I moved to New York to do two things: be gay and fall in love. I succeeded superbly at one of those things. But love was always evasive.
I was a miserable, single Manhattanite for so long. My life was kind of like Sex and the City. But instead of a posh Upper East Side apartment, I was documenting my experiences in a windowless bedroom in Hell’s Kitchen. Half of the people in this room have heard vivid stories about my adventures in dating. If anything, you’re happy for me and Jairo simply because you don’t have to listen to anymore of my annoying, whiny, bullshit dating stories.
But my narrative changed about two years ago. Initially, it was the little things that pulled me in. When I sent Jairo a text, he answered it. When I told him I wanted to see him, he thought it was sweet. He didn’t take four days to answer me back with a one-word response. At the time, that immediately put him in a different league from every single guy I’d ever met in the last eight years.
However, the more time we spent together, the more we connected, the more that I realized he was different for so many other reasons.
Jairo views the world in a fearless way. He has a youthful spirit and energy that pushes him to explore. He has a curiosity that drives him to experience new things. He has a passion for discovering every corner of this country and subsequently, every corner of the world. When he got excited about going to Kansas, I knew I was dealing with a different kind of guy.
His energy, his empathy, his constant positive outlook on life-are all things that I admire, and they’re all things that are contagious. Just by sharing a meal, a space, a moment with Jairo, I was already becoming a better person.
When things started to get serious and I was spending practically every night at his apartment, I told him I would occasionally need my space. ‘You know, I’ll need to go to my place every once in a while to have some alone time’. I moved in three months later. Who was I kidding? We were inseparable.
But perhaps the biggest impact Jairo’s had on my life so far is his unconditional support and belief. After working in retail for 11 years, I made the decision to become a writer full-time, a passion I’ve had since I was a child and a field I’ve held a dormant degree in since I was 20. Becoming an entrepreneur is really scary. It was uncharted territory for both of us, and at times, it was very unpredictable. But through the entire experience, the most important detail to Jairo was that I was happy.
And that means a lot because I’d never experienced that level of concern from anyone other than my mother. He saw beyond the finances, the hardship, the minutiae. It didn’t matter that I was making less money or that I didn’t have a clear path to success or that I was scared shitless. I’d already arrived at happiness. That’s all that mattered to him. And then, that level of connection was all that mattered to me.
If I didn’t know it already, I was madly in love. I'd accomplished the second of my two New York goals.