It’s astoundingly easy as a gay guy to meet other guys when traveling through apps like Grindr, Jack’d, Tinder, etc. I doubt that straight people have this luxury, but who knows (Do they? Do tell me!)
There’s one question that invariably pops up any conversation you have on one of these apps: what are you looking for? Usually it means one thing: I want in your pants and I want to find the quickest way to get there. There is an expected response, details of which I’ll skip over since my parents (Hi Mom!) or friends’ children (Hi Sequoia & River!) may be reading. I usually stop responding at this point. Companionship and a partner in crime don’t usually go over very well with anyone who poses this question.
The funny thing is, I actually have been thinking about this question a lot lately, although in a completely different context.
What am I looking for?
In some ways, it’s an unanswerable question that lies in the silence of the spaces between words. It’s like the monster in the closet that disappears the moment that you turn the light on, and yet it’s still there, you know it’s still there, but it’s image fades if you try to focus on it.
What am I looking for?
In Ubud, I started reading Eat, Pray, Love. I’ve never even seen the movie (I know, shame on me), so didn’t realize that part of the story took place here until I was trolling around TripAdvisor looking for things to do. I strongly identify with the main character of the book, with her attachments to relationships, her fear of being alone, her bouts of self-induced depression. She’s trying to find herself, but we hear that phrase so often that it’s become hollow and almost meaningless.
I went to an Ayurvedic clinic yesterday and talked to a doctor there. He was equal parts psychiatrist, herbal pharmacist, and counselor. I had no problem calmly describing some emotionally charged things that have happened to me in the past which are no doubt still buried deep inside, poking at me every time I turn the closet light off. But there was one thing that he said when he was describing what sorts of changes I should make in my life that really hit home hard. I was feeling calm and centered and wondering what kinds of herbs he would prescribe, and he said one thing and suddenly I had to fight back the tears: “You get to close and give to much of yourself. You need to save room for you.”
So I think this is what ‘finding yourself’ means for me, at least a big chunk of it. The answer lies there.
And so the journey continues!