The In-Between

I wish I didn’t feel such a great need to understand everything. I’m not talking about how computers work or anything like that. That sort of stuff has answers, as complicated and confusing as they are. I’m talking specifically about the question why. WHY do I feel the need to question everything? WHY does this person act like that, WHY did this or that happen? I want to understand intention and the way everything fits in the universe but at the moment I’m stuck on my own role in all this mess.

If I had a job I’m sure it would be a less daunting question. We’re all insignificant, but working for the Man or at least someone creates a sense of purpose. Make money doing a job you hate, or love, and then spend it on stuff you want or need or trips you want to take or whatever you want, really. Create fulfillment. But I’m still looking for a job since the store that I’d worked at closed, and I don’t have those opportunities.

I could take the easy way out and work in retail again or even In N Out. They make good money. But now I have this stupid thing called standards and want to find something stable. I don’t want to commit, especially when I don’t know exactly what I want to do, but I don’t want to work in a glutton factory anymore. Glutton for materialism, glutton for food, whatever. I don’t want to sell people shit they don’t need or food that will kill them. I don’t want to work with people at all, really, but that’s probably asking for too much.

So in the mean time I apply for jobs and go to interviews and nothing works out and this feeling of inadequacy grows. Logic is no match for the simplicity of emotion. As if emotion is anything but intensely complicated. But it does what it wants and despair is a tough feeling to conquer. I’m lucky to have parents who continue to support me while I continue to try and try and try but I’m starting to wonder why, why, why.

Like I could move back to Maine. I don’t have family there anymore but I have friends. I could fly back to LA twice a year for my school workshops. I was hot shit in Portland. I stood out. But it’s different here. There’s nothing like being surrounded by flawless females to crush a girl’s confidence. Then again, that probably has a lot to do with the whole dating thing not working out. I couldn’t have decided to give up on that game at a better time. Sometimes giving up really is just for the best. It’s not like having a boyfriend matters. My standards are really not that high for what I want at this point, as far as commitment goes, anyway. But somehow it always ends in disappointment and disappointment is tiring.

Then there are my friends. I have a few excellent ones, which is great, but this crew as a whole is just so unreliable. I don’t know. Maybe it’s me. I don’t like the way it works, the one-on-one or little groups or big parties. Why can’t it be a handful of friends, nothing prepared to death or rager reliant? Why do we always have to go out to dinner or a bar or fucking trapeze class or Palm Springs? Whyyyy do people need to plan even the littlest thing on Facebook? Why can’t we get a group together and hang at home, drinks some beers, maybe smoke some weed, and watching a fucking movie? Maybe I’m just not invited to those casual hangouts. It’s possible. Probably not. But maybe. But everyone has their stupid little drama and I’m sorry friends, but it really is stupid. It shouldn’t be so difficult to get a handful of people together, but it is because one person already has plans and someone doesn’t like someone else.

I like the mix of chicks and dicks that I grew up with, a mix that apparently doesn’t really exist here, because maybe men and women really can’t just be friends. Or maybe it’s just me. Is it? That’s the worst question and I’m sure if I actually asked, I wouldn’t get a straight answer. I miss my old friends, the ones I’ve known since middle school. I miss the friendships that are reliable and rock solid. I liked having a small crew of people who all liked each other, who had gotten over the bullshit years ago. It takes years of interest and effort to create that and I want it now. Right now. But I don’t even know who’s a reliable choice and who’s got that brand of LA flake that I’m learning to hate and simultaneously become.

I don’t like this in-between.

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Run For Your Life

You know those slasher films, where the stupid teenagers decide to split up to go looking for a murderer? The movies where you KNOW what’s going to happen and you just DON’T UNDERSTAND why those teenagers are such idiots? Well I’m pretty sure that can be applied to relationships too. Like when you see your friend making the same mistakes she always makes while you’re just sitting there like WHY CAN’T YOU SEE WHAT YOU’RE DOING?

But then you end up in the exact same position with the most successful tunnel vision that’s ever occurred in the history of mankind. We all have certain patterns that we’re comfortable with which tends to cause history to repeat itself. To what extent do we try to change these habits, though? To what extent should we accept certain aspects about ourselves, rather than trying to change them, and instead make the most of what we have?

At some point we’re all saddled with some sort of baggage. I mean all a relationship really is is two people whose issues are compatible. Try as we might to improve our weaknesses, we’re all flawed and we always will be.

Compromise: Lowering My Standards So You Can Meet Them

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Karma.  What goes around comes around.  Summer and winter, fire and water.  Yin and yang.

Blah and blah and blah some more.

In the past, I have not had particularly high standards for the guys that I have dated.  I had this idea of what I wanted but I pursued it with people who I wasn’t right for and who weren’t right for me.  This may sound like a fairly typical thing for people to do, but I go about it a bit differently.  These people who aren’t suited for me are, in my opinion, pretty obviously so.  If I were a sane human being, these are things I would have noticed (and done something about) after a month or two.

Ah, but I am me, and thus… well… you know.

I like to give people chances to prove themselves, chances far beyond what’s reasonable.  I’m great at overlooking the negative in favor of the positive.  Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t.  It’s when the negative shouldn’t be overlooked that I get myself in trouble.  I haven’t been great at distinguishing what’s an acceptable flaw and what isn’t.

We all have them.  Flaws, I mean.  If this is something you have not yet realized…

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I recently went on a few dates with one guy.  By the third date there were little things that were already starting to drive me crazy.  I could already see our future together and in consisted of me being constantly annoyed by him.  My first reaction was to try to see past it and to focus on all the things I liked about this guy.  We had a lot in common and conversed pretty easily.

Yeah well, those are the worst.  Reasons.  Ever.  Do you know how many people are out there who I could say the same about?  You probably don’t and it’s because THERE ARE SO MANY.  That’s like, the most basic criteria for a relationship ever.

Ever.

I really do not have to give every single person I meet a chance.  There are SO many potential suitors out there.  Why in the world would I settle just because we like the same books?  Like seriously.  Having things in common is definitely a plus but is NOT the be all, end all of a relationship.  Not by far.

And there I was, considering trying to change who I am in order to accommodate this guy who was more or less still a stranger, who had given me absolutely no reason to do so.  Like what is that?  Why in the world would I do that?

Given my history, this isn’t surprising in the slightest, but if I don’t learn from my history then I am doomed to repeat it and that is something I don’t particularly want to do at all, thanks.

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Nope.

I mean it’s really not difficult for my standards to be higher than they previously were, but apparently I am now too picky, according to Carey.  And she hears about every god damn detail of my meager dating life, soo…

I really don’t think that’s true, but even if it is, it’s still better than my former approach, so I don’t really mind.  I’m not aggressively pursuing anything serious right now anyway, so why would I bother with guys who I’m not attracted to or don’t really interest me?  Why should I waste my time on date after date, hoping that things will improve, when I wasn’t that interested in the first place?

After several failed attempts in the whole boyfriend department, I’ve learned what definitely doesn’t work for me and I’ve learned to respect certain aspects of myself that just aren’t going to change.  Unfortunately, those are aspects that I don’t exactly like, but try as I might, I’m unable to change, and I think that’s ok.  There was a time when I felt like I needed to improve everything about myself, and while I’m all for acknowledging weaknesses and addressing them, not everything that’s “wrong” is a weakness.

So I’m easily irritated.  It’s probably just a reflection of the sort of mood I’m in, and if I’m in a mood, the best thing for me to do is just be by myself.  I like being alone, so this really isn’t a problem.  So if I need to be alone, I just go be alone.

I’m sensing a theme here, actually, with this whole “alone” thing.  I just don’t have time for any of you plebeians.  I can’t be bothered.

It's possible that I've used this one before, but come on.
It’s possible that I’ve used this one before, but come on.

Eh, really though.  My time is valuable.  It’s valuable to me.  I see nothing productive coming from investing much of it to giving everyone I meet two or three or ten chances.  I already tried that.  It didn’t work too well.  If it were my dream to befriend every living human on this planet, then I would be all about that. As it is, I find most people to be terrible and I don’t really want to meet them at all.  Maybe that’s horrible and self-absorbed of me.  I don’t care.  I’m trying something new.  I’ve gone from one end of the spectrum to the very other and it’s actually working out pretty well so far.

Go fucking figure.

So rather than changing these parts of myself, these parts that cause me some problems, I’m just learning how to live with them in a constructive way.  Because when I’m annoyed and need to be alone, I usually end up writing.  Sounds like a win-win all around.

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Super.

I’ve kind of got an idea of who I am and what I want.  I expect a lot from myself and as such, I hold other people to the same standard.  I want to surround myself with exceptional people and won’t settle for anything less.  So haters to the left, k?

To Live Would Be An Awfully Big Adventure

I’ve lived in LA for 8 months now and I think that’s pretty cool. Not because it’s any sort of landmark or anniversary or anything, but because I made a very life altering decision and have thus far been pretty successful.  I’m particularly proud because I decided to leave right when I’d really gotten my shit together back in Maine.  I was quite content.  No better time to leave when you’ve grown roots, right?

I had a pretty nice job, playing with dogs all day, and was writing constantly.  I was going out a lot, though not nearly to the same extent I had just a few months before.  Yeah…  I mean…. yeah.  That’s not to be repeated.  I had successfully managed to make a solid group of new friends in addition to my closest old ones.   I was pretty popular, if I do say so myself.

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Then I was like “kay, peace out y’all, moving to Cali where I don’t know anyone and am going to have to start all over.  See ya never.”

BTW, by never I mean the beginning of July, because that’s when I’ll be back, if ever so briefly.  Hide yo wives, hide yo kids.  Shit’s gonna be cray.

Ripping up those roots and moving was difficult.  I’m not even going to pretend it wasn’t. Like it was really, really difficult.  I knew Portland life would only make me happy for a limited amount of time though, and it was already coming to an end.  So sure, it was hard, but it was so good.  Removing myself from everything that I knew was an enormous zap of life.  It put everything into perspective.

I needed that change to learn what I really wanted… and what I didn’t want.  It was a very good decision paired with a very bad one.  I can’t say I regret my mistakes, so that’s good.  I’ve certainly learned from them.  It’s too bad I have to make certain mistakes at all, but hey.  That’s just me.  I’ve always been selfish, particularly so with this move.  It was bad but also good.

The thing about that selfishness is that I was learning my worth.  I don’t always need to put others’ happiness before my own, particularly not for the sake of convenience.  I don’t always have to make it work.  Once upon a time I would have felt bad about hurting someone else in order to not hurt myself.  Buuut yeah.  That’s kind of dumb.  I’m sure not going to feel bad about doing what’s best for myself.

Regardless, that decision was hard.  Of course it was.  The decision I’m referring to is the removal of a once important person from my life.  It became much less difficult when that person proved just how right that decision was.  It was still hard though.  Apparently I can’t re-iterate that enough.  That’s just life I guess.  We’re all just specks of dust in the vastness of this universe.  Our universe could just be a speck of dust among infinite other universes.  It’s all endless.  Difficult choices must be made.  Stuff happens.  We have people we don’t want to deal with, second chances to give, third chances to resist, heartbreaks to be had, on and on and on.  And that’s all before the first cup of coffee.

No matter how difficult the decision, it must be made.  Life must be lived.  Whether it’s the right choice or the wrong one, something has to happen.  Life isn’t stagnant, regardless of how involved you choose to be.  It will move on and leave you behind.

That situation was unfortunate and the choice laid out for me quite inconvenient.  But I didn’t want to get left behind.  I couldn’t continue down a road that was making me miserable.  I had things in my life that I needed to focus on, things that I found far more important.  Things that I needed to pursue so that I could be happy.

Cutting off a limb is tough, even if it’s totally diseased and you know it’s going to infect your entire life and eventually kill you.  Like hey, I’ve had that leg for a pretty long time and it has some sentimental value.  That leg and I had some good times together.  And the doctor is over there like “shut up please, otherwise YOU WILL DIE” and finally you’re just like ok well I guess I don’t want that to happen.

So you cut it off and it’s not so great at first but then you’re like whatever, I’m alive, might as well make the best of it.  So you do and it all works out.

I’ve made new friends.  I’m even closer with the ones I left on the other side of the country.  I like the way that my life is going.  I’m happy.

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That was the point, after all.

I Go To Seek A Great Perhaps

The catalyst was a question.  “I wondered if you’d ever love me as much as him.”

The answer was no.

The reason was that I didn’t want to feel that way again.

False.

Not that I knew it at the time.

Morgan’s wedding was the first nudge.  More like a huge push.  There were so many connections to be made, and so many connections that I couldn’t make.  That I found myself wanting to make.

Then, of course, there was the couple themselves.  They were so in love.  They were perfect.  Their story was perfect.  It wasn’t a movie, and it was real.

I didn’t have it.  I wanted it.

So I tried to go about it in my current relationship and failed.  Utter failure, but at least not for lack of trying.  It wasn’t there (you know, that inexplicable something you just have with the right person), but I was still trying to convince myself that it was me, that I wasn’t allowing myself to feel feelings that were definitely there.

The next nudge was New Year’s and the stupid, embarrassing drunk fighting.  I knew what that meant.  I’d done it plenty of times before.  And then San Diego, when all I could think was how great it would be if it was just me and Kari out at the bar.  No responsibilities.

I am not a responsible person.  I have the attention span of a child on crack and my ability to commit to anything is on par with a rock.  I took a small load of laundry on my flight 3,000 miles across the country to do at my parents’ house because I’d run out of quarters.

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Being back at home was it.  It was under unfortunate circumstances, but an intense relief.  I’d left with an “I don’t think this is working” and a confirmation via text a few days later.  Not my finest moment.  Space was what I needed, and seeing my friends more than anything else.

I can’t say exactly what it was that made everything ok.  It was all familiar and comfortable, but that’s not it.  It was a reminder that not everyone was staying, that much of that familiarity would eventually leave, just like I had.

Alright, I’m listening to Tom Petty, and the lyrics were literally just I’m learning to fly.  How convenient.  That was it though, I think.  That we’d all gone through difficult times in the past several years, and everyone was finally at some level of being ok.  I’d gone out and done something completely out of my comfort zone without a second thought.  I’d done it because I believed in myself.  And yeah, it kind of sucked for the first few months, as much as I tried to convince myself that it didn’t.  Everyone else was ok, and I would be too.

Sidenote: How abysmally sad is it that we’ve gotten to the point that our old crew will never all be in the same spot at once, no matter how hard we try? There will always be someone who couldn’t make it, stuck in a different state across the country.  Or South Korea.

the notebook rachel mcadams gif i waited

Back to California I went, sure of my decision, minute nagging doubt aside.  Because I’d finally realized something, with Morgan happily Snap Chatting us snippets of her married life, another friend in constant contact with a new love interest, and yet another friend planning on meeting her boyfriend’s parents.

I was totally sure I had it figured out.  It’s not like the movies, it’s not magical, not intense, not everything I’d expected and wanted.  I learned that by getting my heart broken.  I thought that was hindsight, and I was wrong.

He was nice and that was good.  I desperately needed nice.  It wasn’t enough though.  He loved Star Wars and I preferred Lord of the Rings.  It never could have worked.

I’m sure that at some point Jenn will read this.  Yes, I still read your blog, and no, you are not the one who ruined my idea of love.  That as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, 100%.

It’s not ruined though.  It was just confused for a little while.  One year, to be exact.

Now I am single and on the prowl once more.  Watch the fuck out.

(Not you, Jenn.  Just, like, the world in general.)

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