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The New Year couldn’t have begun in a more ideal way. The man I love got to meet my family and we celebrated the New Year with good friends and plenty of champagne for lasting memories. This was, however, just the surface and before I knew it, it was time for Keith to head back to his life in California. I figured by now that we had been long distance for so long that it would be easier to handle. Somehow though it never got easier seeing him leave and this time was no different.
It was now Keith’s busy season at Deloitte, which meant that he went into work at around 8 and didn’t get home until 11pm his time. This would put him getting off at 1am my time. His workdays also increased to Monday-Saturday so the only real day we would’ve ideally had to talk is Sunday. The strains of this combined with my efforts to transition to Europe were definitely felt as we entered February. Things escalated and we began arguing over it and when the gloves came off it wasn’t pretty for either of us.
“You didn’t hear from me for ONE day and you get the nerve to call me at work, which I answered for by the way, and instead of a nice loving boyfriend I get ‘Hello, can I speak to Keith please?’ I just feel like you aren’t being understanding of the fact that I have to work,” Keith said hotly one weekend afternoon while he was out at brunch.
“Yes Keith! That’s because I am upset. We have been over and over this! You work! I get it! So do I! I still manage to find time to send you text to reach out to you in some shape or form. Keith if I don’t reach out to you I won’t hear from you! Not until umpteen o-clock in the morning. I love you but I have to work too. I have to be up at 4am to prepare for work. Waiting up until 1am to talk to you is something I want to do, but I can’t do it every day. I have to function at work. I feel like I’m not a part of your life there! I feel like I’m some cheap part time whore that you fly to visit every now and then!” I said my anger getting the best of me throwing all the self help books I had read straight out the window.
“Really Javari? Whore? You know what I can’t keep dealing with this. If you’re going to be like this then don’t come this month!” he retorted vehemently. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“Keith…what the hell?! Where did that come from?” I asked trying to mask the sting of his comment.
“I can’t keep being punished for things out of my control. I wish I had a better job with better hours I do, but this is my reality. I do not. I had to put up with your temper tantrum in Atlanta. That was embarrassing to have to go through in front of my friends. I get that you are mad but I am out with my family and your insecurities have honestly made being in this relationship unbearable,” he shot back.
I didn’t know what to say. Tears welled in my eyes as I searched for words. He spared me by saying he was going to enjoy his brunch and we would talk later. I sat up all night trying to understand what had happened. Here was a man who claimed to love me, pushing me away. Every attempt I made to voice the issue was met with a defense instead of a willingness to work it out.
“I don’t know what to do. I honestly…I feel like it’s a losing battle,” I told Wade that night.
“Every time I bring it up it’s an argument where I have to be the understanding one. Because his job is so time consuming I’m supposed to suck it up and be the good little wasp and pretend it doesn’t bother me that I don’t hear from my boyfriend at all. I totally understand he works. I do. But he doesn’t work 24 hours a day. The commute to and from work is time enough for some sort of communication. A ‘hey babe hope you have a good day’. Or a ‘hey I miss you’. Something. He used to do that and I loved it. He has called me ONCE when he was out to lunch. ONCE in the entire time we have been dating. It’s so frustrating Wade! I love him but I don’t know how much more I can take. All I want is for him to want to talk to me as much as I do him. I want him to want me as much as I want him. I’ve been out there on a limb alone and I don’t want to do that again. I can’t. I just want him to tell me that it’s me. I just want him to tell me that I’m the one!” I said crying on the phone. Wade remained silent through my venting and responded only when I had broken down into a fit of tears.
“Do you think love is enough here?” he asked simply. I closed my eyes on the phone. I knew what he was referring to but I couldn’t hear it. We talked for a bit more before I let him go and turned to a bottle of red wine for comfort instead.
The next evening I got a call from Keith. This would be the hardest conversation we had ever had.
“I don’t know. If we can’t get it together here Javari, in the same country, do you think we stand a chance when you go to Germany?” he asked in our conversation.
“Do you love me?” I asked quietly. There was a long pause on the phone where I could hear him crying as well. Keith wasn’t an emotional person so I knew this was hurting him as much as it was me.
“Do you love me?” I repeated voice cracking with emotion.
“Do you love me enough to work through this?” I asked which was answered by yet another silence. That silence was all the answer I needed. It was in that moment that my heart broke. It was in that moment when he couldn’t even tell me that he loved me that I knew that it was over.
“I don’t know. I just... I need time Javari,” he said.
The next day we broke up.
To me it wasn’t a vengeful breakup. I did it because I felt like it was right. The distance and time had corroded what was there. He needed someone who was willing to have a lot less communication that I did. I needed someone who wasn’t afraid to let me know that I was the one. I didn’t want us to end up hating each other and I felt it was best to do it now before we risked that happening.
“It’s been two months since that day, February 11th. We haven’t spoken since. Not because I hate him, but because it hurts. It hurts to even hear his name. It hurts to see his face, smell his scent on a shirt, or recall the memories we made. I haven’t cried much. I think you only get so many tears per man and I think I’ve cried them out for him,” I said flatly over a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon while talking to my good friend Elijah.
“Ugh! Don’t you just hate that! Giving so much of yourself to a person and them just like that they change and show their ass?!” he spat. I shook my head.
“I love him Elijah,” I responded. Elijah opened his mouth to retort but I stopped him.
“I do. I know we aren’t together but I love him no less. I can’t hate him. He’s not a bad guy. I hate letting him go and I wish him nothing but love. I know that’s hard to believe with how much I’ve bitched but I was hurt. I will never stop loving that man,” I said meaning every word.
The truth was that I didn't regret falling in love with him. He came into my life as a beacon of hope. Hope that somewhere out there in this big wide world of ours is a man who is not afraid to tell me I'm the one. A man who can love me for who I am; flaws and ugly imperfections too. There's a man who seeks to quell my insecurities not buckle under them.
Somewhere out there is my Big love. And that's worth waiting for.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.