Pat- Sexual Master to Many Slaves. 5YJ Host #23 in Hyde Park, Chicago.
Every week (usually on Tuesdays, but had a bit of a mishap yesterday when previous host couldn’t handle being told “no” to sex and in turn tried sabotaging 5YJ…these things happen, back on track now.) I trade a book from my previous host for 5YJ on the Tuesday before with my current host.
This week’s book is from Erick (not the ego-broken host that can’t handle being told “no”.). It’s called ‘Middlesex’ and it’s by Jeffrey Eugenides.
#5YJ #chicago #books
Prior to beginning this journey and meeting new people every day in hopes to get to know them and share what I learn, I told myself that my time on the streets (published a book about the experience- here.:The Journey to Passion) was to discover myself and that this journey was about discovering others. Funny thing, we never stop learning about ourselves. Ever.
I find myself discovering and learning so much about people and the more I learn about people the more I learn about myself. With being on this journey and never really taking down time away from it for myself or to regroup, I am forcing myself to face changes and learn from the people that I meet. I am forcing myself to experience the way that others live even if just for a day or two.
I sometimes find myself in a struggle. I don’t know what to think about some of the things that I see or experience. I don’t ever know what to expect from one host to the next and in the experience of staying with hosts- people like you and me that are getting through life in their own special way, the best way that they’ve discovered to live in the world that surrounds them.
I have been told “I hate gays” more time than I care to or want to remember all the while having those same guys tell me about their sexual and romantic relationships with other men. I’ve had someone tell me they despise consumerism and what it’s done to our world while we sat and had dinner at McDonald’s. Hell, I’ve had a guy tell me he doesn’t collect clocks while we looked at the 77 clocks he has hanging in his living room.
Am I hating on these people? Absolutely not. I’m thankful for all the experiences that this journey brings me on and through. I knew when I set out on this that it wouldn’t be a cakewalk and that I would come across some struggles along the way and that there would be people that I would meet that I wouldn’t see eye to eye with. It doesn’t mean they’re wrong and I’m right. It doesn’t make either of us any better or any worse than the other. It just is. There will never be a time that I love everyone I meet and that everyone I meet loves me. If I believed that I would be delusional and this journey would be complete shit and one big lie about what humanity is for this 5 years and that lie would start with me. I have a responsibility with this to tell it as it is—nothing more, nothing less. This isn’t a reality tv show where nearly everything is hyped up to be sensational. I don’t have a crew following me around working with hosts to get the juice that people will love. It’s just me and these people that have allowed me to come in and capture the lives they live where they live them and the parts of them that they are willing to open up and share. From there I have to decide what to share in photos and a few paragraphs about the host(s). In the meantime I have days and sometimes up to a week of experiences shared with each of the hosts. I find myself in constant internal battle on what to share and what not to share of the experiences. I also find myself struggling internally to find my own thoughts and opinions on each of the experiences while trying not to be judgmental along the way. It’s not my place. It’s my place to capture humanity as best as I can with my camera and writing and then share that as honestly and impartial as I can.
Then sometimes my opinions and views are changed. I think and talk about topics with my hosts that I would have never had thought to talked about without having been on this journey. With that, I am always finding myself…still. It never stops.
As I grow and change, 5YJ grows and changes. What this journey started out being on January 1 is not what 5YJ is today. It has grown and changed for the better and will continue to do so. Detroit changed everything with me becoming more open to stay with multiple hosts (for a week or less each) instead of just spending one week in a city or place and staying limited to one perspective. Chicago is set to change everything all over again as I have become more open to possibilities and opportunities to find hosts outside of Couchsurfing.org and Craigslist.
I’m learning so much from people. Some of what I’m learning I consider great while other parts of what I’m learning are not so great. Some of what’s not so great I get frustrated with because I can see some of that “bad” in me as a person. I have questioned and still continue to question if I am sharing this experience in the way that it deserves to be shared and if not how I could do better at sharing the experience. What would happen if I invited a film student to come along for a month and capture the experience from a third party point of view? How much of this do I want to be about me and how much do I want it to be about the people that I stay with? How could I get the people that I stay with to leave a more personal touch on the project from their point of view to share more of themselves without me being the filter for that sharing? These are the questions that float in my mind day after day. Is it perfect as it is? Probably not, but it’s perfect in that it is. Everything is already perfect otherwise otherwise it wouldn’t be, but there’s still room for improvement both with self and with 5YJ.
Just some thoughts.
Derrick (A 5YJ host in Chicago) Texting after coming back from training clients