Blogiversary Party!

Today is the one year blogiversary!


I honestly cannot thank everyone enough for continuing to read and comment on my posts and show me love! This has been an insane year for me writing-wise and I can say without reservation that I’ve improved tremendously as a writer!

When I started this blog, I didn’t know what I wanted to get out of it. I knew that I wanted to start blogging regularly again in order to create some sort of a visible platform, but other than that, the only thing I knew I was going to do was write what I wanted to write, what I would want to read. For me, that’s a little bit of writerly advice, a smattering of gay news, some popular culture tidbits, and overall, just a lot of colorful posts about life/love/the pursuit of happiness with personality and fun.

I think I succeeded.

I’ve been reflecting a lot on my past, particularly who I was as a writer. I’ve been combing through the archives of my former blog, the now defunct “The Chronicles of a Starving Writer” and can’t help but think, “HOLY SHIT! I can’t believe I used to write like this! #Amateur!” But why should I think like that? It’s all apart of my journey, right?

Every word I’ve ever written has brought me here. Right here. Writing this post.

No matter where life takes me next, I know that it’ll be exactly where I need to be.

And I hope that the future holds just as much beautiful chaos as the last year.

In honor of my first, highly successful year at beautifulCHAOS**, I’m going to re-post my VERY first post from my “Chronicles” blog, when I started blogging at the beginning of 2009, right after I quit my job at the Italian restaurant I was the manager of after I graduated college:

Pretend That You’re Alone

Originally Posted on January 13th, 2009 at 7:05pm

Sit back, just for a minute. Think about where you’ve been and where you’re going. I’ve been doing a lot of that recently, thinking. Over the last few months I’ve been alone with my thoughts and that elusive temptress called Time has been tapping me on the shoulder every so often, reminding me that, with each passing day, I’m getting farther and farther away from where I want to be. Or getting closer. Either way, time is creeping up faster than I’d like to admit.

I guess that’s to be expected, though. I seem to have done everything right and “by-the-books” so-to-speak: graduated from a great high school, gone on to a very well-respected college and graduated with a 3.6 in my major, held a bunch of different jobs since I was 15, mostly waitering with an internship here and there, and through it all found something that I’m passionate about. So why I am so restless.

I think the bigger question for me is, why am I complaining? Well, I’m complaining because everyone around me is complaining. Case-in-point: I had this job managing a restaurant in the town I live in, and I’d been working there for a little over two years when our manager up-and-quit, leaving the staff to fend for themselves. Now, in tough situations, I tend to rise to the occasion and do what needs to be done. I work exceptionally under pressure, and I tend to lead more than I follow, so I stepped up to the plate. I took over scheduling, I hired new waitresses, I was dealing with the vendors, booking and working parties, worrying about inventory…all while working nearly every shift during the summer months. It was hectic, and I wasn’t getting any sort of compensation for putting in more than my initial call of duty required Again, I’m not complaining….yet (oh, and this rant does have a point). Being that I was always working, I never had a social life. And due to my lack of social life, i rediscovered the joys of food and comforting eating (or binging, either one). And then I found out that I was accepted to study abroad in Rome, Italy for the spring of 2009. Of course, the stupid Grad school I was attending refused to release my financial aid (not to mention that the study abroad director and the dean of the writing program went behind my back to ensure that I couldn’t go). So I couldn’t go. Long story short: depression ensued. Whine whine whine. Needless to say, I couldn’t take it anymore: the long hours, the thankless effort I put into the restaurant, the lack of a social life, I couldn’t handle it anymore. So I quit. No back-up job, just quit.

Now comes the complaining part. My mom, dad, grandmother, my dog Max…everyone thinks I made a mistake. And sure, the economy is being flushed down the toilet, and really, was it an economical choice? Of course not. But it was necessary for my happiness. Of course, others don’t see it as such, and sometimes, neither do I. But it was something I had to do for my psyche. So get the fuck off my back. Let me be. I’ll find myself. I’ll get a job. Lay the hell off. Ok, the end.

Have you ever just wanted to pretend that you were alone. What would do if you could? What do you do when are you alone?

I’ve spent a lot of time in the past worrying about what other people think about me, and I guess to a degree I will always wonder. Nobody can be completely 100% confident in themselves as to not care – to some extent – what others are thinking. It’s just human nature. It’s human nature to worry, to complain, to constantly curse time and try to relive the past. But what about our humanity to just live and let live?

So much of who we are is wrapped up in the “other.” The other person in our lives, the other people, what we don’t know, what we want so desperately to find out. We’re so concerned with everyone and what dirty toys they secretly stuff under their beds that we forget to be concerned with ourselves. Or, we’re so concerned with ourselves that overanalyzation becomes a main component: we care what others think about us, so we dress to impress when we go to bars; we go to places where we know we know everyone so that we don’t have to be alone and so we feel a bit of self-importance in knowing everyone; we are so concerned with how others view us that, if we’re out with a friend who gets a little too out-of-control for our tastes we feel the need to over-apologize and feel a sense of embarrassment. I don’t get that. So much of who we are now-a-days is concerned with the other. We let romantic relationships influence who we are. We latch onto to certain friendships because of what we think they might add to who we are and our place in society, rather than stick with the friends who have proven themselves to stick by us in times of need, simply because they don’t give us that social standing.

What we need to do is just be by ourselves. We need to stop trying to fix what is beyond our control. We need to stop looking at ourselves with that self-importance. We need to realize that we are not the flowers in the landscape of our worlds, but the weeds. Once we realize that – at best – we’re just the monkeys who fell of the trees when we were trying to fly, the happier we’ll be.

It’s time to pretend that you’re alone. Do something so completely out-of-character that it’s completely in character. Do something you do alone, in front of people. Chances are, they’ll laugh, and if they don’t, laugh anyway. Because really…who cares? Life is too short to worry or complain or be embarrassed….or think. Just let it flow, as organically as possible.

I’ll find my way. And in the interim, I’m gonna live out loud and pretend that I’m alone.

“We are just the monkeys, who fell out of the trees

We are blisters on the earth

We are not the flowers, we’re the strangling weeds

In the meadow


And love is just our way of looking out for ourselves

When we don’t want to live alone

So step into the vacuum, tear off your clothes

And be born again


Pretend that you’re alone now

And everything’s gone

Just animal reflex

There’s noone looking on

Forget about fashion

Forget about the law

Pretend that you’re alone now


I wonder what I’d do, if I could wake up every morning

With a clean slate

I’d burn through the cities, I’d tear through the towns

Cos there’s no deals to make

So break out of the cages, the delicate structures

We cling to all our lives

Cos we are just the monkeys, who fell out of the trees

When we were trying to fly


Pretend that you’re alone now

And everything’s gone

Just primal desire

No right and no wrong

Forget about the future

Forget about blame

Pretend that you’re alone now

Pretend that you’re alone now”

— Keane “Pretend That You’re Alone,” from their album Perfect Symmetry …

which defined a distinct moment of my life, right before everything changed…

Do yourself a favor: be impetuous and pretend that you’re alone.

Relive the first year of beautifulCHAOS with my personal Greatest Hits:

20. Movie Theatre Etiquette 101 (Because I think it’s hilarious. You might disagree. Oh well…)

19. A Sorta Fairytale: A Story of Unfulfilled Dreams (Click this if you want to see my artwork…it’s pretty amateur, but totes #cute)

18. Zombies, Vampires, and Katniss Everdeen, Oh My!

17. Why Pop Culture Desperately Needs the Spice Girls

16. Why Self-Publishing Is Not For Me

15. [Drunk] In Love: That Time I Proposed to a Girl for Free Wine

14. The One About the TV Theory of Friendship

13. Villains Never Win (One of my personal favorite pieces)

12. 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was in the Closet (One of my favorites, got a lot of love from Reddit)

11. A Portrait of Dementia (One of my top 15 most commented posts, with the most personal comments that really touched me)

10. Men, Objectified: From Michelangelo to J.Lo, a Study of the Effect of Mainstream Masculinity on Male Identity

09. Leave Ellen Alone: A Lesson in Misplaced Transphobia

08. “Maybe” (Creative NonFiction Piece)

07. “Spring Break, A Not-Yet-Gay Fairytale” (Creative NonFiction Piece)

06. Everybody Does “It,” Nobody Talks About: When Writing YA, How Should Sex Exist

05. Why It’s Bad Form to Tell a Writer to Stop Writing (Featured on BBC News!)

04. Will I Be Remembered? And Other Mortal Combats (Freshly Pressed)

03. Help Me, I’m Poor: A Professor’s Lament (Freshly Pressed)

02. How Adam Lambert Saved My Life (…which went viral on Twitter and was featured on Adam Lambert’s official website!)

01. Beware the Frozen Heart: Is Disney’s Frozen an Allegory for Coming Out? (Biggest traffic hits to date!)

For more of my most popular and favorite posts, click here or here!


** EDITOR’S NOTE: Now HyperReality!

What were your favorite moments? Sound off in the comments below!

6 thoughts on “Blogiversary Party!

  1. Congratulations on your first year of blogging! I love what you’ve written thus far — seriously everyone reading right now should check out the links to his other posts in this entry and soak up this dude’s awesomeness! keep it up.

    – Faithful Reader

    • THANK YOU KIND STRANGER, whoever you are! I think it’s a big accomplishment…considering my incredibly short attention span when it comes to interweb-related things.

  2. Time fucking FLIES my friend! beautifulCHAOS has truly been a great source of light for me during this past year, so first of all thank you.

    Secondly, congrats!

    Thirdly, OMG @ that 2009 piece. “We need to stop trying to fix what is beyond our control. We need to stop looking at ourselves with that self-importance. We need to realize that we are not the flowers in the landscape of our worlds, but the weeds. Once we realize that – at best – we’re just the monkeys who fell of the trees when we were trying to fly, the happier we’ll be.”

    Jesus, Young Steven, you are so wise/deep! I feel like I was questioning the same shit back then, too. And still am. So basically I haven’t grown in 5 years. Thanks for that realization.

    Totes kidding! Growth has happened! Mostly. You’ve played a role in it. I am grateful. Cheesecake. Is needed.

    • Awwwww! Well ain’t you sweeter than a cool strawberry rhubarb pie on a warm summers day!

      2009 was my year of personal growth … in so many ways. #Memories!

      Glad it could resonate with someone! Although looking back at it, it’s kinda glass half empty, no? Like, TOO REAL. IDK. Maybe I’ve just become more delusional…

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