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September 6, 2010

Happy Monday!

I hope, on this Labour Day you are not labouring too hard. Or if you are labouring hard, it’s on a self-defined project that gives you a bit of joy. Such as sex, or knitting.

Last week I told you how I felt like a bit of a celebrity. Well life has an amazing way of monitoring one’s ego – we can be lifted up when we’re feeling deflated, or inversely, we can have our egos dampened when our sense of righteousness or grandeur begin to soar higher than essential.

This week I had a big bucket of ego retardant thrown on me.


This week, one my Montreal besties, Pascal, moved to Toronto to pursue his Master’s Degree in “How community gardens will make the world oh-so-fabulouso!” I’m pretty sure that’s the official academic title. Oh, and for an equally wonderful secondary reason, because he’s dating one of the world’s bestest people, my friend Alex, who also lives in Toronto.

Over the past two years, Pascal has become a delightful friend and fellow yogi. And he has personally taken responsibility as my “wingman,” which has helped this often too-shy-guy seal more than one important deal, if you know what I mean.

With our 21st century mobile lives, relocation is perhaps the healthiest form of ensuring personal growth while expanding social networks and learning how other communities function. There is a certain sadness in being left behind, but friendship is many splendid and bittersweet things. Sometimes it’s about giving space and cheering as new adventures are tackled.

Oh, and Pascal, I’m coming to visit in October. Let’s fly our aircrafts into uncharted Toronto territory, and see what might be waiting.


So I’ve had a long standing crush on a boy.  And I know what you’re thinking,  “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Most tales of sorrow begin with a cliché sentiment similar to this.” But bear with me.

This boy is devilishly good looking, wise beyond his years, well traveled and actively adventuring in spirituality. When we’re together, we have beautiful banter, inspired repartee. He sparks a rare desire inside.

The story begins on Friday night when he phones me, and invites me to his apartment. After deciding that we would be a precious pairing, I am certain that tonight will be my opportunity to finally make a move – perhaps I’ll plant a kiss, or wrap my hands around the tight curve of his lower back. I arrive, and we chitchat in the kitchen before lounging in the living room. We talk for an hour, all the while I search for my opportunity, decoding body language for my invitation to get closer.

Finally the conversation steers to the concept of “flirtation.” I tell him that I am unclear if he is actually flirting with me, and that I am uncertain of his affections. He asks me if I want to know his true sentiments. I say yes.

My hearts races knowing that the moment to move from amorous envisioning to reality has finally arrived. With a casual tone he looks me dead in the eyes and says, “Daniel, I’m not sexually or romantically attracted to you.”

[Insert the sound of a heart being punched.]

The raw directness of the information leaves me momentarily stunned.  Like any romantical character with an active imagination, I had envisioned a whole city of dreamy possibilities for us: sleepy morning cuddles, watching documentary films, lazy weekend getaways, lustful sexual explorations, philosophizing over glasses of beer, motorbiking across India.  Each fantasy, more quixotic than then next, was a love-skyscraper, and immediately these beautifully constructed dreams crumble with the nuclear news of his romantic ambivalence.

I snap back to reality, express gratitude for his honesty, and then excuse myself, needing nothing more than to be gone from the situation. Walking home, I’m shaking a bit, feeling like an unqualified fool. I wonder how life can present something so lovely, and then completely deny it from me.


It’s a very specific experience to have the one person of whom you lust the most  look you dead in the eye and say, “I’m not romantically or sexually attracted to you.” It successfully burns any unnecessary ego.

And this weekend I’m fairly certain that I shed a good 10 pounds of ego.

When it comes to matters of the heart, I allow myself to indulge in certain sorrowful sentiments, to fully marinate in them. It helps to purge the emotion, to really get it out in the open, which, in turn, enables me to carry on with my life. So Saturday was largely spent feeling sorry for myself.

Yet on Saturday afternoon something sublimely sweet arrived. A message that catalyzed a tear (or seven) came floating into my cyber world. A young fellow on the other side of the world sent me this:

It was a much appreciated expression at a time when I was feeling…  how shall I say… Declined? Rejected? Undesired?


Over the past couple of days, my ramshackle heart has been gutted and it has been replenished. The result of attempting to live open-heartedly and/or vulnerably is the intensification of emotions. The risk of entering into relationships is that a friend might move to a different city, or that my heart might get punched. If I choose to care for others, the stakes are high. If I am open to the world, then there is an invitation to hurt. However, in my openness, I am also enabling bliss. And what is the alternative? Building walls? Shutting down? Bottling in? Tuning out? I don’t desire to live like that.

I choose the rawness of emotion. I choose to construct cities of possibilities.

So, it is here I leave you. And I want to say thank you for reading. Our swapping of perceptions gives motivation to continue the sharing and the exploring of experiences, questions, beliefs, and most definitely, emotions.

With much love (and a slightly burnt ego),



21 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2010 9:35 AM

    It can be tough, but love is the answer. And compassion for others, understanding that everyone else is just trying to be happy, just like us.

    • danielbaylis permalink
      September 6, 2010 10:36 AM

      @Carlo – Thanks man. I totally agree with your sentiments.

  2. Alexandra permalink
    September 6, 2010 9:44 AM

    Dear Daniel… if you knew how I feel your pain. :)
    Thank you for being so upfront about your situation – I’m also dealing with an ego-deflating moment just now, and I feel equally perplexed and powerless; I appreciate how clearly you see things and are determined you are, none the less, to keep on trucking. Being a hopeless romantic is definitely not an easy career choice.

    See you at the studio!



    • danielbaylis permalink
      September 6, 2010 10:37 AM

      @Alexandra – It’s my honor to share. Here’s to us hopeless romantics! Keep tending your heart, girl.

  3. Jason permalink
    September 6, 2010 10:04 AM

    As always, I love your honestly and eloquence. I appreciate how you take this familiar place/experience and tie it down in words. Those moments where we are broken, where we find the cracks — wield the blows of life’s surprises — are often our greatest moments of discovery. Painful as they are, they help define us. I salute you, my friend, on your journey. As we live with hope and openness, we can’t help but avoid immeasurable joy . . . and the requisite moments of suffering. You are an impressive soul — beauty will continue to find you. xo

    • danielbaylis permalink
      September 6, 2010 10:41 AM

      @Jason – “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” (Leonard Cohen)

      Thanks for your kind words, and for journeying with me.

  4. Domino Fox permalink
    September 6, 2010 10:27 AM

    While there is no accounting for taste, to each his own et blah blah, you know that I know that you know that you are a catch. I also know that it doesn’t help much to be reinforced by people who are nowhere near the antidote to the situation (yeah, thanks mom, it helps greatly to know that you think I’m sexy). So here’s the existential truth, this guy was a cantaloupe in your fridge and you kept opening the fridge and reminding yourself that you want to eat it. And when it inadvertently rolled out of your fridge, it was moldy and made a mess when it fell to the floor. Sure you cleaned it up, but for a while the kitchen is gonna smell like cantaloup until you cook something else.

    You are a brilliant, beautiful cook, Daniel. Now go cook something else.

    • danielbaylis permalink
      September 6, 2010 10:43 AM

      @Domino – What a tasty/brilliant analogy ;-)

      I’m off to the grocery store to find some inspiring ingredients.

  5. Safa permalink
    September 6, 2010 10:53 AM

    I loved reading this, you are amazing! You are a beautiful & divine (ashram inspired quality) person. Are you free on Thursday evening? I have some inspiring stories/visions I want to share with you!

  6. Pascal Jean permalink
    September 6, 2010 11:40 AM

    Your wingman would like to send you an immense virtual hug because of your sweet message as well as to offer you some comfort for the unraveling of the (un)romantic situation. I also want to let you know I am currently recruiting boys for preliminary interviews here for potential life partners\ experienced love-makers for none other thanMr Daniel Baylis so you have a decent selection when you get here. Resumés are pouring in ;) I’ll keep you posted

    I love you man ;)


    • Jeffrey permalink
      September 6, 2010 8:00 PM

      Is there a job description available so we can tailor our resumes accordingly?

  7. Terri permalink
    September 6, 2010 1:04 PM

    Oh Dan…Dan….Dan…
    I spent 2 months waiting for the right moment….and when I did say what I had wanted to say….his reply was …”Oh were friends, friends” I knew what that meant. So I went to plan B, always have Plan B. I wasn’t going to sit and cry, been there done that too many times, …..

    Plan B, my dear friend came to me….out of the blue when I least expected it, or should I say ‘him’.

    And now I am soaring to new heights and playfully enjoying what is considered a lustful affair that has been joyful, fun and very promising! When you least expect it, it will be there…

    Peace and love my friend,

  8. September 6, 2010 1:47 PM

    oh dear, I am sorry.
    I can completely sympathize with how the Universe is and its abrupt way of preventing us from getting too “big fer our britches”.
    Life is currently causing me elation on one front and making me feel completely helpless on another.

    I shall now try cheering you up by being disgustingly optimistic (*guh* doncha hate it when people do that?)
    1) Toronto isn’t “that” bad (don’t tell other 905-ers I said that, m’kay?) nor is it that far. You’ll have alot of fun visiting.
    2) When one door shuts, a better door opens.
    3) I too love your blog (and I’m not just hopping on the bandwagon). You do make a difference. Really.

  9. danielbaylis permalink
    September 6, 2010 2:40 PM

    @Safa – Looking forward to your stories!
    @Pascal – Thanks for the immense virtual hug. I can feel it! Looking forward to your pre-take-off ground work ;-)
    @Terri – Yay! New heights! Keep on rockin’ it! I’ll keep my eyes on the horizon and keep my heart open to plan B.
    @Gingerspark – I love disgusting optimism! And I love your anti-bandwagon sentiments. I’mma keep it golden for you.

  10. September 6, 2010 7:52 PM

    :( Sadness for you. Can you still be friends? I would hate to see a good friendship go away.
    My best friend is married to my ex boyfriend. I didn’t feel romantic toward him and broke it off. Now 25 years later we are all still friends.

  11. September 7, 2010 3:22 AM

    Oh man Daniel…This may be your best post yet. I actually felt the punch in slow motion as I read it. :(

    Chin up man. :)

  12. September 7, 2010 11:59 AM

    My Dear Friend,

    How much do I love you?!

    We all grow with each interaction and every experience in life and I am so grateful to you for so openly sharing your life lesson with us. I am very proud of you for not being a prisoner to fear and for expressing how you felt. It is easier to hide from the truth and not put yourself out there. Today, you’re free!

    There’s a lot of love waiting for you in Toronto whenever you need it.

    I leave you with this:

    Lots of love,

  13. Boris permalink
    September 8, 2010 12:10 AM

    Best. blog entry. ever.
    Thanks for sharing.

  14. Farks permalink
    September 8, 2010 3:07 PM

    See! Mom’s aren’t the only ones that read blogs! :)

    That is the best bittersweet lemonade ever written from life lemons.

    You are an inspiration and I’m proud to be in your company.



  15. September 8, 2010 3:14 PM

    It’s very hard to be young. I’ve always found it interesting: some people follow the pattern (which I did) of entering a lasting, long-term relationship in their early 30s. Others remain “on their own” for life, pairing but then (often amicably) ending the relationships. I sort of admire those people who need the whole room to themselves. I think I was one of them.

    Lovely writing and blog design (understatement). You have a fabulous life ahead of you :)


  16. September 11, 2010 10:46 AM

    omg that guy is clearly mentally unwell! how on earth can he not fancy you? awww Daniel I am sorry for the further distance of your wingman and the ego bruising of your crush! But remember you are adorable and loved by many, the FB friend request only proves this!

    I have a guy I have unrequited love for. I am not really sure what his feelings are for me at all. But getting with him isn’t gonna happen :( its really annoying because he is one of the few guys I feel I can be fully open about anything with and always ask for advice / talk to about anything. We email a lot. But I don’t think he wants me as a boyf. although I really wish he did. I settle for him as a great close friend and keep looking for the love mate :) you will meet someone 100% perfect one day xoxo

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