Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011, Hello Chlamydia

Well, here I am again, another year has come and gone, and oh what a difference a year can make!!! For starters, when one who actively pursues a bucket list, like I do, a new year isn't that big of a deal. Yes, the beginning of a new year helps with documenting purposes, but it goes against what I've been working towards. For instance, I want to document my time by things I've done and experiences I've had, not by how I date my checks. So the idea of making grand gestures about a new & improved me is something I want to make throughout the entire year, not just today.

With that said... I've been more focused on what a difference a day can't make, and boy what a difference! Some of my close friends have recently heard me say, "I don't know why I feel this way, but I do". Well, let me take a moment to give my future self an important message: Listen. A few weeks ago I had a 'life-marking' experience in a church in Lyon, France, and told myself I want to live for more experiences like that. I'm thankful to say, that I feel that way now. I know I'm EXACTLY where I'm suppose to be, feeling EXACTLY the emotions and love I'm suppose to feel. My life is great, my family are great and my friends are great. I guess I'm a lucky man.

Now for the contradictory part: I will be preparing a 2012 bucket list. Ideally, I'd like to say my post -skydiving bucket list, or after streaking goals, but then my bucket list would just turn into my life... But I guess that's kind of the point?? The gift that keeps giving, with no sense of time... Maybe documenting isn't so important... Clear as mud? Great!

Finally, enjoy the video of the two sexiest people alive.

Garrett Paul

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Free fall france

Lately I've been reading a lot about balance, which seems to be, somewhat, the goal of my last few months. Before I wrote this post, I was considering making seperate posts entitled: 1) Final reflections on France and 2) break ups. After much internal debate, I decided to combine the two because, in actuality, they both relate. And it allows me to find the balance in my situations.

Anytime I reflect on a life event I've been in, I start by thinking of my original purpose. In this case, my original purpose to travel to France was because I was given a second chance. I believed that if life gave me a second with someone then I should take it, as life doesn't always give them. Although my outcome wasn't necessarily favorable, I still believe this tactic. So my trip wasn't a waste, not by leaps and bounds.

Now let's go back to the beginning: I went to France to visit a potential suitor, Cyril. We met a few years ago, before I told everyone I was gay. We hung out for a few months, before I ended it (like I'm doing now, but under much different circumstances). It wasn't because he was a bad person, that's not the case at all, it's because I didn't want to be gay. I thought maybe if I 'got it out of my system', then I'd live a straight life. This wasn't the case and I left a few casualties along the way (to say the least!). ** Random tangent: This is what I feel most remorseful about: leaving hurt people along the way of my personal journey. I've come to the realization that it is just apart of their personal journey (for me to hurt them), but it's still a very raw emotion for me.** Cyril, was my first casualty.

I later chalked up my time with Cyril as a timing issue. Everything in life is about timing. If the timing's off, it's like putting a circle ball into a square hole; it simply doesn't work. Fast forward 3 years, two nasty divorces (both parties, individually), you will find, a more mature, me going to visit Cyril.

France was amazing. I did wonderful things with a wonderful person! To name a few: Christmas markets, wine, great food, museums, Eiffel Tower, coffee, falling in love, learning, arguing, laughing, making out, the list can go on for days! One of my favorite parts was visiting a beautiful cathedral, where I had a orgasmic experience (if it's even acceptable to integrate a holy place with orgasms). However, my ABSOLUTE, favorite part was being shown how well a man can treat me. Cyril, is absolutely, the most amazing man I could ever wish for.

So why did I break it off? I don't know exactly. I had to turn of my brain and allow my heart to do the deciding. I've been focusing on allowing my entire body to make my responses for me. If my brain, heart & soul aren't on the same page, something's got to cave. Unfortunately, it was my future relationship with Cyril.

I feel very sad about my potential relationship, yet very refreshed by getting the opportunity to experience life with him. I've recently accepted the fact that I'm not very good at relationships, but I am good at taking risks. I will travel around the world to find love. Does this make me a hopeless romantic? Doubt it. But it did make me realize that if I'm willing to throw myself off a bridge for love, I need to be prepared to make the fall if it doesn't work out. I'm sad I'm in the process of falling, right now, but on the way down my mind and heart are full of the wonderful memories I made with Cyril.

This aquatic bird has sank, but will always love and appreciate the man that treated me like a king.

Garrett Paul

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Things I miss:

I freaking miss this pup! He has been with me through a lot, and I need his little soul!

Cyril's Christmas/Bd gift

Much like all my art, I hate it. I'm not even positive Cyril liked it. Oh well. It adds to my miserable collection.

Best Christmas Party Ever!

So, after days of depression I had a exquisite weekend! I witnessed, what felt like, a traditional French Christmas gathering. I had so many experiences I had to take mental notes and plan on capturing the entire experience on my plane ride home; i'm even bouncing around the idea of a short story. Regardless, much like my life, it's either all or nothing- so more details will follow.

I'm off to enjoy some late night crepes. At this moment, I'd like to thank my body for putting up with my escapades, because I've been putting it through the ringer (I'm already preparing my diet/workouts for when I return home).


Garrett Paul

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sooo what I've been up to?

Well, not much. Actually, I've been consuming a lot of wine, sofa time, breads and Kathy Griffin. That's right bitches, I've been spending my time in France on the freaking sofa. This is a result of several reasons: technically it's my vacation (so suck it), its been raining, and I'm kinda depressed - for the record, being depressed in France is much like being depressed in the US, only I don't feel guilty about all the calories. Sooo for all those people who feel guilt after every meal (guilty!), the answer is to eat in a different country. Overall, my experience is wonderful, I'm just not used to being in such a different place.

What to look forward to:
1) Going to Amien, France for a Christmas party... Look out, no one will understand me, so I can get wasted and ramble without anyone judging me. Win!
2) Going to Paris, at the end of next week! Another win!
3) More calories.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Margaritas & Jellyfish

Lately, I've been struggling with the idea of "having it all". It has been lingering in my thoughts of months, but lately has become more prevalent. I know, I know. I shouldn't want more when I have such a great life, but I do. The idea of making concessions with myself is absurd, and quite frankly, I refuse to do it. Bethany Frankel did it, why can't I?

I have so many things I want to accomplish, yet I want to be able to flow through life without neglecting a certain passion just to increase the likelihood of another. I'm sure, as I mature, these choices will become easier to make or I'll figure out exactly what I want, but until then... I'm on the quest for complete satisfaction.

While embarking on such quests, I've learned that I love the ocean. Mainly, because it's the only thing that makes me feel small... I stand corrected. Yesterday, I visited Lyon's Notre-Dame-de-fourivere, and to say the least, it was awe inspiring. It is hard for me to accurately capture and describe the feeling I felt being in the presence of such greatness, but from the moment I stepped into this magnificent building, all my previous insecurities of completeness or "having it all", dissipated and slowly floated towards the ceiling with the smoke from the prayer candles. I've never felt such comfort or euphoria. For 30 minutes, I didn't worry about my path or my future; I was exactly where I was suppose to be, and everything in my life was perfect. My new goal is to no longer be on a constant search for something I have no control over. Yes, I need sensible/profitable life choices-- duh. But I'm referring to my inner happiness. I want more moments that make me think: "this is perfect. right here, right now, can't be anything less than a miracle".

Cheers to finding miracles.

Garrett Paul

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Time in France!

Christmas market in Lyon, France.

Food: crepe = delicious
Wine: cooked red & white wine= wonderful & tipsy

food + wine = kinda perfect experience.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

France, Days 1-3

(my face looks naked... yuk. Beard is on it's way back.)

Wow! Here are a few shots from my first few days! France is simply amazing! I've learned a few things so far:

1) everyone here wears black... all black.. I'm in love.
2) no one is fat.
3) I LOVE music. I never realized how much I appreicate it, but I simply thrive from it.

More dets to come! I'm having a hard time catching up on sleep; it could be from my last busy month or jet lag?!



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tuesday Morning

Well, hello everyone!!

The summer of my 9th grade year, I went on my first vacation by myself! I flew a metal bird, solo! I also left a note in case I died on my trip. Since then, I've always left a note to the ones I "left" behind. Due to time constraints, and being SO FREAKING EXCITED, I don't have time to write one! Sooooooo this is it!!

The above video, by Queen B herself, pretty much explains the legacy I want to leave with each one of you. I love you all!


Bad J.

P.S. If I do make it, I'll be blogging my trip!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Best Christmas Video, Ever!

I'm not sure how this infringement thing works. I don't own a damn thing. However, this video will change your life.


Brain Power

BL#4: DONE!!! Let me boast: I ran 13.1 miles in 1 hour and 55 minutes (8.50 per mile pace)!

Preface: For worship, some people go to church every Sunday, or meditate regularly; I run. Simply put, running is my most sincere and vulnerable state of being for me.

The night before the race I was unenthusiastic, at best. I was very tired from the months of training, along with other stressors (finals, traveling, work). It wasn't until I picked up my race packet that it hit me: I will do my best. I did. I couldn't wish for a better time or experience. Here's what I learned:

When I run all my emotions are amplified, so if I entertain one negative thought about myself, I will shut down completely. For instance, during my run I thought I saw my parents and started crying (pansy, I know). So needless to say, for me, my race was a whirlwind of emotions. My high school cross-country coach always told me, "your brain is stronger than any muscle in your body". Well Coach, you're right. I had several obstacles to overcome during my race, other than the obvious distance. First, I had to beat my douche-bag neighbor while maintaing a sense of ease, even though I was suffering. Then I had to work through iPod issues, to no resolve, while dealing with hunger, nausea and fatigue.

Throughout the entire process I had to regulate myself mentally, to keep a positive attitude. When my race was over and I thought about each "surprise" I had to overcome, and made an important connection. Running is so much like real life. Even in my most heavenly place of peace, there will always be people/things that try and make you fall. No matter how meager the issue is, one must actively try to maintain their happiness and mentally overcome any adversaries.

Here's to showing the obstacles where to stick it,
Garrett Paul

Friday, December 2, 2011

Trying to get inspired/procrastinate

Here is some art I've done; I pretty much hate it all. I should be studying, but I want to paint instead. Oh the priorities in life.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Free Life

"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

Lately, I've been feeling like I'm strapped into the sling shot and I'm in the process of being pulled back. I don't know how long I'll be pulled back, or as I want to refer to it as preparing.

I feel like I've been preparing for something my entire life, but I'm not sure of what it is. I've learned that it is important to appreciate the lessons life produces and one way I remind myself, is by getting tattoos. I got this tattoo earlier this week. Each line is a word in morse code; the bottom two are the new editions. They mean 'free life'.

I'm so proud of this tattoo, because I never envisioned myself of having a free life. I thought I'd only display certain versions of myself to certain people, for the entirety of my existence. I don't like to think I lived a lie, I like to think I artfully danced around a lot of subjects, which is also ironic, because that just sounds gay. Regardless of how I acted in the past, I'm only focused on my future, which at the moment is very uncertain. I'm on the cusp of something. Something big. I don't know what it is yet, but I've learned if you take the chance to open yourself up to life, it has a beautiful way of paying off. I'm prepared to learn lessons, get hurt, and reap every single benefit.

Bottoms up (that's funny for two reasons),

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Giant Birthday

Well, here we are again. Another wonderful birthday celebration for my, very youthful, mother who will make 49 in a few days! It still amazes me how much our family has grown. It just started with my beautiful parents and now we are fully equip with a new sister and two very special angels! Hopefully, before long, we will have another sister in law and other small editions. I'd like a gay-be one day! Until then, I'm so thankful for every moment I get to spend with my family. Of course there are arguments and misunderstandings, but at the end of the day, we are one. We always unite and survive! Happy birthday mom!

Phewww, with that out the way, let's discuss the obvious situation: I'm a giant hoovering over my entire family. Maybe Eddie will surpass me one day? At least I'm not growing out...


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Defining moments

In response to the, ever impending, Thanksgiving holiday I've been very reflective the last few days; not on the things I'm thankful for (family, friends, possessions), but on the moments I'm thankful for.

Have you ever been in a situation, so beautiful, that you are simply in awe? You may think, "this is my life... wow, this is my life"? I have. There aren't many, but the moments I have experienced like that, are the most memorable moments of my life.

Here's one:

Circa 2010, somewhere near Tallahassee, Florida. Vanessa and, her partner-in-crime, Gypsy.

This day was especially beautiful for me, because my soul was exposed. I felt stripped down to my bones, with the entire world to see. Something about being next to a huge body of water reminds me of how small I actually am. I don't feel invincible, or even resilient. I feel thankful that I'm privileged enough to be sitting next to the ocean. In addition to my revelations, I was with someone who had an even greater appreciation of this short life we are granted.

On the surface, Vanessa is a very sexy Cuban attorney. In reality, Vanessa is a 85 year old Jewish lady, with more wisdom than Buddha's left toe. Vanessa's ability to exude her appreciate for life, is intoxicating. I always get drunk on her laughter and wiser from her words, and with this and the combination of the ocean, this day will forever be impressed on my emotions.

I'm collecting these moments, like a hoarder collects used condoms. This is what I'm thankful for.

Garrett Paul

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bucket List Photo Recap

BL #1: Got into LSU's MSW program!

BL#2: Phoenix, Arizona! I felt like I was walking in an oven. I probably won't go back in the summer.

BL# 5: Best. Moment. Ever. If I could even begin to explain the pureness that free falling evokes, I would. Easiest resolve: GO SKY DIVING!

BL#10: That's right. I posted this.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Going home = Constipation

For some reason, I woke up this morning missing my parents. I got to go home and relax and get an amazing grilled cheese. I'm fat and happy!

Bipartisan Libido

(Photo: Erin, Jenny, Me!)
One of my favorite people in the world is, Ms. Jenny Jacox. Something about our personalities allows us to strip down all insecurities, worries or thoughts and enable us to be ourselves. We are weirdos to the highest extent. I honestly don't know what I would do if Jenny wasn't in my life.

We started the evening by going to see Twilight's Breaking Dawn pt. 1. The movie was very enjoyable, especially when we started laughing uncontrollably at the most serious part of the movie. Priceless. Next, we got dinner, then moved to drinks.

This is where things get interesting:

Have you ever came across a person, or situation, that you couldn't mentally compartmentalize? Meaning, you couldn't fit the incident into a filling cabinet in your brain. The information is there, and understandable, but you don't know what to do with it. Well, Jenny and I had this happen. His name was Michael.

Is Michael gay or straight? I don't know, I don't know. Not cute! (Sorry, a small Spartan cheerleaders joke.) The fact is, Michael is cute, engaging and intelligent. He was also hitting on both of us, in a very nice confusing and respectable way. For instance, he told me that I was a beautiful man. Yet, he told Jenny that he loved her smile, while hugging her and looking into her eyes. Our initial thought was: straight men do not compliment other men in that way. However, gay men don't look into women's eyes; they compliment them on their outfit. (Yes, I know this is a stereotype, but stereotypes come from somewhere!)

Regardless of who Michael was interested in, Jenny and I weren't interested in him. Not in a romantic way, at least. Jenny and I love meeting 'randoms' at bars. It is innocent and always yields a funny story.

This lead me to this thought process:

Where does Michael fit in my head= It doesn't matter because I'm not looking for anyone (I GOT MY AB!)= It still bothers me, but why?= This is a really funny= Michael is so ambiguous= I'm back to my second though: it doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter, because he was fun and refreshing. As mentioned before, when Jenny and I hang out something magical happens. (Here I go with the narcissism again!) With our powers combined, we create and fun carefree atmosphere, and eventually attract those types of people. So, Michael was just being his confusing, conflicting self. Who cares?! He was enjoying himself. One of my favorite qualities about people, is their ability to 'let it go'. I'm happy that we got to meet him, even if he doesn't know which body parts gets his libido going. Good for him. He was being himself, and really there isn't anything else one can be.

Cheers, for being like Michael!

- Garrett

P.S. I don't know if this is going to be something I do on every post, but here is an article! It is comparing Twilight to the Bible. Weird, I know.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Year of mediocrity, at best.

I started this year with the notion that it would be mediocre, at best. Between coming out of the closet, job loss and desperately trying to find my place in this world, 2010 was one of my toughest years. With my low expectations for 2011, I didn't leave any room for disappointment. Frankly, my last 5 years have been somewhat challenging. Although, something strange happened this year. Something very out of the norm. I'm happy. After years of self-reflection and soul searching, I've found my happiness. I'm typically not very boastful, but isn't that what blogs are for? Narcissism = Popular. Much like, Vampire = Popular. Same concept.

Even though my intentions aren't to brag about my life, or even have followers; it's merely about, me. It's my life. The good and the bad, that I want to document. If you can't handle reading about topics that range from pay-per-mile tax* to anal sex, then you should probably follow another blog.

With the disclosures out of the way, let's start!

If you're like, I'm a very visual person. So, at my lowest point last year I made a bucket list. I wrote it in permanent marker on the back of a painting. I figured the harder it was to erase, the more likely I would accomplish the items. At the very bottom of the painting, I put: Pursuit of Happiness.

I believe, that one's happiness is constantly changing and evolving. One of my favorite lyrics is from Fiona Apple's "Extraordinary Machine": "I'm good at being uncomfortable so I can't stop changing all the time".

Normalcy freaks me out. If my life is "text book", then I've disappointed myself.

Enjoy your time here!