(Dated, pre-post tangent)
It seems like I've spent a good chunk of the new year talking about me. Well, this week will be no different. Don't worry, I have a few other things in the works, but the thing that nobody tells you is that this stuff is hard. I've given myself a forum and a deadline, and I'm still amazed that I have something to write every week.
By now, a lot of you know that Thursday has been my official New Post Day. Those who've been paying close attention may have grown wise to the fact that it usually ends up being so late on Thursday that it's technically Friday. Part of this is the process itself. Almost every single word that goes up here is handwritten first. It takes time to get everything down, then edit and type it all up. I'm not particularly fond of the time-frame this work entails, mainly because this is all on my own free time. Couple this with the fact that I am absolutely terrible at managing my free time, and you get me furiously writing for the majority of Wednesday night and Thursday in hopes that I'll finish on time. This is not to say I don't enjoy it, but it feels a lot better after the work is done. The steps I've created allow me to write and edit my content, and thereby (hopefully) deliver something of a little bit better quality. Also, my final posts tend to be 30-50% longer than the hand-written ones. Throw in the peppering of Life that manages to happen all around me, and you complete the mad dash that is my weekly post.
This is all beside the point, and not what I'm here to talk about this week.
I'm not an especially delicate person when it comes to my emotions. I'm not offended or hurt easily. This probably, more than anything else, has to do with the fact that I’m very good at keeping my guard up. While I've had many friends throughout my life, there's a very small group of people that I have ever really completely connected with. The reasoning stands to follow that I've dealt with so many trust issues. I don't know why I'm so distrustful of people, or what their stem truly is, but I like to trace it back to a particular incident I had on the playground in the third grade.
I was talking to my friend Dustin, and told him (with the express caveat of “Don't tell anyone, but...”) about a girl in our class that I thought was cute. He then, without even a second of hesitation, immediately turned around, walked over to the aforementioned girl, and proceeded to tell her word for word everything I had just said. Ok, I know it sounds a little ridiculous, and... yeah, it is. There are many other things, before and after that situation that have attributed to my problems with trust. Eventually, if I ever manage to get a therapist, I'll discuss it with them. There are more than just skeletons in my closet, there are a few dark shadows to keep them company. Things that I am not yet comfortable divulging here, if ever.
At the very least, it does provide the first (of MANY) reasons I have a problem with people named Dustin. Seriously, any Dustin/Dusty I have ever met has not been that great of a person. True fact.
All of this to say: I'm very good at keeping people at arm's length. I do, on occasion, manage to let people in, but in the end I always manage to Isolate. I somehow could take the slightest offense, and turn it into a reason to completely cut ties with a person, no matter how close I was to them. It's not that the have actually offended me, or have somehow spurned me in some way that I could never forgive. I used to be able to justify my actions like this, but it's not the truth. In all reality, the root of the problem is that I have a hard tame with change. Especially change I'm unprepared for.
I feel as if I've hit a point of stagnation some time ago; A happy medium that I'm prepared to handle. I've made several attempts to affect change in my life, but through so many circumstances (be they extenuating, out of my control, self-sabotage, or simply self-fulfilling prophecy) they seem to backfire.
And I retreat.
It began on a specific level: one person, changing some small thing in such a specific way that I either disagreed with or didn't understand. In my head, this small affront to my defined status quo gave me reason to retreat. I would cut off all communication, and lapse the relationship into nothing. So then begins the pattern. One person, snipped from my life as if they had never been to begin with. After a time, this process became so much easier. Before I knew it, the Isolation became standard practice.
I began withdrawing all too often, for too many reasons, from too many people. When any sort of relation or situation fell outside of the parameters I had defined it in, I would retreat into silence. Then, I realized, I was no longer just handling the symptoms, but instead had adopted the cure as a permanent process. Those close to me have seen this happen, and know this pattern. My severance in contact no longer chooses direction, and instead I shut out nearly everyone until I'm prepared to deal with the world on my own terms. The Isolationist behavior had graduated from Second Nature to simply Nature. The worst part is that I know exactly how terrible this is for me. I choose to Isolate so tat I can catch my breath and catch up with what's happening, but stop, and the world does not stop with you. In the last year alone I can't even count the number of opportunities I've missed, or how many things have passed me by because of this behavior.
And that is as far as I got when writing this post.
I had posted on facebook three days before I even started this that I was having a hell of a week. I had no idea what things the next few days would throw at me, but throw they did, and they hit their mark dead-on. The reason there was no post last week, and that this has taken me an extra week to do is because I made the conscious decision to be completely candid for once. Ignore the vaguery and bullshit that I tend to clog up my writing with, and just be plain and straightforward.
Deep breath. Bear with me, please.
I had a three hour conversation with The Ex. She texts me every now and then, and sometimes I would respond, but I would try to keep it brief and unemotional. Whenever we would get into an actual conversation (always through text. Several months ago I had told her I just wasn't ready to talk on the phone with her again. [To hear her voice again, he thought.]) I would always end up feeling debased, and demoralized. Candid: I'm still every bit as in love with her as I ever was. I don't think that will ever change, to be completely honest. This is something I came to grips with a long time ago, and have been attempting to make the effort of will to box the whole thing away. No matter how hard I try, I don't think we'll ever get back together. Then again, I have no idea what direction my life is going to be taking me, so I'll try and refrain from any Nostradamus behavior from here on out.
We talked for three hours. Damn, it felt good. We made tentative plans to see each other in the near future (which fell through almost immediately. I'm getting there.) The next day... (CANDID) I felt a little empty. Not in a bad way. Just... in a way. I thought about it all day, that I should be feeling something, but it just wasn't there. I began to realize, bit by bit, that I wasn't feeling sad that day. I always try my hardest to refrain from self-pity unless its something I've earned. When it comes to 'The Ex Situation,' I feel like I have my badges for that. So I don't generally go around feeling sad.
I've recently expressed before my desire to seek therapy. In the past, I've always thought of myself as the kind of person who could handle their emotional shit and keep it together... but lately I've just felt like I could benefit from a completely neutral third party to dump my shit on, and maybe they could help. I don't feel depressed, but on some level I really do think I am. I feel like no matter what I do or how hard I work, I'm always going to be eating the short end of the shit-stick in life. If one of my close friends were to divulge that information to me, I would probably tell them very sincerely that they could probably benefit from seeking professional help. I'll be damned if it isn't hard to tell myself that in the mirror, though.
That empty that I felt, (it was temporary, and has since been refilled) I feel like it was a temporary reprieve from the crushing, crippling sad that somehow works its way into my daily brain. I may have felt empty, but on some level, empty was good.
Then there is The Girl. (Candid, yes. But I won't name names. The people who need to know, know. And I'd rather protect the anonymity of the people in my life, because, for real: would you want somebody telling people in a public forum about everything you did, and making sure they used your name? “Hey, I read on Jessie's Tumblr that you totally shit your pants on the bus! And you were totally sober! HAHAHAHA you're so busted Danny-Poopy-Pants! Hell yeah! New nickname everybody! DANNY-POOPY-PANTS!” but I digress.)
Where was I? Oh yeah... The Girl. Actually, since there's another girl later on in this story, we'll call her … The Good Girl. Which isn't necessarily true... but... well, it's the simplest way to put it. You'll see.
I met The Good Girl a little over a year ago. The night I met her, it was... well, in a way it was pretty damn magical. It snowed. We met, we chatted. I felt, at that moment in time, uncharacteristically confident and out-going. We went and walked in the fresh snow, in the quiet, deadly silent night. It wasn't a date, it was just a spontaneous meeting on a day that, for me, had held a lot of... well, not good stuff. If it had been a date, I think I would've said it went fairly well.
The Good Girl and I definitely became friends. There were a few... let's say 'uninhibited moments' (CANDID, RYAN!) OK, OK! There were a few times that I drunkenly texted or sent messages over facebook that I had intentions that were not strictly platonic. These were generally received... well, I don't know to be honest. We only talked maybe once a week (not counting the strange world of posting fun/hilarious/musical links on each others facebook wall) and didn't spend a whole lot of time together. So whenever one of these outbursts happened, it was usually completely set aside, or dealt with a short, safely worded response, generally along the lines of “you do not need to apologize for what you said. I understand.” Which, hey, it's not a no, right? It did become clear before too long though, that these feelings were reciprocated. So, hands on your buzzers, what did I do?
It's ok, I'll give you some time to come up with the answer.
Got it in?
If you answered “absolutely nothing” well, then my friends, you win the prize.
That's right, folks. Ryan was put into a situation (more than once) where he got to spend good, quality time alone with a girl he was very clearly attracted to, who reciprocated those feelings, and did not a damn thing about it.
Of course there were a thousand justification that I used for it. Little big things, that truthfully all sucked in the final analysis. A big part of my life philosophy had been to grasp the little moments that present themselves every day. I very much used to be that person. I almost never said no to an experience. I had a lot of fun.
Somewhere along the line, that apparently changed. I'm working on it.
As the year went on, I saw less and less of her. This may have been on my end, of me working at a job that afforded me very little extra money to do anything besides sit at home and gripe on a blog every night. Conversely, it could have been her thinking “how many opportunities am I going to give this guy to make a freakin move already?” Regardless of what the reasons are, or if there really was an actual reason, we did (and do) stay in touch. As I stated earlier, when I was writing a post about something that isn't this, I don't let people in very easily, and she had managed to eke her way into the circle of people I do hold fairly dear to me.
Back to my Week, it was... say maybe two days after the conversation with The Ex that I find that she is dating somebody.
If you spend as much time on the internet as I so (doubtful) then you'll probably understand this a little bit better, but this was my reaction:
Now, in all fairness, several months ago I made the decision to not date, nor have sex with anyone until I get my shit straight. In my head at least. Since I made the decision, I have hit on (with little to no success) exactly one girl, once. For me it wasn't really about trying to date someone, but more about practice. I needed to make sure that somewhere within me I still had the ability to approach a member of the opposite sex, say words to them, and convince them to like me.
But I was definitely very open and public about this fact of my removal from the dating pool, so if, for some insanely unbeknownst to me reason that The Good Girl had any bit of holdout for me, I'm sure that was enough of a stake to slay that vampire (he metaphor'd... badly.)
The whole thing definitely threw me for a bit of a loop. But I was happy for her. (did I not tell you to be candid?!) Seriously. I was happy for her. I did have that pit of 'damnit' that every guy gets when a girl they're crushing on starts dating someone else, but she's also a good friend, so I will never begrudge her her bit of happiness. Unless, of course her happiness comes from... I dunno... murdering nuns or doing sex stuff to kids. Then I would totally begrudge the hell out of that. And that goes for all of you. I've got my eyes on you....
So far we have: Long conversation with The Ex, of whom I'm really emotionally conflicted about, and girl I've had a major thing for starts dating somebody. Those things alone would spell out a not so good week for anyone, but I'm not done yet.
That Friday, I lost my job. I don't have a whole lot to expound upon here, but I really liked my job. I was good at it. I got the satisfaction of getting to figure out the solutions to problems, and I didn't have to talk to very many people. It was kind of a win-win. It wasn't anybody's fault, they just couldn't afford to pay us anymore. Losing your only stream of revenue hurts though. I have mentioned it on my facebook page before, but I even with the ads I don't really make any money off of the blog. It averages out to about a dollar and some change a post, and this is my fifteenth post. (have I mentioned that you can totally
if you want to? Wink)
if you want to? Wink)
Then in waltzes The Bad Girl (Good juxtaposition of names, Ryan!)(Thanks!)
I have to start off by saying that, just like The Good Girl doesn't mean she's a little goody-two-shoes, (although, admittedly, she is an all around fantastic person) The Bad Girl is not really at all a bad person. She's actually one of the more decent people I know. But, in this situation she really doesn't come off smelling like roses, so it's semi appropriate.
I've known The Bad Girl for years. We've always been acquaintances, and friendly, but there hasn't been much beyond that. I do like her as a person, mostly, but she's not the kind of gal that I make dinner plans with. She's a little crazy. Just not the kind of crazy that I like.
Several months ago, The Bad Girl and I, along with a number of other people, were attending a party. I went to use the restroom, and was interrupted... well, 'mid-stream' by The Bad Girl's entrance into said bathroom. About an hour before that, she had proposed (it's important that you know that she was very inebriated, and I, at the time, was not drinking at all, so... stone sober) that I meet her in the bathroom and do terribly adult and improper things to her.
Though she did at that moment get up and go to the bathroom to await my arrival, the many factors against her proposition (1: No. 2: I'm not really in any way attracted to you, not that I'm trying to say you're unattractive. 3: He's Just Not That Into You. 4: Your boyfriend will be arriving at this party within 10 minutes, and sex, if you're doing it right, takes longer. 5: Ummm... no again.) left her waiting in vain. But apparently my attempt to urinate was taken as an acceptance of that offer. I managed to firmly and tactfully decline the incredibly awkward solicitation.
Flash back (forward?) to now: This same girl has begun texting me at fairly regular intervals, attempting to arrange a hangout. Really the only reason, and it's fairly plain to me, is that she wants a second attempt at the original plan. Again, I tactfully and politely decline the offers. But my week, my months, my 2011 are catching up to me, I admit. The temporary celibacy I've imposed on myself just... well it sucks. It is necessary, but it sucks.
So finally, a few nights ago, I go to hang out with her.
Candid: I went over to her apartment to have meaningless sex with a girl I don't really even care for all that much. In all honesty, I don't think that any conversation we had lasted more than five minutes.
I get over there, and bring (cheap gas station) wine, and we talk. I talk to and play with her daughter, who is also crazy, but in a kid crazy way that I find endearing in children. Before too long, another of her friends (male, that's important) comes over unannounced. She tells me he is only over for a few minutes, but in a way, a big way, I'm thankful for the delay. I'm still not sure this is a thing I want to go through with, but at this point I'm drunk enough to do it anyways and let my doubts be dealt with in the morning.
It's not long before we run out of (cheap, gas station) wine, and everyone wants to continue drinking. So, immediately, The Bad Girl and her Other Male Friend (I see what you did there) leave to go get some beer.
I'm left there, to make sure the (now sleeping) child is not left unattended, I guess on the off chance that a car-bomb goes off outside the building, or she wakes up and decides to join the circus at that exact moment. I again, for the 100th time contemplate my decision to come to her apartment to have what will probably be terrible, guilt-ridden meaningless sex with this girl. I belatedly chide myself for leaving my condom in the car, and don't want to leave a child alone in the apartment for even the 45 seconds it would take to retrieve. I try to come up with valid reasons I might have to go to my car after she returns.
I, not just now, but even in that moment, actively hate myself for all the thoughts I'm having in this situation. Please, if nothing else, understand that. I was drunk, horny, and really, really, lonely. It's not an excuse, but it was my reasoning.
That's when The Good Girl starts texting me. It was a welcome distraction while I waited for them to return.
They shortly arrived, and we drank a few beers, put a movie on, meanwhile I'm continuing my conversation through text with The Good Girl. Not long into their return, her Other Male Friend decides he needs to use the restroom, and she shortly follows him. I'm left sitting there with this movie and my phone. Within a fairly short time-span, the noises from the restroom are those that are clearly coital, and I fell a drop of disappointment, immediately followed by a wave of complete and utter relief.
Not too much later, they come back out, ignoring that what had just happened was not at all unclear to me. I'm in a mixed bag here, because I'm also (through my text conversation with The Good Girl) attempting to drunkenly deliver some sort of meaning, or advice (I don't know why people ever think I can deliver good advice. I mean, look at my life. Then again, she wasn't asking for advice, merely just having an honest conversation), because she is having some misgivings about her choice to enter into a relationship with The Guy. I can completely commiserate with the situation, having something nearly identical happen to me in the not-too-past. After another half hour passes, The Bad Girl and the Other Male Friend traipse off for another romp in the bathroom. (Seriously, I don't know why this girl is so on for bathroom sex. She was at her own apartment this time. There's a perfectly suitable bedroom available.)
It's at that point that Me, wherever the hell I had gotten lost in my own head, finally popped into my consciousness, and was like “What the hell are you doing sitting on a couch in a place you don't want to be watching a movie you don't care about while a girl you didn't really wanna but were drunk enough to wanna is in the bathroom having noisy sex with someone else?”
So I left.
I'm an atheist. I've never been able to come to grips with a God, or even things like fate, or Karma. On occasion though, I do believe in providence (with a small p.) I believe that sometimes, when a person is just not doing the thing they should be, there are pieces of the universe that will manifest to give them the opportunity to extricate themselves from the given situation. They may not always be good, or right, but they're there. And I believe that night that providence played a pretty ham-handed effort at making sure I didn't carry out my plans.
So, sorry this post is a week late. I've been busy, legitimately. I'm not sure how things will proceed once I find employment, as the job I had did afford me plenty of time to get this done every week. I guess I'll just have to teach myself better time management.
But I did hit the spot of things getting so bad, they really can't get much worse. And weirdly, I'm OK. I actually feel like I'm a little better off because of it.
Because in the end, It's a prime example of the fact that you can't isolate yourself from the world, no matter how hard you try. The world doesn't give to hefty rotten shits about your plans, it's going to keep on fucking turning.
“And the book says, 'We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us.'”
“How nice-to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive. “
~Kurt Vonnegut, Jr