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OftenBen  ·  220 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: March 15, 2017

The gears just aren't turning the way they ought to.

Lots of goals seem to have nasty catch-22's attached. Can't start a new project/join another while at 100% effort on others (According to institutional rules) but I need 100% effort in order to stay financially solvent. Had to accept a 25% effort (and paycheck) reduction in order to free my institutional avatar to join other projects. Upside, I have 10 free hours a week, downside, I have 10 unpaid hours a week. I'm going to pretend I'm still at 100% effort and use the 'free' time to further my other projects, and maybe leave a few hours early on Fridays/bad days.

Robust Pleasure Source and I keep finding more things to enjoy about each other, and are working out the kinks in our behavior as a couple. Last night after I got home from work we decided to go out to a coffeeshop for the evening rather than lay around the house. If we are out in public we have to keep our hands off each other, and can focus a bit better on the things we are doing. She made substantial progress on 'How to Win Friends and Influence People,' I sent off a few job applications and did fiddle-work I had been putting off.

I find myself in a strange situation as far as housing goes. I'm still renting my 1br/1bath, but I haven't spent more than a few hours there at a stretch in the past few weeks. The house my RPS rents (for pennies) is owned by her grandparents, and is one day slated to be renovated and turned into a 2 unit rental property, but that project is probably half a decade away from being started if not longer. I sleep there most nights, and have enough clothes that I'm not running back to 'my ' apartment every few days, but I'm definitely not moved in. As it stands, my lease at my current place is up in June and I need to pull the trigger on renewing (Not likely) or finding someplace else pretty soon, and until I do, I'm pouring money down a hole into a place I don't even spend time at, which bothers me. Her parents and grandparents really like me, but we still haven't been dating long enough for them to be happy with me moving in with her officially.

My game plan at present is to not renew my lease, and sub-lease a bedroom from my little brother who lives nearby. I would keep most of my stuff there, but otherwise live with my RPS until such a time that her family feels comfortable with us moving in together. I don't like the deception, but I can't imagine laying all these things out with them and having them come to the same conclusions. We're young and stupid, and that's reason enough to question our plans and judgement.

All that said, I'm growing more trusting of my own judgement. I can't recall a time when I felt more like the Captain of my Soul. I can't ever recall feeling more free from the patterns that have governed my gene-lines behavior. I'm almost to 25 with no kids and no real possibility of them spontaneously appearing. I'm not a raging alcoholic or opiate junkie. I've never struck a relationship partner in anger and never would. Even outside of my current employer, my resume update/application blast has returned a lot of favorable results, so even if I had to leave the University, I am fairly certain I could find a stable job at comparable pay within a reasonable timeframe. I have to repeat that to myself at times of severe professional doubt/angst and it's hard to argue with a folder in the inbox labeled 'Interview Requests.'

Sure, there's shit that isn't right with my world. The student debt mountain hasn't gone away. My car payment is a monthly reminder to never loan out things that I cannot afford to lose. But I am mostly at peace with the fact that I am doing my best, and my best seems to be enough for those who care about me.

I wish I could go back to the guy who wrote some of my more poignantly depressing posts, sit him down, and try to talk to him through the tears. The gist of what I would say

    I know you're hurting.

    I know you feel alone, scared, and utterly bereft of anything approaching joie de vivre.

    I know the world is dark and scary and completely lacking in what you would consider mercy or order.

    This terrible pain you're feeling is the result of giving a damn. It means that you are able to envision better. It means that you are able to think optimistically, even when it causes this terrible pain. It means you are capable of more than what you believe about yourself. It means you are able to feel joy and contentment and love, because if you were shut off from those things entirely you would have drowned yourself in chemicals and hedonic treadmill pleasure and embraced the slow death that brings. But you haven't.

    It sounds trite, even to my ears now, but this pain is not too high a price to pay. It is worth it to survive. It is worth it to attempt to make things a little better in whatever way you can. You cannot be shamed for trying and failing, you will only shame yourself for never trying in the first place.

    Forgive yourself for all the pain you've inflicted on yourself. The light you've denied because you couldn't see the source clearly. Forgive yourself for it, wipe the tears from your eyes, breath deep, and stand as best you can against the dark. You might even find that you're not alone when you try.