Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Refl-Ex-ions of the Past

I saw Ex again this afternoon. She was walking down Oberlin toward Hillsborough Street, near the NC State Bell Tower. This time it was unmistakably her, which can only mean that she's back in school, probably working on a Master's Degree of some sort. I was tempted to pull over and offer her a ride, but I thought better of it.

For the next few hours I actually found myself fantasizing about a potential chance meeting in some eatery along Hillsborough and what the conversation would be about. Permutation after permutation wound their way throughout my mind like a boa constrictor until the life was drained from me.

I had almost begun to forget about her. The thrice daily prayers for her return to my life to no God in particular had dwindled to perhaps a once a week afterthought, and I was actively weighing options for looking for a new face to fill the loneliness. Then, almost as if by clockwork, Ex walks back into my view to remind me that she's still alive.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want her to NOT be alive, I just don't want to be reminded that she's alive and not with me! Or, perhaps more to the point, I don't want to be reminded that she's still with HIM, the guy she left me for.

It's really hard for me to get away from the sense that I was cheated out of something. I was, after all. But, after all this time (it will be three years the first week in June) what do I think Ex could possibly do to rectify my loss? I mean, she did give me almost a year of her life. But her cheating on me took almost three years away. The problem, of course, is that she can't give me back those years... I took them away from myself. I'm the one who allowed me to become saturated in a thick sauce of sadness and regret. And it was me who allowed myself to subconsciously place Ex in the familiar role of a mother who shouldn't have been my lover and who left me before I was ready.

The anger and misplaced jealousy that have kept me tethered to Ex for the last three years is the same anger and jealousy I experienced as a child, years before I realistically should have. The real tragedy here is that it is the debt of my mother which I have been waiting for Ex, and numerous others before her, to repay. It is a debt that has taken far more from me than Ex ever could. And, unfortunately, it is a debt that no one can ever repay.

So, I suppose if fate were to one day make that chance meeting with Ex occur in real life, rather than waiting for her to apologize to me for any supposed misdeeds, it might be in order for me to offer up my own apology to her. After all, no one should be made to pay for a crime they didn't commit.

Keep living life... or some approximation thereof.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Acting Like a Student

I feel worn out. I had to turn in a paper today for Dr. Mike's Developmental Psych class. The paper was a literature review and analysis of a study on mothers who were survivors of childhood sexual abuse. As part of the paper we had to summarize significant sections of the study, present several pros and cons of the author's methodology, and create two additional hypothetical studies related to the original study topic. According to Dr. Mike this should have been a five page paper. MY ASS! Mine was eight pages and no one I asked wrote less than six! Dr. Mike still contends that we probably wrote too much in trying to summarize our selected studies. Whatever!

I waited until the last minute, as usual, to write the paper. There's something about the thrill of intentional procrastination that works for me. Although, truth be told, I almost chose not to do the paper on time. It would have cost me a letter grade for each 24 hours that it was late. Since I can easily get an "A" on any paper that I write, taking an extra day to do a paper and taking a "B" isn't that big of a deal to me. Of course, that attitude costs me when the final grades are calculated.

Last semester, in Abnormal Psych, I had an 89.64 (a high B) before the final exam which meant that I needed to make an "A" on the final to guarantee an "A" for my final grade. Needless to say, that didn't happen, and I ended up with a "B". I could have made an "A" in the class if only I had turned in my term paper on time and gotten the 95 I deserved instead of the 85 that I received for being late!

It seems I am constantly locked in a battle between my desire to succeed and my utter lack of motivation. I know what I want out of life, but it is so easy to just sit back and do nothing, or let random distractions, like reading Raleigh's 20 year Comprehensive Plan for Growth, absorb my time (yes, I actually read stuff like that for fun... but that obsession is a whole blog post by itself!)

I suppose that leads to an important lesson of being a Lifer: Sometimes you have to do it today no matter how much you want to put it off until tomorrow. Granted, unless it is a life or death emergency, almost everything CAN be put off until a later date. But, there are times when the benefits of getting a job done immediately will outweigh the comfort of delay. We would never procrastinate directly doing something we enjoy, but we often procrastinate to do things (like homework) which indirectly lead to being able to do something we enjoy (like graduating college and getting a successful job). A key to having a life well-lived is to be mindful of these moments when the reward for action is more indirectly earned and to push through our natural tendency to maintain inertia. Perhaps, with a little effort, our dreams and goals will start to seem a lot more accessible as a result.

Have fun and keep living life... But stop procrastinating!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Marching in Place

March has been one of those months where things happen but nothing really moves forward. Odd, considering that the month is called "march".

Earlier this month I had tests again in my classes. I made an 80 (B) in Philosophy, an 86 (B) in Human Development, and a 72 (C) in Environmental Geology. I could have done better in Environmental, but I didn't keep up with the reading as well as I should have. This past week has been Spring Break, although I didn't do anything except stay at home and sleep at odd hours. Next week I need to work on papers as I have a five page paper due in both Human Development and Philosophy, and a two page paper due in Environmental Geology.

While practicing saber spins with my newest lightsaber I accidentally dropped it in such a way that the end cap came off and the battery pack slipped out and broke. Now, since the damage was my fault, I'm going to have to buy a new battery pack and learn how to solder the wiring so I can replace the broken one. Fortunately, a new battery pack only costs a couple bucks, and a new soldering iron less than $20. Still, it beats the shipping costs of sending the saber back in and paying for the repair.

I haven't mentioned my financial experiment because, much like this month, it hasn't gone anywhere. Thanks to the topsy turvy market over the last few weeks I've managed to lose $1000 and make almost all of it back, all without buying or selling stocks once!

The incident with Elizabeth helped to reinforce an idea which has been brewing inside me for about a year, namely that I need to find other 30-somethings to hang out with. I haven't enjoyed swing dancing for months because the crowd has been leaning more toward a 50-something age range over the last year. And, as much as I'd like to, I'll never really fit in with college aged kids who, on some level, see me as the "creepy old guy"!

The reason I sat at home and did nothing this past week is that I didn't feel as though I had anyone to do anything with. The friends who are my age, whom I relate to, are all living in Florida, Georgia, or California. In a way, for all the ways in which my life has progressed over the last few years, I'm still in the exact same position as I was the day I first met Ex. It's as though I've been marching in place the whole time. The only difference is I'm less likely to have a scowl on my face as I do it.

I feel like I've fallen through the cracks socially. In high school I felt more comfortable around teachers than around kids my own age. Then, I eventually fell off the face of the Earth for ten years as I chose to lock myself in the dungeon of the radio station. Now that I'm finally free I have no idea where or when to go to meet people my own age.

They say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. For me, at least, as I reflect on my situation, I'd have to say it's the other way around.

Have fun and keep living life... or some approximation thereof.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Toppling the Pins

A few weeks after I began bowling with Chris and his friends, Joe began bringing along a friend of his named Elizabeth. It should be noted that Joe is not dating Elizabeth, nor will he every get a chance to date her. That said, he is as protective of her as though he were pounding her nightly and twice on Saturday!

Elizabeth is a 22 year old, petite, sandy haired girl with glasses, a cute ass, small perky breasts which she plans to enlarge over the summer, and a thick nasally back country accent that makes you want to stuff a ball gag in her mouth to save your ears from the shrill. And, in case you were wondering, sure, I'd like to have sex with her.

You may already be seeing where this is headed, but let me add that Elizabeth is also into law enforcement, guns, country music, trucks, and really shitty action movies. Translation: She's likely a hard core conservative. And, while I did have a one-night stand with a conservative once, I have no desire to have a romantic relationship with anyone who can't appreciate Barack Obama for the delicious ebony god-among-men that he truly is!

Unfortunately (isn't there always an "unfortunately" in my stories?), because she's cute and conservative, I enjoy doing little things (flicking her ponytail or making lewd comments) to annoy her. Think of it like the boy in third grade who picks on the girl he has a crush on. Sure, its immature and stupid, but then so was voting for the McCain/Palin ticket! Here's where the problem developed: Rather than coming to me and telling me to stop, Elizabeth decided to complain to Joe and Chris. Of course, for Chris' part he couldn't care less but it creates a situation of divided loyalties. To make things easier for Chris, I agreed to sit out on bowling next week and let things cool down a bit.

I don't understand why I get so much joy out of antagonizing people. It isn't as though it serves a functional purpose; invariably it alienates me from people I enjoy being around. And it isn't like I can't be friends with people I disagree with. Some of the people I like the most are people who never cease to annoy me!

Sometimes I think of what I do as an initiation rite. The people I call friends are the ones who went through the antagonism and chose to stick around in spite of it. They are people I can respect because they have proven that they aren't two-dimensional and they don't see me as two-dimensional. For me to consider you a friend means you've successfully entered a pretty exclusive club.

Still... Club enrollment is down these days. Perhaps I should consider lowering the entrance requirements a little bit.

Have fun, and keep living life... Or some approximation thereof.
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