It’s the first day of the second half of 2012. And the first half of the year has been amazing.
But the last week has been mainly rubbish. Mainly.
On Wednesday, I went to the Trinity School of Education summer party. It was awfully civilised. It was during work hours. There was wine, but I think I was one of only about three people who were drinking. We had lots of food and there was a table quiz. At 31, I was one of the youngest people there. It was perfectly nice, but there was absolutely no danger of anyone getting embarrassingly drunk, no danger of anyone vomiting, no danger of anyone taking all their clothes off, no danger of anyone crying or singing or kissing the wrong person, or even kissing the right person.
Lecturers are boring.
On Friday I went out for two drinks with some of the teachers in the school where I teach English as a Foreign Language. TEFL people are way more fun than academics. It was just two drinks, but the conversation was risqué and looking around the table, I could easily imagine people ending up kissing the wrong person. If I’d stayed for more drinks, nudity and vomit wouldn’t have been completely out of the question.
For about the 100th time this year, I asked myself why I chose academia over fun.
As soon as I get my PhD, I’m off to have some fun. I’ve promised myself that I’m going to try being bohemian and I’m going to travel the world writing a book. I don’t know how I’ll break it to my mother.
Anyway, like I said, it’s been a rubbish week. It’s been another week where I overfed myself and spent hours hovering around a toilet. Another week where I read crappy thrillers and watched rubbish TV. Another week where I sat in my car and drove around for no reason.
I drove along the N81 on Thursday morning, just giving myself a little thinking time. I got to Tallaght, and kept going to Blessington and then to Baltinglass. Then I saw a sign for Carlow. There were a number of thoughts in my mind. One was that I’d never been to Carlow, another was that I didn’t really want to go into college, another was that driving to Carlow would make for an interesting blogpost.
I drove to Carlow. I accidentally went the wrong way along a one-way street, but that was about as interesting as my afternoon there was. Driving to Carlow for no reason does not make for an interesting blogpost.
I drove home, this time on the main road. My little roadtrip had taken six hours out of my day. I didn’t go to college. Instead, I ate way too much and stewed.
On Friday, I met my brother the priest for the first time since I came out. We did an excellent job of not talking about “it”, much to my relief and my disgust.
Today, I found myself in the carpark of the Square Shopping Centre in Tallaght, with two slices of Tesco Finest Luxury Belgian Chocolate Cheesecake, a carton of cream and a bottle of Diet Coke. I don’t carry cutlery in the car. I was taking the gooey cake in my hands, dipping it in the cream and trying to get it into my mouth before the cream spilled too much. It didn’t take long before my face, my beard, my hands, my shirt and the steering wheel were all covered in chocolate gunge and cream.
And yesterday was my first ever Gay Pride.
Now that I’ve come out it’s safe for me to march – it doesn’t matter who sees me.
And I loved marching. I felt part of something. I did feel proud.
But as the day wore on, I felt different. Everyone around me seemed to be so “good” at being gay. I’m rubbish at being gay.
What was I proud of? I came out this year. But I’m not that proud of that. I can’t stop thinking about what I’ve done to my elderly and sick parents. The stress I’ve brought into their lives. The fear I’ve caused them. And what for? For all the men I’m shagging?
One kiss in four years.
Well, I can’t take it back.
I’ll just have to start kissing more boys.
And work out who I am when I’m not buried in chocolate cheesecake.
The first six months of 2012 have been very, very big for me, but I still have Everests to climb.
Wish me luck!