Update (Warning: Lots of Navel-Gazing)

Edit: To my readers, I appreciate you all, but this post is for me. You can read it if you want, but it really rambles a lot—even by my standards—and is not really a particularly “fun” post. So, if you want to skip this one, feel free; you’re not missing anything.

So, life’s been nuts lately. I kinda forget when it started being nuts, but it feels like it’s been that way a long time now.

Vacation. Maybe that’s when things started being crazy. Or were they crazy before? I forget. Anyway, it occurs to me that I haven’t even talked about my vacation, so I suppose I oughtta.

It was great. I mean, other than the almost zero cell service everywhere up there on the state line between Connecticut and New York, it was pretty much everything I hoped it would be: it was relaxing, it was peaceful, it was comfortable, it was pretty.

*sigh* And then I had to leave.

I went to see The Glass House, and I deliberately didn’t plan anything else on the trip. My last vacation—to Europe—was harried the whole time, and I got back after a week and a half utterly exhausted. I decided that I really wanted to try a vacation where I did more resting and taking things easy rather than trying to cram in a bunch of things to do. So, while I made some notes of things I could do, I didn’t put them on a schedule and wasn’t gonna worry about them if I didn’t do them. I tried a steak outside of Texas, and the rumors—at least based on my sample size of one—are completely true: we do steaks so much better here! I also paid $100 for that meal, which was crazy. Better prices, better taste…I’ll stick with Texas, thank you very much! I went to a park and did some walking—something I definitely need to do, given I’m around 240 pounds now, and at 5’8″, I’m turning into a little lard-tub. It was really nice. Long—much longer than I expected, probably around 6 miles all told—but a pleasant hike anyway. I was a bit embarrassed by the guy in his 60s or so who passed me, and also by the girl in her 20s who made hiking up what seemed like a near-vertical surface easy, but I figured, “meh, at least I’m doing something physical.”

But yeah, the Glass House was nice. Learned a bit and felt encouraged after I went. It turns out it took Philip Johnson 27 versions to get it the way he wanted it. I’m only on version 10, so I figure I’m not doing too badly.

On that note (digression alert!), I might be about to change my long-term plans. Sure, a nice, custom house has been on my list for a long time, but 40 acres has been on it even longer. It turns out my neighbor is considering selling his property—17 acres—and after talking to him and running some preliminary figures by the bank, I think I might be able to do it. That plus my 14 acres would put me at 31, which gets me awfully close to where I want to be. I won’t know, though, until the beginning of December what his actual asking price is. He had it appraised last year, and the number was within range, but who knows what it is now? Anyway, I’m antsy, and I think that antsy feeling is what has me in a funk.

That was the original title for this post, by the way: “in a funk”. Things are well, but…eh…I’m just not feeling it ever since the trip. Being able to get off a fixed schedule, being able to lie around reading (I read 4 books in 4 days, which is insane for me since I think before that I’d read 4 books in 4 years…), getting up when I felt like it, going to bed when I felt like it, not really having any sense of, “I better make this last because I’m gonna have to go back to work tomorrow”…it was all so great, so…I dunno, freeing? As a result, while I’ve gotten stuff done at home and at work (finally fixed hay-henge…oh, wait, you don’t know about hay-henge, either…), I’m just not really feeling energetic about anything. I feel lonely (more days than not), I’m bored and stressed out by work at the same time (got a new client that wants me to work full-time for the client while also working full-time for the rest of my clients, plus it feels like total chaos at the new client’s place, constantly being pulled in a bunch of directions and getting opposing instructions, all while trying to do something that I’m not entirely certain can be done in the allotted time), and overall, I’m just feeling kinda…blah. I wanted to write today, but my Jack’s Blacks entry just isn’t really fun to write right now. On a more positive note, I went back and re-read it, and it’s not nearly as boring as I thought it was as I was writing it; it’s actually pretty hot, with nearly constant action…I guess I missed it for the trees.

Boy, that was a rambling paragraph. But it kinda illustrates my general psyche right now. I feel like I need another vacation—not because the vacation I had wasn’t restful; au contraire, it was very restful—but because I just haven’t been able to readjust to working since taking the time off. I guess it’s not too dissimilar to when I went on hiatus doing my writing commissions; it’s just hard to get any kind of momentum back when you’re not feeling all that passionate about it and the break was better than the work. Maybe I need to plan more chaotic vacations. 😛

In other news, we’ve already had one day below freezing, and we’re supposed to potentially have a few more this week…at the beginning of November. What the hell, Nature?! It’s not supposed to get this cold until January! Or maybe a hint of it in late December. Makes me kinda nervous about the rest of the winter. All the more reason I really want out of this camper. Oh, on that note, if I don’t buy my neighbor’s property, my backup plan is to build a small house. I call it a “fancy shed”. I’ve already designed it out, though after talking with my parents (my dad helped his dad build houses when he was a kid), I’m probably going to make a few modifications to make it a less wasteful design (e.g., making the walls increments of sheetrock rather than weird sizes, etc.).

Speaking of my parents, I went to go visit them weekend-before-last. We had a heart-to-heart about my still being single. Not that they are pushing me to get together with someone, mind you; the topic just came up, and they asked me what I wanted in a person. It was rather a rough awakening (most awakenings with them are), but through talking with them, I realized I don’t really want a partner; I want a maid. And, they brought up a good point: hiring a maid is much cheaper and less emotionally messy than getting a house-boy. So…that was kinda disappointing, but on the other hand, it was also kind of relieving. But also frustrating. Lots of “ing”s… Disappointing because I had hoped to find someone compatible, relieving because it seemed like a hopeless task, and disappointing because though I’m having a lot of trouble articulating it, I do want something beyond a house-boy. Maybe a best friend—somebody I can confide in and enjoy being around without his being attached to someone else. Like my former roommate and his boyfriend: I love them both to death; they are great people, and I love being around them. But they have each other, and let’s face it: I’m the third wheel. That’s okay; I wouldn’t want to intrude on their relationship, but at the same time, I can’t help but wish there was someone I could get closer to.

I learned from my parents more about how they met and how they knew they were the ones for each other. It turns out it wasn’t “love at first sight” like my mom originally described it. It was kinda cool hearing them both talk about it, though. Far more than an emotional connection at first, it was compatibility: their long-term goals meshed pretty well perfectly, they were both coming from places they didn’t want to be anymore, and everything just clicked. Frankly, to me, that’s more amazing than love at first sight. More on that in a minute.

Coming from that background—that long-term compatibility was, for them, more important than “love at first sight”—we talked my long-term goals and finding someone who shared those. But—and this was frustrating—I realized that I’m not really looking for someone with my long-term goals. I mean, I’ve always imagined myself running the place by myself—maybe having someone do the housework (since I’d rather be on the tractor than doing laundry—hell, I’d rather be digging a trench by hand than doing laundry…)—but other than that, I never really imagine there being someone else. When I imagine someone else here with me, putting in work beside me with the property—and this is horrible—the only thing I picture is risk: risk of the person taking it all—or a part of it—away. Until now, everything that’s been done to the property has been either directly by my hand (most of it) or because I paid for it (like putting in the utilities and culverts). There have been small exceptions, but certainly nothing to give anyone the leverage to take the place away from me. I’m realizing as I write this—though I didn’t then—that as lonely as I am, my fear of  losing everything I’ve spent my whole adult life working towards trumps the loneliness. Some might say it’s an unfounded fear, but I’m realizing that to me, it’s a given: the moment I let someone in, the moment someone invests time and money into the property, the moment this place isn’t mine anymore. Never mind the fact that I spent 12 years saving to buy it and living in lousier and lousier places along the way. Never mind that in 13 days, I’ll have been in this damn camper 3 years. The moment someone else invests in it, the moment that person lays claim to it.

People have long accused me of keeping people at a distance. And they’re right: while I’ve always been very open about my life, how I’m feeling, what I’m doing, what interests me, what I hate, I have deliberately taken an emotional step back from people I wasn’t “that” into; I don’t want to give people the impression I’m interested in “happily ever after” with them if I’m not. The thing is, when pushed to describe what I really want—as my parents asked me—I have to admit, I have no idea. When I first started dating, I said I wasn’t going to be shallow, wasn’t going to focus on the physical. That’s all well and good, but I feel like there’d need to be substantial compensation for it, you know? I mean, not everybody has sex all the time, but there are other features that keep a couple together. I feel like the people I’ve dated have generally either been immature (almost all of them) or just too disparate personality-wise from mine for us to really mesh.

Look at me, navel-gazing here. Heh, well, in all fairness, this is what I started this blog for, so while I appreciate my readers, you are more than welcome to stop reading. This post…is for me.

As I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself (heh), I think I’m beginning to get a clearer picture on things. But first, I need to take a step back: one thing I said while talking with my parents was that I didn’t think I was capable of loving someone “how you’re supposed to”: to want to put someone else’s needs above my own, to enjoy spending time with someone more often than not, to—above all, as I realize now—be willing to sacrifice everything I have saved up for while trusting my partner to believe I won’t have to. I think that’s a big part of it: trust. Let’s go through my “longer term than most” partners and see where the trust issues were:

  • M: He moved from Washington state to be with me—despite my protesting that it wasn’t a good idea since we’d never met in person. I picked him up at the airport, and we lasted 3 days in person. He kinda started my lack of trust in people: after him, I really couldn’t trust people to be smart enough to have their own best interests at heart.
  • J: Definitely a smart enough guy. I still look up to him in a sense—the only one of my partners I’ve looked up to—he had his own business by the time he was in his 30s and was probably making then more than I make now. Thing is, our personalities just clashed a lot. We broke up 4 times in around a month, took a long hiatus (during which time I dated a few other people), and then tried getting together again and broke up another time. So…not so much trust as clash of personalities. I think he’s probably the reason I’m afraid of dating my intellectual equals; I hate arguing, but I’m too stubborn to let something important go just like that.
  • S: Ah, S, my former Dom. Twice my age, half my maturity level. We haven’t spoken since then—the only one of my exes to whom I haven’t spoken since we broke up. Definitely reaffirmed my fear that people aren’t smart enough for their own good. I forget how long we lasted, but I’m thinking probably 4–6 months.
  • T: My crazy ex-girlfriend. We broke up in 2009—or was it 2008?—and she called my cell again about a year ago. Aside from the stalking, knowing we weren’t a good fit from day 1, and the constant arguments with me arguing for us to break up and her arguing for us to stay in that dysfunctional relationship—eeyup, another case of feeling like I have to be the smart one and call it like I see it—even though I hate being the bad guy. We lasted a year like that. I should have known better.
  • C: About the only person I’ve dated that I was physically attracted to, but that’s about where it ended. Extremely narcissistic and entitled, along the lines of, “middle-class people make more money than I do, so they owe it to me to pay me a living wage.” I tell ya, I hate entitlement, and the fact that he refused to compromise on things just infuriated me. We dated six months, then I moved off to Houston. He got a boyfriend, I moved back to Dallas, the three of us fooled around off and on, and then they moved to Washington…or Oregon…I forget which. Been mostly celibate ever since. So, there was one good thing: the sex was fun. But personality-wise, not great, and I really didn’t like the idea of going to work every day to come home to the slovenly mess that he left his place (while his boyfriend worked).

There have been plenty of flings here and there, lots of people I went on one date with and really didn’t feel it (or they disappeared afterwards—typical in the hookup scene), but I think ultimately it always comes down to one of a few things:

  • I don’t trust the person to be able to take care of himself/herself and make good decisions,
  • I’m not physically into the person,
  • Our personalities clash, or
  • I don’t trust that the person won’t try to take advantage of me.

And of course, in all of this, I can’t help but think to myself, “your little sister’s been married for years; what’s wrong with you that you can’t attract a good mate?”

Here I show a bit of ignorance. I don’t know specifically what my problem is. Yes, I’m selfish, but everybody tells me that goes away (or at least gets better) when you find THE ONE. I mean, conceptually, it makes sense: why should I want to do something for someone that I don’t particularly respect or feel connection to when I get no sense of satisfaction from it? I know, I know, “said the selfish brat”, but come on; everybody does things for selfish reasons: people give money to charity for tax write-offs or to feel like they did a good thing. People volunteer because it connects them with other people and makes them feel good about themselves. I’m pretty sure you’re not gonna find someone volunteering who hates it and who doesn’t get some kind of sense of self-fulfillment out of it. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I am just a selfish prick. Maybe I should be willing to share / give away my land to whoever walks into my life nex—no! That’s a bad idea! That’s exactly the thing M would have done because he has zero concept of real life and puts no value on money. I’m not saying money is everything—it’s not—but come on! The guy sold everything he owned except his laptop to get on a plane to go be boyfriends with a person he’d never met in person and with whom he shared zero chemistry!

I digress. So, yeah, I’m selfish. After all, this whole blog post is about me. And I flat-out told you that it would be, and yet here you are, still reading. Thanks. Or maybe you’re just bored or wondering when I’m going to get to the “good part”. Honestly? I dunno what the “good part” would be. I’ve been rambling on for 3000 words now, and I’m still not sure where I’m going with this. But, it’s cathartic to get it out, so I’ll just keep going. Besides, it’s not even 2030, yet. I’ve got time.

Sheesh, I digressed again. So, selfish. What else? Well, I’m horrendously overweight. Seriously, I weigh 75 pounds more than I did at my heyday and 60 pounds more than a healthy weight. And I know this. And I have a plan to fix it—it just doesn’t involve doing anything until I can get out of this damn camper—which I also have a plan for. So, I’m not there, yet, and I’m not just putting it off. It’s not on the calendar, yet, because it’s contingent on getting out of the camper and having enough saved up to buy an elliptical, but it is on my list! And what can I say, I am a planner, and someone who likes things to go according to said plan…after all, I’m still following my now-15-year-plan towards owning land and a house. Boy, wouldn’t it be amazing if I could actually buy my neighbor’s property in a little over a month? Hell, even two months! It could be my Christmas present to myself and the herd. Hehe…15 years… Damn, it’s been a long time.

I’m really not good at this self-reflection stuff, I guess; I keep deflecting off onto other things. What else? Stubborn at times, yeah…I think it plays into the selfishness and/or my ego. Oh, there’s one: my ego. Not gonna lie, I like being right, especially around people I don’t consider my intellectual equals (yes, yes, I know: more ego). Not gonna lie, it’s caused problems at work, but in my defense, on the rare chance the other guy is actually right (which is seldom—if he were right to start, there wouldn’t have been an issue in the first place), I acknowledge it. I think that’s the thing that irks me about him: he’s in a position of power, and he uses that to get his way, even when everybody else on the team knows he’s wrong. That kind of stuff frustrates me and my coworkers: it’s bad for morale, bad for our customers (when we have to redo stuff because he wanted it done a way that clearly didn’t align with what they wanted), and I firmly believe, bad for business because he’s also a complete know-it-all; I think our customers would be more likely to do business with us if he quit talking to them. He always wants to show off how much he knows, and he talks so much that there’s never a chance to actually listen to what the customer wants. If I were a customer, I would want much more for someone to understand my needs and demonstrate comprehension of them than to show me how smart he or she was. What good are smarts if you can’t build me the thing I need?

How many times am I going to digress here? Let’s see: I probably drink too much. I blame living in the country. There is nothing else to do out here…especially when it gets cold. But yes, I could afford to drink less. I need to find a new way to entertain myself. Working out would be good….once I’m out of the camper…because jumping rope when it’s 40 °F outside…sucks, and there isn’t space to do pushups inside.

What else? There are certain physical habits I have that I won’t utter here—sheesh, what does that say about me, that I’m so embarrassed about them that I won’t even write them on my own blog? Yet as embarrassed as I am about them, I see nothing inherently wrong with them; they may be unsightly to others, but they don’t do me any harm…well, except that one. Okay, yes, I pick at scabs, pimples, ingrown hairs, and the like. I actually looked it up. It’s called excoriation, and it’s an obsessive-compulsive tic. That one I’m not too keen on and could do to stop. And my excuse for not doing anything about it is, “I don’t want to go to therapy.” Never mind the fact that if I put my mind to it, I could probably do it on my own, or, barring that, therapy isn’t that expensive with insurance, I just don’t want to take the time out of my day to go see a therapist while trying to work and hold down the fort. They’re excuses, all of them, and I know it. I guess, ultimately, while I know it’s a flaw, I don’t view it as bad enough to spend the effort working on. After all, who’s really going to care? I’m not dating anybody, and the herd doesn’t care, right? That was overly dismissive. I dunno—just not worth it, I guess. Maybe it’s the selfishness again? Or the stubbornness? Or the feeling like I don’t have time to do anything? (Never mind the fact that earlier I said I had time to continue writing this behemoth of a scatterbrained ramble.)

You know, I think I’m bored with this self-reflection, at least in reflecting on faults. I know I’m not perfect, and I know there’s room for improvement. When it comes to meeting someone else, I don’t expect perfection, either, but it sure would be nice to find someone who “meshes”: someone who maybe is my intellectual equal but who somehow magically doesn’t set off my ego, someone who isn’t entitled or arrogant, and so we get along. Someone driven to do what matters to him that just happens to coincide with me doing what’s important to me. Maybe he’s not into land ownership and will be perfectly content to let me manage my—I mean “our”—land the way I see fit while he engages in whatever hobbies make him happy. And maybe we both like looking at stars at night. Maybe he likes the herd and is nice to them, but I don’t have to worry about him messing around with them. Maybe he stands on his own two feet and I stand on mine, but we realize we’re happier standing on our own two feet together rather than alone. Maybe we do actually enjoy sex, and maybe I get over my squeamishness over topping. Maybe he’s not Adonis, but he’s attractive to me anyway.

Gosh, that’s a lot of maybes.

I guess, in summation, it would be more amazing to me to find someone like that, who just happened to “fit” into my life like that, and where I just “fit” into his, than to find “love at first sight”. I mean, I’ve long said that I’m big on conversations, right? Maybe it’s not love at first sight. Maybe we do like my parents, meet, and even though we may not be head-over-heels, yet, maybe the more we talk, the more the two of us together just “make sense”? Maybe we do that thing that I wrote about what feels like forever ago and spend the day in bed, snuggled up together because there’s no place we’d rather be?

Told you I was a hopeless romantic…

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