"Update" NYC

Diamond in the Rough

Every single one of us experiences some sort of insecurity. Whether it’s our looks, our jobs, where we live or even who we date. And often times, we project our own insecurities onto others in order for ourselves to feel better about a situation that isn’t anyone’s responsibility except our own. It’s our job to take what makes us feel insecure and turn that into something beautiful, unique and rare…just like a diamond.

As we see February come to a close, I can’t help but be grateful for the current state of where things are. The city didn’t suffer a massive winter and we only managed to get by with experiencing only one blizzard which is a rarity for the east coast. What I’m also grateful for is how well this year has been so far, granted, we are only finishing up the second month but if the rest of the year is going to have this tone to it than I’m ready for whatever lies ahead.

Two Sunday’s ago, I attended another comedy show with Mr. D. and once again, found myself having a wonderful time with his company. Having a wonderful time with him isn’t something out of the ordinary but I do know that it’s rare for me to have such a connection with someone like this. There are times where I feel insecure with the way I look and my lack of education but he never makes me feel that way…it’s my own way of thinking. He has never once said anything negative about what I feel insecure about, in fact, he does the opposite. He praises me at how I’ve done something with my life from moving to the city at 18 years of age with only a high school education and how everything I have or done is because I did it and no one else. He gives me compliments and while that is a huge help; I know it’s me that needs to work on gaining more confidence.

The week started off with work being really hectic and I was worried that the entire week would keep at a rapid pace. By the time Wednesday rolled around, I was in desperate need for a drink. So, I sent a text message to my friend who lives in the area, and he kindly met me at Rise Bar for a few drinks, we updated each other on our lives and while he isn’t too excited that Mr. D. is back in my life again, I know that all he wants for me is to be happy and I can say that right now…I am happy. We all want more out of life and we will continue to strive for that but I am rather content at the moment. We hugged goodbye after a few drinks and I went home to get some rest for I had an early meeting the next day.

It amazed me at how quickly Thursday had presented itself but there it was. I managed to get through my early morning meeting without much fanfare and proceeded to work when half-way through the day I got a message from Mr. D. asking me how my day was going and if I had any evening plans. It turned out that I didn’t have any plans that evening except for the gym. He asked me if I was interested in joining him at the Harvard Club that evening to take a water color painting class. The minute I read his message, I instantly got nervous. I got nervous because my own insecurity of my lack of education and I literally felt like a diamond in the rough. He asked me if I was wearing jeans that day because the club has a no jeans policy. It turns out that I was wearing jeans that day at the office and so he said I could go home and change because the Harvard Club is on 44th Street near my apartment. Before I agreed to attend the class, I asked him if they will ask about my education and what exactly I should wear since I don’t have any blazers with gold emblems on them. He laughed and assured me that they will not be asking about my educational background and will not care what I wear as long as it’s not jeans. He also said we are attending a water coloring class not some financial advisory board meeting.

So, I left work a little early, went to the gym to work off some of my anxiety and then went home to get ready. I didn’t know what to wear and so I pulled out a nice cardigan, button down shirt and black pants. I figured I can at least look like I’m going to a private school or something along those lines. We met in front of the Harvard Club building at 6:45 p.m. and the class was starting at 7. He showed me around a little bit but said he’d give me the full tour after the class. As we walked to the class, I was so nervous and he could tell. I was afraid to be myself around all these well educated people and I tried to listen to other people’s conversations and I just felt like it might be too advanced so I just paid more attention to the architecture of this beautiful building.

It was time for the class and we sat at a table while an instructor gave us tips on how to water color. Our assignment was to paint something that deals with the winter and nature elements. I was too nervous during class and wasn’t really paying attention so as everyone was painting, I began to look around at everyone’s paintings and everyone seemed to be painting things like pine trees, mountains, pine cones and I was painting a beach that had the ocean, sunset and palm trees. Half way through the class, the teacher said that we will all be presenting our pictures to the class. I took my cardigan off because I was now sweating bullets because I was going to have the one painting that didn’t look like everyone else’s.

The course was winding down and it was time to present our pictures. When it was my time, Mr. D. just smiled and said that it’s all going to be fine and not to worry. Easier said than done and the teacher saw my painting and politely said that she liked my use of vibrant colors and that while it wasn’t exactly what she was asking for she appreciated my style and my uniqueness; a diamond in the rough indeed.

After class was done, Mr. D. took the time to show me around the building. I was floored by the architecture and the history as we went floor by floor of the building. Before we parted ways, I thanked him for taking someone like me to a place like that. He wasn’t sure why I was thanking him when it was him that should be thanking me for attending and making it fun.

I woke up the next morning on Friday feeling confident about myself and I looked at my painting and smiled at how even though I went off the course; I managed to feel proud of what I did. Work went by quickly and I was eagerly looking forward to the weekend for several reasons. One of them being that I would be taking Mr. D. to drag queen bingo on Saturday and the other was that I was going to force myself to not get drunk or waste days with being hungover. I was going to be productive.

Toward the end of the work day on Friday, my friend sent me a text message asking if we could do happy hour and I instantly responded with: YES! Once again, I found myself at Rise Bar, with me and my two friends. We talked about vacations, dates and the weekend ahead. Naturally, the topic of Mr. D. came up but I know they don’t want to know about what is going on unless it goes to the next level or if he disappears from my life all together. I respect their wishes and there are plenty of other things to talk about besides boys. After a few drinks, we all had dinner at Vinyl and after dinner I went home since I had to be up early the next morning to go to Brooklyn to get my taxes done. I was going home on a Friday night before midnight and I wasn’t even drunk. My plan for a productive weekend was in full effect.

The next morning I was up the earliest I had been in a long time. I did my laundry, cleaned the apartment and then jumped on the subway to go to Brooklyn to pick-up my taxes from a guy that I have been going to for many years now. On the train ride back to the city, I got a text message from Mr. D. asking the time and location for bingo. I gave it to him and he said he was excited. Once I got back into the city, I did some much needed shopping and went home to take a quick nap. When I woke up, I got a message from Mr. D. saying that he does have a birthday party after bingo and so I suggested we can reschedule if it’s too much for him to come into the city for bingo to then go back to Brooklyn where his birthday was going to be. He said that he respects my time and realizes how valuable it is and that he’s looking forward to bingo. He really has changed since becoming sober. The old Mr. D. would’ve canceled at the last minute or done something to piss me off.

We arrived at bingo and were seated with two women from Canada. As the game started, we were all excited to win the cheesy prizes that were being handed out. The first half of the game, no one from our table won anything or even came close and yet we were still having a wonderful time. In between games, Mr. D. and I chatted, laughed and I knew that I was having a great time and Mr. D. told me a few times throughout the evening that he was having a blast!

Then it was time for the final game of bingo and this was for the grand prize of $125.00!!! The room was quite because everyone wanted that money and everyone no longer focused on their cocktails but their bingo cards in front of them. I wasn’t even paying attention to see how Mr. D. was doing with his board. Then out of the blue he yelled: BINGO!!! He ran up on stage and I followed behind to take pictures of him accepting the cash. Our table was so happy that he won; they even assumed that we were a couple and he didn’t flinch at their suspicion. When he came back to our table, I gave him a big hug and the bingo game was over with. As we were standing outside laughing at how he won the jackpot, he looked at me and said, “I always seem to have the best luck when I’m with you.” It was the perfect way to end the evening. We hugged goodbye and he went to his birthday party and I thought of going out for a few drinks but opted to just go home and end the night on a high note.

Yesterday was a unique day for the city and it being February because the temperature was going to reach almost 60 degrees. I decided to take advantage of this amazing opportunity and walk endlessly around the city before needing to settle in to watch the Oscars. A few nice text messages were exchanged between Mr. D. and me yesterday and when he asked when we could hang out again, I told him not till this Sunday due to so many social obligations this week and weekend. He said that was very far away but he will manage.

While there will be many moments in our lives where we feel like diamonds in the rough, that is when we take those negative moments and thoughts and turn them into something beautiful, unique and rare…just like a diamond.

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