Dear Alice,

I finally made it to Puerto Rico! It’s been a long time coming, but I finally made it to where I wanted to be. Honestly I think I should feel happier than I actually do. I mean, I got what I wanted right?

I guess the grass is always greener on the other side. Hindsight is more a curse than it is a blessing. If I’m being honest with myself, and with you, I miss New York. Sure, I didn’t have much there, but I had a nice life out on my own. I could do anything, go anywhere, be anyone I wanted to because I had no precedent. Now, I have history, reputation, legacies to protect and uphold.

I missed this community and this life, but now that I have it again, I guess it’s not what I imagined it to be. I miss my friends in New York. I miss the cool morning air and the sounds of the highway out of my window. I miss my small apartments (did I mention I have a huge house now?), and I miss going up and down flights of stairs with groceries.

I know this is only temporary, and that I will get used to living here again, but everything feels so foreign to me. I was only gone for five years, yet it feels like I was gone for centuries. Everything is different, everyone is different, yet I feel the same.

Makes me think of that one Taylor Swift song “right where you left me.”

Did you ever hear about the girl who got frozen?
Time went on for everybody else, she won’t know it
She’s still 23 inside her fantasy
How it was supposed to be

I feel like that character. Stuck in time, waiting for something to happen that will probably never happen. Waiting for the past to change so that my right now transforms into something better.

But I know that’s not how it works. Nothing will change unless I make better choices now. Because I can’t change the past, and I can’t control what happens next. All I can do is try to be better today.

But what does it mean to be better? Is it being a better person? A better Christian? How do I become a better me?

I don’t know, Alice. I guess I just have to keep trying until I find the answer, even if the answer brings more questions.

On the bright side, now that my internet doesn’t block my access to this website, I can write to you more often! So I hope that I can write more letters to you soon. I like writing to you, even if you’re just a voiceless internet website.

Talk to you soon, friend.


Beautiful Scars

Dear Alice,

I often find myself thinking about death. Now, don’t worry, the days of constantly waiting and wishing for death to come are far behind me. But I still find myself pondering death occasionally.

Now, you know I’m a Christian (sometimes) and I believe in God (sometimes) and life after death and all those good and beautiful things, so I don’t think I need to go into specifics about theological backgrounds surrounding death and dying. However, I feel as if I must explain my own thoughts on the matter.

I see death not as an ending, but as a beginning. The start of something new (yes, I stole this line from High School Musical). Death is the doorway into a new and better reality, where we all live together with God in perfect peace and harmony. Sounds great doesn’t it?

I find myself longing for that reality. Living is exhausting. Again, I’m okay, no need to worry about me, I’m just engaging in some philosophy. But yes, being alive is quite unpleasant.

I often find myself wondering if life is worth it. More often than not, I decide that it is and I keep going, but on the days when I find myself in the negative, I think about flowers.

I love flowers. They’re absolutely beautiful to look at (I personally don’t care for the smell) and they liven up any room. But, cut flowers tend to whither rather quickly. Their life is a flash and their death leaves behind a scar.

I like to think about flower petals as beautiful scars. They stand as proof that the flower lived and lived to the fullest. It did what it was meant to do, and even at the end, it left behind something beautiful to look at.

I want my life to leave behind a beautiful scar. A reminder that I existed in the grand timeline of human consciousness. A legacy. I look at my life now and there’s not much worth remembering. I should probably do more exciting things.

The only problem with that is: I’m quite alright with being forgotten. I don’t feel the need to leave my mark on the world, it’s just something I kinda want to do someday. Maybe someday I’ll think of something I can leave behind. Perhaps it’ll be these letters.

Anyway, I have to go now. I’m moving in a few days and there’s loads of packing to do. Thank you for listening.



Cereal Bowls

Dear Alice,

I’ve been feeling a little lost lately. I’m not sure what the next steps are for me, I don’t know where to turn or what to do. And the funniest things is, I don’t know why I feel this way.

I guess it could be because it’s Pride month and I can’t really celebrate how I want to, or many because I feel lonely. Or maybe it’s because I’m moving (again).

I’ve been through too many moves in too little time. It feels like I don’t belong anywhere, or that I belong in too many places. I don’t think that makes much sense, but then again, most of the things I write you don’t make much sense at all.

In two weeks, I’ll be able to write to you without having to connect to my hotspot, which is very nice, and I might be able to write to you more often. I think that’ll help a lot.

You must be wondering why I titled this letter “cereal bowls.” The reason is because cereal bowls always make me feel better. There’s just something about something crunchy and sugary sweet that makes me feel like I can get through anything.

I guess I just need to find the metaphorical bowls of cereal in life, rather than just eating bowls of cereal. That gets expensive fast. but I need to start finding joy in my life, rather than just sitting in the hurt and the sadness all the time.

I want to be happy, Alice, but I don’t know how. I keep looking inside myself to find happiness, but I think I need to star looking outside myself. I need to find more cereal bowls. Because the inside of me feels like a scary place to be. It feels like it’s filled with so much hurt and pain that I can’t find the light inside.

So if I can’t find the light inside, maybe I can find it outside myself.

I don’t know, Alice, all this sounds crazy, but I guess there’s some truth to it.

Anyway, I’ll talk to you later.




Dear Alice,

Today was supposed to be a good day. I got a call that I’m moving back home. I’ll be closer to my family than I’ve been in many years. And I was so happy to hear that and to know that I would finally have a support system close by. But all of that turned sour so quickly.

I knew this organization (I hesitate calling it a church) was homophobic. I knew they weren’t the best place for me. But it wasn’t until today that that fact became very clear to me. Could you believe that I’m apparently on probation? And nobody told me about it.

I’ve given my all and my best to this organization. I’ve been a part of it my whole life. I’ve defended this organization and claimed that they’re good people, even if the system is flawed. I thought I was gonna be the one to change them for the better. But I see now that all that was just foolish. The dreams of a young stupid boy who didn’t want to see them for what they truly were. And now look at me. 25 and stuck. 25 and absolutely heartbroken over this.

Because I never thought they would treat me like this. But I see how it is now. I see how they see me. And what did I do that was so horrible, so bad that I’m merited a probation period? I shared affirming content. I posted on my little corner of the internet that queer people are loved by God. I tried to share the Good News.

Sure, other people in this organization can share racist and homophobic content, content that actively hurts others, and no one says anything. But when I share the fact that queer people might be good and holy, I’m the bad guy. Well, I guess I’m gonna be the bad guy forever.

I’m angry. I’m sad. My heart hurts. I can’t sleep. And I just want it all to stop. I don’t want to live like this anymore.

I think I’m just gonna end this letter here.



Happy Endings

Dear Alice,

I just finished watching a new series on Netflix called Heatstopper. It’s this really cute love story between two boys in high school. Honestly, watching it made me feel happy, happier than I’ve felt in some time. But it’s also made me feel quite sad and melancholic.

Why do I feel sad? Well, because the story has a happy ending. I think I should be happy it ends in a positive note; I mean, it’s not every day that we get a story about queer joy and love and just fluffy happiness. But that makes me feel just bad about myself. What if I never get a happy ending? What if I’m just stuck with a bad beginning and a mediocre middle? I’m sure life has more to offer than what I’m currently living in, at least I hope it does.

I’ve also made a big decision recently. After conversation with my counselor and with my mother (yes, I talk to my mom a lot. Sue me.) I’ve decided to quit my job in October. Just in time for my birthday. It’s scary really, the prospect of starting again almost from scratch, but I have a good feeling this time.

I think a new start is just what I need. I need to rediscover who I am and who I’m meant to be. I thought I had it all figured out, but it turns out I actually don’t. And thinking about that is terrifying. What if I mess it up again? What if I have to start again when I’m 36 and have less prospects than I have now? I feel like you’re supposed to figure things out in your twenties, but I guess that’s not always the case.

I at least figured I’d be happy by now. Not necessarily a happy ending, but at least having a bigger picture as to what my life would look like in the future. I don’t know, I guess I’m just meant to go with the flow of things.

I might move again this year. I’m supposed to get a call later this week to let me know whether or not I am. I hope that I am, it’ll make the job transition easier if I am. But there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to leave this church. I’ve grown to love these people. And I think they’ve grown to love me too, even if they have a weird way of showing it.

I don’t know, Alice, I’m in a weird place right now. I wish you were a real person so I could come visit you. Perhaps a retreat of sorts is exactly what I need. To get away from everything, just me and my thoughts and my books. That sounds nice.

I’ll talk to you again soon, my friend.




Dear Alice,

Do you ever feel so empty that you feel bottomless? As if there’s nothing in the world that could ever fill this pit within yourself because it just goes on and on and on forever. Well, that’s how I feel right now.

I can’t exactly say why, but I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that I am completely and utterly alone. I have very few friends in this area, none of whom are ever available to hang out or talk for more than 5 minutes. There’s no “special someone” in my life, and if there were even prospects of someone, they’d have to be kept a secret. No one should be a secret.

I wonder why I let part of myself be secret. Why I must hide my identity from the world as if it were some unsightly thing that would scare people away. Perhaps it is, but I hope it is not.

I recently tried to take back a piece of myself. Something that was taken from me long ago; and I did manage to do so. But by taking back this piece of myself and letting go of the chains, I seem to have emptied myself far too much, because I feel bottomless. So empty that not even the depths of the universe could fill.

I wonder what it feels like to be full. To be so full of something that you feel like bursting. What do people fill themselves with? Perhaps love is the best answer, but what even is love? I don’t know. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced it. To be loved must be beautiful, and to love must be electric.

I don’t know, Alice, things were looking up and now they’re looking down again. I guess that’s just how life works. One day you’re at the top of the hill, and the next you’re at the bottom of the world. All I know is that, at least for today, I am bottomless.



Leftover Rice

Dear Alice,

You know, every time I make rice, I always have leftovers. I never wondered why that is until today. I learned to make food for many. When my mom taught me how to make food, she did so with the only knowledge she had: making food for my family for both dinner and lunch the next day.

So I learned to cook for 4, sometimes even for 8; and even though I try to reduce the portions to make it so that I only have enough for me (I hate wasting food), I always end up with enough food for a day or two. Rice is one of those foods that I always cook too much of; 2 cups of rice always turns into 4 days of rice.

It makes me think about how I wasn’t meant to be alone. Sure, I might be alone for now, but I don’t think I was alone forever. Maybe someday my cooking skills will be good enough for someone, but until then I guess I’ll just have a lot of leftover rice.

It’s funny. In the past I would’ve been distraught by talking about this, but now I’m really not that sad to be alone. Sure, my cat is with me (did I tell you I got a cat?), but he can’t eat rice (I think). At least not as much as a human can, but I’m sure that he’d appreciate it.

This reminds me of a Taylor Swift song (as most things do). “Wanting was enough, for me it was enough.” And for now, wanting will have to be enough.



Exit Strategies

Dear Alice,

So much has happened since I last wrote you. Not everything has been bad though, some goo things have happened. Example: I finally got a mental health diagnosis and prescriptions for it! My doctor prescribed me Zoloft for my anxiety and I’ve been taking it for about two weeks. I don’t feel any different, but I guess my energy levels have gone up a bit.

Now to the bad things. I’ve recently been accused of not so nice things regarding my social media. If it was the first time something like this has happened, I think it wouldn’t bother me as much, but seeing as though this is the second time it’s happened, I feel sad. Why would someone think I make inappropriate posts on my social media?

My one guess is pretty dark and very sad: homophobia. I am not a stranger to homophobia. I grew up surrounded by it; but it wasn’t until earlier this week that I came face to face with the realization that these negative comments about me have nothing to do with my character or personality, but with the fact that I am, in fact, queer.

It’s sad that I have to live through this, it’s sad that the people who are in charge of my professional life will not look past my sexuality, it’s sad that we live in a world that judges queer people just on their queerness and not the fullness of their identity. It bothers me that this is the reality that we have to live in.

But there is one silver lining in this whole situation. It has solidified my decision to quit my job and leave my ministry all together. Sure, I’m not gonna do it immediately, but I know now that, whenever I do it, it’ll be the right choice to make.

I am tired of always having to watch my back. I am tired of being harassed for something that people know nothing about. I am tired of having to teach people to see things differently. I am tired of working in an environment that will constantly put me in danger just because I love differently than most.

I am tired. And I am done.



The Boys I Loved Before

Dear Alice,

This letter isn’t so much for you as it is for them. For all the boys I once loved and still love to a certain degree.

Sure, this might be a crossover between Ariana Grande’s “thank u next” and “To All the Boys I Loved Before” with an extra layer of melancholy, but I think sometimes it’s necessary to reminisce on these things.

To Juan: I know I scared you with my feelings; honestly I scared myself a little bit. It was all too much and my heart went faster than my brain. I dreamed of things that would never happen between you and me, and forced a friendship that was never meant to be. I’m sorry you had to be my first love, especially because I wasn’t ready to love someone who didn’t love me back.

To Steven: Every day I wonder what life would be like if we’d ended up together, or if we’d still be friends. I’m sorry for how things went down, I wish things were different. I hope that, wherever you are, you’re happy.

To Carson: I think we tried too hard to be more than just friends, and we weren’t meant to be lovers. But hey, at least we were meant to be friends and best friends at that. Thank you for that short moment and for the moment we now live in.

To Eric: I don’t know how it all went so sour so fast. I’m not sure if it was me or if it was you or if it was the moment surrounding our brief friendship and one-sided love story. Whatever it was, I wish I could go back and change it. I hope you’re well and that you’re thriving.

To David & Austin: I wish we had more time. I wish we could’ve been more. But time and distance (and an international boarder) made things impossible for us. I’ll always wonder what we could’ve been had we had more time. But for now, I’m glad we’re friends.

To Chris: Thank you. Thank you for loving me the way you did. Thank you for seeing the good in me and seeing something in me. Sure, we were probably an illicit affair, but it was fun and I loved every second of it. I wish we had more time, but the time we had was magical. I hope you find peace.

To Manny: I’m sorry for how things ended. I’m sorry that I sad so many things and made so many promises that I failed to keep. I wish things could be different, but I think it’s better this way. Maybe one day down the road our paths will cross again. I hope they do.

To all of you: thank you for being a part of my life. I will carry you all with me always.

Now, Alice, I think it’s time for me to be alone for a while. Relationships are hard and I need to grow a little more before I’m ready for one. I know one day I’ll be ready, but for now I think I’ll just focus on being me.

And to all the boys I say this: in the words of Taylor Swift, “it would’ve been fun, if you would’ve been the one”



The People We Are

Dear Alice,

Today I started thinking about the many people I’ve met in the many wanderings of my life. I realize how many of them have shaped who I am now.

I wonder about the people I met at my elementary school and how I only know what two of them are up to now. Or about the people I met in high school, most of whom are living their best lives out in the world right now. Or even the people I met in college and how barely none of them are working in their fields of study right now.

I wonder about the people I met in my churches. How some of them are still going to the same church and how some of them moved somewhere else. How some of them left the church all together, and how some of them are thinking about leaving it.

I wonder about the people I met at the summer jobs and places I volunteered at, and how I think they’re all doing okay but I can’t say for sure. I hope they are.

I wonder about myself. About how my life came into contact with all these different people and how closely our stories wove together, but not they seem like threads that weren’t even in the same tapestry. I wonder if they think about me sometimes, I know I think about them.

This made me think about how people aren’t necessarily permanent, but their impact can be. I wonder how many lives I’ve changed without even knowing I’ve changed them. I remember one day in college, I ran into some of my former classmates. We’d taken only one class together, and we were close during that class. I barely thought about them at all, but it turns out they thought about me a lot.

You see, they were a couple now, with a couple name and couple journal and all that mushy stuff you see in the movies. Turns out my name was in their journal because I was the one who introduced them. I was the one who brought their stories together. They thanked me for that. I think they’re still together, but I can’t say for sure.

Isn’t that interesting? How we change lives without even knowing that we did. How people change ours without knowing they did. Being back home, I feel like I’m reconnecting with all those lives that were once a part of my story and aren’t anymore. It feels good to look back on that and see them in a positive way, and not in a dark way. It’s fun to not feel like a burden on other people.

Anyway, I gotta get back to being on vacation. I’ll talk to you soon.