Long December

Thu Jan 09 2003 08:06AM -0600

And there's reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.

So I am back in the Midwest, with my seasonal affective disorder raging. Like a green, growing thing, lack of sunlight will kill me, and I ponder whether or not to go for professional help. Better living through chemistry. All the usual excuses apply, however. Whatever.

The past couple of days, an unusual sense of optimism pervaded my spirit. For the life of me, I can't figure out why. It isn't grounded in any sort of reality. I only have this vague feeling that whatever lies ahead has got to be better than this. As long as I'm coasting forward, everything will be all right. Which, when you can right down to it, makes no sense. I can just see myself gleefully careening right into a telephone with this kind of mindset, but, whatever. Life is too short to constantly worry all the time. As I've been promiscuously advising, whatever needs to happen will happen, and it's all about taking things one step at a time. Right.

Oh, why is it that whenever I finally sit at the keyboard to spew the contents of my mind onto the net, everything I have been thinking about suddenly evaporates. I want to write this down only for the sake of exorcising whatever persistent demons have latched on to my soul.

But I am caught, or am at least on the verge of being caught, in a situation that is common in this life of mine. Now, I know that I have resolved, foolishly, I realize, to never let a woman have the complete power over my soul that I have been accustomed to let them have. Absurd, I know, but as I drove down the Edens Expressway, it occurred to me precisely why I have been in this existential dilemma when it comes to women and dating. And as ridiculous as it sounds, and as horny as I am, it all comes to this: I'm tired of reacting to other people's whims. And, like any normal human being after traumatic events, I have given up on being vulnerable. At least, voluntarily vulnerable. Everyone has their weak spots that are impossible to cover up. What I've given up on is setting myself up to get shot down.

Still, having said all this, as I've said, I still teeter on that edge. I don't know how to put it. On that threshold of falling in love, or whatever you want to call it. I don't have the patience to try and describe it in more precise terms, only that, when it comes to the definition of "falling in love," I will quote Inigo Montoya and say that "I do not think it means what you think it means."

This makes no sense whatsoever. Nonetheless, I will press on.

So, what is the upshot of all of this? I will not ask a girl on a date. Not until I feel like I'm good and ready, which may very well be never. And while it may sound like loserish, sad bullshit, I am not looking. (Well of course I am physically looking. My testicles are after all, in fact, still intact. I'm just not looking, looking. In an emotional sense. Or some such shit.)

I don't know why it took over seven years to figure this shit out, but I think I may have finally broken through it. As an exercise of pointing out the obvious, I will mention that one of the traumatic events of my life had the side effect of completely wrecking whatever nascent self-confidence I had possessed. I have learned the hard way, on a long, dark road, that without self-confidence, there is no hope. So. My quest. To build up my belief in myself. Alone, if I have to. Yeah, probably alone.

Given this, I have resolved to continue on the path that I have been following, to discover the things that I enjoy, and to do them as often as humanly possible. And when I get a better sense of what makes me happy, then and only then, will I even dare think about sharing what I find with anyone else. Oh, and I'm not just talking about romantic relationships and what not. This includes friendships, even current ones. I'm talking strict isolation (in a convoluted metaphoric sense. No, I am not retreating and becoming a hermit.) Positive pressure in my heart. Yeah, that's it.

I will not try to reach for things that are too far. I will wait until I'm close. I will not jump ahead too many steps. I will make sure that I've taken every step with confidence, with no regrets.

How's this for a New Year's Resolution?

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