?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
26 January 2008 @ 02:08 pm
LiveJournal Entry  
I think it's been ages since I actually posted something that makes LJ worthy of its reputation - as a sad, emotional, drama-ridden hellhole where people drown in their problems instead of doing something about it. (Fun fact: this is actually the reason why I didn't join LJ until 2003, when "everyone else was doing it" - while I found that it was a good blogging system back in 2000, its reputation preceded itself.)

I'm lonely. I've been lonely since I moved up to Seattle. This was definitely something I expected would happen, and all things considered, I'm doing a damn good job of dealing with it. I'm slowly but steadily creating and building friendships, I'm involved in my studies and other extracurriculars, and I'm en route to employment over the summer. But I can't help but feel like I'm missing the big picture.

My undergraduate years have already passed me by. In retrospect, I did an average job. Average grades, average activities, average experiences with friends and romance. I left UCSC with a lot of stories and memories. A vast improvement over TLHS, where I couldn't distinguish one year from the other even as I was walking across the podium to get my degree.

Man, realizing how banal my time at Terra Linda was was a good wake-up call for me. I can now remember three situations in which I missed perfectly good relationship opportunities. I can remember skimping on social groups and gatherings just because, deep down, I was trying to prove some point - not that I really knew what it was. High school was an inoffensive, in-and-out procedure of nothing in particular. I'm really glad I chose my college based on how pretty it was, instead of the academics. That decision embodied a good frame of mind.

Anyway, let's get back to the present. I've got a story I haven't really shared because things were in the workings, but they seem to be over so I might as well.

I asked out a girl, Kat, from my CS class at a community college last quarter. We went to lunch a few times and got along pretty well. Around finals, she said she'd call to see if we could hang out before we both left for Winter vacation - didn't happen. I thought oh well, I guess that's the end of it. There wasn't really any situation beyond lunch dates where we could get to know each other much better, and there were also some problem areas like location, religious views, etc. - stuff that could have caused problems, but nothing we couldn't have overcome in retrospect.

Anyway, she called me up after we had both gotten back from vacation, apologizing for not calling back because she had been busy. (She had been a little scatterbrained with communication in the past anyway, so it wasn't a big deal.) We went on the ideal date downtown: went to an art museum, had a good dinner, and even headed back to watch a movie at my apartment. So many signs that it was in the direction of turning into something more. But I sort of fucked up, I guess.

Didn't make any "moves" throughout the entire evening. No arms around shoulders, no smooching during the movie - in fact, right when the credits started rolling, the first thing out of my mouth was "so, let's see when the next bus will be rolling by." Smooth, huh? I regretted the words the minute I had said them. If I was just a little bit stronger I would have added on, "on second thought, fuck that, let's make out."

So after taking her to the stop and waving goodbye, I sat at my computer for the rest of the evening, cursing myself and trying to figure out why I was such a fucking pansy. What the hell was the big deal?

Storytime #2: last Winter at UCSC. Dated my next-door neighbor Jocelyn for about a month. It was nice but pretty uneventful - probably me to blame. I couldn't think of diddly-squat to do. We spent most of the time playing video games. There was one point where I decided we should take a leisurely stroll around Porter simply because we were doing nothing but playing Final Fantasy X for the last five times we had time to hang out. Eventually I consulted another friend living on the hall, trying to find out why I was being such a bore-fest.

Storytime #3: Spring 2006, the start of the best relationship of my life as of yet. Shiranne and I started dating, knowing that she would eventually be leaving for Israel, but we decided to see each other pretty casually but eventually over the summer it evolved into something bigger. Big heartbreak occurred when it was finally time for her to pack up, move out, and fly away.

It was pretty obvious that I was hesitant around Jocelyn because I was still regularly talking to Shiranne and getting along with her swimmingly, despite the fact that she was across the world and had no plans of ever returning. I broke it off with Jocelyn simply because I wasn't in the right state to be in a relationship, or something. I dunno.

Storytime #4: Summer 2007, birthright trip to Israel. I went to Israel fully knowing that I was doing it out of love. Going to another country and expanding my horizons was a definite goal, but it was totally overshadowed by my desire to see Shiranne again. Of course, love blossomed and it was the best vacation ever and we went all around Israel and had a wonderful time. The big decision to make, though, was how things would be beyond that. Would we try to remain an item, or would we leave things like they were last year? We tried going the different route and being exclusive, but after a few months it became apparent that it just wouldn't work.

Shiranne found a great guy, who lives in the same country, for starters, and they're still together. I'm putting a big strain on her relationship, though, because we're still talking as much as ever. Being in constant contact is proving to be a real emotional dilemma for both of us, and neither of us wants to cut off all communication - neither of us could really handle it. So what I'm trying my best to do to move on is to find someone else, lest the both of us live in constant emotional turmoil. (It certainly doesn't help that we'll be seeing each other over spring break, my summer situation is very uncertain, and she might be visiting again in the fall.)

So I really do have a need to find someone new. And I'm trying. I'm trying to hit up social events as frequently as possible. Trying to meet people in my classes, meet their friends, etc. The problem is, I feel like it'll end up like it did with Kat, where I'm too hesitant to do anything - maybe because of my emotional state, maybe because of my "high standards" about relationships, who the hell knows.

Now, "high standards" is a bit of a false moniker. It's really a mixture of my own shyness, uncertainty, and idealism. I was never the sort of guy to approach random girls and compliment them and give them gifts. There's also the part where certain connections might end negatively - outright rejection, or another slow descent into boredom, anxiety, or outright severance of social connections. There's also the idea that I need to find someone who fits my OKCupid Match Criteria or my Facebook Interests or my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or all that other superficial shit, or, god forbid, either of us will have to change our habits to accommodate one another. But everyone feels this way. Don't they? ...

I'm really not sure. This ties back to how I felt in high school, how I acted in college, and the way I am right now. When I was young I wish I was born dumber but bolder. I wish I could trade smarts for skills. I wish I was the hare instead of the tortoise. I don't think my problem is my lack of confidence, but I can't really say what it is. I just wish I was in a different situation mentally, emotionally, maybe locationally.

What do you guys think?

Edit: A spiel of Noser's puts a good spin on my situation. You might notice that I haven't once mentioned the fact that both Jocelyn and Kat were never the ones to make any moves, and I don't think that this was due to disinterest. Are they to blame for not being more aggressive and active? Is society? It's certain that I have to keep trying, but how much should I change my approach, and how much should others?
 
 
Music: Jerry Orbach sings "Try to Remember"
 
 
 
Josephloccster on January 27th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
I really liked this entry. It made me feel better about myself because I have some of the same problems. I have had girlfriends, and I have one now, but "getting out and socializing" is hard for me.

Part of the problem is that I just don't ENJOY meeting people. Maybe its the same for you. Its like the anxiety and objective pointlessness of it outweighs whatever future benefits may be in store. *sigh*

Also, I think I know about what you meant by "idealism" getting in the way. I always put other people down in my mind, judging them inferior because of all their superstitions and the fact that they must be stupid if they lack my nihilism. Whoever I'm dating is also "never good enough." I think you may be like me: very critical, not only of others but yourself as well. I have no idea how to overcome that.

Well, I wish the best for you.
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on January 27th, 2008 01:25 am (UTC)
Perhaps. I've been working on the judging and being critical for a while now and I find that letting that take a back seat has helped me socialize.

It's still difficult to meet people. I would never consider meeting people at a bar. Nor would I go the Craigslist route or anything silly like that because it just seems too... risky, I guess. That's why I've restricted myself to meeting people within my social circle, which itself is expanding.

As for pointlessness - maybe so. I don't really find anything that I do in my life especially interesting, so bullshitting topics like the weather and how classes are going are okay by me. And when it comes time to caring about people, you're going to be hearing that sort of stuff a lot.

Thanks for the input. My suggestion is to be as not judgmental as possible. Take a different route when people are discussing a topic. Consider the other side. I hang out with Something Awful members all the time who constantly lambast the religious, the right-wing, the fetishists, etc. - and I often find that they're judging to fit in. What's ironic is that the less you fit in by judging, the more you fit in overall.
Laglisse on January 27th, 2008 02:31 am (UTC)
I feel like that too. I'm still in college, of course, but it's the kind where you're out in the real world most of the time, with not a lot of socializing unless you go out of your way. I'm kinda in the same place as you with the ex stuff, except he's moved on and seems to not want to talk to me ever again, and I'm still stuck. My friends set me up on blind dates, and I'm slowly making more friends, but it takes me such a long time to really connect to anyone (not just romantically), and I second-guess myself all the way to "do ya wanna be mine". I dunno, seems like an isolationist thing to me.

However, I find my job and my life interesting. I'm doing stuff that excites me and I want to share it... maybe you need to find something that really makes you light up, and you'll meet people that way. I've noticed that when you're excited about something, people want to be around that energy.

Hope some of it helped. Your blog had a lot of good stuff to think about-- thanks.
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on January 27th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC)
Thanks to you too!

Being in a fun situation is certainly important. I'm not sure if my current career path is really putting me in especially fun situations - in fact, passion has always been a problem for me.

But I still have hobbies that I like a whole lot. I was thinking recently that I should probably restrict my search to those who get as much enjoyment out of my hobbies as I do - because I might be really uninteresting otherwise.

I'm generalizing, but you understand. I think it just shows that remaining "picky" isn't the worst idea because you might find a lot of people who share your interest when you're doing the right thing, so you wouldn't need to expand way too far outside of your comfort zone.
Laglisse on January 27th, 2008 05:58 am (UTC)
That makes sense. I agree-- picky is good. And the passion thing-- what do you mean? I'm just a very passionate person, surrounded by passionate people all my life, and I don't quite understand the concept of not being excited about stuff.
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on January 27th, 2008 06:04 am (UTC)
I've had "passion" problems all throughout college. I wanted to go into music but wasn't enjoying it as much as anyone else in the department (despite being very good at it from an academic sense). I ended up with linguistics, which I also enjoy, but am not extremely excited about. Like I said, it's been a real problem for me since I'm talented in many areas but there's nowhere where I especially excel.

I'm really not sure what I'm "passionate" about. It's depressing, I guess, but it's hard for me to see what I really, really enjoy doing. At least this point, there's nothing that I couldn't really live without.

But like I said, I have interests and hobbies. Stuff I enjoy doing. I wish I could just one day decide that such and such an activity is what I love doing and want to do forever, but at least right now I can't think of it.
Laglisse on January 27th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
Interesting. On the positive side, it sounds like you've got a nice Buddhistic lack of desire, which prevents a lot of suffering, I suppose. I've never really encountered that in my life, so I'm not sure I can offer any advice. I have been told that I am rare, in that I have a strong direction I want to take my life in from a young age. So at least, your problem isn't unique-- but I wouldn't know who to talk to who's been there. Maybe you just need to keep talking about it to various older people who are in a place in life that you'd like to be one day, and you'll learn something that will help?
Moldpotionmoldpotion on January 27th, 2008 08:36 am (UTC)
Your lack of hitting on Kat doesn't sound like a huge blunder at all. If anything, the mistake is assuming it's over after something like that. Maybe there's something I'm not getting, but it seems to me that you should ask her out again.
Jeffrey Carl Fadenjeffreyatw on January 27th, 2008 08:39 am (UTC)
Ah yeah. Forgot to mention that I have. Called her a few days after the date and then the weekend after the date - two weeks later, no reply.

There is a chance that it's not over, as, like I said, she didn't talk to me after finals and all throughout Winter break, but there she was again when I got back. But really, if that was the situation, I'd feel like I'm being jerked around. Either way I'm calling it "over" at this point because nothin's doin'.
ミルス。Seven-Colored Puppeteer of B u c u r e s t i.miluda on January 27th, 2008 10:06 am (UTC)
I'm really not sure what to say. I have not felt that kind of lonely in a long time.

I also busy myself with various hobbies and other things that it just doesn't hit me as hard.

I am also lucky because something else happens and I'm not lonely for long.

I thought you and Shiranne would have worked out well, that it was a struggle to have such a distance, but you guys maintained the contact and seemed to be really great with each other, friends or not. I guess things change when she's got someone else.

I don't think you need to be aggressive or just "find someone." I think you wanted a relationship that was like the last one, something more lasting, something more feasible and not just "well, I'm lonely, and I want someone." And the sad fact to that is that it's difficult to find that someone for that kind of relationship. I honestly don't think just dating people will please you at all, so even if you went forward, asked some girl out from your current class or your current group of friends, and went out a few more times, nothing's going to please you until it gets back to the comfortable "we want each other" feeling.

I can say that when you feel a feeling long enough, one day you might feel "I'm sick of feeling this way, I'm going to feel another way" and just do it. So maybe you just need that time to get sick of feeling lonely and maybe you'll realize that you don't feel that lonely feeling anymore. I guess I'm not one to talk, I dunno.
ミルス。Seven-Colored Puppeteer of B u c u r e s t i.miluda on January 27th, 2008 10:06 am (UTC)
I am also really tired and I don't think any of that made sense