Late Night Thoughts

Dear Alice,

Wow! Twice in one day! That must be a new record or something. Anyway, there’s a lot of feelings right now and I know you’re the best person to talk to about them. I feel sad. I feel lonely. I feel trapped. I feel hopeless? But what I don’t feel is angry. I think I should be angry after all that’s happened. I mean, I gave them the best years of my life and they’re still willing to throw me away like I’m nothing? God, I wish I was kidding about that last part but I’m not.

I guess I do feel angry. But its not the kind of anger that makes you hot or turn red like in the cartoons. It’s more like the kind of anger that makes you sad. Have you ever thought about that? How there’s different kinds of anger? I guess you have; you think about everything.

Sorry, that was mean. Anyway, I’m sad and I’m angry. If I had listened in my counseling class, I would probably break out the feelings wheel and ask myself to be more specific about how I’m feeling. Or I’d ask “how do you think God is working through all of this?” But I didn’t listen, and I regret it now. So if you ever read this Miss Holt, I’m sorry. Who am I kidding? She’ll never read this. None of them will.

I guess I’m just rambling at this point. Anyway, sorry for being mean earlier. I’ll write to you soon.



Dear Alice,

4 years ago my life began the very painful process of being uprooted and I guess replanted? I don’t really know how to feel about it. I remember that three years ago people would tell me that what happened was a good thing, that it was the hand of God moving me towards bigger and better things. I wanted to see it like that, but I just couldn’t. Why would a good God destroy all I knew and held dear? Why would a good God cast me aside like I was nothing?

I was angry. So much had happened to me in such a short amount of time that I couldn’t take it. I simply broke. I remember the day that it happened. I was laying in the couch where I was sleeping (the rooms were still too hot to sleep in even with the windows open) and I was just staring at a wall. My dad came into the room and said “Hey bud, why don’t you take your car and go see if your friends are alright? Maybe that’ll do you some good.” I just shook my head no and continued staring at a wall. There was nothing inside me that could care about my friends at the time; there was just…a void.

I guess that’s when my parents decided to send me away. I don’t recall having a say in the matter, all I remember was my mom sobbing at the line to get into the Costco (one of the few stores that was open at the time) and basically begging my aunt to take me away. I was angry then too, not because the line was too long or because I was being shipped off like some cheap Amazon package, but because I wanted to text the boy I liked. Not like he could read the message anyway.

It’s been a long 4 years since those days. I moved to the US, I became an ordained pastor, I accepted that I was queer (at a church camp of all places), I discovered new things about myself, I fell in love and out of it quickly, I grew, I shrank, I moved on. But I don’t think I ever healed from those days. I think I spent a whole month in the aftermath and it’s hard to imagine what my life looked like before. I don’t remember who I was before the hurricane. Sometimes I wonder if I was anyone at all. I wonder if that kid would recognize me now.

Anyway, 4 years have passed and I’m still mourning. Mourning the life I had that I don’t remember, mourning the friends I had that I don’t talk to anymore, mourning the future I could’ve had as a teacher in the island, mourning the love I could’ve found before I gave those chances away for a house and health insurance. If I could go back in time I would’ve said no to my mom. I would’ve stayed in the aftermath and figured it out. That’s a lie. I would’ve gone anyway, made my life in this country and made the exact same mistakes I made back then. Because honestly? I haven’t changed that much.

Anyway, if I seem emotional today is because I am. In 10 days it’ll be the anniversary of Hurricane Maria. In a month it’ll be the anniversary of my departure from Puerto Rico. On that day I will eat by candlelight; to remember, to honor, to mourn.

Maybe you’ll join me in doing it too even if you weren’t there.

Talk to you soon dear friend,


Things that happened in August

Dear Alice,

I know I haven’t written to you in a while, but honestly I’ve been incredibly busy this month. Between helping out at camp for two weeks, managing our own vacation Bible school, and all the other things that happened this last month, I’m surprised I made it to September in one piece.

I wish I could tell you that everything went well and that I’m in a good place and that I’m happy. But the truth is much more complicated than that. Sure, I made some new friends (and a possible romantic connection) this month, but it came at the cost of not having a break since the last month ended. I worked every single day in August with little to no time for myself. And you know what Alice? I’m still tired from it all.

Four weeks of non-stop work mess with a person’s head. One of the Sunday’s that I was able to sit down and breathe for more than 5 minutes, I started to feel this deep sadness. It was as if I was mourning a life that I never had or an Alex that never existed. I started to think about what my life would look like if I never went into ministry and instead came out earlier and lived as an openly queer person in Puerto Rico. Would I be happy then? Would I have found love? Would I have found meaning?

Of course there’s no way to answer those questions, but they made me sad because, the truth is, I’m not happy. I’m in a very non-affirming environment and I spend so much energy hiding who I am that I’m constantly tired. On the flip side, I’m in a position where I can help so many people. But do I help them and lose myself in the process?

One of the songs that really connected with me during this time was from the musical Gypsy. The final song, Rose’s Turn, really made me think. “Someone tell me when is it my turn? Don’t I get a dream for myself?” Honestly, I really felt that. Do I get to dream for myself and not for others? Do I get to live or am I destined to just waste away while helping others live?

I know that if I ask my seminary friends they’ll opt for the latter of the options. We were taught “others first always.” But that’s not healthy…right? I don’t know anymore.

Anyway, there’s somethings I need to take care of today so I think I’ll end this letter here. Hope you are well dear friend.

Take care