I have just returned from my yearly break. I was counting down the days, unlike any other year. My trip was almost cancelled a few days before I left due to circumstances beyond my control. I realized that if I don't break and get out of the house, I will not be able to reset myself emotionally to put another year in the books.
For those who follow my personal Facebook, you get a glimpse that I was broken. I relate best to music. Marc Philippe - Pull Up is best to describe where I was. I wasn't unable to pull up and crash.
I needed my closest friends to hear me; they were on holiday with me. Some of them are self-employed like me. They understand where someone like me is coming from. You cannot just turn it off and always be on high alert.
One of my friends said he wanted to show me something, so I decided to share with him my plans that I have already scheduled for The Crochet Crowd to see his thoughts. During the talk, his wife joined me to listen to my concerns about how I felt broken and that I didn't know how to pull up. Both of them were self-employed and were in my shoes 10 years earlier.
- My relationship is nearly broken.
- I am triggered and dragged into debates that have nothing to do with me.
- I am bending to what people want.
- I'm lost in a direction as I don't know how to navigate my hole.
He asked two simple questions
What does Michael Sellick feel like 10 years from now?
I told him I didn't know as I didn't know how to put 10 more years into the current state of affairs.
He followed up with, okay, you cannot see 10 years. How about next year when you break again? How will it be different?
I told him it wouldn't be different unless I made changes. He asked me what was stopping me from making the changes. I told him:
- My authenticity was being shielded by fear of disappointing others.
- Feeling bad about the lack of content of what people wanted when they complained, I missed the mark.
- People inject their issues into me, making me responsible for things I don't have any part in.
- Being a target of hatred because of my lifestyle.
I told him that people say to ignore the comments and emails that come in targeting me. A person can only handle so much. I sometimes dare to push a content type out but then start to regret it when people are disappointed in me. People can only push off so much before their self-worth and contribution to society are broken. That's where I am.
What Do You Need to be Changed to Find Joy?
I told him exactly where I was struggling. He reminded me that I know what is broken, which is the first step to change. He says the next step is to change that element.
Daniel and I were struggling on this trip between us. It's me. I am emotionally checked out. Daniel was silent with me for a couple of days, and we finally had 'the chat. It's a change or the end. It's that raw.
I am self-employed, and there is a lot of responsibility to ensure the well-being of our lives at home. To keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. My business has overtaken our relationship for years. I don't value Daniel as much as the business. I struggle to find acceptance within a community of people who don't know me like Daniel and rely on it to sustain me... when, in fact, my support is right here at home with Daniel. This has to change immediately.
I've lost my way. It also came down to deciding what is broken and where we are in a year and beyond. Do we leave the island as singles, or do I fix what is broken? I've let my business and people online as being priority #1 instead of making it secondary.
By lunchtime, I have had disagreements with people, not sharing a rebuttal but bottling up.
- A perpetual apology to those who expect more of me but share that I have let them down.
- By supper time, I am a bird without feathers that have plugged myself and feeling vulnerable.
- I am quiet, not sharing and feeling closed within myself.
I feel like a failure as I cannot navigate the problems I have shut down. I am eating myself into the ground through emotional eating and emotionally beating myself up.
Daniel and I devised a plan to pull up and fix what was broken. The conversation was tough but long overdue.
Most Straight People Will Never Experience This
When I was closeted as a gay man. Posing as a straight person. I was living two lives. What people see and what I feel inside. I told my fiance in 1994 that I thought I might be gay. She cried and cried hard. I felt so bad about it. I continued the course of getting married and staying in a relationship. I have been with my wife since 1991. It wasn't her fault I couldn't bring myself. It was the fear of letting her down. It was cruel and is the biggest regret of my life for not being authentic. I felt I could maybe convince myself to live a straight life. It was a failure.
For the last three years of our relationship, I was emotionally busy trying to figure out how to live as a straight man to hit the expectations of the family and people around me at work. It was messed up, and I am to blame for allowing this to get so far.
My wife and I legally separated when I was twenty-six years old. We had invested eight years together. I finally admitted to my wife in the last year of our marriage that I am gay. With that, the hold of the secret was lifted from my being. I was free and able to talk about it openly. Was she happy about it? Hell no! For a person to try to figure out authentic versus manufactured answers is rough. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
Our separation was an instant decision to release each other. We booked an appointment with a lawyer and joked at the office before signing that we were letting each other go. The woman in the waiting room with us was crying as her man surprised her with a separation. Meanwhile, we were happy to set each other free finally. We never had children, so the split was just paperwork to declare we were no longer together. It was the best money we spent to release each other.
The way I would describe it today is different through retrospect.
Not Being Authentic
I'm living inside a balloon, breathing the same oxygen. As time progresses, the oxygen gets less, and you realize you need to break out of the bubble to get fresh oxygen to keep going. Some people can keep the facade on for their entire lives, while others wait until they are nearly suffocating before facing the reality that they are not the same as society expects.
It shocks me that kids can come to terms with their lives early. Me, I knew I was different from my earliest memories. That takes courage but is also one of the reasons why young gay men are more prone to suicide, as the societal pressure is enormous. Bullying and the whole gambit of social pressures.
I've put myself back into a balloon through social pressure to depict someone I am not.
You Can Still Be Authentic But Being Selective
In the first 6 months of being on YouTube back in 2008. I never addressed my homosexuality as I was already out of the closet and living in a male/male relationship. I knew that being openly gay, then and to this day, would be a hot point of contention.
My adjectives of expression and mannerisms for face-on-camera work were undeniable. I eventually ripped off the band-aid and openly admitted it. The bashing was already in motion for people suspecting I was, but once I openly admitted it, it was a free-for-all to hit me, the host, with as much hate as a person can muster up to spew.
I remember answering a person back in 2008, saying I was sorry I had let her down. She apologized and didn't think I would read her comment. Then why in the fuck post that then? It's intentional, and she is being called out. Meanwhile, for others, if I respond, there is no turning back, no apology, and then I will stand behind their comment. Sometimes, sofa quarterbacks love to share an opinion without thinking about how it affects another human.
Moving Forward to 2023
I want to bring back my authentic self. I've been lost trying to appease people. I've pushed myself back into the closet in fear of letting down others. This has to end. My relationship is a mess. My mental self is a wreck. I'm allowing people's comments to dictate my life.
Midway through 2022, through mentorship from YouTube and a contractor I hired, today's viewer wants short-form content differently. This type of content is more revealing for hosts to share their points of view, personalities and sly hand humour.
I know myself. If a doorway opens for an off-handed remark or wide open for a touch of sarcasm, I will walk through it. If you follow me, you know it.
A woman on our crochet cruises came from New York. I asked her why she came on the cruise. "I'm here for the raunch!" She was on the right cruise. I will serve that naturally. I'm a storyteller and can add adjectives and reactions to share the story. The short form reveals that.
What makes a great joke or punch line is the sense of being relatable. You realize the storyteller is reflecting on a moment we may think about internally but voice it out loud. With our friends and can laugh about it.
The shorts reveal my lifestyle. They reveal my mannerisms, and to some, it's a turn-off because they have a vision of what my life should be. That should never be placed on another human, especially someone they have never met. Some people tell me to stick with crochet but leave my personal life at the door. Most YouTube hosts share about their lives and shouldn't be restricted. It's not a TV Show where the host is just reading a script. It's more personal. I don't think I should have that restriction, which shouldn't be expected.
Many people want me to express religious points of view or act within a religious restriction. Some people say to do it but don't practice what they preach but expect it from others. That's unfair. I often say to Daniel. How are people watching TV in today's era, surfing online and much more without running into off-beat humour, language, innuendo and much more? To expect to stay safe when most of the media isn't doing that isn't valid today. When you look at the Golden Girls, it addresses homosexuality, and at that time, it was taboo to discuss on Prime Time TV Sitcoms. Times have changed.
Social entertainment and storytelling have greatly changed.
A community member recently told me, "You're making it okay to be gay by depicting your life as living a normal life with another man!" We are well beyond that moment in today's era.
By looking at what can be fixed. There was music playing in the background on our holiday. This song was on the boom box. David Guetta & Bebe Rexha.
A new direction is upon me, mustering the power within to push forward. I feel more free knowing I can fix what is wrong versus pretending there isn't a problem. I cannot split my personality any further without more emotional and mental damage to myself and the people in my immediate circle.
Do not play the song below if you are sensitive to language.