Ennui

No that’s not an error. This post is about ennui, about Weltschmerz. That feeling of boredom with life and the world and your situation, the one that you can’t shake and that doesn’t seem to stem from anywhere specific.

Before you ask, no, I’m not depressed, I’m not even sad. I’m just a little disheartened maybe. Perhaps it’s just a world weariness from being caught up in the same kind of thing over and over. Just scroll back and you’ll see that not only is the same thing happening to me – or am I just doing the same thing over and over? -, but I’m sure I’ve written about having a similar kind of feeling before. Let me just apologise again right now, before you’ve read the whole thing – I promised more of an anecdote this time round, but nothing’s really happened since this morning, maybe I’ll intersperse this post with some real life examples, maybe not, I don’t plan these things, the words come as they please.

I’ve been listening to the new Lorde album today and it’s possible that her influence, paired with my unwillingness to study for this week’s exams has me feeling a particular sense of meh. It’s also possible that I’ve been feeling this way for a while, but that it’s been masked by other things while I mired in a weird state of being after my latest experience with feelings for a boy. I mean who really knows what brings these things to the forefront?

So, what do I do about feeling trapped in a world that is currently just not exciting? The only change I’ve made so far is writing two blog posts in one day for the first time in probably years, and to log out of Instagram. I do think social media probably plays a big role in my, and many other people’s, feeling of ennui. There’s this instant satisfaction that we have come to expect, and I think posting a picture and having hundreds of people seeing you and validating you may not be that healthy. For one thing, it’s just not real. I’ve definitely commented on this before, but that hasn’t stopped me from posting pictures, Boomerangs and meeting boys off of Grindr. I deleted that today as well, ┬áby the way, but before you congratulate me, let’s see how long I last before I need the validarion of strangers again. Having said that, as much as a like on a post on here makes me feel good, that’s not what my blog is for – this is a pretty anonymous platform for me to vent in a semi-intellectual space, Instagram and Grindr are all about physicality and superficial ideals that I don’t necessarily fulfill, but that the gay community above all others kind of forces upon me and everyone else.

Did I lose my point somewhere in the jumble about social media, or does that jumble of seemingly irrelevant commentary just mirror what’s happening online and in our collective millennial psyche? I am a proud millennial by the way, I am in no way writing about how incorrectly we’re living our lives or how we seem to be screwing up everything the generations before us built up, go read something that still prints physical copies if that’s what you’re looking for.

Maybe I just need a break from spaces where I can see that people are doing more exciting things than I am – not just celebrities and heiresses but people I used to know. Isn’t it utterly annoying to see what people are up to when you haven’t spoken to them in years or maybe even ever, but you know everything about them?

Maybe I just need to transition fully from being a teenager to an adult. This is difficult, I’m still studying at 24. I’ve never had a real job or any responsibility and my parents still pay for everything, even though I’ve moved out of their house. Do you ever find yourself thinking about what you want your future-self to be like only to realise that many of these future-self goals are actually completely possible right now?

My future self has to be healthier, nicer and happier. Healthier? I buy my own groceries and cook my own food. I have a gym membership and can make my own decisions about what I order at restaurants. I still make the wrong choices and excuses to not go to gym. Nicer? I make snarky remarks and speak in sarcastic comments, mostly not intended to do harm or be hurtful, but I’m well aware that with just a bit of effort I could be nicer. When in my future exactly am I planning to start trying? Happier? Like I mentioned, I’m not unhappy, I’m just not reaching my goals in life and that makes me anxious.

Making an active decision to be all the things you want to be is probably the best thing to do. Maybe I should read one of those self empowerment books that I always pull faces at the thought of, or maybe I should just make an effort and change small things one at a time until I’m satisfied. Or maybe, in true twenty-something fashion, I’m doomed to feel ennui regardless of what U do, until I’m older and wiser.

 

Non-Scene

I’ve spent my entire gay life as a non-scener, someone that doesn’t go to gay bars, clubs, pride parades and the like regularly. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to be one of those sceners, what it would be like to hang with my fellow gay guys and just be comfortable in my own skin and my own community. Somehow, every time I come close, it blows up in my face and I’m left feeling meh.

There’s something that happens to me when I’m in a room with a bunch of gay guys. I feel small and, as my ex boyfriend so eloquently described me, underwhelming. I’m not a gym bunny or a bear or a rich older man or a teenager that everyone is scrambling to get drunk and in bed. I’m kind of nothing in the gay world right now. I’m a student with a pretty normal, average body, alright hair and nothing else of particular note. I mean I’m pretty tall, but even that seems to not be in at the moment.

Have I passed my prime, or will the attention come back if I just change everything about myself? Or should I just wait until I graduate and can tell people I’m a doctor? That seems a bit pretentious but maybe worth a try and then worth the wait.

The essence of this post is really something that I think every gay man -and probably some of you others but this blog is aimed at gay men – experiences, maybe more often that we’d like to admit to anyone, even ourselves. We feel inadequate. We feel like we’re never attractive enough, fit enough, rich enough, stylish enough, extra enough, or too extra, too fat, too skinny, too boring, too tall, too short and the list just goes on, doesn’t it? I wish I could complain about this and be super unique and could cry about how no one understands. the reality is that it bothers so many people that reading this is probably boring, you’ve seen this all before, just like I have.

I find it incredibly protective to my self worth and image to just be a non-scener. Let’s just stay away from our triggers and become hermits that stay home and have pizza while watching series and smoking cigarettes and drinking wine. More than anything, let’s avoid going to gay venues and running into specific people that make us feel shitty. Fuck those guys.

 

Label It

This is something that intrigues and confuses me, and it has for a long time. I posted about coming out just a few days ago, and although I didn’t really feel like telling my own story, I tried to convey that I’m all for coming out and being gay and being happy. But is it really that easy to label yourself and then just live with it?

At my university, we have an annual event called the Medics Pub Crawl – it’s pretty fun I think. I’m not really sure, since the goal is to be off your face even before you get on the bus to the first destination. At last year’s pub crawl, as is my tradition when going out, I mingled with many groups of people and not just my everyday group of friends. So on one of the buses between venues, I sat with some girls in my class. We were all pretty well socially lubricated at this point, so things got a bit flirty as they often do. They all knew that I was gay and I knew that they all knew, so it’s all good if we flirt a bit. No harm done. Except that I ended up almost making out with the one girl, but picked her friend instead. This caused some friction there apparently, oh well. Anyway, the one I chose is taller than me, has beautiful blonde curls or waves or whatever and has a banging body. It just happened, and it was fun for both of us I hope.

Later that night, at the last venue, I spot this super tall guy who is also in my class. I had never really spoken to him before that evening, but I had always assumed that he would swing both ways. So we’re on the street and I approach him and attempt to chat him up, and it works. Did I mention that he’s taller than me and had brown curls or waves or whatever? The reason I’m drawing this comparison is simply because sometimes it’s true that you have a type, but can your type resonate with you regardless of gender?

For me the answer is almost always no, but after a few drinks I enjoy making out with girls. I assume it’s just because I enjoy making out and it doesn’t really have anything to do with sex or gender, as long as there’s some level of physical attraction.

The reason for the backstory was really so I could mention the tall guy. Let’s just call him J. J is a vegetarian and looks like a hippy sometimes and like a hipster other times. He’s a model and a medical student, so he checks a lot of boxes and leaves many other boxes blank.

My sometimes socially awkward friend doesn’t make out with too many people when she’s drunk, instead she asks questions and brings up things best forgotten. I mentioned earlier that J and I didn’t really speak before we kissed a year ago, well now we’re in the same group of friends, so we speak rather often. At a party last weekend the awkward bestie asks him about his label. He responds, quite casually I might add, that he isn’t sure what he is. He likes girls but he could also easily make out with me again right there and then. I responded that it would not be that easy, just because I didn’t know what to say.

The akward bestie, I think that’s what I’ll call her from now on, seemed unsure how she felt about this, purely from a ‘what box in my head is reserved fir this’, kind of perspective. I tried to come up for J and said not to label him, he’s clearly not at either extreme of the Kinsey scale. I felt very cosmopolitan and forward thinking for saying this, but then I started really thinking about it. I think I may need labels. I think society as whole may function better when we can label things. I tried to imagine dating not J, but someone like him, someone who didn’t really know what they wanted.

I’ve been struggling with simply the idea of dating a bisexual man. I don’t know why it’s such a weird thing for me, I hook up with guys and girls but have no emotional or romantic attraction to girls so I’m not quite identifying as bi. Should it bother me that a bi man could just as easily leave me for a woman as for another man? Probably not. What does bother me and I feel like it may be more justified, is that a bi man can never be at the same comfort level with my girl friends as I am, there’s a possibility of sexual attraction there. I’m the jealous type, so maybe that’s what’s shining through here if we’re being completely honest. So did I just decide that the ‘Bi’ label is an exception? Do we want labels, but ones that say something concrete, like ‘I want a girlfriend’ or ‘I want a boyfriend’ rather than ‘I’m single’?

Back to the J situation. If you’re unsure what you want, and you date a boy for a year just to realise that you really want to marry a woman instead, is that fair to either of you? If you don’t want the world to label you, that’s probably completely okay, but maybe you should have a label tucked away in your mind just for your own personal use?

Obviously I can’t really come up with a concrete solution to the problem of labeling, and maybe there isn’t a problem at all. Maybe it’s all much of a muchness and every situation warrants a complete evaluation by itself.