I would much rather have slept in this morning. I was up IM'ing with Sasha until quite late, talking about sex and porn and movies and just general silly stuff. She got an A on her physics final, which makes me proud of her: it means that she did the work and actually tried, which is more than I have come to expect from a lot of people.
This morning I am having difficulty concentrating. I suppose that's not completely abnormal, but today it seems more pronounced for some reason. I know what I need to do, it's not that hard.
What I'm feeling: I can't really identify. It's like there is a blanked draped over me that I can't get past, or that I don't really want to try to get past. I'd really just like to scoot by on autopilot. Let the day go by, I'll work on my little project and the rest of the world can just leave me alone.
I have some good friends. They let me know on occasion that they are thinking of me and miss me. It really helps. Last night in talking with Sasha, I found out that she was often feeling lonely, and this really surprised me. She is a beautiful, sexy young woman, and quite fun to be around. And no, she is not my big crush. I'm a little too old for her. More's the pity.
Pot roast last night. The crock pot is a wonderful thing, and I am quite happy with the results. Healthy food that is tasty makes me happy. I got a lot of fruits and vegetables when I went shopping, lean meats and soups and beans. I am not a vegetarian by a long shot, though I respect those who choose that path. I am just too much of a meat lover to be able to be meatless in the long term.
I was a dog in a former life.
I miss my dog. She is my sweetie, who loves me completely and utterly no matter what. When I'm feeling down she knows it and comes to comfort me, and licks my nose. But she doesn't understand why Barb and I are not together, and when I am back home she frets because we don't sleep in the same bed. It's turned her life upside down, and I can't explain it to her. It breaks my heart.
Lunchtime, and I've progressed through the day. Getting some stuff accomplished, though it's frustrating because many of the external elements that I'm designing to are changing as people are actually getting to them. And we're not talking simple changes either, we're talking major architectural changes that require me to go back and shuffle my design around to accommodate them.
Sometimes I get tired of it. For instance, with the interprocess communication, they changed a major part of it, abstracting it even further. Those abstractions make sense for large, complex messages, but for my simple little on/off style messages, it's tremendous overkill. So I bypassed it entirely, and created a simple message system. Of course, this pissed off one of the developers of the big IPC system because I wasn't using the object message base class that they had designed, but when he saw what I had done, he had to admit it was much simpler and faster. And a significant portion of the messages are simple, like 80% of them.
Of course, having to do all of this additional crap means that my design is slowed down. I am breaking ground, and when stuff isn't defined, I have to define it and create it so that others may use it.
I think I will take a portion of tonight and clean the apartment. More of a straightening really, getting rid of boxes and bags from the moving in, washing dishes (with a dishwasher), and maybe a load of laundry. Maybe some TV watching tonight. I'm trying to learn to relax-- it's been so long that I've been needing to try and do something all the time that doing nothing produces great anxiety. It's like somewhere along the line I became a type-A personality without recognizing it. Part of it is probably that I've been distracting myself, keeping myself from confronting the problems that have been in the relationship. But there was also a several-year period where money was really tight and things looked pretty bleak, and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make money. That never really went away.
But I also have to counter that with the ability to make decisions, and to take action when it is necessary. Something that I have learned is that it is almost always better to do something than to do nothing, even if that something turns out to be the wrong thing. Certainly it pays to plan and look forward as much as you can (Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance), butthere are times when you have to make a decision that was something nobody planned for.
Fear is a monster best left unplugged.
When you fear something, you give that thing power over you. I used to be afraid of the dark until I was in my early 20's. My father died, and as part of a process of introspection, I decided that the fear was completely irrational and I had to conquer it.
So one night I drove out to a secluded part of the woods in a state park near my parent's house. I took a blanket and walked into the trail for a while until I came to a small clearing, and there I unrolled the blanket and laid down.
I closed my eyes.
The woods are full of sounds at night.
My imagination ran pretty wild. I was scared. But I held my ground, and kept my eyes closed.
And then I heard the footsteps.
Not even footsteps exactly, but there would be a few steps, then a pause, then some more steps, like someone was searching for something.
And they kept coming closer.
And suddenly a huge clawed hand reached out and grabbed my chest. I screamed like a little girl and sat up.
And I scared the shit out of the curious squirrel who had jumped up on me.
I started to laugh, and I think I laughed for what felt like hours. And I haven't been afraid of the dark since.
And with this breakup, I realized that I have been afraid to be alone. So I've taken a course of action which forces me to be alone, or at least alone in the sense of not being in a relationship and relying on somebody else for a lot of my sense of security and well-being. I need to be self-reliant, which I know I can be, but I need to balance that with being open and able to trust. And that is an order of magnitude harder.
I need to become self-confident, but without becoming egotistical.
I need to become self-aware, but without becoming self-centered.
Confidence building. For me, the only way that I know is to set goals and then strive to reach them. For instance, one of my goals is to make a short film by my next birthday. I think that is achievable, but I am in Iowa probably until the end of the year or even early next year. That means that I have to do all of the preproduction from down here.
Another goal that I have involves weight loss and getting in shape. That one isn't a time-based goal because I have no idea how long it will take, but I know it's important for so many reasons. It involves a change of lifestyle, and a rather drastic one at that. But as it turns out, this is a really good time for it because I have to make so many drastic changes anyway.
I wish I felt better about the whole thing.
I suppose that time will make it all better. Eventually, all will be well. But the changes come gradually, and not in the big epiphany that I want. I don't want it to take time. I don't like being in pain. I don't like being unhappy.
Then there's dating.
I'm still tied up with being in a relationship. I like being in love. Truly, madly, deeply in love. And I don't know how to get that back. I know that it's not going to just pop up one day. I know that I am very cautious when it comes to relationships, and I will probably be even more cautious in the future, when I should probably be less cautious. I need to be able to risk and date and be curious and see what happens. But I'm sure not ready for that right now.
So how will I know when I'm ready? Will there be a little plastic turkey pop-up that will tell me when I'm done?
I don't think so.
So I have some goals and a timeframe. And when I have hit both, I will see if I feel ready to start dating again. And perhaps take it slowly and see how things go.
I have the feeling that dating now is a lot different than dating was way back when. Particularly since I'm a lot older.