Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My first boyfriend (because Shawn went straight to fiancĂ©) – 329

Although Casey left a scar on my heart, my outward behavior did not really change for the next few years. While I held it as a hard and fast rule that you do not reveal whom you like, I continued to notice whether or not boys were cute pretty regularly. I continued to play with boys a lot, primarily basketball, and Jennie and I were usually accompanied by boys when we would play on the tire trees. (We would pretend to be on flights with Graveyard Airlines. Yeah, I guess it was a little weird.)

I was also an avid participant in after-school sports, and when I got to pick teams, I would actually pick the cutest boys first, instead of the best athletes. To be fair, the first two picks were always the same, because JT and his friend (whose name I wish I could remember) were both good-looking and good at sports. It’s unfortunate that, as friends, they were rarely ever able to be on the same team, but it must be nice to be wanted. Anyway, there were plenty of boys around, but not really anyone significant until Stephen moved here in fifth grade.

I don’t know why I fell so hard, but I don’t think being new hurt his chances. We were in the TAG (talented and gifted) program together, and all of our classes were together, so we were able to bond that way, but he was not the only guy fitting that description. Of course, he was much taller than Josh, so it looks like that preference of mine started early.

If we remember back to first grade and Adam (the kind of weird guy who kissed me on the knee), there were guys who liked girls all the way back then, and by sixth grade there were boys who would talk about sex, though I think it was with very limited knowledge. Somewhere between those stages, “going with” people became all the rage. No one ever called it “going steady” or “going out”, and as fourth and fifth graders there was nowhere to go to, but still, it was very important.

Stephen hurt me greatly by going with Lora, but I stayed friends with him and was supportive when he was ignominiously dumped. However, the relationship did not really take off until we were at the end of sixth grade, and there was a special TAG outing. It was on a Friday, and we were going to hike from Hoyt Arboretum to the Pittock Mansion and picnic there, and we could all bring one guest.

Having extra students along, who were not TAG students, probably changed the dynamics a bit, and it was a picnic and the school year was ending, but somehow as Stephen and I were walking along carrying the picnic basket between us, jokes started flying about how it was like we were the parents and the others were our kids, and so there were other marriage and honeymoon and future jokes. I think I was able to get in some effective flirting, because later on the bus he awkwardly, but nonetheless sweetly, asked me if I meant it, and suddenly we were going with each other.

The euphoria was surprisingly short-lived. First of all, there were spectators and they were trying to get us to kiss, or at least each bite off the ends of the same pepperoni stick. (Shawna was involved again. She had come with Gabbie.) We went for the pepperoni, but I didn’t want to kiss him. Perhaps that should have been my first clue that my enthusiasm had waned.

Ultimately, I may have just waited too long for him. If he had asked me back in fifth grade, that would have been something, but now it was practically two years later, and I had let some other guys seep into my heart. There was a different Jason from church (who was very sweet and pretty cute and with whom I played basketball) and I had also started to like Geoff.

Geoff would have been my first official bad boy. I find it quite possible to believe that he has a criminal record of some kind now, but I don’t really know. I think I started liking him first when I loaned him lunch money. I’m not sure I ever got paid back, but he started treating me a bit more nicely, and I guess I was pretty easy. The point was, now that I had Stephen, I could not stop thinking about Jason and Geoff. Plus, Stephen called me over the weekend, and I should have found that sweet, but I found it annoying instead. He was getting a tad possessive for my taste.

Now, there had been boundary changes for the school districts the year before, and I ended up in Aloha Park boundaries. A few kids transferred already, but sixth-graders had the option to finish our last year of grade school at Chehalem. Four of us chose that, but were going to go to Five Oaks while everybody else went to Mountain View for junior high. Since we knew this, I had set an expiration date on our relationship, where we would just go together until the end of the school year, and then part amicably.

I should have stuck it out. Instead, I did what may be the most embarrassing thing I will ever confess on this blog. Monday, I went to Stephen on the playground. He was lined up for Four Square or Wall Ball—one of those games I never played because I was always playing basketball, and I told him that I knew we said we would go together until the end of the school year, but oh, I was having second thoughts or something. I don’t remember the reason I gave him, but I do remember saying, “…so consider yourself dumped.”

It was just rude and unnecessarily cruel, especially after I had seen how Lora’s dumping broke him up. I should have stayed with him for that last month, or just handled it better. As it was, I was disgusted with myself, not that I shared that with Stephen. I decided that I was just way too immature to date anyone, and that I would be for a while. Honestly, observing the other playground relationships, we probably all were, but at the time I really thought that the problem was me. That’s always my first guess anyway.

In the end he seems to have recovered fine. When we met up again in high school, he did not even seem to remember that we had ever been involved, and even if that is merely a memory block due to psychological pain, I’ll take it. He went to senior prom with Jennie, and I believe he has his own business now.

For myself, I did pick up a strong fear of hurting others, and it did lead to some relationship avoidance, because if he is not the one, then we are only getting together now to break up later, and why would we do that? Now I realize that learning how to behave in a relationship usually takes a few failures, and that’s why you do it, and you should do it, including breakups.

I actually kind of started to hate Meg Ryan after seeing parts of both Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail on television, and in both cases I saw the breakup moments. They both felt exactly the same way, and it was a perfectly fine, painless breakup, and my twisted mind decided that this was a concession to Meg’s image, like…

· I can’t be a cheater or heartbreaker because I am too sweet.
· He wouldn’t cheat on me or get tired of me because I am so adorable.
· I wouldn’t just be single, because there is nothing wrong with me to keep me single.

Therefore, the only solution to the inescapable complication of plotting a romantic comedy around a sweet adorable catch like Meg Ryan is spontaneous amicable breakups. It worked on a Seinfeld episode, but they treated it differently. (Also, she cheated on the roguishly charming Dennis Quaid with Russell Crowe, who is enormously talented and fairly handsome, but seems to have some real ego and anger issues. That’s okay, I’m sure it was really just that Meg and Dennis spontaneously grew apart.)

Anyway daters, you may have to hurt someone in the course of figuring out the relationship issue. However, if you always remember both honesty (so you do not lead people on) and kindness (for obvious reasons), maybe it doesn’t end up that badly. This doesn’t mean that you date people for the sole purpose of breaking up with them, though that would be interesting. It’s just that being interested in a relationship may be enough of a reason to pursue it without certainty that it will work out.
Of course, this is largely theoretical for me, as further postings will make obvious. Stephen was my last boyfriend as well as my first. Yes, fear of hurting someone based on that experience was a lingering issue as I started junior high, but once there I acquired much worse ones.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The very beginning, and a debut – 329

First off, today was a pretty fun world premiere, for what it is worth. Although what I should really be working on is my second movie script, I took on a fun little distraction. A random conversation at work led to speculating about various members of the team taking on superpowers. As each person became either a hero or a villain, it reached this point where I really felt like I needed to write it down. I started doing that, and it was really only about four nights work because the thing practically wrote itself.

I targeted today for its debut, since I just finished giving the quarterly presentation yesterday, and Cheryl’s birthday is tomorrow, so it seemed like good timing, and it kind of turned into a party, with pizza and cake. I saved the Final Draft version as a pdf at home, sent it to my work e-mail address, and forwarded it to everyone when I got in. I had some concerns about whether it would live up to the hype, because people had really been looking forward to it, but as I kept hearing bits of laughter erupting around me, I was reassured. It was frustrating never knowing who was at which part though.

Although it was initially conceived as a comic book, I did not have the time (or the talent) to do the graphics, so it was written as a screenplay, and could easily be adapted into a television pilot. I mean, its brilliance is as an inside joke, but maybe it could stand on its own. Anyway, now I really need to get back to Line Dancing Cinderella. (I have no skill at developing titles. Even my working titles sound stupid.) I hope to make good progress this weekend. I have promised to continue the adventures of the Bigg City Heroes, but I can’t let it take over everything. Still, it is nice being in a creative period.

Regardless, I said I would explore my romantic history, and that’s what I’m going to do. I already went over most of this in my writing therapy, but I feel like I need to do it again. Maybe part of it is that there are some differences in the writing you put out there and the writing you do in private, and so being willing to publicly air this could be significant, but also there are probably some benefits to going over things a second time, after some time has passed. We’ll see how it goes.

I started out with very traditional, possibly destructive, views. I was strongly drawn to the fairy tale construct, with the prince swooping in and rescuing the princess and then living happily ever after, except that I often then had her falling into additional peril. Maybe I was a bit of a drama/adrenaline junkie. Certainly, I was always creating stories in my head as a child, just like I do now. They were just less sophisticated. At some point I started realizing that you can’t count on anyone to rescue you, ever, and maybe I started also wanting to be the hero a little do, and do the rescuing myself.

Another part of my personality was a desire to have everything planned out, and just know how everything was going to go. So, combining that with my possibly rather arbitrary ideas about how things should be, I was going to marry the boy next door when I was twenty, and we were going to have a child every two years until I was forty, thus ending up with ten kids.

I’m embarrassed because I can’t even remember for sure how to spell his name. It was either Shawn or Shaun, but definitely not Sean. Anyway, he agreed that we were an item, so really, I was engaged when I was three, and this is also when I had my first kiss. My older sister and I were over at his place, and I told her to turn around and I kissed him on the cheek. Moving at that fast a pace, it’s amazing how much I slowed down, but we will get to that.

I truly did care for him—it’s not like he was the only boy I knew. There was another contender actually. I knew Jason from church, and I did think he was good-looking, but he was born on January 18th, and I was born on January 17th, and one of the things that I believed was that the boy should be older.

Shaun’s family moved from Wilsonville to Donald, but we still visited them sometimes. Then we moved to Aloha, and we visited less. Visits generally consisted of playing with Legos or Battleship, incidentally, we really only kissed that one time.

The thing is, even though Aloha was still somewhat rural when we moved there (there was a small cow pasture next to the cul-de-sac, and you only needed to go a few blocks to find horses or sheep), it was still a lot more stimulating than Donald. I will never forget going to visit them one time and driving by a small group watching a guy get his hair cut on the porch. Talk about your wild and crazy Saturday nights! Maybe it was the different environments, or the lack of regular contact, of just different personalities in general, but we grew apart.

Shortly before my 16th birthday, his mother called my mother to have me accompany him to a basketball game and school dance. It was going to be the night before my birthday, so technically I would not quite be 16 yet (which was our dating age), but yes, I could go, and I was excited. That’s when I learned that he was a nerd.

Technically it shouldn’t have mattered. I could easily have been considered a nerd too. Maybe it was the hick aspect. I don’t know, but we no longer had any chemistry. I did kind of start hitting it off with his friend, but then the friend’s girlfriend suddenly developed a headache, and they left. I was really ready for the night to be over. After that, I knew for sure that we were never going to get married, even though my target age was still 20.

So that was my first date, and he would still have been significant anyway, because I used him as a backup all through elementary school at least, and maybe even a little into junior high. It helped knowing that there was someone somewhere who was kind of like a boyfriend, or who had been a boyfriend once, meaning that it was always still possible. Of course, maybe that’s where I picked up the pattern of liking the one who was not around. That way, you can always look to see who is cute, but you don’t need to get involved with them and maybe you shouldn’t even get involved with them.

I did actually have one other major crush during this time period, Casey. He was in my first grade class and I thought he was very cute. We played together a lot; mainly imagination games based on Star Wars and Buck Rogers. When my family threw a Halloween party that year, he came. I would say things were going very well, but then I did something stupid. I wrote down that I liked him, and I put the paper in my desk. I don’t know why Shawna ended up snooping around inside my desk, but she did, and she told people, and from then on Casey avoided me.

Now, this had happened after I got the mean girls treatment and developed my weight insecurity, so it was easy to take it as an issue with me personally, and learn that you never let a boy know that you like him, on pain of death. Now, I am not sure that it was so personal. I mean, he did like me before, and we were first graders. Maybe it would have been the same with any girl, because girls still had cooties.

As it was, it did not change much about my outer life. I still played mainly with boys, because the girls were pretty mean and cliquish, until Jennie moved here in third grade and became my first best friend. I still was always looking at who was cute, and who wasn’t, and generally got along pretty well with most people. I was even sort of willing to try at romance again, though cautiously, and not until sixth grade. Next time: The Story of Stephen!

Okay, it’s not that exciting.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Oh no, what have I done? – 329.5

The last time I was out with my friend Karen (as opposed to talking by phone), she was telling me about something NPR did with six word life stories, and since at the time I had been impulsively doing crazy things, then having horrified second thoughts, I think this would be my title.

What crazy things, you might ask? Well, admitting my weight on-line was definitely one. Having second thoughts doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a good thing to do, but it’s a bit of pressure. You know, even women who are much less overweight are unlikely to be truthful about it. How many people do you know who aren’t lying on their driver’s license?

So that was one, for sure, but there was another even bigger one, and this story culminates in that Monday night two weeks ago when I was teetering on the edge of wanting to throw up.

I have mentioned Gerard, and will mention him more in later posts, but at one point there was a job opening, and it occurred to me that I should let him know. My first thought was, That’s silly—
he’s in California, but I could not shake the thought. Okay, I have to follow up on this, how do I do it?

My first move was to email his father, as I happened to be aware of his father’s web site. He confirmed that Gerard was in Oregon, in fact, but he did not have his phone number. He then put me in touch with Gerard’s brother.

Now, this leads to a predicament, because this story is about the brother, and I need to call him something. I feel silly making up a code name for him, but since I have stuck to Gerard’s code name, it doesn’t seem right to use his real name either. I could set up a poll, but I think I will just compromise and call him E. After all, it’s how he signs his emails.

Anyway, email went back and forth, and one phone call with E, and finally I heard back from Gerard, and he actually was not a match for the job and seemed somewhat annoyed to have heard from me, so the whole thing could have been a colossal waste. However, I had really enjoyed my talk with E, and wished to talk to him more.

I started debating about this. Will we ever run into each other? No. I’m in Aloha, he’s in Lake Oswego, we are not likely to cross paths. Can I hire him for landscaping or refer someone to him? No, that’s not really a viable option either. Then it occurred to me, perhaps I could just email him and say, hey, I enjoyed talking to you. Would you like to talk some more?

It was a bold strategy unlike anything I had ever tried, so I sent that email, and then heard nothing. Oh no, what have I done? Except, people like me check their email several times a day, and not everyone is like that. Sometimes, people may go an entire four-day weekend without checking once. Monday he wrote back, “Boy would I!”

Ecstasy. I was thrilled to have a response, and an enthusiastic one at that. However, follow through was a bit of an issue because we didn’t really end up having a phone conversation until recently, and then meeting two weeks ago.

It was fun, if not a breakthrough. I am pretty sure that we are not making a real love connection because we greeted by shaking hands and we said goodbye with a handshake, and my instincts tell me that if we were really getting anywhere it would have escalated to a hug. That’s logical, right? Realistically, both of us are probably best off single right now, though for different reasons.

On the other hand, I think I may be able to help some with his band, and he says he can get Gus Van Sant to read my script, and even though I don’t think what I have is nearly artistic or meaningful enough for Gus to be interested, that is still pretty major.

I just re-read “The Sad Ballad of Cute Cafeteria Guy” (December 2007), and I wrote about romantically being about fourteen years old, but probably having aged to sixteen, and not being able to imagine myself ever not being a dork, and that is probably still true. I don’t think I have progressed beyond 16 yet (probably because that would involve actually having done something since then), and I am still not smooth. So, on the ride downtown I was alternating between feeling sick to my stomach and talking myself down from the ledge and then letting my nerves rise up again. However, I did make it there, I did talk to him, honestly, and I have opened myself up to new opportunities. On that level, I have grown a lot.

Perhaps soon I will be romantically 17 and I can get ready for prom. Of course, the problem with waiting so long for this development is that the dating pool has shrunk considerably from what it was. Still, I believe that things will work out to be great, one way or another. As so much increased development has evolved from public display, the next series of posts will be covering my romantic history, or lack thereof, from precocious three year old to present.

In the meantime I will keep acting on impulses, even though it is sometimes scary and sometimes just weird, like asking a stranger on the train if he needs money, or telling someone you hardly ever speak to about the dream you had. It’s just the only way to avoid regretting not doing it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Procrastinator’s Lament – 331.5

I had previously mentioned that I would really be sorry about procrastinating when I got to Mitt Romney, because it just wouldn’t be timely anymore. There was going to be an interesting twist though, and now my thunder has been stolen on that as well.

Please remember, my mind is always running. If I am not plotting out stories then I am having analytical dialogues or mentally writing my blog. Obviously, not everything gets entered via the keyboard and posted. Going back in time, we shall trace the evolution of the post that never was.

It started with a presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. I first heard of him during the Salt Lake City Olympics, as he was responsible for cleaning up the mess that corruption in the IOCC had created. Those went well, and he seemed okay. Later on when he became governor of Massachusetts, he seemed to be doing well. Remember, I am not really that liberal. I am just becoming more and more of a democrat because the GOP keeps forgetting that conservative is not supposed to be an exact synonym for evil. Therefore, it is not impossible for me to vote for a republican or feel like one is doing a good job—it just doesn’t happen very often. Romney was getting good reports, especially for some plans he had for getting more people health insurance coverage, and I thought, okay, this let’s see what happens.

If Governor Romney had been the same person as Presidential Candidate Romney, I might have been tempted, but he changed, and not in a good way. He turned his back on everything that I liked about him, but it wasn’t so much the changing as that it seemed to be a race to become as conservative as possible to win votes. More to the point, it wasn’t even done in a measured, intelligent way, which is why he still stands as the only candidate to suggest doubling Guantanamo. (Seriously, it’s not even smooth.)

It did get him painted as a flip-flopper, but it’s hard to run for president without that happening anyway. I don’t completely agree with Barney Frank calling him the “most intellectually dishonest human being in the history of politics” though. First of all, that is one long history right there, but also that comment to me seems to imply some cold calculation, and I don’t think Romney is calculating. If he is, he’s really bad at it.

Instead, I think what we have is someone who is so easily influenced in pursuit of his goal that the result is no spine, and no useful integrity. This would be a concern in any candidate, but especially in a member of the true church. So I wanted to write about that, and the title was going to be, “Why I worry that Mitt Romney is the Anti-Christ”.

The problem is that if you are going to take on a topic like that it just seems to lead to all these other places that you need to go, like following up on the true church thing, and also probably the Anti-Christ topic because when people say that they really mean the Beast, generally speaking. So. I procrastinated and he started losing, and then Mike Huckabee became really scary because he believed he was ordained of God, and I was sure he wasn’t, but at some point in there I had an interesting conversation.

I was helping out at a robotics tournament and talking to an old acquaintance, and somehow the Anti-Christ came up, I guess, and I shared my concerns about Romney, but Dan was sure that it was Oprah, because the key would be popularity, and who is more popular than Oprah? Our conversation was derailed by an apparent eavesdropper who said it would actually be someone clever enough to explain what happened to all the people who suddenly disappeared, lulling people into a false sense of security. She thus revealed to us that she is waiting for the rapture, and did not do anything to dissuade Dan away from his Oprah theory.

Well, that was interesting. True, she doesn’t seem evil, but they never really do now, do they? It’s hard to believe that she could have unleashed both “Doctor” Phil and Rachel Ray on the world without some secret malevolence.
At the time it resonated a bit because a friend of Maria’s was all excited over The Secret, and was going to use her mind power to focus on flushing the fat from her body so she could just drink lots of water instead of dieting and exercising. (I will confess to not having read The Secret, so it is certainly possible that the friend took the book the wrong way, but she certainly hasn’t lost any weight.)

The book was really popular though, and I heard many people talking about how it changed their lives, and it was kind of irritating at how obvious these things should be. Really, gratitude makes you happier? Well how about that! Who knew? (/sarcasm)

Seriously, the things that you get from Oprah are things that I get from religion. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t want to attend a taping of her show given the opportunity, because I understand that she gives away things and I love free stuff. However, I don’t think she really has that much too teach.

Perhaps I am being unfair, because a lot of people don’t have religion, or religion with any depth, and some people have such twisted religion that the closest it gets them to joy is smug satisfaction at being better than everyone else, but if she is set up in such a way that having a watered down set of answers dressed up attractively halts people there, instead of proceeding on to greater truth, then it is reasonable to call her anti-Christ, even if she is not the Beast.

So I came up with a new title, “I feared Mitt Romney was the Anti-Christ, but maybe it’s Oprah”, but there were still other things to explore, and I wasn’t writing that regularly anyway, and yes, I procrastinate. Anyway, other groups have beat me to the punch, criticizing Oprah for promoting a false, watered-down spirituality. When will I learn?

Their primary complaint appears to be her belief that there is more than one way to be saved, thus she is clearly not consigning enough people to Hell. Again, this is a topic that should be explored, and it is really an age-old theological conflict. God gives commandments, which we are supposed to follow, but not everyone has knowledge of them, so people are caught between the cruelty of some people having no chance, or the contradiction that His mercy would mean you can be saved without obedience, and then they come up with weird rationalizations like predestination to make it right.

None of the above. There is a plan in place to cover for all eventualities and where every person can end up with as great a level of blessing as they are capable of receiving, and the more you know about that the more you realize how great God is, and loving, and it makes everything better, but going into that becomes several blog posts and I still want to write about Italy, and my romantic history, and what happened Monday night when most of my regular readers already share the same religious beliefs anyway (it’s not a prerequisite of any kind—that’s just how it’s worked out).

So, although it is a strange way to end a post, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church, not meaning that no other church has any truth which would be ludicrous, but that it is led by living prophets so has continuing and updated truth, and that by the Holy Ghost anyone and everyone can know the truth. And the truth is good. I think sometimes people get scared away from knowing more, but the more you know the better it gets.

Someday it would be nice to go over my entire political philosophy, and what I would do as president, and all the aspects of my testimony, and how many Christians (even my kind) get so badly twisted, and even my theories about the timing of the Apocalypse (which are fascinating), but I’m not done being shallow yet, and it’s my blog.

That being said, I am always open for conversations, and will generally answer questions freely. Even if we do not yet know each other.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ups and Downs – 333

I know how it looks, like I have gained back half of the weight I lost in Italy, but in reality it is much more complicated than that. I went down a little, and then back up as high as 339, and then down to 330 again, and so on. I am fluctuating.

Clearly, not everything here is fat, and I know that bloating was probably a factor on at least some of those days, so I have questioned whether weighing daily is truly helpful. My friend Karen is sure it is, and I tend to agree. For one thing, although some of the fluctuations may be mystifying, they are sometimes traceable to things I did or didn’t do, and that is good to know. It looks like I should swear off pop forever, which is hard in the summer, but it is probably for the best. Lack of sleep is a killer, but eating apples helps. Ultimately, I am still learning about what is best for my body, and my life.

There are still high points. Some clothes are actually fitting better, though there are still many others on deck. My blood sugar is doing pretty well. One symptom I had been having for several months cleared up. Those are all good things. Also, I kind of feel like I am now settling around 330 instead of 345, which is an improvement, if not my final destination.

One aspect that is hard is that I feel like I cannot give as much time to exercise as I would like. I am really trying to establish myself as a writer. It is a huge time commitment, but I feel like I need to make that my priority, so even though there are a lot of good things I could be doing, this is where I need to focus my time now. Fortunately, for women it appears that dieting is more effective for losing weight, although exercise is more effective for maintaining weight loss. Ideally I will have gotten the writing established before I am in the maintenance stage, and will have more time for other things.

For the writing itself, I finally went through and got the completed screenplay into the proper format. That was an amazingly tedious job, which, along with some other things, convinced me that I really needed to invest in screenwriting software. I was reluctant because I am cheap, and because when I had tried a trial some time ago, I hated it.

I can’t remember what that demo was, but this time I downloaded demos for both Final Draft 7 and Movie Magic Screenwriter. They turned out to be pretty similar, and neither was horrible. Maybe they have improved over time, or going through the formatting process increased my understanding, making me better able to use it. I liked the look of Final Draft a little better, and after downloading the demo they sent me a promo code for $30.00 off, so it was the obvious choice. I have now started my second script in Final Draft.

I had decided Monday that I really ought to try writing ten pages per day, and that I would start that night. Monday I wrote 0 pages, Tuesday I wrote 0 pages, and Wednesday I wrote 9. Clearly, I am still a work in progress. I think I may be able to do better tonight. Part of the problem was that I was hung up on finding the right last name for the female lead, and so I was doing searches on German last names and finally I just changed her first name too, and then it was okay. That should not be a problem tonight, but who knows what weird hang-up I will pick up on next.

Regardless of the frustrations, this is what I want to do. I feel good after I have written, and usually while I am writing too (depending on how crazy I am driving myself in a given moment). My day job just becomes more frustrating all the time, and that will probably get worse, but it isn’t even about that. It is more just about not falling into a rut.

I have been basically doing the same thing since I graduated from college. Sure, I completed that novel and sent it around, and I have completed other short stories and things, but I have never been really consistent. I am trying to act like the things that I feel are most important really are most important. Because I don’t really think watching another Law & Order episode is more important than a satisfying career, but on some nights you might not be able to tell.
It isn’t all laziness or exhaustion either. A lot of it has been a lack of faith in myself, that I even could have anything good happen to me, beyond a normal existence where I worked and survived. I had these dreams, or I probably would never have written anything at all. I certainly dreamed of romance often, but I don’t think that I believed in them enough to see where I could try harder or approach things differently.

Now, after much time, I think I know that my worst fears about myself are not true (you will notice the lack of certainty), but there is the accumulation of bad habits, and also starting to do new things that do not quite come naturally. I’m happier this way, but I am also feeling scared all the time. This is why I spent about an hour and a half Monday night vacillating between calming myself and feeling like I needed to throw up. But more on that later.