Goodbye is the Hardest Word to Say

There are a lot of people that come and go in your life. Your childhood best friend, your first boyfriend or girlfriend, college roommates… You get the idea.

I've done a lot in my short time in existence, which just recently hit the 26 year mark. I've lived all over the place, up and moved across the country three times. I am lucky enough to have friends all over the state, the country and the world. It never fails that I will be in a random city, for a random reason and I bump into someone I know. Just last week my friend slash coworker Amy, aka @adifran, and I went to Blue Springs Missouri for a Think First event.

Amy and I weren't there more than ten minutes before two people came up to me, a classmate from Advanced Photography and a guy who couldn't quite pin down from where exactly he knew me. A little later I bumped into a friend of a friend.  

A couple of years ago Ryan and I were in Chicago, about to hop onto the L when, what do you know, someone who pledged my fraternity recognized me. He and his girlfriend road with us to our stop, we talked old times and parted at the next stop. 

But then there are those really special people in your life. The people you don't expect or don't even realize how much they mean to you until it sneaks up on you. 

As a kid there were these people in my life. My brother Patrick who I looked up to as most little brothers do. I wanted to be just like him for the longest time. I don't think he ever really knew how much I wanted to follow in his footsteps. Even today, when I need that really big life changing type of advice, he's the first on my list. He was the first family member I came out to. Without his support I wouldn't be where I am today.

The next person in my life was my cousin David. David and I were best friends from childhood. We summered on the beach every year together, we went to the Cayman Islands together, we built forts, we did all the things you do with your best friend… breaking into swimming pools, talking shit, camping out, you know the drill. When I decided I was going to move to California David was the first person on my list of people I wanted to live with. A couple of weeks later the two of us were driving to California for an adventure like we'd nothing we'd ever dreamed of.

In high school there was Joseph. I could tell Joseph anything, he could tell me anything. Together we somehow survived uniquely difficult junior and senior years. It seemed like our friendship blossomed overnight. One day we were two parts of a huge clique of friends, the next day we were best friends. Our nights were shared going out to dinner at Chipotle or Macaroni Grill, driving up and down FM 1960 blasting hip hop music, buying music and finding comfort in our shared company. Always kind, always funny, always there for me and up for just about anything.

One way or another I said goodbye to each of these people. Patrick is married to the most amazing person in the world and living off in Houston. David is also married, which is a bit of a shocker, he always was such a heart breaker. Joseph, this was perhaps the most surprising. He's in Korea teaching English, getting a law degree and generally exploring the East in a way that would make Dhani Jones jealous.

I would argue that the hardest part of goodbye is the feeling of emptiness it leaves you. There are these people who have made such a strong impact on your life, they have shown you love, they have taught you about yourself and the world, they have been there for the good and the bad through laughter and tears, love and pain. What they leave behind is a pit, an endless abyss of negativity. You are happy for their ability to move on, move up and move out. You know you'll see them again, that you can talk on the phone or online and that you'll still be friends for life. But your heart fights reason.

Your heart reminds you of everything they were to you, everything that is now lost.

These are holes you are certain can never be filled back in by anyone or anything else.

Enter Chase. 

Chase entered my life after I abruptly moved back to Columbia from California. Little did we know we were dancing around each other nearly our entire lives. From living in the same part of Houston, to the same part of Tulsa. We went to the same concerts, even an obscure Jason Mraz concert my senior year of high school. We both loved the same music, the same obsession with technology, movies and shows. Who would have thought that this total stranger would become like a brother to me?

I have Chase to thank for a lot. Would I have Ryan in my life without Chase? I'm not so sure! He brought so much to my life in a really unexpected way. At the time I didn't really have many straight guy friends. Most of my friends were other gay guys or girls who attracted gay guys like moths to a flame. I have Chase to thank for the next two people on the list. 

Corey, over there on the left eating Dave's bicep.

The first night I met Corey I thought… David? He reminded me so much of my cousin and proved to be just as cool, fun, exciting and generally bad ass. A little over a year ago I realized just how important Corey was in my life. He and chase moved to Blue Springs with their band to do the music thing full time. All of a sudden I felt this emptiness like I hadn't felt in a long time.

When Ryan was in the hospital and with a dangerous prognosis, Corey was the one I went to. He comforted me in a moment of absolute vulnerability. I was emotionally drained, physically shaken and felt like the world was closing in around me. I drove from the hospital to Corey's work. I made it all the way to the counter before I broke down into a sobbing mess. 

Corey brought me the level of comfort, compassion and love I needed so dearly. He held me, dried my tears and absorbed some of my fear and despair.

And in then there is Sam. An incredible photography, a fantastic musician (like Chase and Corey), passionate, funny and ridiculously in touch with his feelings and the feelings of others. There is nothing I couldn't share with Sam. His heart is pure and his mind is open.

It's a little funny how when I think about Sam my words begin to fail me. In place of words are memories, his last night in town at the Snorty Horse, Scouts concerts, bar hopping around town, photography talks, trivia nights, tequila shots at The Artisan… Thinking about these memories literally brings a smile to my face. He shares a heart and humor paralleled by only one other person I've ever had enter my life, my high school best friend, Joseph.

I get lost in the memories of these three guys. A mixture of happiness and sadness overflows me. This time a few months ago we were hanging out and then, one by one they moved away. Sam was the first to go followed by Corey and then Chase. They moved up, on and away in the exact opposite way that they entered my life.

Not going to lie. The night Sam left, signifying the inevitable end of one of the best periods of my life, I was a big ol' mess. Cried my freaking eyes out. 

A lot of people have entered my life. These people came and went, they made their impact. They were friends, roommates, classmates, boyfriends… They were for me the most important people in my life at the time.

Things were different with Chase, Corey and Sam. For the second time in my life I felt an endless sense of loss. There was something unique to these three people that affected me in a way only my brother, my cousin David and my best friend Joseph had before. It was in the night that I said goodbye to Sam that I realized something. That whole left ages ago had somehow been filled by these three guys. I realized that there are people put into your life to fill a certain purpose. To help you grow, learn and love.

Twice in my life I've had this experience. Who could ever expect to be so lucky?

I put off writing this blog post for quite a while. June 22 I started writing and over a month later I'm here to finish it. Why am I finishing it now? Well I got some other big news late last month. Ryan, arguably the most important person in my life will also be leaving. We're both excited, scared, nervous and happy about the big change we're both about to experience. In a few weeks Ryan will be living in San Francisco and I will have to say goodbye, temporarily as I stay here in Columbia.

But that's another day and another post.

Sam, Corey and Chase moving away was incredibly hard on me. I felt that familiar emptiness. But today I smile at the prospect of visiting Sam in Seattle, Corey in Florida and the incredible excitement at Chase's wedding in December. They will be a part of my life for the rest of my life and I can't wait to see where we all end up. Who knows, we might some day find ourselves back in the same city together, drinking PBRs and grilling some burgers.

I can't wait to see what happens next!

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Picture Perfect Wedding

Saturday my brother married the most amazing person, Lisa, and now I have a sister.  The wedding was beautiful, the weather perfect and the scenery stunning.  We had a wonderful time in the Texas hill country and seeing old friends and relatives was awesome.

Here are a few pictures I took from the wedding.  I did my best not to take pictures since I was a groomsman, there were two hired professional photographers and my dad’s side of the family is full of professional photographers that were doing their best to catalogue the events.

So here are a few shot for you to enjoy.

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Justin Trahan and my brother at the groomsmen’s house.

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Me taking a self portrait. Not something I do all that often. Love this fish eye.

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My awesome cousin Benjamin. I met him for the first time this trip! I cannot wait to visit him and his brother in Denmark, hopefully this summer!

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This is my cousin Chloe.  She and her parents are totally addicted to this gourmet cake company company my mother has been using for years.  We have become friends with the owner, Annabelle, who made these awesome cupcakes for the rehearsal dinner.  Can you tell she really loves them?  

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Childhood best friend Jena with another great friend from the olden days, we are talking Bellville Elementary to Senior High.  Crazy! 

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Friend of the Bride Amanda and my belle of the ball, Melissa.  We had so much fun reconnecting over the weekend.  Oh wow, what a wonderful time. 

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That’s where the reception was, hanging over Lake Travis and such a beautiful night.  This was taken from the groomsmen house. 

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 Melissa and I taking a self portrait.

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My adorable cousin Eleanor.  She was the flower girl in the wedding, did a great job.

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Ahhh, the fountain.  We took some great pictures here with the professional photographers.  Once I get a copy I’ll post them up here.

Update from the Hill Country

My brother gets married in two days.  It is really exciting and nerve wracking.  I can only imagine what my brother and Lisa are feeling right now.  I cannot wait to someday go through the very same emotions as those two.

Tomorrow night… well I guess tonight now, I will be giving a toast to my brother.  I guess this is what has me so anxious.  I am not always a great speaker in front of large groups of people.  When I have my confidence with me, I can speak to tens, hundreds of people with great stride.  However, tonight is different.  This is my one chance to express all the love I have for both my brother Patrick and Lisa in about five minutes.  

Not only is it impossible to condense my love to five minutes, but to properly express it in front of all of those people, to make it funny and interesting…  Yikes.

But it really isn’t about me.  It’s about them.  Looking around at the scenery however, you’d think it was the hill country’s weekend to shine.  

Well, I should get to bed, get some sleep for the semi big day right before the actual big day.  We have a lot to do. All the tuxes are the wrong size, the table cloths are the wrong color and we’re hosting the whole thing.  Plus, I kinda dropped my iPhone and damaged him up a good bit.  The standby button is jammed, not a good thing.

Alright friends, time for sleep.  Much Love!

Now it’s Time to Bitch

Ok, I gave you a somewhat muted post, now I just wanna get some shit out.

  • Don’t tell me we are going to hang out and not call me back, much less hang out with me.
  • Don’t tell me you don’t like something about me that was month, years ago and not present.  Why would I care now?  What does it matter?
  • Don’t tell me you really like me and then blow me off, you obviously don’t really like me.
  • Don’t tell me we should hang out and you miss being around me and then hang out with my roommate instead.
  • Don’t act like I’m not in the same room as you.
  • Don’t blame everything on your period.  A menstrual cycle is rough, sure, I’ll give you that, but it isn’t a month long and you can take a god-damned Mydol you know.
  • Don’t tell me you find me attractive if you don’t.
  • Don’t tell me to call you if you know you aren’t going to answer your phone.
  • Don’t act like you want to date me and then go out with another guy.
  • Don’t schedule me for only 15 hours a week and then complain about availability when there are people wanting hours and you just won’t give them to them.
  • Don’t fucking wait for the light to turn yellow before driving through the intersection, you really slow down my day.
  • Don’t ignore me.
  • Don’t keep calling me like it’s your business.
  • Don’t send me anymore credit card applications.  I have too many cards already.
  • Don’t push me to drink alcohol.  It won’t make you more attractive.
  • Don’t dance if you can’t.
  • Don’t sing if you can’t, it isn’t even funny at this point.
  • Don’t keep dating the same guy and then crying when he breaks up with you, again and again.
  • Don’t judge me for the music I listen to.  If I cared what you thought, I’d ask.
  • Don’t leave me annoying, long-winded voice messages.
  • Don’t forget that we used to be best friends.
  • Don’t forget that we used to be in love.
  • Don’t say you will when you both know you won’t.
  • Don’t say you can when we both know you can’t.
  • Don’t think that this is referring to you.
  • Don’t think this is about someone else, it isn’t.
  • Don’t get drunk all the time.
  • Don’t judge people so much, and no, you aren’t fat so stop acting like you are.
  • Don’t be so dramatic, you aren’t that special and if you were, we’d have you admitted.
  • Don’t fear love so fucking much, just let it happen.
  • Don’t think you are better than me because you got a promotion.  That just means they sucked you in and you won’t ever make a solid living.
  • Don’t forget that in five years I will be making triple what you make.
  • Don’t think it’s all about the money, it rarely really is.
  • Don’t let your thoughts invade mine, it gets me in a fit.
  • Don’t throw basketballs at my car, it costs me a-fucking-lot of money to get that shit fixed.
  • Don’t be such a whore, spreading your seed isn’t safe or wholesome.
  • Don’t have such low self-esteem.
  • Don’t think so highly of yourself, your ego is way outta control.
  • Don’t act like you’re right when you aren’t, arguing isn’t fun, especially with you.
  • Don’t punch through bathroom doors.
  • Don’t drop out of my sublease, you bastard.
  • Don’t stress me out so much, I get all weird and make posts like this.
  • Don’t tell me you love me and then take it back the next day, that’s just trashy.
  • Don’t be such a bitch to me
  • Don’t manage a store if you can’t handle it.
  • Don’t forget all the times I did something for you.
  • Don’t forget my sacrifices.
  • Don’t forget my mistakes, being here is one of them.

There, I feel a little better.