Happy Labor Day Weekend my loyal readers. Can you believe that summer is unofficially over… where has the time gone? Well I hope all of you have amazing plans for the next three days. I know Jack and I will definitely be enjoying ourselves.
At this moment, I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has played a part in what was an amazing summer for me. It started with Thyroid Nation approaching me to write my story regarding my health, and publishing it on their global website. Becoming a published writer was definitely not something I ever envisioned, nor was the response from all around the world, and I am completely honored by the opportunity they gave me… and continue to give me with a second piece being published in the near future. My story also led me up to Boston to tape a podcast segment, as well as meeting lots of people through Facebook, this website and other avenues dealing with Thyroid issues. I have loved speaking to people, and learning their stories. The Thyroid community has taken me in with open arms, and I have become extremely committed to getting the word out there and being a public advocate. One thing I have planned in the near future is to start a Facebook group for men with Thyroid issues, as it really is an uncommon thing, especially for men my age. It’s time that people know they aren’t alone, and for those who are uneducated to get a clue.
Another opportunity that came out of the summer was I revisited one of the most horrific events of my life, and used it to help others. Of course, I’m talking about the night I was raped, which I blogged about. By making my story public, it brought me back in touch with an old friend, who unfortunately took his own life shortly thereafter. But his death was not in vain. It actually was a wake-up call to me about how not to hold back in life, and cherish every day and those important. It also threw me back into a world I walked away from years ago. Since his death, I’ve participated in a few meetings for victims of rape, and even spoken with a couple of people one on one as support in rough times. They have helped me come to terms and make peace with what happened to me. Again, it became important to me that men know that we can be victims too, and there’s no shame in speaking about it. The days of stupid stigmas has got to go.
Those two events actually led up to another amazing opportunity. A couple of weeks ago, NY1 contacted me because somebody nominated me to be a Staten Islander of the Week. At first, I didn’t get what they wanted with me, but after speaking with them twice, I’ve learned that by going public with my health issues and my attack, I have opened the door for other men to come public and not be ashamed to speak. Granted, I’m probably not the first man to ever speak about these things, and I certainly won’t be the last, but the fact that a person and even a news channel deems me worthy of the title is completely mind-blowing and humbling. And something I don’t take lightly. It comes with a responsibility, and even if it never comes to fruition, the nomination alone means everything to me. And it means that I am on the right path in life.
Of course there were little things as well: Baztards.com became a finalist for the next season of Squarespace ads (it actually ended up not getting chosen this time around), and I was nominated for an entrepreneur award by a friend. I went pink in honor of Thyroid Cancer Awareness, then blonde as it washed out and back to my dark side. I put in the paperwork to trademark my name, and started working on my brand. I decided to stop backing up everyone else’s dreams, and start pursuing my own. And many doors started opening… the world became my oyster.
That’s not to say there weren’t any obstacles this summer. In actuality, all these wonderful things caused something else to happen. It turns out that running around like a lunatic and pushing myself has made my levels start to act up. I lost a few pounds and my exhaustion returned. And on doctor’s orders, I was told to slow down. So although I accomplished all these things... and then some, I also had to put things to the side for the time being. But that’s what the fall is for, right?
I’m not going to let a little thing like Hashimoto/Hypothyroidism ever stop me. This fall is chock full of stuff. I will be heading up to Boston to finish my podcast piece, which will hopefully now air before Christmastime. I also will be starting my own podcast, which will pretty much be like a talk show, where I get to talk to my friends and be goofy, as well as other people about their lives and upcoming projects. I want it to be a true representation of me, and my personality. You may also see my writing on some other sites. Keep your eyes and ears peeled because the sky’s the limit.
I’ve also decided to throw my hat into the dating ring again. Been back on OkCupid for 3 weeks now, and joined Plenty Of Fish last week. Not gonna lie, there’s been a few crazies, and OkCupid threw me for a loop with who my top match was. But for the most part, I’ve been talking to really great guys. Even met a handful. Believe it or not, I may or may not have even been asked out on a second date by a couple. Turns out, I’m not the bad guy that some people want to suggest, and people really want to get to know me. I guess it helps that the person in the profile and the person in person actually match. No fronts, just someone real and honest.
And of course, there’s my baby. Baztards.com has become a worldwide success in it’s almost 4 months. People from all over the globe are checking in to see what I have to say. I can’t tell you how completely awesome it feels when I go on Google Analytics and see how far my insanity reaches. And the appreciation for all of you cannot even be expressed fully. And I’ve only just begun… so look out!!!!
This summer was the first one in over ten years that I was alone… no ex-husband, no stepdaughter and certainly no ex-boyfriend. Everything that went down was all my own doing and based on my merit alone, and in a way, this summer was a game-changer. I learned a lot about myself as a person, about the people around me, about humanity in general and in essence, life. And I’m grateful for all the lessons learned, because they helped me grow. They also completely encompass the basis of what Baztards.com is all about:
You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.