The Twenties We All Deserve

@ryanoconn
@ryanoconn

I am 25 years old and it’s been a year since my last blowjob, seven months since my last kiss, and one very rude day since my last painkiller. I’m walking under the BQE at 2 p.m. with my drug dealer and he hands me four Percocet, which I quickly pop into my mouth like they’re Haribo gummy bears. He asks me if I want to come up to his apartment and hang out but I’m like “lol, no” and run home so I can spend the next few hours alone and high in my bedroom. Once the sun disappears, I gingerly get dressed and head to a bar to meet some assholes, I mean my friends, I mean assholes. I order Shirley Temples all night and feel so fucking happy to be here talking to these sociopaths I’ve accidentally formed close relationships with. I am living the nightmare, I mean dream, I mean nightmare I MEAN…

Here’s a fun piece of info for you: A penis did not enter my asshole once when I lived in New York. There were close calls. Brave men tried to CC me on emails with intimacy and love, but I quickly unsubscribed. Eventually they’d leave, sometimes in a rage and sometimes with a whimper, and I would be so, so relieved. “Thank God THAT psycho is gone,” I’d sigh to myself while drawing a bath. “Now I get to be alone forever and ever!!!!!!” I’d get into the scalding hot water and let my limbs turn into spaghetti before crawling into my bed and thinking contentedly “Man! These sure are the glamorous twenties I deserve.”


It’s hard for me to explain this to you in a way that will make one hundo percent sense, but I’ll try. Until recently, maybe in the last year or so, I didn’t understand that life could be good. For me, it was just about experiences and having great talks and having terrible talks and getting too drunk in bars that Chloe Sevigny went to and not accepting good people into my life because where are the good people anyway and eating baked ziti/Cooler Ranch Doritos and getting so high to see Scream 4 that I fell asleep in a movie theatre in Midtown before Emma Roberts came onscreen. It was about surrounding myself with things that didn’t pierce the walls I had spent years building up.

Here are things that don’t pierce walls: drugs, rich girls named Kitty, a job in New York media, mean friends, a subscription to Us Weekly. It’s as easy as 1, 2, I’m blue. Of course, when I was going through all of this, I thought I was living the life I always wanted. I mean, what can I say? When you’re in your early twenties, your brain is a jar of rat poison.

It wasn’t like I was against happiness. I just didn’t think it was an option for someone like me. Here I was, a gay guy who walked with a limp and had light brain damage and scars all over his legs and Compartment Syndrome from getting hit by a car. And I’m not saying this to be dramatic and give off pity party vibes. It felt very logical to me. Like, how COULD I get the nice things, the real guts of life that fill you up and make you truly happy when I was this way?

The answer to this, I learned is very, very easy and very, very hard. First off, everybody deserves the guts of life. Like, why are you going for the clavicle when there’s a meaty thigh with your name on it? But realizing you can have the thigh is a PROCESS, HONEY. For example, this September I met a boy who was special and kind and funny and great and my first reaction was, “Oh, he’s too good for me. I’ll just friendzone myself and avoid the rejection.” So that’s what I did for months until I was like, “Wait a sec. I want this guy, sooo maybe I should try to get him? Like, I should just try to kiss him and see if he kisses me back and then maybe we can try to date and, like, IDK fuck and then maybe fall in love and sit in comfortable silence together at a deli?” This didn’t even OCCUR to me as a possibility. Even at 28, my brain still resembled a self-sabotaging jar of rat poison.

Thankfully, I fought against my instinct and I kissed him and he fucking kissed me back, and boom! That’s how life happens. As easy as 1,2, I’m no longer blue.

Well, nothing is smooth sailing. Conquering your demons and living your life honestly is an entirely different shitshow. A better one, to be sure, but still a shitshow. You have to take accountability over your actions, you have to own your motherfucking shit, and face your flaws. It’s a lot of work to recognize how insane you are and try to start fixing it. But it’s also great. It’s great to surround yourself with things that make those walls you built crumble. It’s great to accept love from strong, smart, people. It’s great to watch Scream 4 sober and realize Emma Roberts was kind of good in it.

The things you have in your life that make you feel unlovable and small can go away. They have as much power as you give them. I let CP become bigger than myself and take over. Now I refuse to waste one more fucking second of my life over something I can’t change.

These are the twenties I deserve. This is the kind of life we all deserve. TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • http://callynnlynell.wordpress.com Lynella!

    Reblogged this on LYNELLA and commented:
    Amazing story! I think everyone should read it, as we all can relate in some way, shape or form.

    Love this!

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