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Mike Valletta

Storyteller. Photographer. Traveler.

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Statement Regarding Orlando Events. 

I am very proud to be a gay man. I am very proud of our community.

After celebrating Boston pride yesterday and seeing the numerous faces from all walks of life celebrating with us, it is clear to me that regardless of what happened today, there is a great amount of love for our community and we thank you for your unconditional love and support.
With that said, let us keep those impacted in our thoughts and prayers and do whatever we can to help out. The world needs more compassion, not hate.

The celebration of Pride events is important. Today, we learned of just how important that is. We are not free. We are still surrounded by so many pockets of hate. It is important to stand together as a community and celebrate who we have become, and where we are as a community today.

I would urge you to not live in fear. Attend Pride events. Attend LGBT nightlife activities. Celebrate who you are. Our community is strong, and our supporters, even stronger.

As I stayed glued to the television today, I did so with tears in my eyes. I am just as hurt to see what unfolded. My heart raced as I saw the numbers escalate from 20 to 50.

How could anyone be so cruel? To take the life of innocent human beings who were just out enjoying their life under the Orlando moonlight.

Our tight knit community is committed to coming together to helping each other out during this terrible tradgedy. I will also be doing what I could in the days ahead.

Stay strong. Stay vigilant. Most importantly, stay true to yourselves. I love you all. Don’t back away from who you are because of hate.

Michael Valletta

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Summertime Agenda: Live.

Summer is coming. What do you have on your summer 2016 bucketlist?

Many people dream of long days on the beach, weekend getaways with the family, or perhaps a few martini parties while hosting a summer BBQ. Burgers anyone? There goes that summer beach body!

This year, I’ve compiled a list of just what I want to accomplish. Being that it is my 30th birthday in August, this summer has got to go out with a bang. No questions asked. (Really, don’t ask questions. You’re better off not knowing some things.)

Plans range from taking part in Pride season parades all the way to vacationing in Provincetown during the infamous Carnival week festival.

Of course, there are things on that list a little more suttle. Vacationing on islands and drinking wine at numerous wineries would account for that, right?

Right. Just agree and humor me.

Past Summer’s for me have always been about connecting with friends who refuse to come out of their bungalos all winter. They sit home until rays of sunshine and men can be splashed all over thier bodies.

Well, I suppose that doesn’t sound too depressing.

This summer, I not only plan to make the most of it with friends, I also plan to take more time out for myself. As I enter the realm of my thirties, I have begun to realize that life isn’t about the constant social aspect, rather being at peace with yourself and your surroundings. However, my surroundings usually include a bottle of wine. That’s where the fun begins.

Carrying on.

Whatever you have planned for this summer, make it memorable. Most importantly, make sure you make it the best summer you can for you. If you want to do something, don’t wait for others. Go out and do it.

After all, summer doesn’t last forever. The memories will.

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Love is a Battlefield

Don’t let love go.

Why do we complicate the simple things in life? These simple things, are the ones we too often take for  granted. We are compelled to keep searching for something better in the world, but is that what we really need?

Recently, I did some research on the topic. To my surprise, I was appalled by the number of people that regret losing out on love that they let go, just so thy could have a chance to see what else could be better in the world. In most cases, their original love was sitting right under their nose the whole time, and they let walk away. They had someone who was dedicated to their needs, their desires, and their future as a couple together. Instead, they abandoned true love and became selfish and absorbed in thier own thoughts of the possibility of finding better. In the end, they regretted and were too ashamed to admit this to the person they walked away from.

As humans, we naturally complicate life. We test each other out. We try to make sense of every situation. When in reality, some situations don’t need explaining, rather just a feeling.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot as of late.

If you love someone, why are we so afraid to tell them? If we have a strong desire to see what a relationship can blossom into, why not admit it? Our nerves certainly get the best of us, I’m sure. However, if we were more honest and upfront about our feelings, ideally we would live in that perfect world where we don’t complicate things.

Life is complicated enough. Don’t complicate the most important thing in your life; your love. If there is someone trying to show you the world, but you’re running away from the notion of it, think twice. Don’t lose out on what is possibly the best thing that has ever walked into your life.

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Stop Swiping Left! Why Our Judgemental Society is Letting Us Down.

Prior to judging others, judge yourself first.

It has been a interesting week in the single life of being Mike Valletta. It was the first week that I had not gone on one date. I guess after writing last weeks column and discussing how I needed to slow down and start focusing on my life more, I took my own advice quite literally. It’s not a bad thing. This week has allowed me to take a step back and view the world that is around me, instead of trying to jump in the arms of a new man each day. 

As I studied the world, I also studied the people in it. We are so judgemental. Why is that? Why do we feel the need to constantly judge people before we even get to know them? It’s human nature, and it’s wrong

I was having a discussion about this very topic with one of my very good friends recently. I explained how excited I was to meet some people that I have dates with in the coming weeks, but that I caution myself because they are too young or their actions that they portray through social media are not of my own standards. Guess what I was doing? I was judging. I was literally judging the books by its covers, without first getting to even touch the covers! What poor character that was. I could be missing potential men that actually have a great core, yet I sit and judge them based on what little I see or know. I quickly paused, retrained my brain on being a considerable adult, and was a little more open minded about the possibilities of these men.

Could we be missing out on our future soul mates because we won’t give people chances? Absolutely. Give people a chance and in turn, you’ll be giving love a chance as you let people into your life you otherwise would swipe left to on Tindr.

Think about it.

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Don’t Rush the Love.

Have you ever sat and reflected on what is going on in your life? You know, took a little time out for yourself to recollect your thoughts and bring yourself back to center stage?

Odds are, you have not. I’m also guilty of doing the same. We live in such a fast paced world that often times, we totally forget about our own well being. We constantly thrive to put others first. It’s not a bad thing. I love to put others well being before my own. In fact, it’s something I’ve always done while in a relationship, and that’s not bad either. Being single has taught me that I need to change a little bit, however. Constantly putting others before myself has caused me to scale back operations of my life, and disturb my own well being. 

As I continue to adapt to single life, I’ve realized that I am suddenly finding myself at the gym more than ever. Not only that, I’m also working to accomplish new career paths. These are things I have put aside in order to ensure all the very best energy was given to my partner. Was it wrong? Absolutely not. What was wrong, however, is that I did not mold my own life into the equation as much. It’s been a refreshing lesson to have learned, and as I look toward the future, I’ll know exactly how to mold it all together. I have an agenda, and I am laser focused.

All of these thoughts, however, have brought me to question my dating habits. Am I going on too many dates? Is it what I really need right now as I concentrate on building a solid future? I sat down recently and reflected on this. I had my notebook open and wrote out exactly how going on dates made me feel inside. The answers surprised me. 

Dating, in general, has been very healthy for me. I’ve enjoyed meeting other men, and having the opportunity to learn more about how others live is inspiring. Sometimes. Other times I’m running away from the dinner table in fear of having my mental health poisoned. 

What I have learned, however, is that I do not need to be in a rush to fall in love. I’ve gone on so many dates that after a while, I’ve forgotten who is who and when we even went on a date! This is dangerous. There are weeks I have four men or more lined up. One look at my Outlook calendar as I was writing in my notebook about my dating life taught me a quick lesson; slow down, Michael.

It is said that if you are in the market for love, you should let it come naturally. Why haven’t I been doing that? I have learned that it’s something I need to do as I continue to build my life. We shouldn’t be in such a rush for love. In time, it will come. No where does it state that you should get married by a certain time in your life, right? Right. Slowing down and taking the appropriate time out to take care of yourself is vital to not only you, but to your partner or future partner as well.

Only fools rush in love. 

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Gay. Single. Weekend Warrior.

Weekends were made to set yourself free.

It’s a Saturday night. Evening wear is out and ready to be steam pressed.  Shower is on as a miniature facial is in process to maintain a youthful look for the long evening ahead. What’s planned? Absolutely everything.

Welcome to the single gay mans weekend. A combination of everything you’re currently visioning in your head. It’s the weekend, and I am magnetic. Uber drivers instnstly become my best friends as of 10PM, and bartenders and shot boys take center stage by 11PM at the gay bars. Poles were made to be danced on, and shirts were made to come off. It’s really no wonder as to why so many gays end up staying single. The life is attractive.

If you’ve ever seen me out and about, you would know for all of the above to be true. I am guilty. Should I feel guilty though? Absolutely not. Weekends were made to set yourself free and to let go of the negative energy that consumed you through the week. After all, do we really want to carry the burden of the people who frustrate us at the office into next week? Like a volcano, you’ll eventually explode. Use the weekend as your time to get lost. Though please, not litteraly. I do not want to be responsible for having to send a rescue team searching for you. 

Some ask if a constant string of social events is healthy for someone who is nearly thirty. Live young and have fun. If you don’t live young, you’re only getting older. The clock is ticking. Before it’s too late, live your life with as much energy and passion as you could, and become electrified on the weekends. It is the weekends where the rebalancing of our lives takes place, and we wake up focused and ready to conquer the week ahead on Monday.

I’ll eventually settle back down, after all I’m in the market for a husband not just another boy from the Grindr app, but while I’m single, I will absolutely live my best life possible. One that is surrounded by friends, positive energy, and the occasional pole dancing.

What happens at the clubs, stays at the clubs. It’s the Vegas of the gay world.

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Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

I stumbled upon a book recently. It was a book I had purchased at a Starbucks exactly five years ago, and it had been kicking around the house ever since. The title? “Where do you see yourself in five years?”.

Well, perhaps it’s ironic that I would find it again five years later. As I stared at the cover, I was slightly afraid to open it. Would I be disappointed at what I did not accomplish? What happens if I’m living my life all wrong, and not the way I had hoped I would be living it?

It’s interesting how we instantly shift our minds to the thoughts of failure. Notice how in my questioning I never once mentioned anything positive. I never asked myself if I would be proud or overjoyed of accomplishments. Why is that? The human brain is wired for negativity. We get a high from negative reactions. The news? It’s mostly negative, and we tune to it frequently to see all the bad in the world. See what I did there? Negativity is attractive.

As I flipped through the pages of the five year plan I wrote out for myself five years ago, I began to notice something. Something positive. I shouldn’t have been afraid to open this book. Nearly everything I was reading was already manifested or is currently a work in progress. I had been practically living my five year plan without even knowing it! My career shift to sales from management? Took effect three years ago. Coming out as a gay man to the public? Two years ago. Working on becoming a real estate agent? Work in progress. Marriage? Well, I’ll eventually get there.

The point is, mostly everything I had dreamed and planned was already satisfying me. There was no need to sit and fear this book. My mind wanted me to fear it. It took a shift of thinking in a more positive light in order for me to even open it! Once I did, a smile and a sigh came upon me. I laughed fear in its face.

Five year plans are an essential part of anyone’s life. Think of it as a business plan. You can’t just keep hopping in the car and drive around aimlessly. You have to have a plan for everything you want to do in life. You have to craft a way of just how you’re going to accomplish your dreams. I wouldn’t want to be around anyone that was in business if they didn’t have a business plan. The business wouldn’t even last five years. Same goes for your life. You may live five years, though you won’t live as successfully as you possibly could.

Figure out where you see yourself. Take a moment. Mediate. Reflect. What do you see your future self doing? Be honest with yourself about the plan, and be a bit of a realist. You can’t instnstly dream about owning your own island. Okay, you could, but it’s most likely not the most realistic dream. Think about what your life will look like in five years. What job will you have? Where will you be living? Who surrounds you? Think with a clear mind.

As I write this, I’m currently working on the next five years. It was great to discover the past and see that I am doing well on my path. Where do I see myself over the next five years? Well, you’ll just have to stay tuned.

Go create your own five year plan.

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Don’t Date Down!

You are the average of the five people you surround yourself with.

Have you ever been on a date and sit there wondering what you’re even doing on the date in the first place?

We’ve all been there. That one date that we saw so much potential in while chatting on an app and then suddenly when we make plans to meet, we walk past them in the restaurant because they look nothing like their pictures. Well, there’s red flag number one.

Then comes the conversations. They sounded so intellectual while chatting online, now that you are seated across from them having a conversation, you wonder if they hired a personal assistant to help manifest this date. 

No date is ever perfect, let’s face it. The best thing about a date is, you don’t ever have to connect with that person again if you don’t want to. You can simply create an exit strategy like something the secret service drafted up for you, and then quickly exit stage left, hop in your car and hit the pedal to the metal! Yes. I’m guilty.

When it comes to dating, you should never date down. I recently learned of this from conversations with one of my best friends. If you are a high functioning individual, you need to date someone who is at your level of functionality. Do not settle! If you are settling at what is in front of you because they have a pretty face but not a pretty brain, you are dating down. Don’t do it! 

I feel it is so important to surround yourself with people that will make you a better person. The way you think. The way you act. The way you plan out your future. You are the average of the five people you surround yourself with. Your partner should be of the same caliber level. Dating down will just manifest toxicity, and who needs that in their life. 

Exit stage left and run.

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Kate Hudson is Making Us Pretty Happy. 


You don’t have to be perfect. Pretty happy is pretty great.

Kate Hudson has absolutely nailed it in her latest book approropriatey titled, Pretty Happy. A book geared towards healthy ways to love your body.

As someone who is always on the prowl for the latest self help books, my eyes lit up when I discovered the release on an episode of The View earlier this week. Though the book targets females, I truly believe it is great no matter what gender you are, or what walk of life you come from. 

Being happy with the skin you are in is something I had struggled with for years. Being a gay man in hiding for as long as I was, it was a crisis I didn’t know how to deal with. I turned to the Internet and spent hours researching just how others had come out, but ultimately it wasn’t something that helped. If this book had been out years ago, I would have come out  instantly. It is absolutely refreshing to read about someone who has become more confident of just who they are, and now has the ability to help others do the same. 

It is so important to develop and foster a healthy relationship with yourself. In the book, Kate Hudson talks of the importance of just that and even helps you develop a plan so you too could do the same. I’d like to call this book more of a workbook rather than just a normal chapter book. It is truly a workbook for your life! It helps guide you into being a better you both mentally and physically, with designated pages where you could fill in your answers to different questions that will truly have you reflecting. 

Will this book make you perpetually happy? Come on now. No one is ever always happy. You’ll have your off days as we all do. As the title suggests, you’ll be pretty happy. Being more content with your life is absolutely essential, and Kate Hudson brings you to just that level of content.

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