After... two or three years(has it been that long?), my old patron spirit came back to me. Considering he has always presented himself as a grey wolf, I think this expains alot of my behavior recently. Considering the connection, this could also explain the deer running towards Carol.
I am so glad I didn't go to the drag show last night. Friend of mine invited me, and I'm not a huge fan of them to start with because of the stereotypes they propogate and the fact that there's an infinitesmal chance that I would enjoy getting hit on by guys. This one I'm especially glad I missed, because by my friend's admission, both my ex and her new girlfriend were there tonight. That would not have ended well, considering that we're not exactly on speaking terms. Just thinking about that entire situation makes me feel dirty, so on to vaguely more pleasant news. This weekend as a whole threw me something for a loop, and it all sorta compounded on itself. Friday night made my head swim. I love my sister to death, but sometimes she just needs to learn when to just shut up and realize that I'm not just some guy. Her text messages put my head in a bad place to end one section of the night, and then I went out to dinner with her. It was nice to have a dinner out that I didn't have to pay for, but I just sat and listened to the conversation for two hours. I also had a drink, which put my head in an interesting place when I called a friend to hang out, to find out that they were still at the apartment, and she more or less invited me back when the hostess wanted everyone except one other person to clear out. I'm not really sure how I ended up being the bearer of bad news, but eventually we were kicked out, and I left. I don't know why this bugged me so much, but I would imagine part of it has to do with that between my classes, my work, my volunteer work, and my responsibilities to my family, I'm not going to have time to hang out all that frequently. This is going to lead to an inevitable drifting apart of relationships that have become closer than I expected them to be, and I don't see a way around that. I'll work on that, but on some level, I'm wondering if that wouldn't be a bad thing. There's so much history in this town for me, and so little of it feels like positive history. I've effectively lost CJ as a friend, Lindsey and Siobhan have drifted away because they spend so much time in the circles that I am now trying to avoid because I'm not gay enough for the GLBT community. Furthermore, there's only one person that I know who fits my standards for a long term partner, and she doesn't live in the area, and it has been made clear that I don't live up to her standards. There are two people who are holding me here, who live up to the important qualities I look for in people I keep in my life, but there are major stumbling blocks with married women and lesbians that make things too complicated to worry about a future with. I'm going to have to live closer to my own standards than I have in the past, and it's not going to be easy or pleasant for a lot of people.
Many of you who know my religious beliefs and are reading this post probably know that neither that issue or the one regarding questioning one's sexuality has been one that I've been completely able to shut out of my mind. We've put in the hard work the last two weeks or so to construct the walls around ourselves and our relationship that effectively say "if you walk within their halls, there are certain rules or conduct and understanding you abide by, or we will kick you out." I've only had to throw three people out so far. I'm ruing not keeping Pai in my life as much as have, because I'd be turning to her right now for advice on how to navigate the religion issue in relationships, though I think I have plan that will work in the meantime.
In other news, my family has basically adopted a second son, a friend of mine who was kicked out of his house and I asked my parents if he could move in with us until we're able to find an apartment that we both can live with. I've got one in particular that has peaked my interest, so we'll see how that goes. The problem with that situation is that I'm frankly not sure if I want to be living with anyone right now. Living with someone else would require a merging, or at least coexistence, of the lifestyles of two people. Considering who the frontrunner for that other person position is, I'm not really sure that living situation would be a positive one, for any number of reasons, including me feeling like I have to play Dr. Phil way more often than I want to. Having a girlfriend with roommates can cause issues as well. I look to Mr. and Mrs. Kohn for some useful advice with that answer, though I'm not sure they even read this blog. I have the offer of a one bedroom apartment in the unused downstairs of the parent's of a friend of mine from church if I'd like it, and for quite an affordable price at that. We shall see what happens with that one.
I have a winter break to watch some TV, read some good books, spend some quality time with people(and one person in particular) I really care about, and generally retain my sanity for the work, challenges and things that just seem to happen that I'm sure will occur next quarter. I've got the inside track to being posted to Great Lakes, though when that decision actually takes place really depends on where both logan and her sister are in their lives, and making sure that they are both at a place where a move halfway across the country is reasonable for them. That I'm even considering an event that it probably 18 months or more away as a given kinda tells you how I feel about it and the people that I would be asking to come with me. This blog post has drug on for far to long at this point, and though I think there was more I wanted to say(only posting every month or so will do this), but I'll leave it for now, or until it occurs to me.
This last week has been an interesting one for me. It's also been about a month since I've last posted here, so I thought it might do well to update people on my life and let them know I'm still alive. Unlike most of my other blogs, however, this one will not be posted on my myspace page, as it will probably contain anecdotes that would implicate various people in my current life with things that would get them in trouble or more cause more questions than its worth. To start the two weekends ago off, I went to a Halloween party, met a women there, and had a one night stand. The feminists in the audience are booing at this point, but I didn't expect to take her home with even 10 minutes before it happened, and with a fairly large amount of cajoling from both she and a number of my friends. I didn't expect it to turn into a one night stand afterwards either. I actually knew the woman I woke up to fairly well, and we had been moving towards dating for about two weeks. Thinking about it in the next couple of days, we mutually decided it was probably a bad idea, and didn't really have a future as a long-term, committed relationship. It was fun, and could have been something more if she didn't smoke, rave, or engage in serial sexual activities with relative strangers, among other things. I don't have any reason to worry about the after effects, but with that revelation, I'm going to get tested regardless. I only really figured out that the dealbreakers were hard and fast dealbreakers for me until after the sex. Mistakes are sometimes made by good intentioned people, and in this case, no one was emotionally or physically scarred by the situation.
Ironically, a committed relationship fell into my lap about 12 hours later. This is a situation where I've known the person for quite a while now and am fairly certain that if our friendship can endure the shit we've already been through, we're probably good until we're sixty. Kinda reminds me of the relationship I had with carrot top at northwestern, but that has a different dynamic to it. We're taking things slowly, as most of the drama we've been through involves our(ok, mostly my) lack of patience in the matter, and it ended up getting me really hurt last time we meandered into each others lives. I'm ok with taking the risk again, in part because she came to me with the suggestion that we date this time around. We spent most of tuesday, wednesday night and friday morning hanging out, getting reaquainted. I had an extra ticket to a Trans Siberian Orchestra Concert on saturday night, so we spent a while wandering around Seattle Center(Space Needle, etc) before the concert just hanging out. Apparently, I may shortly become the de facto father to her sixteen year old sister, but there's not very much committment involved there if I don't want there to be. We're involved in a club together, and there are a number of people important to us that might take exception to our relationship... which is why almost no one around here knows about it. I could lose my best guy friend, and in the extreme case, my job, over it, but considering my best guy friends were brad and maybe jeremy at Northwestern... what does that tell you about the quality of the guy friendships I usually have? My line of last resort for various levels of questioning has been "yeah, I have a girlfriend, you'll meet her when you meet her. Now leave me alone."
Sunday and most of today were used to catch up on work, write a gender studies trifecta of papers, which involved extensive use of my ability to bullshit my way out of fort knox, but they're done, and done reasonably well, so we'll have to see what happens. I also finished the take home/multiple choice section of another exam for developmental psychology, and a quiz in my human sexuality class. All of them cold. Such is life. I've got my application to the UWT already and packaged away, ready to hear back from NU's registrar, the college board, and TCC about when my grades will get to them so I can finish my B.A. and move on to my Ph.D program in clinical psychology at USUHS, in bethesda maryland. I've dropped about 10 pounds in the last month, so I should get to where I need to be 9-12 months from now when I'm finishing out my degree. That being said, I've really grown up. I don't really need anyone/thing to function properly, and I'm racking up success when i actually concentrate on me occasionally, so that I have things to give people when they ask.
Whew. Any questions about the inane details of my life, like my working 8:30-12:30 and 3-7 and going to classes from 12:30-2:30, feel free to ask, but I've covered the important developments that I care about above. Oh, I did write a two page affadavid this week, which apparently made the subject anxious and not particularly content. I signed my name under threat of perjury that I wasn't lying... so I can imagine it wouldn't make anyone particularly comfortable, considering that I didn't hold any punches about the mistakes I think she made.
The Brujah are a clan of action. Unlike the other clans who sit and complain about the way things are, the Brujah actually do something about it. Known for their intimidating demeanor and their ability to follow orders, the Brujah are the muscle of the undead. They are a violent group who fly off the handle very easily. They're not known for their intelligence, in other words, they're not very smart but they CAN lift heavy things so they are useful. Most Brujah fancy themselves to be anarchs and revolutionists but they'll use any excuse to start a fight.
For you to be a Brujah means that you don't care much for artsy culture but you do like to punch people. You probably listen to Metallica cranked all the way up and call yourself a metal fan. However, if anyone disagrees you will probably take them the f*ck out. You make your living by intimidation. In short the Brujah are either amazing revolutionists or muscle bound morons. You make the call.
Considering most of my past characters died trying to destroy the system with a fleebrained idea... this just makes me chuckle.
Fair warning, what follows below is personal and fairly stream of consciousness, so I apologize if it’s the absolutely incomprehensible, but that’s how I roll. That’s what comments are for. :-p Lately, I’ve found myself very confused. The situation that has given rise to my confusion is one that I’m not complaining about, it is simply one that I have never experienced to this same extent before… having people interested in me for who I am as a person, and not what I can offer them. With my sister, Kristen, Logan, Lindsey, Siobhan and even CJ I’m at a point where we’ve been through enough trials and know each other well enough to trust that if either person were in a jam, the other would do anything in their power to help them, with no strings attached. As with all solid friendships, there would probably be a debt incurred, but it wouldn’t have to be written down or even specifically quantified. That’s a level of trust that very few people have enjoyed with me, and in a number of cases, that trust came at fairly steep price for both parties involved… anyone who’s been paying attention knows that it’s a miracle that the three lesbians on the above list are still talking to me. In a related activity, I recently did some soul-searching to better understand what I was looking for in a partner and other people I want to include in my life, so that I could put that hamster in my head to rest before I went back to school. I’ve been trying to do this less because I’m actively looking for someone (though like anyone without someone “special”, I’d love to have someone, in large part because I feel the same social pressure that is common for those my age), but more to clarify those ideas in my own head so that it’s somewhat easier to figure out who and how to keep good people in my life. In short, those that I keep active in my inner life need to be ok with who I am, particularly when it comes to my ultimate goals. They also really need to know where they’re going in life and be making some attempt at getting to those goals. Everyone on the list above qualifies under those stipulations to a greater or lesser extent, but none of those same people qualify as possible partners, for a plethora of reasons. Trust me, there are some near misses on that list, but that’s a discussion for another time. I’ve been thinking a lot, particularly considering a quote from the movie “Elegy”: A comment from one guy in that movie to another: “Beautiful women are invisible; (look of shock) we're so dazzled by the outside that we never make it inside.” I would tend to agree, and I know that the tendency has caused me to be a guy that I don’t really want to be. Here’s the conundrum… the two people I am romantically interested in at this point are really unknown entities to me, though all indications are positive. That makes me seriously uncomfortable. The last time I landed in a relationship or deep friendship with this little information, it ended pretty badly, for me particularly. I based my commitment, actions, and feelings on outward appearances, without really considering what could have been going on with the other problem. The real problem here is the age old problem of intelligence gathering… I never really developed the socials skills I need to I find out the information I need to know without falling all over myself. It’s just a matter of overcoming the “Iaccoca balance” - the balance between needing so much information to make a decision that it paralyzes the process entirely and while having enough that you can make an informed analysis of the risks and rewards of any particular action. The problem is that you have to do that while knowing the information you have is still relevant to the particular situation. So begins the hamster trapped in a wheel that is my thought processes. Add to that my occasional inferiority complex, and you have a fairly complicated situation of me trying to balance my attraction and genuine caring for people, because both inwardly and outwardly, I haven’t figured out how to make those impulses cooperate with each other. I also haven’t had the time to talk to either person one-one to have a mature conversation about where I’m as far as they’re concerned. We shall see what happens, I guess.
Anyone who knows me well enough to actually say they know me appreciates exactly how fickle and unpredictable I can be at times. I've been considering that a lot recently, and I'm beginning to come to terms with that part of who I am. I have issues with financial matters sometimes, but there's really nothing that a good check ledger, an excel sheet, and talking to both my bankers and my dad every two weeks or so can't fix on that front. Sometimes I look down at the schedule that I've established for myself in a day that and realize that on a whim, I over scheduled myself from dawn to dusk. I'm also getting better at that, and the friends that I'm going to keep around understand that they don't necessarily fall at, or even near, the top of my list of priorities, and if something comes up, I will try my damnedest to make it up to them. Like that bouquet of flowers that appeared on your doorstep two weeks ago with no discernible owner. I doubt you realize it, but that was me repaying you for having to run to Seattle for a Pride event that I forgot about. I'm not perfect, and though the ASVAB disagrees, I'm not even close to being perfect. The closest I've managed to come is fairly balanced and driven. If something is worth it, I'll throw myself at it with everything that I have. Where I made my mistakes in the past was deciding was legitimately worth the effort. Teffie and mary anne, sorry, but at the end of the day, you weren't. Most of dcp wasn't worth it. The jury is still out on becky and nat, but I'm leaning towards not on the second one, and probably on the first. I'm making better choices these days, and driving towards the ultimate goal. I have a tillichian and buberian style sermon/post coming at some point on this subject in the next coupla days, but for right now, I've got work tomorrow and need to abuse the the time between now and 9:30 to recharge my batteries.
By request of the most concentrated source of happiness for me, I make a triumphant return to LJ to update people on my life. In short, its been relatively boring since I last post here. My quarter GPA for last quarter was a .68. That is not a typo folks, it was possibly the worst 10 weeks I've ever experienced, for reasons that have already been spoken about in this blog. As far as Lo/Nicci and I go, I kinda expect to preside over their weddings in like... 6-8 years. As far as the rest of my social life goes... friends are friends are friends. I'm refusing to be bullied into hanging out and doing something when all I want to do is kick back and read or finish up some work.
As far as work goes, I'm working three jobs: I'm the program coordinator for the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network for my county... which means that I'm responsible for every High School and College GSA in the county. I'm writing a grant for 15 grand to help us run programs and pay me something decent, which is due in... 8 days. I should probably get on that something fierier than what I am right now. I'm also working at the Museum of Glass selling tickets and tutoring at my local community college. Both of those has its "*shrug* it's a paycheck?" moments at this point, each has moments that keep me around and interested. I am in awe of the talent that Lino Tagliapietra exhibits in his work, and the visiting artists that we've had so far have reignited my desire to get back into the hotshop, which has in the past been a protected space for me to escape to.
I'm working on my bachelor's degree, if I can manage to get my transcripts in before hell freezes over, I should get into the Tacoma campus of the University of Washington. I've got a good feeling about this, particularly because I've worked out a preliminary agreement with the Navy to work as a chaplain/social worker for them when I get out of grad school, which is pretty nice.
I don't know if its the people I've managed to surround myself with, but I've had something of a creative explosion, recently. sketching, writing, and all the other forms of expression that I used to take for granted, and basically disappeared when I got involved with DCP and NU in general has begun to flourish again. I guess you don't miss something like that until its gone and you're able to reclaim it. In this same vein, I've started to DM a DnD campaign for some of my friends, which is enjoyable for me, but I let them know when I'm too tired/hectic/stressed to do the story justice(ironically, the most effective character in the campaign so far has been the BARD(go figure.)
I think that's enough for now. Sorta the balance between interesting and boring. Things are happening, but I'm kinda just grinding through things to get to my full potential. Also, I toss out to the meme that go me back into this thing:
1) Tell you an object I have that reminds me of you, and explain how/why it does so 2) Explain how I envision you as a fictional character (eg from a book, movie, imagination etc) 3) Tell you something I like about you 5) Ask you something I want to know about you. 6) Propose an adventure we should go on in real life (you should either agree or counter-propose XP) 7) In return, you post this in your LJ, and get may comments....oh the precious commentses...we likes them we do...
As most of the people who will actually read this journal know, the last three month or so have been... hectic and confusing for me, mostly thanks to the women involved in my life. I fell for a girl that I met through the Pride and Allies Club at my local community college, and became so enmeshed in her life that when she, a lesbian, admitted that she had a crush on me, I didn't even think twice about my answer. I would begin a week of events that would cause me an amount of emotional pain that has been rivaled only twice: a series of really bad days that would prematurely end my freshman year at Northwestern University with a series of suicide attempts, and the second conversation I had with Carol after having not talked to her in over six months, when she told me she'd been raped. This morning, I learned that this girl has officially fallen head over heels for someone, presumably a woman. I've been involved with the GLBTQ community and supporting the decisions of that community for a LONG time(9 years now), and I've never been closer to throwing in the towel and saying "I hope I never meet another lesbian or bi woman in my life" than I am right now. There's a modicum of the societal bias towards bi women (you just have to read the advocate to realize that BOTH lesbians and straight men commit this hubris, but I'm not gonna go into the gender politics of this country) and heterosexist bias here, but most of that feeling is the intense internal self-loathing that has developed from making a complete fool of myself for the last several women I cared about, and then grimacing at how much their successive relationships have proven my favorite saying "nice guy's finish last; as do women who prove it." To see why, you just have to look at a list of the people I was truly attracted to/cared and have been left or rejected for someone else:
Carol: Matt and some guy in Kentucky. Teffie: Mara. Mary Ann: Rachel and Sean. Logan: unknown woman, and before me, Jin-hui.
Considering how each of those has turned out so far, there isn't an example of good judgment in relationships on that list. There are only two, maybe three, people that I wouldn't be insulted to find my name next to. Call me superstitious, but that makes me not want to date anyone... because apparently I do something to people that makes them leave me and then make exceptionally bad decisions or be pretty miserable afterward. My logic then follows that if I truly care about someone, for their sake, I should stop feeling the way that I do to save us both the heart-ache. These musings led me to write this piece, reminiscent of why I earned the nickname "FIST":
I look around, but instinctively know that there is no one in the basement of my apartment building at 3am. 12 pounders, real “heavy bag” gloves, hang limply from the end of my arms. I send my cellphone skittering across the concrete floor, to lay dark and silent next to people who I could call with it. I slide to the balls of my feet, languidly twisting my hips to slowly release the caged beast that has been clawing at my ribs for the last 16 hours. I begin slowly, building my momentum, glove meeting leather in a steady rhythm, working myself through a progression of strikes that my body slides in to as easily as a sailboat slipping beneath 15 foot swells on the Bering Sea.
Finally unhindered, my mind follows my body into the roiling seas, and each jab punctuates a thought like a carriage return at the end of a paragraph. These seas act like a gigantic trommel, tossing the smallest selfish thoughts through the earliest. The first thing to fall through is my concern for money. Financially, I manage, soon to be working 60 some hours a week between 4 jobs, even though I’ll pay 500 bucks a month, plus utilities, for a room in a house that needs more work than my character, and volunteer as a tutor at the Tacoma Rescue Mission to cut down on the cost of food for myself. My parents see their son working that hard on something non-academic as a step backwards, but they don’t know that my boxing and work are pushing me much farther than academics ever did.
That’s why I started boxing, so that I didn’t have to slow down. If I don’t keep my brain running, I feel like eventually my past would catch up with my present and future and tear them to shreds. It’s hard to escape that thought for me; the last three years have been littered with more tatters than anything else. The holes have had names like Northwestern, Carol, Americorps, Mary Ann, Logan, transfer applications, April 16th, 2007, and any number of others. Each one of those holes makes me wonder what I can do differently, what I can do better. Why did I deserve a second, third, fourth, and fifth chance to get this all right when many don’t get more than one? I know the margin for error is shrinking; this time, I have the hopes and aspirations of three other fighters resting on my ability to hold things together.
My heart aches when I think about the question one of those people asked me three days ago “Are you gonna be my daddy?” I and his mother know the answer to that question is no. She’s nearly ten years my elder and there’s mutual respect, but we’re both interested in other people as long-term companions. Yet, until someone better qualified comes along, I can’t help but take that role on, for the boys’ sakes. I hope each meeting of glove on bag holds at least part of the hard lessons that I hope to teach them, because I haven’t had half the struggle any of them has had, which is pretty embarrassing considering I could legitimately be the father of two of them. If I don’t learn these lessons, it’s going to be hard to teach them.
I get to the end of my normal routine, my arms and legs aching, my left wrist splitting where I broke it punching the steel side of an elevator three months ago. It isn’t enough, and I add another set of punches, just like I have every time I have a chance to come down here. I push myself in an attempt to reveal the inner and outer strength I know is buried under the things and people who I let knock me down, over and over again. I’m actively trying to break my body and mind in half, to prove to myself that I can survive getting knocked down, getting off the mat, broken hand in tow, a few more times. Only I really seem to appreciate that both my mind and body will be broken more often than not before I reach my goals, but that I WILL get to them.
I drop to my knees, offer a small prayer of thanks to all those people who helped me survive just one day longer, and strip off my gloves. I head for the showers, knowing that after 10 minutes under the warm water in my apartment, no one besides me will know the sweat, the blood, or the collected insulation dust settling into my hair was ever there. My knowing is more than enough for now.
Rereading and writing all of this has left me pretty drained. I don't even know if half of that makes sense, I'm just left with this smothering desire to hold Nat for some reason. Cynically, I feel like that's probably because she didn't play games. I'm gonna end this post before I get myself in any more trouble. Peace out.
It has been almost two months(or so) since I've posted here on LJ, mostly because there really hasn't been all that much to report. I'm still taking classes, social psych, abnormal psych, intro to education, arabic, and a tutoring practicum, for which I tutor 2 or 3 dozen math, science, english, and psych classes. Those who don't know me or my parents that well might take that course load and my success in those classes as a triumph, especially considering where I was 6 months ago. Yet, I still can't get the bitter taste out of my mouth. I left my prospective roommates to take care of the rent because I couldn't balance my life effectively, and I owe eric and emily a face to face, sincere apology for that. Considering the idiocy that has, at least temporarily, tainted DCP's good name, I am reassured that my decision to leave Illinois was the correct one. Even still, I am not sure when I'm going to have the time or desire to come back and face the loose ends I left there, even given the things that still call me back to Chicago.
My friends and I watched "Girl, Interrupted" two nights ago, after a long trip up to Bremerton to help move someone down to Tacoma. There was quite a lot of uncomfortable drama during that move out, but it felt nice to have a group of people around who aren't too busy with school, or life to be there for me. I fell asleep halfway or so through the movie, but it's still one that is a litte too close too home for comfort. A lot of the time, Waukegan felt a lot like an asylum, where I'd been placed to "get better" or "grow up" or whatever it was that people thought I needed to do. It also reminded me that there is some family you choose and some you don't, those that you choose show you that they're family regardless of the situation, regardless of who you are or become, by your own choice or not. I guess, in a way, it makes sense that I found a family among half a dozen lesbians. Go figure, right?