22 August 2011

The Mask Master

To the readers of this blog it may seem difficult to believe that in the real word people call me "emotionless."  In fact, one of my co-workers has said, "If ever a human was like a Vulcan, you are that human."

I guess I don't really like everyday people to know if I'm feeling bad or upset, mostly because I've spent years creating this facade that I'm untouchable.  The truth is, this month especially, I've spent more hours laying on my bed in the depths of despair than I'm happy to admit.

I've become skilled at hiding how I feel so much that no one knows when I'm bothered.  I can conjure up certain emotions by thinking about things that evoke those feelings: my nephew calling me "Uncle Pete", doing stupid stuff with the Littlebrother, Zoolander quotes, standing on top of mountains, you get the picture.  But it never lasts, the smile fades and the forged emotion is gone until it's needed again.

Now I sometimes feel like I need a hand, but I can't ask for one.  I'm the unflappable, it's not natural.  I feel like admitting I'm unhappy is succumbing t defeat, and I also know that is my old-fashioned upbringing talking.  I guess my problem for now is that there isn't anyone I feel I can trust with my ultimate secret.  I'm wearing a mask.  I feel.

10 August 2011

The Final Three Years

It's a funny feeling.  It was almost exactly three years ago that Hannah and I officially started dating.  I can still only remember the good parts, though that's bound to change.

The last three years have been a learning experience for sure.  I've met so many people who have impacted my life, those who have endowed me with bits of their wisdom which I am attempting to mold together into wisdom of my own.  I've loved, I've lost, I've learned what is really important to me and what is just fluff.  I've learned what I need and I can live without.

I know that "You can do it!" is leading in my poll by quite a bit, which was my plan regardless of that outcome, so the sudden change may seem curious.  I am a very proud boy.  To the surprise of some, I'll admit it's my greatest flaw.  The romantics I know will accuse my of letting pride get in the way of what "could be", but I would say it is more self-respect attempting to protect me than pride.

I explained how Hannah called me the morning she was released, and how confused I've been since.  That call still remains the only time Hannah has initiated contact in the weeks that she's been home.  After this weeks get together we've seen each other on four separate occasions.  Usually if a woman is not initiating contact after the first time I write them off, with Hannah however, between our history and her condition, I allowed for some lee-way, but my patience has been quickly sapped.

I am told that you have to open yourself up and be vulnerable for a relationship to develop.  I agree, but I will not become a yuppie, and any woman who requires me to become so to earn her attention is not my type.  I'm only human, I need reinforcement of some kind, and instead the last two rendezvous have actually moved in reverse, I haven't even received the obligatory, awkward side-hug since the homecoming.

Where do I go from here?  Who knows what my fate has in-store.  There's a movie quote that always brings me comfort that I'd like to share before I go, which, in a way, strangely parallels the final three years:

08 August 2011

Hang Me Out to Dry

A lot of people accuse me of thinking too much.  I do.  I don't really care.  Why is everyone afraid of thinking too much?  I do it all the time, and while it adds a slight amount of stress to my life I'm very, very rarely caught off-guard.  Honestly, I don't see what's so bad or frightening about considering every conceivable possibility and then weeding out the unlikely outliers to determine what is most likely to happen?

Predictably I've been thinking a lot about the future possibilities with Hannah.  I didn't mention in my last post that on our hike Hannah mentioned she was "excited to date."  And by "date", she meant "date around."  She said she only wanted to go on casual dates with me at this time.  As much as I don't like this idea, I recognize it as a wise(and probably the best) choice.  

I feel like I'm placed at a disadvantage, however.  To give an example that I feel is easiest to understand I'll refer back to my time dating Liz.  So when Liz and I were down at school she lived one floor directly above me in the residence halls.  After we started dating sometimes when I asked if she wanted to get together she would, understandably, say she really needed to get some homework done or study, and she'd say she'd come visit when she was done if it wasn't too late.  Because of our dating I felt a certain responsibility to accept her answer and let her focus on that.  Unfortunately the other guys in the the building didn't not have such obligations, and most nights they would go and visit Liz and her roommates and the ensuing distraction usually resulted in Liz finishing up when it was "too late."

Flash-Forward back to now:  I feel I'm in a similar situation with Hannah.  Because of our past I feel responsible(see: obligated) to respect her wishes and give her space, more space than I would if I were some new guy who was interested in her.  I have to limit myself while the competition has no such qualms.  In that way I feel I'm at an instant and constant disadvantage in this race.  

It's like playing Whiffleball with Littlebro, I don't want to ALWAYS crush him, so I keep it close.  Every now and then, however, something goes wrong, he hits a timely homerun, or catches a clutch line drive, and I end up with the big "L".

I guess in my spectrum of foreseeable outcomes there is a range from John Cusack in Serendipity to Joseph Gordon Levitt in (500) Days of Summer.

03 August 2011

The Long and Lonesome Road...

Hannah and I met up for a hike for our get-together this week.

The hike was definitely a beneficial experience, we were able to really talk, rather than the stupid just-catching-up stuff we've been doing.  We hiked up to a waterfall, ate lunch, then trekked back down, that was it.  On the way up we spoke in depth about religion and the philosophy thereof.  My goal for bringing this up was twofold.  First I wanted to start off talking about something she was confident in right now, plus I do have some real questions that she could answer.  Second, I wanted to know where she stood, you never know with returned missionaries and the faith.

On the way down I was able to transition into more temporal matters, "us".  I really wanted to have a chance to tell Hannah how I felt and what I really though about what she said the last time we were alone together.  I guess the best way to describe her reaction and response was that it was "nearly as good as I could expect."  I told her, honestly, the type of relationship I expected, and she did the same for me.  We are pretty closely on the same page, however there were a few details that were tough to swallow, though not necessarily bad.

For instance, we agree we need to take it slow, start from the beginning, and just be friends, but it's still difficult actually hearing that she doesn't feel right about us dating right now.  While I agree it's wisest for her to date me and others casually, it's still difficult know what I'm in for.

It's slightly frustrating knowing the road that is ahead of me, whether I understand the reason for it or not.  There's a good chance I'll be headed uphill for a year or more yet.