Category: Inspired by Jim Parsons

More love and understanding — How the Boys in the Band made me see myself more clearly

More love and understanding — How the Boys in the Band made me see myself more clearly

Have you ever felt different? I definitely have. When I was a teenager, I listened to my friends. I figured out what they loved, only to be able to tell them I’d love the same. I wanted to be accepted. I wanted to be part of a group. I learned very quickly that whenever I was alone, I became a target. I felt so vulnerable that I preferred to hide. No one saw me, and for some reason, I felt protected around the other guys. However, I thought they were unable to love me for who I really was. I stayed in my little shell. I was 19 when I felt like my existence would not matter. It took me four more years to realize that the issue was not the others.

I was solely focused on being part of a group. I wanted to ensure that the other kids in school liked me. It seemed to be the easiest way acting like a person, who agrees with them on everything. I thought the more we have in common, or I pretend to have in common with them, the more likely they tend to accept me as their friend. Still to this very day, I notice that whenever I meet new people, I act that way. I hide in my shell, listen to others, and only say something when I am sure everyone agrees with me. I am not a person who loves random conversations. It is really hard for me talking to people, even more initiating a conversation, because I often feel I would waste their time. However, I have no problem when someone approaches and starts talking to me, because then I know I am not bothering them. Writing online makes communicating easier because these guys do not have to reply, or they can take their time. When I get messages, it sometimes takes a while for me to answer for exactly the same reason I cannot easily start a conversation in real life – I do not want to force them talking to me. I am complicated, and like I said, different.

Maybe one reason I feel this way is because I was bullied in school every time I was on my own and every time the other kids were united. When each of them was alone as well, they never said or did anything. Therefore, I thought I could only be strong when I was part of a group. It did not really feel safe to tell them what was on my mind, or to tell what I really liked. When I was at that point, when I thought I was only a burden and my life had no purpose, I realized that somehow I had disappeared. I was pretending to be someone else that I almost forgot who I really was. At the age of 23, I finally started to accept myself. It was a slow process, and like I said, even 7 years later I somehow still often tend to hide, but writing a post like this helps me and was not possible back then.

Me in front of the Booth Theatre, on the picture on the doors are Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto and Matt Bomer.

I learned that I was the one who was judging myself the most. How could I expect other people to accept me when I could not do that? When I watched Boys in the Band for the first time, I realized how much I could relate to these guys, especially to Michael. He had this fear that his friend Alan would not accept him anymore if he figured out who he really was. He tried to hide, his look seemed to be the most important thing. He took what he loved, but he did not allow himself to actually love. The question that he asked his friend Donald at the end, “Why do we hate ourselves so much?” kept me thinking. At first, I thought he meant, “hate each other” because they were cursing, and teasing each other. The more I was thinking about it, and about myself, I concluded, that he could have meant as well that everyone hates himself the most. A good question indeed. Why? Why do we hate ourselves so much (thinking we don’t deserve true love)? 

The phone game was another thing that kept me thinking. Normally, it is wonderful telling someone that he is truly loved. However, Michael initiated that because he wanted Alan to admit he was gay too. Did he do that because he was afraid to lose him when he was no longer part of “his” group? Did he do that because he had always been the one denying who he truly is? Did he do that because he was mad at himself? Did he want to be the one pointing his finger at someone because he always felt others did that to him? Had the phone game already begun before Michael started it? Alan called him because he had some issues with his wife, Fran. Maybe Michael was right and Alan’s gay as well, but Justin, the man Michael thought Alan was in love with, was not the man he actually loved, because Alan called someone else before he came to Michael’s apartment. When Alan saw Michael’s reaction, he went back to his shell. Everyone wants a safe place and be loved, so he‘s telling what others want to hear, or at least what some wish to hear.

Maybe I see it like that because of my experiences. I had never understood why some people make such a big deal whether someone is gay or not. When I was a kid and played with my dolls, some of the female dolls had relationships with male dolls or others with female dolls. I simply loved telling stories with them, and I gave each one a unique character and backstory. I was 12 when I first heard the word “gay”. Back then, I did not understand why this word was necessary, because I could not see a difference. It’s love. Period. It does not matter if it’s between two men or two women or a man and a woman. It’s all the same. It’s all love. It has always been normal to me, and I did not understand why anyone would see it differently. 

Booth Theatre, Boys in the Band
Booth Theatre, Boys in the Band

Being a curious person, I once looked for the origin of the word gay. It derives from French. It has the same meaning as it still has in English, in which the former meaning seems to vanish: cheerful, joyful, happy, carefree. It describes perfectly how I see gays, and how they should see themselves, not only in this impeccable play. What looks like a party isn’t always just fun. However, they find a way being who they are. They hide because they feel judged, and unfortunately, they still are by way too many people. We have come so far since 1968, but there is still a long way to go to equal acceptance and treatment. Gays should not hide, not in a closet, and not in an apartment. I am really grateful, that these nine actors show their true selves proudly, making the play’s story even more moving. The look of somebody is one part, it is what other people firstly notice. However, the look is only the outside, it is the shell. What is even more important is the inside, what a person feels. We are all different, we all express and feel love differently, but we all deserve it. There is no right way to love. Love is love, love is for everyone. Every person has to allow himself to feel and show love. There is nothing more precious to share. No one should fear of not being loved for who he or she is. Everyone deserves love. I still listen, but I don’t want to please everyone anymore or tell me what I have to like to be accepted. Why do we hate ourselves so much (allowing others telling us how we should love)? 

 Allow yourself to be who you already are. Be yourself. That is how you start being happy.

Seeing the boys was in some way like looking into a mirror, as I could relate to all characters. It made me think about my life. The show made me laugh, made me cry, and honestly it was the best show I have seen on Broadway this summer. I have read the book and watched the movie before, but as a theater fan I was even more excited to see this play, and it even surpassed my expectations. It was even more intense. I only wished I had asked the cast how much they can relate to their characters. It is not only the cast, but the entire crew making this show wonderful. I love the set design, the lighting, the costumes, the music, and even the smell at the theater. 

If you still haven’t seen The Boys in the Band, make sure you do. It is an outstanding cast telling an important story to which I guess everyone can relate somehow. For me, this show is more than „only for gays“. I saw the show twice, and if I lived closer to New York, I had seen it more often. Thanks to everyone involved. I spoke to almost all of them after the show.  I also came to the stage door once after I had seen another show on Broadway, only to tell people passing by they should come and see the boys. There were a couple of people asking me about the show, and I was glad to tell them about it. Now I cannot do that anymore, so here is this blogpost instead. Run to join the party — at the Booth Theatre until August 11th.

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The lost feeling

The lost feeling

There was darkness all around me. It embraced me like a coat, but instead of giving me warmth, it got colder the tighter it was to my body. How did I get there? I had no idea. I was all alone. There was no sound, there was just nothing. It felt as if someone took my eyesight. I was wandering around, trying to find the exit. I could not. I was walking a circle. I sat down, trying to breathe, trying to focus. There were these memories from a past that felt like another lifetime. I thought of colors, brightness and something that I could not remember when I felt it the last time. The darkness made me see more clearly after a while. Something was taken away from me, something that was way more important than my eyesight, and I wanted it back. My greatest fear was that I forgot I ever had this feeling, that I forgot it really existed, and was no fairytale. I cannot remember the last time I had it, but I still remember that I liked it, and I did not want to forget how happiness felt like.

When I started working, it felt the whole world changed. Was it still the same I grew up in? Back in school I was listening to the teachers, learning what they taught me. But they did not prepare me for this. I wondered if I could work. I had never done this before. What if I was unable to do it right? My co-workers would probably laugh at me and talking behind my back just like my fellow students did evertime I said something wrong in class. I could not run to my parents anymore. It did not change a thing in school, and it would not at work. My Mom told me that she had doubts, too. It was normal. Everything new is scary at first, because it is unknown. No one can predict the future. We learn by trying. Only not trying will lead to failure. The more doubts I have about myself, the less I try and the more dissatisfied I will be. 

My parents were no longer holding my hand, I was no child anymore, but they still were by my side. I worked, and I started to like it. It was different than school, it was exhausting. I could not see my friends each day anymore. The weekends were the days I looked forward to. As a kid, every day was new, full of miracles and possibilities. A year seemed endless. A single day had so much to offer. I could easily get excited. A new magazine, a new CD, going to the mall, or the zoo, seeing the big world with kids’ eyes is wonderful. I saw all the beauty, all the good. And then I grew up. Facing reality is to deal with issues, like which insurance to take, how to pay bills, etc. There was no place for fun, for dreams, for creativity. I had to work. All day. Be a grown up.

As a kid I loved telling stories. I was listening to my friends, putting everything they liked in one story and telling them that was the greatest joy. Making them laugh, seeing their smiles made me happy. When I played with my dolls, I created a backstory for every one. Every doll had not only a name, but her own personality. As a teenager I wrote stories. I used characters of my favorite TV shows and gave them unique adventures. I even put characters from different shows together. I loved that. But when I started working I was too exhausted at the end of each day, I stopped writing. It took a while, until I realized how much I missed it.

My former co-worker Katrin was unlike others. She was colorful. She loved cartoons, video games, and her Cookie Monster tattoo. She dyed her hair differently, in all colors of the rainbow. And she once started talking about Sheldon. I had no idea who that guy was, but she was so excited about this TV show and that character, that everyday she was talking about it. Sheldon said this, Sheldon did that. I had never seen anyone talking so passionately about a specific character. I got curious. I needed to know what was so special about him. Truth is, when I watched my very first episode of The Big Bang Theory, I did not like it much. But the more I thought about it, there could not have been a better first one for me to see, because it was exactly how I felt back then. I just could not see it, did not want to see it, because it confronted me with my life, with what made me unhappy.

The Barbarian Sublimation – The Big Bang Theory S2 E3 (Warner Bros./CBS)

I was like Penny. I felt as a failure. Nothing in my life seemed to work the way I wanted, planned, hoped. Anyway, I was not ready to give up my dreams. She got distracted by this video game, I got distracted by this show. I have never read why it was named like that, as the guys never talked about the actual theory. But I figured out that the show came like out of nowhere, expanding in my life, and somehow it feels it has always been there. Penny just moved in next door in the pilot episode. She came like out of nowhere, expanding in the guys’ lives and now they cannot imagine their lives without each other anymore. What I learned from the show, after all these years, is that we are who we are because of the people we are with. No one is perfect. Everyone struggles now and then, everyone has issues, insecurities, but only a few are strong enough to admit them, or even talk about them. 

People tend to be jealous. They see only the good in others, and the bad in themselves. Everyone wants to pretend to be perfect. But no one is. Like my Mom said, life is a constant change. And everything new is scary at first. Yes, I did feel lost. It was a huge change, and I felt less prepared than I actually was. As a kid I felt protected by my parents, so I was not sure if I could do anything on my own. But I could. And choosing that workplace made me meet Katrin. And she did not give up talking about Big Bang, and one day, she gave me her first season DVD, saying: watch it and like it. And I did. It took a while to realize what I liked about the show. It brought something back that I lost somehow: happiness. I was able to smile again, there was some relief that other people struggle, too. 

Finding my colors again.

I wanted to know all about the production and the writing. I remembered how much fun writing once was for me. I loved to bring joy to people, made them laugh. I started to watch interviews with the cast and writers on YouTube. Well, at least the first few videos, the rest was just Jim. I did not notice it at first, but listening to him made me realize who I was when I was about to forget it. The more I listened to him, the more I could relate, and it has not changed, even six and half years later. What I most love about him is his excitement. When he speaks about acting, about Todd, about the Houston Rockets, about the news people, there is always this sparkle in his eyes. He made me realize that even as an adult I can be excited. I can be passionate. I can have dreams. I can still see the beauty, the good, just like a child. Maybe not everyone understands me, maybe they judge me, but maybe they only wish to allow themselves being excited when often enough the world seems like a dark, cold place. 

I have been there. And I do not want to go back. I do not want to live in entire blackness, sadness. I might be grown up because of my age, but deep inside my heart, I never want to actually grow up. Not when it means to give up who I am. I do not want to adapt. I do not want to be how others want me to be. I want to be me and being accepted for who I am. I want to show my colors, focus not only on the bad. I know it is okay to love, I know it is okay to show it. I can still write, I can still be creative. No more hiding, pretending, lying to myself. I do not want to lose my happiness, my excitement, me ever again. I do not only have to work, or try to be perfect. I do not want to pretend to be someone I am not. I might be more like Sheldon that I was aware of. Now I can see it. I am me, and forever will be, a grown up child. 

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures

They were there, all the time, but most people weren’t aware of them. And those who were able to see them, didn’t actually see them. They seemed like aliens to them, a different kind, one that is maybe even less worth. They looked differently somehow, so they assumed that these “other” people had to be different, that maybe they even want to take their jobs, ruin their lives. But now, there is this movie. Lots of things have changed since back then, but have they really? Continue reading “Hidden Figures”

The most precious gift

The most precious gift

First of all I wanna wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas. May your holidays be wonderful and peaceful. There might be some people who only like Christmas because they get expensive presents, others say Jesus wasn’t born in December, so why should Christmas be celebrated  that month? It might be true that, to many people, it’s only about the money. But to me, well, there is this special spirit that calms me down, lets me forget all the pain and sorrow of the entire year. No matter how tough times sometimes were, I simply enjoy the time, the moment, the present, during the holidays. Two weeks ago I had this dream of meeting someone for the first time, and having a conversation with. I want to tell you this story, as to me, it reflects the true meaning of Christmas.
Continue reading “The most precious gift”