Something I have always grappled with is people feeling embarrassed by their emotions. I have always been the complete opposite – the loud mouth who wears his heart on his sleeve, and whose facial expression will betray him every single time. As I got older and lived among people from all different walks of life, I have always seen this undercurrent understanding that being silent about your feelings made you strong. Of course, not wanting to be a crazy person (especially when dating) I tried to mimic this concept of being cool, calm and collected. But I am a mess, and that is not something I could ever fake.

Before wondering how I was perceived, I never really had to hide my emotions from the rest of the world – or maybe it didn’t cross my mind. But since I became more aware of others and what they thought of me I would try to hide away my insecurities, but would always give myself up. I CANT HELP IT! If only I could please have someone control my mouth…

I thought, for a long time, that this made me awkward. I thought that this made me bothersome and unpleasant to be around – so I concentrated my efforts on not overwhelming people. And of course I failed, tragically, because in essence that was never who I really was.

So now what? Captain big mouth can’t fake it.

At some point I realized that the best thing I could do was go with it, and then something kind of crazy happened; I realized that by putting it all out there, I was doing much better off than most my peers who were choking everything back. Somehow, by showing the world all my crazy, I felt stronger and more in tune with people. I thought by showing people the parts I thought were ugly, they’d pull out their proverbial torches, but instead I became someone that people could relate to.

Now, you may wonder, how did a fairly eccentric gay ginger from Brooklyn become so damn relatable?

I think it’s because people saw that I was imperfect and identified with being imperfect themselves. I think by wearing my vulnerability as my coat of armor, I took the power away from my insecurities because they had become information for the world to see. We all want to be perfect, but literally none of us are, and by showcasing this, I think, people feel okay letting themselves be imperfect around me. And in my inability to fake my way through emotions, I have acted as a mirror to the people closest to me – because they can see the true reflection of the energy they are putting out.

There have been plenty of times I wish I weren’t so openly vulnerable. It’s hard to feel like you are there in the moment with people – and they are still reserving themselves for fear of judgement. It has made dating a waking nightmare. It can also be very isolating – people don’t always want to deal with the stickiness of someone else’s vulnerability. Yet on the overwhelming average I think it has made my life better; because the people who do show up and decide to be present are along for the ride.

There is no end to the story, or words of wonder I can pass along. I am sorting out what it means to be a grown up, but more importantly what it means to be human…

Namaste, friend.