Waving Through a Window

“On the outside always looking in. Will I ever be more than I’ve always been? ‘Cause I’m tap, tap, tapping on the glass. I’m waving through a window.”

Two really important things, at least to me, are happening right now.  I’m planning a wedding with my fiancé AND the Dear Evan Hansen Original Broadway Cast Recording has been released to Spotify.  IMPORTANT THINGS I SAY! Over the last week, if I’m at my desk, the songs from Dear Evan Hansen are on repeat, over and over again. I’ve also been, like I said, planning a wedding so if anyone asks, I’ll talk about it. Planning a wedding was never something I ever really thought about as a kid. Do boys think about their wedding day? Do gay boys think about their wedding day? The answer for me is, no, I never really thought about a wedding. The perfect day and setting and person was never really something on my mind growing up.  Geez, my life was filled just trying to figure out if it was going to be a woman or a man for crying out loud. I didn’t have time to think about an actual wedding until recently.

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 So while I was figuring all of that stuff out my friends were dating and getting engaged and getting married. Oh did I attend a lot of weddings in my 20s and 30s. That was a lot of cake and alcohol and dancing. It was fun, so much fun. However, it wasn’t for me. Somehow I didn’t fit in that societal norm of finding someone, getting engaged and planning a wedding. I didn’t really spend too much time thinking about it, rather I went about my life and enjoyed those people around me who were in love and getting married and getting all those gifts and inviting all those people to celebrate with them. On June 26, 2015 our societal norm changed. The Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled in favor of equal dignity and marriage for all citizens of the United States. Then, lucky me, on June 26, 2016, exactly one year later the man of my dreams asked ME to marry HIM!

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Well now this whole marriage thing got really real and really fast. My fiancé said he would be fine just going to the courthouse and getting married.  I said, “Do you know who you just asked to marry you?”  Haha, wait, I hadn’t ever really thought about a wedding, that is true, but now that I have the chance, I’m taking it.  People have said, “You’ve gone to your share of weddings over the years, now it is time for those people to buy you gifts!” Sure, I guess that is part of the celebration, but that’s not all it is for me.  I told my fiancé that the reason I want a wedding is because as I sat at all those weddings in the past I thought to myself, “I wonder if it will ever be legal for me to get married?” “Sure we have ‘civil unions’ in my state but that isn’t the same. That isn’t equal.” The reason I want to have a wedding is to celebrate with those people who have loved me for me. It is now my time to step inside and stop “waving through a window.”

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That brings me back to Dear Evan Hansen the new musical on Broadway. It’s about a boy who watches life pass him by due to severe social anxiety.  But why, to me, isn’t he point. Have you ever spent a portion of your life “looking in from the outside?” That is why I connected to this music and that is why I want to celebrate my love and my marriage because after June 26, 2015 I no longer had to look in from the outside.

“While I’m watch watch watching people pass I’m waving through a window, oh can anybody see, is anybody waving back at me?”

Unlike Evan Hansen, I have never been socially isolated or lonely, luckily. But I have waved through the window while people who are accepted pass by. I’ve tried really hard not to get political in my blog, as far as this past election, but just briefly I have to. It really frustrates me when people say, “I support gay marriage and equal rights”, but that person voted for the Republican platform, one that does not promote equality. They might say, “Well gay marriage is a done deal.” Sure it is the law of the land, but depending on who the new Supreme Court justice is, that ruling could be overturned years down the road. Likely or unlikely, why chance it? And it isn’t all about equal marriage. It is about equal rights for all people. It is about accepting refugees and immigrants into our country. It is about accepting and loving others no matter their gender, sex, race, sexual orientation or other. Why make people in America wave through the window and hope that one day their difference will be just as accepted as someone else? Why? Why not share love and spread love and think about all those people who are waving through a window?

In this clip, Cynthia Erivo Tony Award winner from The Color Purple sings “You Will Be Found” from Dear Evan Hansen.

Even when the dark comes crashing through/ When you need a friend to carry you /When you’re broken on the ground /You will be found

Why don’t we work on loving each other, all of us, and helping each other out. You are not alone I wish was the mantra of our country because far too many people don’t have the same power, privilege, and acceptance. Don’t wait until it is your time to suffer to “get it” and start thinking about others. Let’s help each other now.  Let’s share and care, just a little more. Let’s notice each other more. Let each other know, we all matter.

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So that brings me back to why I want to have a wedding; a celebration of our love, an acknowledgment that our love matters and our love is important too. It’s not about the gifts (but I’ll take them, I guess) it’s about being surrounded by the people who love us; the people who have lifted us up when we were down; the people who, no matter what, have been with us throughout life to say, “hey, hey you, you matter.” 

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For Now

“Well, I guess this is it….for now.”

That was how June 4, 2013 went down.  It was the final time I saw my ex.  Though he told me three weeks prior that he was taking the job in NYC, we tried to get together and in his words, “cherish” our time.  It was far too emotionally taxing on me to continue seeing him.  Finally on June 4th I had enough balls to say, enough.  Enough of this pretending like you didn’t make a unilateral decision to leave Chicago and “us” for a job in NYC.  And so we went on a walk along the lake.  The first words out of his mouth, “Well, I guess this is it, for now.”   My response, “No, that’s not fair.  You decided to move.  Don’t string me along.”  What is this “for now” business?  What it is, is a mind fuck.  A way for a guy to keep you right there, just stand over there while I go do what I want to do and if I come back, maybe we can be together.  WTF?  It was like he was Kanye to my Taylor.  “Yo Matty, you’re awesome and all but NYC is way better and I’m going to go live there.  You just wait here because ‘for now’ I gotta do this.”  Go fuck yourself is what I should have said.  Go.  Fuck.  Yourself.  What is this “for now” bullshit?  Unfortunately it did keep me under a spell of hope that he would change his mind and see the ill of his ways and he would come back.  Since he’s moved on to a new relationship, I don’t see that happening, “for now.”  And boys and girls, that Hollywood story is in Hollywood, not real life.  People make decisions every day that impact them, their lives and the people around them.  So over the last year I’ve been on a journey trying to grapple with defining “for now.”

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As I’ve journeyed through the last 12 months, many people in my life have helped me move along.  Take my co-worker, for example, who is getting married soon.  “Nothing lasts forever.  I’m getting married, but that could end.  Just because we’re married doesn’t mean it can’t end.”  Or take someone else I know whose long-term relationship ended because of different goals each of them had in life.  I guess I struggle because I grew up in white picket fence Portage, MI where all of my friends’ parents were still married and everything was how it is supposed to be.  My parents are going to celebrate their 44th anniversary this coming summer.  It’s just what I grew up seeing and knowing to be how it is supposed to be.  You fall in love, you get married, you live happily ever after.  Right?  So what is the “for now” business?  Is our generation so afraid of commitment that we now allow ourselves to say, “Well this is dandy for now, and since it’s just for now, I don’t have to get totally invested.”  Is the next best thing the way we are now living our lives?  God damn, I sure hope not.  Is falling in love and finding a partner who you long to wake up to each morning a thing of the past?

I’m 37 years old and have been looking for love for 12 years, give or take some sowing of the oats.  I found a man I loved, but “for now” he can’t do it.  So I’m journeying again and finding a lot of great, wonderful people, but if commitment is a thing of the past, shame on me for trying.  If, say, my next relationship last 3 years and he leaves, I have to do this all over again?  Yes, Matt, you do, because as I’ve learned, nothing lasts forever.  But the thought of that makes me want to vomit and pack my suit case for my retirement home in Miami with my Golden Girls–NOW!

“Choose HOPE when you can’t find faith.”

Ok, I’m back!  Back on my feet.  It took me some time, but I’m here.  Nothing does last forever.  I can still have my Hollywood story and maybe that is a dream, but I do hope that I find a man who won’t leave because he wants to spend the rest of his days waking up next to me.  I’m not going to lose hope, even on the days I don’t have faith.

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So here I am, writing a blog post about what “for now” means.  It can be a cowardly way of not totally wanting to cut ties, end things, and be a dick, or it can mean living in the moment, cherishing what you have now because in a minute, an hour, or a day, it could all be different.  For now, I’m dating and enjoying it.  It could all feel different tomorrow.  Like Carrie Bradshaw, I do want to find that real, inconvenient love, but for now I’m meeting men, enjoying the moments we are sharing, and seeing where things go.  I told my friend Sarah last night, “I’m kind of overwhelmed being in text/email contact and going on dates with 7 men.”  She wrote back, rightly so, “I don’t want to hear anymore pessimistic ‘I’m going to be alone’ dating stories.  Overwhelmed=I don’t feel sorry for you.”  Right on sister!  *smile*  She’s absolutely right.  In those dark days, you can’t see the light.  The only thing that gets you through are friends, like Sarah, who shine a light when you can only see darkness.  Then, when the light is shining so bright and you share your overwhelmed thoughts, she bitch slaps you and says “buy a pair of sunglasses dude.”

It’s summer and it’s raining men!  Listen, it feels nice to have attention, we all know that, and I feel hopeful that maybe one of these guys is the one, at least for now.  I kid, because I am looking for a committed and consistent relationship, but my goal is forever, not for now.  Yet, the reality remains, in a couple of weeks I could be dateless and continuing this journey because these guys decide that I’m not the one for them.  And that is fine but for now, for these moments, I’m going to enjoy getting to know them and enjoy their company, and hell, enjoy the attention!  

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This brings me to June 4, 2014, one year later.  I was on a date with a very handsome, super fun guy.  We ate sushi and had fancy cocktails.  Dinner conversation was so great we had to Uber 5 blocks just to make it to the show Avenue Q, which he planned upon my suggestion that it is playing in town.  We made it just in time.  The only cause for concern was that I motorboated a muppet just hours after only my second nose bleed in my life.  Luckily for me her breasts were made of foam!  Anyway, the show was great, the company I kept, better.  The show ended with a song, coincidentally titled, “For Now.”

For now… Nothing lasts, Life goes on, Full of surprises. You’ll be faced with problems of all shapes and sizes.  You’re going to have to make a few compromises…

For now… 

For now we’re healthy.  For now we’re employed.  For now we’re happy… If not overjoyed.

And we’ll accept the things we cannot avoid, for now…

Don’t stress, Relax, Let life roll off your backs.  Except for death and paying taxes, Everything in life is only for now!

Each time you smile…Only for now.  It’ll only last a while…Only for now.  Life may be scary…Only for now.  But it’s only temporary…

Everything in life is only for now.

So the last two June 4ths were very different.  I’m different.  I’m more honest and accepting of this journey.  I don’t like it all the time, but for now, today, it’s all ok.

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