30 April 2011

I'm stronger/better than this.

I hate to admit it.  I AM better than this.  I'm stronger than this.  This kind of thing doesn't bother me.  I don't NEED anyone.

But still, I'm lonely.  I feel like the I've been sweeping my loneliness under the rug for the last 15 months and now there's this lump I keep tripping on.  I hate it.  I hate that I'm not self-sufficient when it comes to my social/personal life.  My co-worker comforted me a little without even knowing by telling me that humans are the only creatures on the planet who need socialization to survive.  She told me the story I've heard before about how babies can be fed and changed, etc. have all of the necessities of life fulfilled, but without human interaction it would die.

That made me feel better for a few seconds.  I mean, at least I'm not abnormal.  But at the same time I tell myself that I should be better.  I should be stronger.  Nothing gets me down.  Ever.

But it does.  I feel like I'm on this emotional roller-coaster all the time, and I'm trying to hide it from everyone.  Every now and then though, right when I'm at the trough I leak, I start to become needy.  I usually realize it the next day and it makes me sick.  Then it bothers me that this bothers me at all.  In fact I'll probably hate myself tomorrow for writing this post, but maybe getting this out can relieve some of the built up pressure. 

I think the worst is that I know people enjoy my low-maintenance.  They like that I'm easy going.  I don't complain.  I'm independent.  I'm confident.  Then I slip, and I just feel like I've failed.  I'm the untouchable one.  Nothing and no one can effect my personal well being.

On and on it goes in my head.  Am I a victim of my own will to be strong?  Do I need to get a dog?  Do I become a hermit?  Whatever I'm doing now must be wrong.  There has to be a way to be strong but still get what I need.

29 April 2011

You 'Just Know'

I really HATE when people say this.

I remember I had several deep discussions with one of my friends when he got married.  He was the first of all of my tight core of friends to get married even though he had very little dating experience.  I was fascinated.  It made no sense to me so I HAD to understand, I NEEDED to understand.  He hadn't been home from his mission long, he hadn't really been in a serious relationship, and here he was, getting married.  I needed him to help me understand what he knew.

I have been in several serious, long-term relationships and never have I thought "That is the girl I WILL marry."  Sure, I've though I could marry a couple of the girls.  I'll admit it, I've never thought that I would marry Hannah, obviously, she wouldn't be in Canada right now if I had, but I've decided I could.  I suppose hearing "You 'just know'." over and over again is messing me up a little, I'm sure I'm expecting to feel something unrealistic when I meet, or discover, 'the One.'

This all raises another problem for me.  What about all of the people I know who 'just know' then get divorced 18 months later?  Does this mean you some how have to "Just know you 'just know'."?  Is 'just know'ing really that mistakable that you can 'just know' when you just don't?  I've pretty much come to accept that I'll never 'just know' and I'll just marry someone who it makes sense to marry, kind of like some form of "a marriage of convenience."  Since I have a thing for ambitious women I'll probably end up being in one of those long distance marriages, where both parties have good, promising careers and because of promotion, or whatever, they live in different cities and only see each other on weekends...

I guess the only time I've really ever 'just know'n about anything was job related.  I remember my first night in the hospital, I should have been over-whelmed, I should have been stressed, I should have been wishing I could curl up and hide in a supply closet.  But I was happy, there was no stress, I was calm, I knew at the time my personal state and feelings didn't match what they should have been, they didn't really make sense.  So now I assume that is what people mean when they talk about 'just know'ing.

25 April 2011


Somehow, at work, everyone got to talking about what my "issues" are.  I love hearing from different people, I find it intriguing the different observations, judgments, and impressions people get from me.  No one seems to see the same "me" as anyone else.

Surprisingly, though, one of the nurses, in my opinion, had me pretty close to spot on.  That's a pretty rare thing, I don't think anyone has really "got me" that well, though from my observation she and I are pretty similar people.  She's probably like what I would be like if I were female and about 15 years older.  She started asking me pretty deep questions about myself, especially my family and dating life, it was kind of fun.  I'm not the type to openly give personal information unless people ask me very specific questions, in which case I'm pretty open, but otherwise I value my secrets.

The one thing that was the perennial "issue" was my cockiness, my pride.  I'll admit, I lay it on think for most people, probably because it hides the amount of pride that is really behind a facade of ridiculousness.  For one, I'm too proud to feel vulnerable.  I won't do it.  I always hold things back.  A lot of people have friends whom they say "know everything" about them, I can honestly say I don't.  If you took all of my best friends through the years, and all of my former girlfriends, and gather all of the information they had about me you might know everything about me, maybe, but maybe not.  It's kind of like in movies when the president wants to launch some nukes at Russia, he doesn't have the full "launch code" someone else has the other half.  That's kind of how I am.

Another thing is, I don't "lay myself on the line" for anyone.  There's a point where I decide I've gone far enough, I've still got to protect my pride so I'll only go so far to help or make an effort until I need to protect myself again.  In hindsight, Liz dumping me didn't heart because I was heartbroken, my pride was hurt because I lost something I liked because I didn't do what needed to be done.

A lot of people have pointed out this distancing maneuver in reference to Hannah.  I've been asked over and over how I could have dated a girl for a year and a half and be able to pull away so easily.  According to the nurse last night it's because I never let people in.  I "fake it 'til I make it." her words, but probably true.  In many romantic comedies these days the climax usually includes a scene where the stupid guy realizes he's an idiot, runs to the girls apartment to get on his knees, apologize, and plead for her to take him back.  I won't lie, I couldn't see myself ever doing that.  At least not any time in the foreseeable future.  I'd much more likely stay home, brood, live a jilted life for a while, then try again with someone else.

I was a little surprised, there were many comments last night that ended with, "You should probably seek some counseling and get that issue worked out."  It kind of makes me laugh now.  My pride probably is my biggest issue.  Who knows if it's really as big an issue as it was made out to be.  I've always been slow to open up at all in any type of relationship, maybe I just haven't been associated with anyone long enough for them to learn all of my secrets.  Or maybe I am really screwed up and just hide it well.  Or maybe one day the right person will come along and I'll just spill it all, or be willing to become vulnerable.  Likely it won't be as easy as that, as far as I know I've always been this way.

At least I recognize it may be an issue, so at least I'm not crazy... Right?

22 April 2011

A little psycho-analysis

I think every male, no matter who they are has, or has had, the fantasy of being a bit of a play-boy.  You've seen them everywhere: Movies, TV, those guys at school who made out with half the girls your grade.  I think part of every guy really wishes they could do that, me included.  There are probably many reasons why other guys can't be like this: maybe they respect women too much, maybe they're not attractive enough, maybe they haven't got the charm, maybe they fear women.  None of these are quite my reason.

I tend to think psychology is a load of crap.

It's almost completely subjective and quite a few psychological symptoms can manifest similarly.  I am a big proponent of self-analysis though, I think people can easily be their own shrink if they really think about it.  I tend to do it a lot, consider why I think what think, or do what I do.

It seems like most of my friends and other people I affiliate with are the type of people who've had 30+ different make-outs, personally I'm sitting on four right now.  I've always been jealous of that ability, I've told myself I'm going to be like that, I just can't do it.  So far it seems to be the one exception to my "I can do anything I put my mind to" mantra, because I've put my mind to it a lot and it's never worked out.

I've decided to accept that I can't be that way because of my upbringing.  My family has never been big on physical forms of affection.  I can't remember a time my Mother kissed me, I could count the times she's hugged me in the last 5-10 years on my hands, probably one hand for my dad.  I've realized that, even though I enjoy being hugged, kissed, etc., I can't bring myself to do these things easily.  I don't think it's a serious issue, I just find it hard to decide when those kinds of things are completely appropriate.  Of course, this disorder is still effected by my mirror effect, if I'm with a "hugger" I'm more likely to give hugs, but if not, I probably won't.  For instance, with both Hannah and Liz we had been hanging out 3-4 times a week for almost 3 months before we started hugging.

I think I've begun to improve, I've started to get more comfortable giving hugs earlier, but it still takes a lot of thought, and a lot of courage build up.  I hugged Smartypants after the third or fourth time we got together, not without significant mental effort however.  Due in part to time constrictions, and also for my want to eliminate this issue I have, I've been trying to work this over in my mind with regards to Smartypants.  I suppose I have a few long nights at work coming up which will give me lots of time to deliberate.

16 April 2011

You're SO smart....

Well, I kind of have a date tonight.

Yes, I do date, I just don't really talk about any of them because I can usually tell before-hand that they're doomed to failure.  Actually, who knows if they're really dates, most people would probably say they are, and they can.  The "date" and the "hang-out" are pretty much the same thing for me, the only difference is that if I'm interested then I consider it a date, if I'm not really that into her I consider it a hang-out.  Usually hang-outs are only one- or two-time things, kind of like with Melissa.  I feel slightly bad about Melissa, I know she's really interested in me, she's nice, and she's cute, but I always felt hard-pressed to find things she liked, so now I tend to find excuses for why I'm bust when she wants to get together.  Yeah, I'm like that, no one's perfect.

So tonight I have a, sort of, date with, let's call her, Smartypants.  Now, it's a sort of date because I am really interested, but due to various factors it's unclear to me where it's going but, in my opinion, it's still worth a good shot, who knows really.  She's coming over and I'm going to cook, which is not something I pull out very often, but I was feeling it this time.  I wouldn't say I'm a great cook, but I've learned how to make most of my favorite foods, so I'm pretty good at them, plus, if there's a recipe then I can probably figure it out.

One of the things Smartypants has going for her that carries significant weight for me is that she challenges me.  Smartypants is probably the most intellectually compatible girl I've met.  I don't know, it could be a bad thing, but we disagree on probably two-thirds of all things, and I will pretend to disagree about the other third just because I think it's fun.  That's not to say we don't share a lot of similar interests we just have a lot of differing opinions.  Maybe it's because I'm confrontational, but I like it.  She's also pretty competitive, which sweetens the deal.  I don't know if she's as bad as I am, it's hard to do, but it's still a fun time

One thing about me is that I pay very close attention to facial expression.  With my friends I can tell all kinds of things just from watching their face.  One of the random things that Smartypants has going for her is that she makes some pretty adorable facial expressions while she talks, and for some reason that's really attractive to me, maybe it's the evidence of some quirkiness, which is another big thing.

There are some things that I have some reservations about.  For one, she kind of lives far away, which is probably my fault, I seem to do this a lot.  Believe it or not I've only dated a girl who lived in the same city as me once.  It bothers me a little, and I'm not completely sure why it always seems to happen, but it is something I have dealt with before, and thus, not a big deal, just slightly annoying.  Another thing is that there are a few activities I enjoy from time to time that she's not really a big fan of.  This is kind of another thing I've learned to deal with.  I have some pretty broad ranging interests and hobbies, usually there are bound to be things I like that girls I date don't, and vice-versa, though usually the only thing that goes the other way is if she's a big winter sports/activities kind of girl.  I don't do cold, I act tough around other people, but really I hate being cold.

Really, try as I might, I haven't come up with any deal-breakers with Smartypants in the few times we've been together.  At least nothing that I haven't dealt with reasonably before.  Plus, intellectual compatibility is kind of a big deal for me.  Still, because of certain things I'm really uncertain where things with Smartypants will/could go right now, but I'll play it by ear and take the curve-balls as they come in.  I'm confident that dinner will turn out well, speaking of dinner, I should probably get started on that...

07 April 2011

She Doesn't Need a Man

It's a statement I've heard several times.  It's very contextually based, and it seems like here in Utah it's used in a more derogatory fashion mostly directed towards "feminists", or generally any woman who could be, but never has been married by 30.  Usually it sounds more like "She doesn't think she needs a man" as it leaves the speaker's lips.  Really it's a statement I've never understood in that negative connotation, should a woman NEED a man?  Do I NEED a woman?

I don't think I could date or marry a woman who needs a man.  Don't get me wrong, there's a certain appeal to being the shining star in someone's life.  Eventually that fades, it's too much of a responsibility to live up to those expectations.  My "type" seems to be women who don't need a man.  Usually it takes a significant amount of patience, luckily that's something I have.  It always seems to take time to work into a system to be together, at first you're very low on their list of priorities, but I've always had a skill at handling that.  Example: When Liz and I started dating she lived one floor directly above me but I still only saw her a couple nights a week, or maybe for a few minutes each night.  Some nights it was a bummer, but at the same time I liked that, though we were together, we still had independent lives and we lived them.

I won't lie, during conference I had to cover my mouth to keep from laughing a couple times during a couple sessions of conference, mostly when the men of the church were told to move on with their lives and get married.  In priesthood session President Monson mentioned how there were pretty young women out there waiting to get married.  Here I really almost laughed out loud, mostly because I imagined a room, kind of like the waiting area at the DMV, full of women sitting around reading magazines like Good Housekeeping, Better Home and Garden, etc. waiting for guys to walk up and take them by the hand to get married at the counter.

When they began talking about men in the church waiting around to get married I tried to get a little introspective.  So, am I putting off getting married?  Well honestly, Yes.  Could I get married right now?  Yes.  Mathematically it'd be easy, my job has great health insurance and other benefits, I probably make fairly close to many of my married friend's combined income.  I'm probably mature enough to pull off being married.  Could I get married now, Yes.  Should I get married now? No.

President Monson also spoke about "Choosing carefully."  I think my one big criticism of the church is the divorce rate, for a religion that believes so strongly in "eternal marriage" we sure get divorced a lot.  I wish this part of the talk had been stressed more, rather than the whole get-married-ASAP part.  I believe I am choosing carefully.  My quest is to meet my match.  Not the general match, like Match.com, or like "...matchmaker, matchmaker, find me a match."  But the "I've met my match" kind of match.  I think one of the most attractive quality to me is a girl who will stand up to me, or challenge me, if they know better. 

Also, for me, divorce isn't an option.  Divorce kind of runs in my family, my grandparents, my uncle, my parents, and I plan on the trend ending with me.  I think this decision makes me really nit-picky when it comes to girls I date.  They'd probably hate to find this out, but I judge them a lot, I judge their family(who wants crappy in-laws?), I judge their friends, and I don't really stop judging them.  Another thing is that I've promised myself I will only get married once, no matter what.  I think deciding that is good, it'll make me be that much more careful, and work that much harder at my marriage.  Plus if I do get a divorce I can always sell all of my belongings and become a mountain man like Jeremiah Johnson!

06 April 2011

"...just rubs people the wrong way."

I had some friends over celebrating First Contact Day.  I met all of these friends separately, so being the common link I ended up being the butt of most of the jokes.  At some point it was brought up what my friend Eric thought of me the first time we met, which of course began a landslide of similar stories.

It made me wonder about first impressions.  I've always felt like I have a very broad range of first impressions.  Some people love me immediately, others hate me.  In the end it's pretty rare for people to hate me, I joke that I could even win over my evil twin if I felt inclined to do so.  Really, reports on my first impression on people ranges from being an angry, cocky douche-bag to having women try to set me up with their daughters after two minutes of chatting.

I think one thing that contributes to this is my standard facial expression.  Think about what your facial expression is when you're doing homework, sitting in class, standing around at work or just watching TV.  I think mine is a pretty serious face, usually because I'm thinking hard about things, but I think that contributes.   I know I have ADD, I get lost in thought quite a bit.  It's always a little embarrassing for me when dates or girlfriends ask me what I'm thinking about when I look distant, usually because it holds no connection to what's going on around us.  For Scrubs fans I'd say I'm a little like JD, someone can say something, or I can see something, that triggers a thought in my brain and I'm off.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, here are some samples:

Unfortunately, I don't usually have that dreamy look on my face when my mind wanders, I think mine is much more serious, like I might headbutt something at any moment.

Another issue is probably that before I get to know someone I'm cautious which I think comes off as standoffish, indifferent, probably a little superior.  I have learned the more I share about myself the more comfortable I feel.  I recently learned this when I got a job I was very under-qualified for, I still contribute getting hired because I offered up my nerdy side freely, which made me feel more comfortable rather than nervous and scared.  Plus I think people realize when you're telling them something that's a little secret and think more of you for doing so.

So far only one person knows I write this blog.  I wonder if people would even realize I write this if they met me; or if people I know read this if they'd realize it was me.

05 April 2011


Today is kind of a holiday for me and my peeps, and no, not because it's Booker T. Washington's birthday.

I can honestly say that I've been really happy the last two weeks or so, there's a lot going well for me right now.  I job a really love, getting to play baseball again, as well as a few more things, plus the wonderful weather of summer is coming up!

Not even my inconsiderate roommates can really keep me down, even though we seem to be stuck in a perpetual state of passive-aggressive warfare(which I did not start, I just finally put my foot down).

Today will be a fun day, I'm always up for an opportunity to show some of my true-er colors.

02 April 2011

Everything worth learning, I learned from...


Oh man, growing up I LOVED Legos.  They're still all at my parents' house, all four giant Tupperware bins of them.  Thousands and Thousands of pieces, at least a hundred guys, honestly I miss them, there have been a few Sunday dinners where I've considered bringing a bin of them back to my place for when I'm bored.  Now that I'm older I've come to realize that I learned a lot of important life lessons and skills from all that time playing with Legos.

  • If you can follow directions you can make/do/be anything.
Building a Lego model is all about following directions, even though these directions are often a bit archaic.  Really Lego instructions are pictures of the model so far, and you've got to find the differences between this picture and the last picture, or what you already have, to figure out what you need to add.  What, in life, doesn't have instructions?  I mean I could get all esoteric and say how even our lives have an instruction book, but I tend to like more worldly examples.  Cooking is one.  I've never understood how anyone says "I don't know how to cook."  Now I'm no top chef, and I've never been to culinary arts school, but I learned in 7th grade Home Ec' that if there's a recipe for it I can make it, why?  Because Legos taught me how to follow directions.  The same goes for setting up the VCR, learning Algebra, or putting together that futon from IKEA, if you can follow directions there's nothing you can't do.

  • If you don't have what you need, move on, you'll find it later.
When building any Lego model I always started out having a giant pile of pieces in front of me.  Always you reach a point in the construction far enough in that there aren't many duplicate pieces left, but early enough that there's still a significant pile that you can't find the piece you need.  You can look for 15 minutes in that little pile and it's no where to be found.  Sometimes it's best to leave a missing piece behind and move on to the next step.  Sure enough a couple step later, maybe even the very next step, you'll come across that piece.  Sometimes you're looking so hard for that one specific piece that you miss it, often they come to you when you're not looking for them.  This goes for a lot of things it seems, the one it seems like I hear about most is dating.  I always listen to people talking about how they can't find a boyfriend/girlfriend, they go to church and look, they go to school and look, they take random classes and look, no boyfriend/girlfriend to be found.  I can honestly say I've never looked for a girlfriend, they find me.  I don't mean that in a cocky, girls-flock-to-me kind of way(well, maybe a little), but it's more that I live my life the way I want, and every now and then I come across a girl worth dating naturally.

  • If you really don't have what you need, make it yourself.
Sometimes you really don't have the piece you need, maybe there was a mistake at the plant, maybe your mom vacuumed it up because she told you to pick up your Legos and you didn't, who knows.  Legos are all proportional to each other, if you're missing a specific piece you can usually find something close enough.  Some people use the same piece that's just a different color, personally my OCD doesn't allow for that, so I find smaller pieces, or plates, to replace the bricks I'm missing.  This is easily done because plates are the smallest unit of Lego bricks, for instance, the standard brick is three plates tall.  Also if you need a 4x4 but cant find it, you can always use a pair of 4x2s or even four 4x1s.  Often in life you just don't have exactly what you need, but most of the time you can find way to make something to take it's place.

  • There's always a way to make what you have even better.
I made a lot of cool Lego models, I had pretty much the whole NASA themed space shuttle set, I was so excited, I got almost every model in the set in a single birthday and Christmas. The launchpad, the Shuttle and booster, the Shuttle/747 piggy-back thing, even the little ones like the Astronaut transport vehicle.  As much as I loved those models I still found ways to improve on them, at least in my mind.  Whether it was adding bigger nozzles on the booster, using the instructions to make an all black space shuttle, adding lasers on to the Space Shuttles Moonraker style, even just adding a joystick to the cockpit, I could always find ways to embellish what I had.  Sure, sometimes I probably took it too far, sometimes what I added or took away made it look like something completely different, but what is good for some isn't for everyone.

  • It's the building that counts.
It's probably because growing up(and my "growing up" usually starts around 5 or 6) was done as the child of a single mom in small apartments so we didn't have room to keep all my Lego creations intact.  This meant that after an hour of building, and maybe a few days of getting to play with it, I eventually had to take it all apart.  It was always a depressing activity, but the thing about building it once is that it goes faster the second time, and faster still the third.  Also, with each model I'd build I'd learn new tricks to use on the next model or when I built freestyle.  Doing things a few times allows you to master them.

  •  The more bricks you have, the more you can build.
A lot of my time playing with Legos was spent building freestyle, just taking all of the bricks I had, both from models and otherwise and making new things out of them.  A lot of models have unique pieces, pieces that before the internet you could only get from a select few models.  These were usually things like uniquely shaped windows, to wings, to even unique helmets or uniforms on the guys.  The key was, the more Legos or models you had, even if they were small ones, the more you had at your disposal the more you could imagine and build.  In life I love learning new skills.  People always ask me, "how do you know how to do that?"  Or, "how do you know that?"  Sometimes I have random Slumdog Millionaire style stories for them, but most of the time I just wanted to know, so I learned.  One example was learning to build computers.  Now I'm not a huge techie, and my family are quite the opposite of huge techies, but I've always been interested in computers.  A couple years ago I needed a new computer and I decided I should just build one myself.  I spent a couple of months doing research, reading books, magazines, manuals until I was ready and I did it.  Most skills seem to be made out of lots of little, more basic, skills, just like Lego models are built out of lots of little bricks,  if you have the bricks you can build the model.  The more bricks and the wider variety of bricks you have, along with all of your other Lego skills you've gained are really enough that you can put anything together.