberal. I’m like, super, super beyond liberal. Having lived in countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand, I’ve seen that a high minimum wage, universal healthcare, gun control, and strong social services for the underprivileged not only are possible, but they work. And they create strong, healthy, happy countries, with good stable economies. 

Don’t believe me? Here’s a few links for various studies.  Feel free to alert me when you’ve found America on any of these lists (But lets be real here, Republicans won’t believe anything besides Fox News anyways…so this is probably pointless)

CNBC

CNN

Telegraph

Global Peace Index

 

But anyways, I’m a stark raging liberal. However, I’m not a fucking idiot. And because I’m not an idiot, I have to let everyone know that I fucking hate East Coast Liberals. 

I’m at a cafe right now on the Upper West Side, and there are two obnoxious spoiled, privileged, Jewish liberals next to me saying the dumbest shit in the entire world. Here’s a small selection:

“Oh my God, you know who I love? Beto O’Rourke! He’s the next president.”

“I’m going to visit one of the refugee camps down south and interview LGBTQ migrants, because really, they’re a group that’s been ignored in the zeitgeist.”

“I’m taking a trip to Texas to visit southern synagogues because, like, life is different down in Texas, and I want to see what it’s like.  Do you know that there aren’t as many Jewish people down in Texas? Isn’t that strange?”

“You know it’s wrong when someone sees a white baby with a non-white mother pushing the stroller, and they assume it’s the baby’s nanny. It’s totally internalized racism!”

And the list goes on… in fact they’re still next to me. And I sort of want to kill them. Let’s unpack some of these quotes shall we? Examine where everything is going wrong with liberals these days.

 

Quote 1:

“Oh my God, you know who I love? Beto O’Rourke! He’s the next president.” 

hip

Ok, east coast liberals, listen up… up until this most recent election cycle, you had no fucking idea who Beto O’Rourke was. So can democrats please stop acting like he’s the Godsend you’ve all been waiting for? Besides, look at your track record with other democrats…you’ll just end up hating him anyways.

Don’t believe me?

Remember when you loved Hilary Clinton?  Do you love her now?  No. You all hate her.

Remember when you all loved Bill Clinton? Do you love him now?  No. You think he’s a sex offender.

Remember when you all loved Elizabeth Warren? Do you still love her now? No. You all hate her, and you actually turned on her quite quickly, considering that she’s actually a wonderful politician.

Remember when you all loved Nancy Pelosi? Yeah… ya’ll are turning on her pretty fast these days…

What’s the bottom line here? It’s this: Liberals demand across-the-board-perfection from their politicians (which is fucking hilarious considering that human perfection is impossible. And it’s a standard that none of you liberals even hold yourselves to). So, democrats will continue to burn down their own castle over dumb shit, and Trump will win again in 2020, because even though republicans are fucking selfish idiots, they at least have the power to agree in the name of winning elections.

 

Quote #2

“I’m going to visit one of the refugee camps down south and interview LGBTQ migrants, because really, they’re a group that’s been ignored in the zeitgeist.” 

hip1

Is it important to hear stories of diverse individuals?  Yes. But is it also SO INSANELY STUPID AND WRONG for some group of over-privileged Jews from Uptown Manhattan to go run down and “save” these poor lost puppies (Oh, I’m sorry…no they’re humans… it’s just that you treat them like lost puppies.) And you do all this simply because it will help your own social status.  You don’t just go hunt down LGBTQ migrants solely to use them for their oppression status if you’re actually a genuine person. Minorities are not a prop for you to use to increase your social standing you selfish fucking cunts. Stay in Manhattan and continue living off of daddy’s money. #Thanks.

 

Quote #3

“I’m taking a trip to Texas to visit southern synagogues because, like, life is different down in Texas, and I want to see what it’s like.  Do you know that there aren’t as many Jewish people down in Texas? Isn’t that strange?”

hip3

Again, democrats, you want to know why you’re going to lose the presidency again in 2020?  This is why. The fact that America is made up of 50 states, and you can only comprehend the lifestyles of people in about 5, maybe 10 at the very most, of those states, is why. Once again, these aren’t just props. Middle America isn’t just the setting to TV shows and novels. They’re actual states with actual people living there.

And if you want to live in your little bubbles in the big coastal cities and not even try to understand the rest of your own fucking country, then that’s fine. You can. You can be just as stupid and small minded as republicans are. THE PROBLEM HERE is that liberals are the ones who claim to be the educated party. The just party. The party of equality and diversity. But the fact that you see Texas as this strange new frontier with a lifestyle so bizarre that you can’t even fathom it…. that proves that you’re not the educated party filled with open-minded individuals. It shows you’re a bunch of fucking idiots who are no better than Republicans who look at New York and Los Angeles with complete blankness. So get off your high horse please.

 

Quote #4

“You know it’s wrong when someone sees a white baby with a non-white mother pushing the stroller, and they assume it’s the baby’s nanny. It’s totally internalized racism!” 

Gwen Stefani Is A Hot Mama in Harem Pants!

Another HUGE problem with liberals. Creating enemies out of everyone because you love stroking your own cocks at the very idea that you’re better than others.

Is it wrong that someone would assume a non-white mother could have a white baby? Sure. It’s ignorance, it’s a lack of knowledge of the world, it’s stupidity. It can be a lot of things. But by slapping the term RACIST on someone implies that there is a malicious intent on their part. It implies that they’re actively judging the mother BECAUSE OF HER SKIN COLOR.

But here’s another possibility: I used to work in a Pinkberry in Brentwood. The rich area of Los Angeles. Do you know how many hispanic nannies came in every single day with white woman’s babies? Sometimes, the rich white women would come in with the nanny! The mother would literally make the nanny push the pram! So, is it possible that someone is used to associating a non-white woman pushing a white baby in stroller as a nanny? YES ABSOLUTELY. But that isn’t racism. That isn’t the same as a person being like, “THAT WOMAN IS NON WHITE, SO SURELY SHE COULDN’T POSSIBLY BE A MOTHER! SHE MUST BE A NANNY!”

You’re confusing ignorance with hatred. And when you call ignorant people hateful people, then guess what, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO WIN THEM OVER. Its another great example of liberals shooting themselves in the foot and pushing others away, Purely because they’re so obsessed with feeling superior to others.

 

Ok, I need to get back to work now. I just had to rant otherwise my brain would have exploded.

~ The Dark Horse

(This was totally not proofread. It was written out of pure frustration)

I’m Getting Published!

write

So, I received an email from a literary magazine the other day, and it seems that the Dark Horse is finally about to get published! (Confetti falls from the ceiling and there’s much fanfare throughout the entire human population… Or… well, really, I called my mom and she was proud of me. But it feels like fanfare I say!)

 

Anyhoo, that’s all beside the point. The point which is this: I have been working my ass off, and it’s finally started paying off!

If I were to flashback to 2 years ago, when I first started my masters program in writing and literature, with nothing on my resume besides retail. Or to 5 years ago, when I was stuck in my Melbourne apartment, agoraphobic, and miserable. Or if I flash-backed to 6 years ago, when I arrived back to Ohio after undergrad, feeling like a complete failure because I didn’t make anything of myself in LA. I never would have thought that any of this would ever be possible.

 

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I’ve spent most of my twenties feeling like a failure. Feeling like life wasn’t wroth living. Feeling like I would never ever make anything of myself. The spark of hope was the faintest flicker, off in the distance of some cold dark foggy night.

Writing is what got me through it all. I’ve journaled since I was 7. And I started this blog in 2013, back when my mental health was so poor that I couldn’t even leave my bedroom without feeling weak. Writing. Venting. Creating. It was what kept me going.

 

 

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When I was a kid growing up in Ohio, I knew I wanted to tell stories. I was the lone gay kid lost in a sea of uneducated, hateful trash. Movies and books were the only things that ever gave me inspiration and showed me that life could be worth living. I always knew I wanted to give that to other people.

It wasn’t until recently that I figured out it would be my story I’d be telling. The stories of growing up in Ohio. Of being a lonely sex addict in Los Angeles. Of suffering from depression and anxiety. Of collapsing all over Australia. But most importantly, of never giving up. 

I’m so excited to see the the future has in store.  Did you hear that? I’m excited for my future. That is a very recent feeling in my life. I’m looking forward to what’s next. I’m excited to see how the publication process works. I’m excited to see what people think of my writing. I’m excited to write more! And above all, I’m excited to have an adventure. Because isn’t that what life should be about?

 

rock

 

Rock on bitches, rock on!

 

~ The Dark Horse

 

Pictures That Give Me Energy

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Have any of you ever heard of the photographer David LaChapelle? I love his photography because it always makes me so happy. His photos are so full of color and movement and shine and light. I love it. It’s the perfect cure for when I’m feeling down.

 

dave

 

I feel like these days everyone is really into that gritty-miserable shit. Everyone is like, “Oooohhh I just love it when characters are complex and nobody in a story is really the good guy. Everyone’s just bad in different ways.”  Or they want shows about drugs, like Narcos and Breaking Bad. Or movies about post-apocalyptic bullshit.

Everyone loves misery these days?  WHY IS THAT? 

The world is miserable enough! Why do people want more misery?

I want to be inspired. I want to feel like I can take on the world. I want a world where the sun is shining and I have a reason to get out of bed! And I feel like LaChapelle’s photos always have that.

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So, my tip for everyone today is: If you’re feeling down, just go do a Google Images search on David LaChapelle. You will be blown away with beauty and color.

 

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Because let’s all be real here. We need more light in our lives. We need more color. We need more fun. We need more beauty.

 

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Keep looking for the light in the world,

~ The Dark Horse

New York, I Have Arrived!

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Somehow. Someway….

It happened.

I’ve finally arrived.

I’m in the land of Joan Didion, Robert De Nero, and Anna Wintour.

And It’s so insanely exciting and cool and terrifying and thrilling and wonderful and stressful.

I mean, people, listen to me, I am currently writing in a cafe in Manhattan, surrounded by brownstones with iron fire escapes, and the sounds of honking and all the rest of those very New Yorkish things.

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And obviously that sensory overload is good and bad. Sensory overload can lead to anxiety. And I’ll be honest, I’m getting a tad of it.

It seems like too much has gone right. I mean, who lands a good job in New York, finds an amazing apartment at a great price in a wonderful neighborhood, has good roommates, and…. is actually happy?

Does anyone else out there feel like happiness is one of those things that other people get, but the we don’t?

It’s like I’m waiting for the floor to drop at any moment.

Like, maybe this job will fall through. Or the owner of the apartment will sell, and I’ll have to move….or worse, what if I can’t find a place afterwards? And then I have to leave because the stress has caused me to have a mental breakdown and lose my job? It seems like I’m so used to pain and misery that I no longer have the ability to even believe that a good life exists.

It seems that whenever something good starts to happen, a hurricane alarm goes off deep within me. Some old sailor starts screaming, “Batten down the hatches!” I start to brace for the bad to begin again.

perfectstorm

AND YOU KNOW WHAT?

THAT FUCKING SUCKS AND IS UNFAIR.

 

And you know what else? I’m really fucking over it. Done. (Or for all you eighteen-year-olds out there, I’m #done).

 

It isn’t fair that I have to live a life convinced that I don’t deserve good things. Or think that I’ll never be happy.

Fuck that. 

And Fuck all the people out there who have conditioned me to be this way. 

Fuck all the kids from my grade school who called me faggot.

Fuck all the kids in high school who spat on me, and who told me they’d beat me up if they ever saw me in the bathroom.

Fuck the teachers who stood and did nothing.

But double fuck the teachers who made comments themselves. I’m looking at you freshman year health teacher who told me I’ll die of AIDS simply for being gay.

And also to my old German teacher who was openly homophobic. 

Not to mention EVERY SINGLE religion teacher I ever had, who told me I would go to hell. 

Fuck my old boss at Aeropostale who made fun of me for having depression and anxiety. Im sorry that you’re a grown 37-year-old woman who’s life has amounted to working in a bumfuck mall in a cornfield in Ohio selling cheap clothing to little girls that fall apart after a month. 

Fuck everyone in Ohio who discouraged me from dreaming big. Who told me the world would eat me alive. Who told me I’d never be good enough. Who told me I was stupid. Who told me I was ugly. 

FUCK ALL OF YOU. 

CUZ GUESS WHAT MOTHERFUCKERS, 

I live in Manhattan now. And I just got a job in television. And I’m finishing up my Master’s where I’m putting together a book full of my essays. 

So, here’s my cock. suck it.

nyc2

Werk.

 

I’m ready to embrace a life of meaning. A life where maybe I can even help change other people’s lives. A life where I’m happy and fulfilled. And I’m done even remembering what a bunch of boondock Ohioans tried telling me about life.

~ The Dark Horse