Well hello. It’s been quite a while since you’ve all heard from me. And what a while it has been. I’m writing on a red eye flight to JFK Airport in New York City, as I prepare to start an entirely new chapter of my life. In the morning I’ll move into my apartment with my lovely roommate Talia and, after nearly a six-year absence, I’ll be living again the Manhattan. I’ve been on quite a journey to get to this point! Everything that’s happened in my life has served a purpose, however, and even though it took me a long time to return, THIS is the moment to return to the city. I feel like I’m standing at the doorway of the beginning of my life. Everything else was the prologue to this moment when it all begins.
Saying goodbye to my family and friends wasn’t nearly as difficult as the other times I have left them. When I moved to NYC for the first time as an 18-year-old freshman I remember there were tears caused by being on my own for the first time and so far removed from my parents and siblings. At the airport when I left for my two years in Paraguay we wept for the separation, uncertainty, and lengthiness of my mission. But today at the airport there were only tears of gratitude: for having the most supportive parents, siblings, family members and friends imaginable, for the past seven months that I was blessed to spend with them, and for the capability to follow my dreams back to the city. Aside from those tears, there is no sadness. No trepidation or apprehension about moving away. New York City truly feels like the only place in the world I’m supposed to be at this moment in my life.
Not only am I excited for the professional opportunities that are at my fingertips, but I’m also excited to announce that I have decided to begin writing again about my dating life. Friends, acquaintances, and strangers have expressed how much they’ve missed the blog and reading about my journey through the dating world of a gay 20-something. I have to admit that I’ve missed it as well. I’ve missed meeting new people and reflecting and sharing and learning. The three and a half months I spent writing 100 Gay Dates was fulfilling in so many ways, and the city is a perfect place for me to pick up where I left off and continue down the road of self-discovery.
As I begin the journey again I’ve decided to change the “rules” of the experiment a bit. It’s a fairly simple change, and one that will allow me to have an even more enriching experience I believe. There are no more “rules”. I’ll go on a date with any person who asks me out or with whomever I feel inclined to ask out. I’ll allow myself to feel and reflect. I’ll plan less and live more. In loosening the structure of the original rules I believe I’ll be able to open my mind even more and have a wider range of experiences. I may or may not reach 100 dates by the end of the year, and that too is ok. It’s still my goal, but with a four-month hiatus from dating in the middle of the experiment, it will likely be difficult to reach 100 by the end of the year. That’s cool. I’ll get wherever I get.
I expect myself to love equally and openly, not only others but also myself. I expect myself to shed insecurities. To maintain an open mind. To listen. To be willing to have a paradigm shift. To be more grateful. To smile. To give. To respect. I expect myself to have fun!