Captain Kirk sent Calvin the message by de-magnetized scrabler. The message stated to Calvin of the recent Kling-off invasion of the third moon of Jovan. The message also stated truth, justice, and the United Federation Way. The Kling-offs represented the symbol of eneminess. The slime people of Jovan were in need of help. Calvin readied his strato-cruiser and prepared his favorite meal. Frotos and crasberry bread will be just the nourishment during the long journey at warped-out speeds.
In the West, most people associate the art form of bonsai with Japan. Although most bonsai designed today by Western artists follow the traditional philosophies and techniques for bonsai that have been developed in Japan, the roots of bonsai are in China.
Approximately two thousand years ago, the Chinese literati, men of great wealth and education, would travel from the cities into the countryside to contemplate nature, write poetry, and paint.
They soon discovered that they could also create artistic representations of nature by collecting small trees from the countryside, placing them in pots, and training them to resemble their full-size brethren.
Using wires, weights, and levers, these early bonsai artists created trees that had the look of majestic, old trees that had weathered the extremes of nature and survived.
Maybe when I was spending all that time avoiding dating, maybe I should have spent that time figuring out how to prevent the worst things from happening when I went to date again.
In general, I like me more when I’m not with someone else, and I have to figure out why.
I question myself more.
I defer to their opinions, let them win arguments for the sake of keeping peace, say I’m sorry when I should hold my ground (and hold my ground when I should let it go and change the subject), and think things are my fault when they aren’t or it’s not important.
I think about the other person too much.
At any time I am acutely aware of what they want and what I can get from them. I become a little obsessed, wanting to know everything about their thoughts, day, past, etc.
I go into hopeless story-book romantic mode.
My soft center under the hard shell starts to show, which is okay, but it’s too much. I start to trust and idealize the other person too much, opening up myself to being hurt easier. I start to have a hard time seeing myself without that person.
I start to lose a strong sense of self.
In deferring some of my opinions and identity to the other person, I become passive pre-feminism Cindy who constantly wonders what he might want.
I become afraid to be honest.
Normally I’m blunt and crass. I’ll still be honest, but I’ll be less sure about it. I’ll suddenly wonder about potential consequences that normally me and my life code don’t give a rats ass about. I start to fear what fully disclosing some of the crazy, negative, unstable thoughts I sometimes have. The temptation to hide my flaws and pretend I’m more normal than I am suddenly occurs to me when I’m normally not a self-conscious person.
I expect to spend more time with the other person than I should.
When I’m with the other person, I try to get too much out of each moment with them. I can follow the person around, touch a lot, become clingy. I constantly want to do things for the person and set my own stuff aside in anticipation of spending more time with them or doing something for them. I begin to spend less time with friends.
Okay, now that I have some things I’ve identified about the past, how can I turn that into things I need to make sure I do?
Don’t question the person you put forward.
This is the same person that a guy initially saw something interesting and good about. Whatever it is about you that made them want you was real. If they don’t still see it after they get to know you better, then it’s okay. Turns out you aren’t for each other and things have naturally run their course. Not everyone you date is potentially someone you’re supposed to be with or be with for a long time. If they potentially are that person, you don’t have a lot of control over that manifesting. You can’t force what isn’t right, and changing yourself to fit better will not lead to any kind of happiness. Keep your identity and remember how awesome you are even with the flawed, human bits. If they can’t handle you on a bad day, it’s doomed anyways. We all have bad days. You don’t need to be constantly proving yourself as worthy of their respect.
Your opinions are as valid as theirs.
Maybe they are even more so because they are yours. You don’t need to agree on everything to be with someone. You date geeks. Geeks like to argue and be right. Still, two people should be able to respect each other’s views enough not to argue a lot, or not to let a discussion get out of hand.
Don’t blame yourself.
It’s probably not all of your fault, if placing blame is even worth it. Move past whatever it is rather than wasting time on arguments, hurts, and negativity. If you start to see a pattern you don’t like, address it calmly. If you can’t live with it, let it end things rather than caving. Focus on your own needs, after all, you are number one. They should also be that to themselves. If they are strong enough to be with you, they will make their wants and needs known calmly and reasonably while standing on their own.
You don’t need to know everything.
Yeah, this person must be cool if you’re with them. Knowing everything won’t make them more cool. What are you looking for exactly? Are you trying to read the future? Let things happen at a normal pace and get to know them as they open up to you, not as you pry at them. Intense doesn’t equal better always. There’s no need to cling on, as it might take away from the specialness of an intimate moment.
Embrace that you don’t know how long the good times will last.
All good things come to an end. Life ends. Make sure you’re still there to find something else after it is. I’m not saying plan for it to be short, but plan to be able to exist beyond this.
Don’t lose your friends.
Make plans with the friends. Invite him, but if he’s not up for it, still go. Don’t cancel plans for him unless it’s an emergency, rare occasion, or you really don’t want to go out. If he hates a friend of yours, tough noogies. If he makes you feel bad for your friends or for going out with them, it’s a clearly marked warning sign.
Do more self-full acts than selfless.
You like taking care of people. You’re a big-sister at heart and a motherly type. That’s okay to a degree. You need to work on yourself first, and if that’s going well, feel free to give some of the extra to the person you care about. If you suffer, you both suffer. You’re not actually mom. You still need to come first.
And with that pep-talk I feel a little better. If I draw these things into the open for myself, it makes it that much harder to go into bad habits.
The same things that make many shades of gray also say that failure isn’t an end, it’s a temporary setback, or even better, a new beginning.
You can do it all again. You’ve proven you can go so far, take the risks, push the barriers, and for a second, maybe you even poked through. Take from and value the experience, no matter how bad at the time, the best you can. Let it hit you, let it pass through you, move beyond it.
As we grow up we think of the far off distances that come to us sooner than one would think possible. Hopefully we grow not only in age, but we learn to have minds of our own, how to come to conclusions on our own based not only on outside sources, but our own unique inner voice. Hopefully we find a voice to speak it with. Maybe that voice reaches someone and changes someone’s world for the better.
We have to remember to keep taking, singing, and expressing as you grow without self censorship for both yourself and others. Learn to love yourself. Continue listening to those other voices. Allow them to become clearer as you can discern more subtleties as time goes on. The trained ear hopefully still can learn to hear something new and never cease being inspired.
Know that you turned out fine. No one is one hundred percent, so it’s nonexistent and a non issue. We’ve all been screwed, screwed up ourselves, even other people, and still we somehow survive. Because we survive, we can seek more than to just be the base line. Give living a purpose.
It scares me when definitions become too loose or too solid. The balance of chaos, change, and chance balances precariously with the safe foundation of stability. We look for the right choice knowing there is none. We search for salvation when we just want to be okay and unattainably perfect.
We teach ourselves to be above average with the risk of failing and flailing as often as floating. We want a community to belong to while fostering our uniqueness and independence. Do what you can with what you have time and time again and do your best to stay above the current in the river of time.
We live in a time with virtual community, more and more variation and possibility, as well as pitfalls. For every opportunity to focus there is a easier way to fall. Bounce back. Bounce back. It’s never too late, but never use that as an excuse to put it off forever.
At least part of this has the right idea, and that’s enough to feel some pride that pushes me to keep moving.
I’ve finished my first month of work. I am almost at the official end of training. It has been an entire two years since I jumped into a self destructive relationship. I’m proud. I’ve had time to begin to get a handle on my own identity and spend time proving that I can build a life for myself by myself. I’ve got a good job. I’m done with my classes. Now that I’ve come so far and am fulfilling more parts of my life every day, I wonder if I’m ready to let some new people into my life and maybe even date.
Truthfully, the thought scares me to death. I don’t want to fuck it all up over some feeling over falling. I’m not afraid of the fall, I’m afraid of the brutal landing below. I’m still sick of picking up pieces of myself after losing people. So what do I do? I don’t let anyone new on the inside.
This obviously can’t continue if I’m for moving further foreward.
I’ve been meeting some great people. I don’t know if they’re at the highest of high bars, but I know enough that I respect them and even admire them. I’m feeling connections and they seem to feel that way as well. People are placing trust in me, so why can’t I do the same? When I fell silent Saturday night and just listened for hours, interjecting laughs and utterances, why was I the sudden introvert? Is it because I’m afraid that I’m sitting in a still fragile framework of my recent success of life, made of tissue paper, sitting with a match that might spark if I say too much?
I’m so honest that I have to fall silent to protect myself. I’m scared to shit at how close I can feel to people that I’m still just getting to know. It doesn’t matter if I get to know them if I block them from knowing me.
I’m not as confident as people think. These thoughts pool inside the space behind my eyes until the people I see make me too nervous to speak.
I’m proud to have come so far, but it’s a shame how far I have left to go before I fell wholly myself again. It takes so little time to break a person and forever to remake. I’m rebuilding one brick at a time so that when the time comes, it’ll be much harder to blow down.