The Evolution of Adam

Episode 1: The Introduction of Adam
My love–hate relationship with New York…and myself…and how I’m breaking the pattern.

Ah, New York. I love that city. And hate it. Love–hate: that sums it up. Right now I’m upstate, to where historically I’ve retreated from the fear and shame that rises in me whenever I’ve lived in New York for long, just like the heat rises from those gritty streets on torrid summer days…and you wish someone would open up a hydrant so you could splash about in joy like a child…but then you realize life will never be as idyllic as in the movies. Indeed, for me, there was never any such relief in New York.

I hail from upstate, but the provincial hamlet in which I came of age had nothing to offer me, a gay boy trapped in an abusive household. As soon as high school wrapped, I headed to the Big Apple, dreaming big, but really, with no plan other than the idea of taking Broadway by storm as soon as possible.

I guess it’s no surprise that instead of immediately achieving stardom, I foundered. It seems I could take myself away from family drama, but I couldn’t help but repeat the same episodes that so scared me as a child. My parents had subjected to me the insecurity that comes from evictions and unemployment and constant conflict. While by relocating to the city I had removed myself to relative safety, I hadn’t quite learned how to take care of myself. In the constant moving, squatting, and near-evictions that followed, I recreated the drama I had meant to leave behind. I even managed to put myself in the way of an abuser. Again. This time he was a boyfriend.

Here is where I tell you there’s a point to this story. Why share this host of tragedies? Because I’ve come out the other side. And the tools I’ve accumulated and have used along the way can help you too. So let me tell you more.

Shame often ruled my life in New York. In my many arrivals and departures there, I started out full of hope and left when things were so bad that staying might have meant dying. As the city and my boyfriend beat me about, I went from fearless actor to fearful actor (indeed, scared to death of auditioning). The little confidence I had mustered at the start would devolve into shame over not being able to create safety, health, and wealth for myself. I was often jobless, and sometimes one fight with my boyfriend or one dollar or one day short of homelessness. This fed the shame, which in turn fed the fear, which in turn kept me from seeing each new challenge as an opportunity.

The way I saw things at the time, it was a downward spiral, the twists and turn of which brought me upstate and back, over to San Francisco and back, to the streets and back, and from one boyfriend to the next…with one terrible pit stop in 1997 to a doctor’s office in which I learned I have HIV. The subsequent year I drank myself toward an end that I would thankfully never realize.

Wow, has my view of life changed. Back then, I didn’t see much reason for living. Now I have a mission: to help gay men with their relationships through my burgeoning life coaching practice. Back then, fear and shame ruled my life. Now from challenges I create opportunity and joy. Back then, I didn’t feel I deserved health and safety. Now I make them a priority.

The last time I removed myself from New York City, things were rough. But I left with a clear objective to return only once more, and for good. I love the city—it’s so full of opportunity, so vibrant and, when at its best, accepting. The city brings out the best and worst in people, so it is there that humanity has the best potential to shine. I want a life there for myself, next to the energy—the life-force!—that so much humanity in such a small space creates. Come this fall, I’m making the move.

What is different this time for me and why will this be the time I make it work? I’ve learned to let go of fear and shame. I’m living in the moment. I’m mindful, and I can identify opportunities in difficult situations. I take care of myself: I know how to maintain financial solvency so I can always have a safe place of my own, and in terms of health, I have a medication and fitness regimen that I value and honor. I will arrive in New York this time with a social and financial safety net.

I have much more to share with readers about my journey and how my new tools have served me and can serve you too. Please stay tuned to learn The Evolution of Adam.

Author's Bio: 

Remember, being single isn’t a curse, it’s an OPPORTUNITY!

Greg Halpen works with highly motivated and successful single gay men who are frustrated by repeating the same dating and relationship choices expecting different results.

If you want to Jumps Start your love life, check out:

Greg can be reached at 1-(315)-218-6852

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