Thankful, To Some Extent

For as much as I complain about my life and things that have happened to me, it’s probably a good thing Thanksgiving exists.

I believe it’s a fundamentally important thing to keep in mind the things you do have in your life, not just on a specific holiday, but year-round. Life is hard. Nobody gets out alive. Things get challenging. Keeping a positive perspective on things is possibly one of the biggest obstacles in the world, and it takes a huge amount of willpower to have and maintain that attitude, especially when it feels like everything just continually goes wrong.

One of the most common occurrences of my life is realizing how little I truly do matter to people. I understand that not one person is under any requirement to talk to me or be friends with me or anything like that, but it’s frustrating when nearly every single person I try to talk to wants absolutely NOTHING to do with me. People get bored with me eventually, and I wish I knew why so I could prevent it. It happens both online and off, sadly. About a week ago I quote-tweeted a pretty funny video involving Alyssa Edwards and Justin Bieber’s song ‘What Do You Mean.’ The same clip was tweeted by someone else, which racked up over 400 retweets and about 950 likes. I’m not overly bitter or on a quest for massive retweets or anything like that, but it’s symbolic of any relevance I hold on social media, which is absolutely none.

My birthday last week Wednesday has come and gone, and much as I predicted, it was widely unrecognized by many people, even a couple I thought I was pretty good friends with. I know that it’s not exactly a true mark of friendship, but it’s a contributing factor, certainly. I didn’t do anything remotely exciting either. I’m planning on having a party next Friday (who knows how many will show up to that), but that’s it.

I remember back in high school I used to be so obsessed over how many people recognized it was my birthday and posted on my Facebook. Over the years the numbers dwindled more and more to eventually having close to 20 people remember I was born. It’s not anything bothersome, again like with the retweets, but it’s a mark of how popular I really am, and perhaps how much others really think about me.

As a very recent example, a guy on Grindr messaged me Tuesday and was genuinely interested in talking to me. He asked a couple questions. He wanted to learn more about me. We exchanged numbers. He said, “You’re so cute. I don’t understand how you’ve never dated anybody.”

Wednesday morning, he removed me on snapchat and never replied to my texts.

That’s why I haven’t dated anyone: People toss me aside so easily like it’s nothing.

Would I have loved to keep talking to him? Of course! Guys like that are like a unicorn in downtown New York. They’re very rare. And who even knows if I’ll meet another guy like him again apart from the few I know that match that kind of personality already.

And as if it still isn’t in the back of my mind, the guy who I talked to on Twitter for one night in March, who I now see at my job at least once a week, who not just stopped talking to me, but blocked me on Twitter. His Grindr bio: “If you treat me well, I’ll treat you better.” This was someone I was nothing but nice to, if not at least a decent person to. That doesn’t exactly sound like something that matches up with his bio. But again, there’s nothing I can do about it. I can keep talking about it all I want. Nothing’s going to change.

I became very good friends (at least I considered it that way) with my roommate from freshman year. I helped him land a girlfriend, helped him write a few papers, and even (and I don’t say this lightly) helped him stay in college through a financial aid appeal from he had to fill out. The final day of the spring semester, he became the very first person I ever came out to, and was supportive. A week and a half later, he stopped talking to me completely. He still followed me on Twitter, he was still friends with me on Facebook, but he never said a single word to me again.

And it’s sadly not just strangers either. The same guy from last spring semester that I work with that rejected me signed up to cover the same shift I did two Saturdays ago. We agreed that he’d work 2-4 and I’d work 4-7:30ish. I walked the usual mile there only to have him say one of the managers said I’d be over hours so I couldn’t work it, and what pissed me off the most is that he knew about this, and knew I’d be coming in, but didn’t let me know in advance. I have no doubt in my mind if it was my other friend that he’s really good friends with, he would’ve texted her as soon as he found out. We’re ‘friends’, but in reality I know he doesn’t give a single fuck about me at all.

Something about me is so incredibly repulsive that, when other people uncover it, that’s it. They want nothing else to do with me. Gay, straight, Asian, you name it. I wish, more than anything, that I knew what that was.

Despite my continual treatment of being an option, there’s slivers of happiness. One of my friends and I have frequented the only gay club in downtown Kalamazoo on a few weekends in a row now, which I love because it’s given me something to do and something to look forward to. I do hang out with my friends on occasion, which I love.

But as far as widening that circle of friendship, or even attempting to find a boyfriend or, much less, a date, I continually get shot down, and I have no idea why.

My mom and her girlfriend are also moving houses. I suppose this isn’t something that directly impacts me, as I live in my apartment near campus for much of the year, but it’s still very saddening to know the home I’ve had for the past 15 years is no longer going to be a place I’ll call home. They’re…downgrading, in a way. And they’re not as thrilled with it as I am, but they’re doing their best to make the most of it. By the time I return again for winter break, it’ll be to the new home.

My roommate situation has turned rather interesting. The guy I share a bathroom with has only a job to really concern himself with. He doesn’t go to school. He isn’t involved in any additional programs or anything like that. He’s kind of your stereotypical 20-something high school graduate that works in fast-food for a living, smoking weed and some light drinking on the side and all about, as he would put it, fucking bitches.

With so much free time, he’s invited a number of people over to “the crib” since he moved in back in August. These gatherings usually take place anywhere between 11pm – 3am, sometimes later, and since September, they’ve periodically interfered with my sleep schedule, since I usually need to wake up sometime after 8:30 on any given morning during the weekday. One of my other roommates that I’ve lived with since last fall and also coincidentally is a high school graduate working in fast-food for a living (minus the weed smoking) has had problems with him being loud too, and early in the school year, he filed a noise complaint against him.

Two weeks ago, he invited a girl over. No big deal until I woke up at 4am to her yelling about something and my roommate telling me later that day that they apparently had a wrestling match (or a “wrestling match”) in the living room, leading to another complaint to the office courtesy of me.

Earlier this week on Tuesday morning, I woke up at 6am to the sound of him banging on the door of my third roommate because he apparently stole some cigarettes and money from him, and judging by his tone of voice and the sounds I could hear from the living room, it got violent. Not to mention the “If I ever see you with my friends, I’m putting you in the hospital.” Once again, yep, another complaint to the office.

My only hope at the moment as far as next year’s living situation goes is to find people I know that I can also live with. One of my friends is getting a separate house with two of her other friends, and I have a good feeling the fourth spot is going to be taken if it isn’t already. The only gay friend I have on campus is currently an RA and is planning on being an RA again next year, which rules the possibility of living with him out. I’m also considering switching apartment complexes entirely, even though it would be farther away, I believe it’d be nicer than the one I currently live in, and hopefully with roommates that might, by some miracle, all be students, especially if it’s a student living community.

Thankfully I have no personal issues with any of them. They’re not bad, exactly, we just have very different personalities and interests, to put it one way. Us hanging out is something that doesn’t regularly happen, and that’s not changing anytime soon. What’s more, two of them at least know I’m gay. The same roommate I complained about had some people over earlier in the week, and the day after told me one of them was gay and was trying to match us up, and while I at least appreciated the effort, it again fell under the mentality of “Oh, you two are gay? Do you know each other?” Where I’m then tempted to reply “Oh, you two are straight? Have you met?”

Still, things could be far worse. I know that. I could be homeless. I could not be going to college. I could be dead. None of those things are true. In the same vein, things in my life could be significantly better. They’re about mediocre right now. I know that between now and when – or if – I graduate from college, I need to step my game up.

But for now, for what I do have, between my friends in real life and the many great people I’ve met online, for now I’m thankful.

At least to an extent.

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