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?