Just weeks before his 30 birthday, Brandon James Singleton finally has a revelation that will prepare him for 30, 40 and beyond…
“So here’s what you missed on Glee.”
Wait — wrong intro.
Earlier this week, I has another date with Remy, a new guy I’ve been seeing.
He had me at hello: Hot! Named Remy! An accent! As long as he’s not hiding some secret alcoholic or deep-rooted drug addiction, he’s in!
He took me to a restaurant in Huntington Beach. Going good.
Then he brought up Tex’n the City.
At first it was easy stuff, like when it started, what it was for, etc. Then he asked what he probably thought was another easy question: “How do you feel at this point with what you’ve done so far?”
Hmmm. I didn’t really have an answer. Then he asked, “If you hadn’t this, how do you think you’d feel now?
That one was easier: “Miserable.”
Growing up, I always knew there was “more.” I couldn’t ever put my finger on what “more” was, but I was determined to find it. I needed to.
Living like that is a blessing and a curse. It’s nice to be able to feel like the world is your playground, and exploring the playground is your job. But finding yourself in situations that aren’t the safest or smartest can do unexpected damage.
I think I’ve always had the idea that I could never be completely happy; when you’re always wondering what else is out there, you tend not to recognize some of the things you’re looking for you already have. (Cue Wizard of Oz quotation.)
It was strange when people would consider me a brave, fun person; I always felt slightly scared: Scared that I’d never find what you were looking for, and that there’d always be a missing piece that would cause me to never feel whole. That I’d eventually end up alone.
I’ve always had large groups of friends, but no matter how many people I had around, it just became harder and harder to allow to be happy, even when I thought I had found what I was looking for. I’d only sit in fear; it’d be gone as soon as I embraced it.
I never told anyone. I did what I normally would do — just keep smiling. People weren’t allowed anyone see you vulnerable or they’d hurt you. When I couldn’t smile anymore, I’d just move on to the next group.
After breaking one of my own dating rules and sharing a bit too much on a third date, I tried to dig my way out. I think he saw in my eyes when I switched modes. Maybe he actually was interested, but he kept the convo going without making me feel like I had to say anything too heavy.
As we kept talking, two comments he made, specifically stood out to me. First: “There are times you have to compromise your plan, to stay on the right path.” Second: “Sometimes, simply trying can be the most difficult and hardest part of all.”
I’ve made sooo many mistakes in life, some bigger than others. But big or small, the punishment’s the same. The memories of pain you cause (others or yourself) stick with you. Years ago, when I found myself lost, I felt there was no option but to get on my knees and pray. Praying for what, I’m not sure. I don’t know if I was praying for guidance or forgiveness or what. I just needed serenity. But there was a part of me that still felt like I was living under a dark cloud.
Then one day, it hit me. I had asked God for forgiveness but I wasn’t going to be able to move on until I forgave myself.
As Remy’s predicted, it was one of the hardest things I ever did. But when I finally started to do it, it changed my life.
I’m hesitant to admit aloud when I’m really happy because I fear that once I do, that old habit of “what else is there” will kick in. Before I know it, I’ll be in classic self-sabotage mode. So naturally, as I’m going through all of this in my head, I immediately wonder whether this move to L.A. was really new me, or the old me resurfacing.
But it’s not the old me. It’s not the same feeling I had all the other times in the past when I would self-sabotage. I genuinely feel like I’m finally where I’m supposed to be — scary as it is to say… I’m happy.
That was the missing piece.
Your twenties are about screwing up, making mistakes, doing dumb things ya aren’t gonna be proud of, but also discovering who you are — good and bad. I’m gonna always think what else is out there — I can’t help it, it’s who I am.
I can still pursue my dreams. I’ll have to continue working at bettering myself. But I’m finally at a point, where I’m able to open my eyes and take in what’s already there. Cherish what I have, and who I have in the picture with me.
It’s official: I, Brandon James Singleton, am now an adult … well, sorta. I’m not giving up the Disney channel.
I called Remy and said I had an answer to his question. ““I feel like Brandon,” I told him.
Clearly, he doesn’t speak “crazy” and asked what I meant.
I finally feel like myself. It’s nice to finally meet … him? Me? Maybe that explains why I identified with the movie Sybil at such an early age.
Peace out xoxoxo
Follow Brandon on Instagram & Twitter @The_HugoBoss