Thursday, January 9, 2014
The song is called Fall Asleep.
The lyrics state
So stay up with me, don't fall asleep
Because we only have this moment once in our lives
And next time we'll meet under city lights
We're here tonight, so let's make it all it was meant to be
The tears fell and fell. I could not understand why. Moments later I realized it was something you said that rang in my gray matter.
You taught me to live by the words of "I'll sleep when I am dead". We all would laugh and think how adventurous of a woman you are, and so young in spirit.
When I first met you many years ago I thought you hated me. I wanted to be liked and loved so much. I only saw the way you didn't accept me the way you had my mom and Jeremy. Looking back the picture becomes so clear. You were protecting your son. You wanted the best life for him and my chaos made no sense.
Throughout the years you accepted me and all my deficiencies. You have become the grandmother I had wished for for so many years. I am inspired by your zest for your life. I do not know anyone that can say that he had his grandma at at a gay pride parade, or one that would go to a Naked Bike Race.
Your approach to life has inspired so much every day and I believe that you made my life better for being in it. You have taught me to remember traditions. family is #1, That acceptance is amazing.
The winter after I came out as gay you invited me to your Christmas celebration and treated me as if nothing was different. That means more than you could ever know. You have been so caring and open with not only me but with Jacob as well.
I do not want you to fall asleep. Only because I am selfish and love to hear your stories and what your newest adventures have become.
I also know that when it comes down to it I also do not want you to suffer. It is hurts to know that someone you love is in pain and hurting. I hope that what is supposed to be happen will be peaceful for you.
If you fall sleep before I can see you next please know I will be continue to live my life the way you have shown and the way you have lived.
I will continue to enjoy each moment and to know that I will sleep when I am dead.
I love you Lenora.
Michael Lee Howard-Mayhew
Saturday, September 21, 2013
My therapist asked me this after an extensive session discussing why I do not do finish things projects that I start. I started to answer before I stopped myself.
I started therapy due to a lot of anxiety and inability to break through obstacles that were haunting me. After an extensive search I found a therapist that I not only clicked with but also trusted.
The defining moment for me was when she asked the question about fear. I have now really attacked my fears head on and found myself pleasantly surprised. It has changed my entire perspective. I have learned to let go of a lot of things that I never know that I could.
I feel for the 1st time in my life i have finally made some limits and surprise surprise it has created happiness. Many years ago I spoke about how I felt our lives are like cars that needed to be kept up and maintained. The 4 tires (Health, Career , Relationships; Spirituality) are what keep the car up and running.
I have truly never felt so healthy. My numbers have all been amazing. I started to run and I am finding that each day I run I feel amazing. I actually miss running on the days that I don't. I have also started eating better and moving around more. I have no clue what I was afraid of in running and moving.
I would like to say that I am in the career that I love but truthfully that is not true. But I am taking steps to sort through what I want to make my career. I am applying for job where I feel I want to work. I even started writing for the local LQBT about HIV testing. I truly have loved the start of doing this: (http://www.pqmonthly.com/day-life-hiv-tester-hiv-testing-101/16368)
For years I have fought myself on what it means to be a spiritual person. I have taken s step back for a while and truly and taking care of myself in regards to be closer to my heavenly father, I am enjoying simple meditations. The truth is that I feel closer and closer to the true soul being that I am every day.
This is the biggest area growth that I have seen in myself. I never thought it possible but I have found the ultimate happiness with the relationships in my life. In regards to my parents and siblings I have found that letting go of certain expectations and being able to let go and speak my own truth has created stronger bonds and the ability to speak more openly with my family.
I have learned the art of true intimacy with my partner. I have learned the importance of the mellow time and the communication. For years I though I knew what I wanted but realize I did so out of normalcy. No longer in my mind are the days that a family has to be parents and 2.5 kids. I feel, at this time, I truly have an amazing family. Having a partner that is supportive, caring, and fun like him makes life so exciting. We have our furry kids and that is enough for now. Who know what the future holds but I have decided to let go of future tripping. I am in love and experiencing the deepest true partnership. I could not imagine anything better.
So when it come right down to it I have realized I was afraid for a long time that if anyone saw behind the mask of who Michael Lee Howard they would not understand me. I felt that I would be rejected and lose the people in my life. I think that changed when I began to cut people and let them go. Toxic people bring nothing to me and I will not allow them to exist here now.
To answer my therapist's question: I am not afraid like before... I am blossoming, letting go, and finding my soul.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
This past week as I was doing HIV testing I had an 53 year old guy getting tested. It had been a couple years since he had been testing and it had always been with a mouth swab. The organization I work with does not do mouth swabs and instead a finger poke. As is common I asked him to put his hand out and it would be a quick little poke. Well as soon as I went to use the lancet on him he pulled his back as if possessed. I did eventually get the blood draw after about 5 min of this continuing pulling back osf his hand. He laughed after we finally got the draw and he said ... "That did not hurt at all, wow I am so embarrassed"
As we talked he told me how when he was a child he would get draws and the nurses would use what looked like razor blade tips to poke the skin and draw the blood. He had forgotten about it until that moment. Somehow his body had reacted to from some form of sensory memory.
Made me start to think about what other sensory memories are we all carrying with us. What endeavors have I put off for bad memories? Can this apply to the mental parts as well as physical? What about our spiritual side?
I find that sometimes that there is so many blocks inside. As I write this I see that is what I am in therapy for. To get these sensory memories out of me. I just wonder how many memories I have hidden that I have not yet uncovered.
I think about the reasons I am scared to write more, why I do not get up and sing more, why I do not pursue more of myself in photos, music, and the creative projects that I have in my head. What is this sensory that I have pushed down. It is ground so deep into the ground that I sometimes cannot see the light while I am diving down to try and find it.
I do find more of myself everyday... It is like an abyss in front of me that I am piecing together for fear of falling into the darkness. That is why I refuse to believe that I can become bitter and negative. That is admitting that I have lost to the dark in me and the rage has won.
I do believe that even in my concepton that there was a sensory of honest and true love. I was created from that and that it is why I have not lost out to the darkness. Hear that Darkness.... go away ... far away......
Thursday, March 28, 2013
I am never one to be what too much of an activist but I found
myself being compelled to share my thoughts on the current DOMA issue.
For those that do not know DOMA stands for (Defense Of Marriage Act).
DOMA is the current law that restricts federal marriage benefits to
same sex couples.
I feel sometimes in order to voice what I feel I should have facts to
back this up.
DID YOU KNOW: According to the federal government's General Accounting
Office (GAO), more than 1,100 rights and protections are conferred to
U.S. citizens upon marriage. Areas affected include Social Security
benefits, veterans' benefits, health insurance, Medicaid, hospital
visitation, estate taxes, retirement savings, pensions, family leave,
and immigration law.
I do not know at this stage if Jacob and I will ever get married, neither of us are super crazy about a huge ceremony and of course would rather spend the funds just vacationing. Even if marriage was
legal, we as Domestic Partners have a lot of state
rights. federal rights are another thing.
It would be nice to not pay taxes on our insurance; It would be nice
to have the ability to not have a will that states specifically what
each other can or can't do if we get sick or heaven forbid pass away.
I think the idea that Jacob and I after 4 years together would not be
afforded the same luxuries as those that are together for months or
in some cases days is just a smack in the face. We both pay taxes,
work very hard, budget, shop, are spiritually driven, and do all the same things any other
couple does. Yet I am not allowed these due to the fact I was born
gay. Yes, I know I was born this way because trust me it would be way
easier legaly to jump the fence and not be this way. Heck I even tried
it for a bit.I know that we all as Americans should be allowed the rights that provide us life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I just ask that you take that into consideration in any judgments you may have.
Thanks for reading my two seconds of rant... for some further reading
please check out the link below;
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
This past few months I have taken a huge time out to work on myself. It started a while back when I started to have some very vivid dreams with many people throughout my life attacking my heart, soul, and confidence.
One person in particular stood out in my mind and I started to realize that there is so much that I have held down and kept choked inside my soul. I know now that what was really happening was a wake up call inside my head.
I started lately to also marvel at the miracle of little things around me... I was thinking today of the projects in myself and how I did not want to have to carry so much baggage as I embark on the last year of my 30's. It is time to work on some things that I have started that I have been too afraid to take on.
The soul is a tender yet vulnerable thing. We are like eggs! Think to yourself about how crazy that something that somehow hold life and is able to incubate life such an egg yet is so tender. Just a small crack and all the yoke from inside could fall and lose everything that it is has held so tender.
I find that I have let too many people get inside my shell and let the cracks begin. I blessed to have the knowledge to reach out and to know that all is not lost.
I am working everyday in baby steps to work with what I know and love to do ... the artistic needs in my head will need to blossom or else risk being dried much like the yolk of an egg.
I also must push away ones that have a negative influence or else nothing positive to add to my life.... it is hard but necessary lest I be pulled into the negative gravity. This is the next stage and I am ready for it...
TIME TO UNCRACK THIS EGG!!!!!
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
all about how I’m feeling
Today’s all about me learning how,
how to receive How to receive, "
I started listening to the Newest Alanis album "Havoc and Bright Lights" the day that it came out. Aside from Jagged Little Pill (which I think is brilliant but overplayed at the time) I have purchased every Alanis Morissette the night it came out, It was always something cleansing as she and I are the same age, I felt I related to the stages she was at in her growth.
This one hit me hard as I have noticed a trend lately (ok I admit, most of my adult, ok well whole life) in sacrificing. I have been especially tender as I have watched so many relationships, whether it be romantic or friendships, reach limits and dissolve like a candle. Overused and melted until there is nothing left but the outside shell of beautiful but empty and devoid on the inside.
I began thinking... What was I do for myself though. Lord knows I have so many interests but I find that I base so much of what I do on the reactions from others. Or else I will not do something to avoid receiving the gifts I have inside myself.
That being said I started reaching in me and finding what it all boils down to.... RECEIVING, I am def one to give and care but I never let myself accept the gifts I have for myself. So I said screw it and I have been letting a lot more of myself go. I have to admit is a hard and challenging thing to do on my own terms.
I am thankful for my core of people in my life, I know that I could not be who I am without the love they show me, simple things like letting me be extremely dorky, letting me act like I am 12 years old, or not wanting to fill the air with worthless words.
A funny and odd thing happened that I did not expect, I started to find that I really am a good person. I like the music I listen to, I find that I enjoy the pictures I take, and I have started to share more in regards to my thoughts on religion, politics or general thoughts.
It has made me come to the conclusion that in order to truly be of service to anyone we must first be service to ourselves. Why make excuses for me being who I am... instead I am learning to embrace things like eating slow, having thinned hair, laughing loudest, dancing to music that isn't there, even having an "cup half full" mentality.
I am actually happier with the person that I have am now than I have ever been, whether it be age or just the sheer ability to learn to find something good in what I see around me...I have crossed that bridge to quote another Paula Cole "don't confuse positivity for naivety".
Sunday, July 8, 2012
"What?" I asked very confused
"Always being the HIV+, Gay man in every group wherever you go, don't you sometimes just want to be Michael"
"You know now that I think about it ... Yeah it really is a bit tiring but I am ok with it."
That thought has sat in my mind for a while now. It really has been an interesting concept that I have found so very hard to break away from ... Labeling.
When it comes down to it I am a son, brother, partner, hiv+, gay, volunteer, coworker, best friend, thirty-something blue eyed, depressive, future writer, photographer, singer person. I wonder though how much people see of me that goes beyond the labels that I myself have continued to promote in a way.
I am always joking stating I am gay or poz, usually jokingly, but lately it has occurred to me that I am so much more that those types of labels. Jacob and I have spoken on many an occasion about the annoyance in the gay culture how we all label ourselves and of all things after animals (i.e. cubs, bears, wolves, otters, twinks, etc). It has popped up with friends when asked what am I? Just like when I am asked in our relationship am I the "wife or the husband", I always state that I am a man and I am an equal part of a partnership.
After Heidi asked me about the labels I realized I love the well rounded -ness of all the ways I could be labeled, it def shows some experience and the fact that I have lived a full life up to this point ... but I completely know that i am more than one such labels and I am truly the sum of all my parts... in an effort to take back who I am I have changed many of my pages like twitter as well as my blog to be Michael Lee Howard.
The one thing I have learned to accept is that I am Michael Lee Howard and all the labels that are associated with that are part of the whole. It has taken me until this age of my life to see it but I def own it now. I think that was the first step that I needed to move forward to the round in my life that I am embracing now.
So to answer Heidi's question, after much thought, I have to answer.... NO!!! I embrace all the Labels as long as no one forgets that when it comes down to it I am me... Michael Lee Howard.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
The moment I met Annie I knew her soul to be different, I could not tell you why or how. I think that it started when I heard her shockingly look across the room at my little pup , Dutchess and exclaim "What is that a miniature cow?" I doubled over laughing. Jacob would have more opportunity to spend with her than me but I thought often about how she was doing. Annie passed away last week and what a sad day that was, I think that there is an Angel that is making GOD laugh with big belly laughs...
I met Noah through LIVEJOURNAL back in the day. He was a well live bohemian with pretty blond hair. He lived in Australia. When I started speaking to him he had just returned from India learning about Buddhism. He had been studying the Dalia Lama's teaching and even was able to meet him. I would stay up late nights chatting with Noah about all the great things in his life, including a baby boy, marriage to his husband, and the struggle he had with his third bout of life draining Cancer. I lost touch over the year but when I finally did find out he passed away I was very sad. Noah had an amazing heart, He gave me a gift one year during a late night talk. The song "Swing Life Away" - by Rise Against ... Sometimes the song comes on and I remember Noah fondly.
My aunt Debbie was a great lady. My mom remarried when I was 17. My step-father's family were very cold to me when I first met them. I have to admit it was prob a bit to take on a ready made family. The one though that never made me feel second rate was Debbie. Debbie had a heart that was beautiful. She constantly wanted to know how I was and how life was going after I came out and beyond. The remaining family would ask and then would turn away as I answered. Debbie started slipping from Cancer many years ago. The one thing I remember was when I was at a family Christmas and Debbie, a shell of the lady I knew, skinny, missing part of her tongue due to the Cancer took time to make everything perfect and we all ignored the pain we knew. Within a couple of years Debbie had passed. Having lost her battle with Cancer but I still swear I see her smiling asking me how I am doing.
I hate that some of GOD's creations were on this life for such a short time. I think about it a lot when I see how happy I am in my life and the blessings that I have. I think about how I never knew Jacob's Dad Alan. I hope he knows how happy Jacob and I are and how sad I am to have never met him.
I think that some people touch our lives in a big way despite being but a shadow of our lives, I have been blessed with many "shadows" in my life. The ones that were not here long enough yet somehow made the largest impact. I actually have a hard time connecting with people these as I get older but the Annie's, Noah's, and Debbie's show me that sometimes there is a purpose that some souls serve and they sadly have achieved their goals and floated away.
Tonight I will be sending a prayer to all my SHADOWS and thanking them for all for teaching me lifetime skills and gifts that I plan to take through to the my next stage of my life.