9/30/2014

Thirty days hath September…so here we are, the last day of one of my favorite months. This month has seen many ups and many downs, but I hope that things are beginning to look up. I have not written much, I will try to get back into my more frequent journaling soon.

Since I wrote last…

I had a good meeting with my counselor. I told her that, in general, I was feeling down and in the dumps about things even though there were some very good things happening in my life. We talked about how I felt and why I might be feeling that way. After everything, I felt a lot better. I had a couple of really good days. Last Friday I took a 1/2 vacation day at work, dropped kiddo off at her friend’s house for the night, and spent the evening with my theatre friends. We went to see P in a production she was doing about an hour away. It was great and terrible to see her again. She looked well, attractive as always, her acting was as good as I’ve seen it. But seeing her again brought back some feelings that I spent most of September avoiding. I’ve gone on dates with, I don’t know, a handful of women over the last year and a half and frankly none of them stack up to P. They just don’t. And she is the one that I can’t connect with no matter how hard I try. She is the one that makes me nervous every time I see her for some goddamn inexplicable reason. I don’t know what to do about it. And the worst part is that I still have absolutely no idea how she feels about me. I mean, if she wanted nothing to do with me, why would she give me a hug when she came to see all of us? Sure, she hugged several of her friends, but she hugged me – twice. She thanked me on Facebook for coming to see the show. Sure, she thanked several of her friends who came to see the show. But she didn’t have to thank me. She didn’t have to hug me. Is she just that nice of a person that she did those things because she is fair and just and treats everyone the same regardless of how she feels about them? I suppose it’s possible. Or is it possible that there is some degree of interest in me, however small? This is the friend zone. This must be it.

Anyway, I had a good time. Since then it’s been busy, taking kiddo to rehearsals most nights and squeezing in homework and my job and things like that. We hung out with J and her kiddos at a park on Saturday, which was nice. On Sunday I was going to take kiddo to buy a book shelf, but the Ex texted me and wanted to spend time with her so the three of us ended up going to buy the book shelf and wouldn’t you know it, she was an absolute psychopath the entire time. She hardly talked. She seemed miserable. On the way home she drove fast and cut people off and acted like a complete imbecile. I wish we hadn’t gone with her. And then yesterday she texted me about how much she missed me, blah blah blah. Meaningless words, but hurtful nonetheless. She’s supposedly moving about two hours away within the next couple of weeks. We’ll see if that actually happens. No doubt, she will try to throw the world’s worst guilt trip upon me as she goes.

I am still frustrated with my job. I still feel like all I do is clean up other peoples’ messes. Meaningful moments are fleeting. Something has to change. I have a meeting with my boss tomorrow; we are supposed to discuss my goals for the upcoming year. I feel like I need to convey my frustration and feeling of stagnation with him, but in a constructive way. Not in a way that will cause me to lose my job!

9/24/2014

September has been a whirlwind month.

Work has been hectic. I’ve fallen behind on some things, but made major progress on some projects that I never thought would have gotten off the ground. The Twitter and Google Apps projects that I started over two years ago have finally taken off. I’m just about to wrap up both of them next week. Progress takes time, I guess. Time to start planning my next set of goals.

The theatre has taken up a lot of time. Having to leave work around 5 and get to the theatre by 5:30 – and eat in there, somewhere – has been rough. Only a few more weeks of rehearsals before the show opens…I’m still making things up as I go. My role will take me up in to the second floor during shows to call out light and sound cues, which I have never done before, but I feel like I should be able to handle it.

I’ve continued to see J. I like her, but I need something more. Our relationship is purely physical, or so it seems, because we never do anything but hang out at my house late at night. It’s not a fulfilling relationship. She’s a nice person and we have fun but I want more.

I finally got my security deposit back from my old landlord, so I’ve paid a few bills and am looking forward to maintaining a solid savings buffer. I’ve also got some money coming to me from my trip to Philly, which will add to my buffer and maybe – just maybe – give me some money to start thinking about a vacation around Thanksgiving time. I’d like to do something fun with kiddo during her break from school. There are some indoor water parks that I wouldn’t mind going to. Something to that effect. We’ll see what happens.

And, as always, I am anxious about what’s going to go wrong next. I’m always on the lookout for the next crisis, and I feel like sometimes I end up manufacturing crises as a result.

9/15/2014

I turned 30…am turning 30 today…whatever. I forget what time I was born. For all intents and purposes, I’m 30.

I have mixed feelings about it. I’m not a big birthday party guy, nor am I a big presents guy. I just want people to acknowledge me. Some folks have commented on my Facebook wall and I am content with that. It’s a milestone age, but at the same time I don’t feel any different, nor do I expect anything to change because I’m 30. It’s just…not that big of a deal. But I kind of want it to be a big deal.

introvert

Acknowledgement. That’s something that I want to delve further into. I’m not sure why acknowledgement is so much more important to me than material things. When somebody acknowledges me…my mere existence, or my presence…it makes me feel good. I wonder if it is the act of somebody else reaching out to me that means so much. That they are taking the initiative to leave their own comfort zone, perhaps. That they are welcoming me into their world.

Anyway, I have been extremely busy the last few weeks. The Philadelphia trip went very well. Kiddo and I have been busy at rehearsals for the next show at the theatre. I have been seeing J regularly, we still text throughout the day.

I’ve been avoiding my regular theatre friends…some of them showed up after a rehearsal and they invited us to go along to Chilis for lunch, but I just didn’t feel like it. I’m still feeling upset/frustrated/sad/I don’t know toward them. The Walking Dead starts next month and I think they are planning on having the viewing parties again but I am just not as excited about it as before. I think it all centers around P and how things went with that. I saw P at the theatre the other day, she overheard me talking about my Philly trip and how I ate a cheese steak and she asked where I got it from and I kind of blew her off, I said I didn’t remember. I really didn’t remember, but I also didn’t stop everything I was doing to talk to her. I want to destroy any idea that I might still be interested in her. I spent the last year trying so hard to get out of my comfort zone and express my interest in her and it never went anywhere, which is really frustrating. My heart still skips a beat when I see her. But I want to crush that feeling. I don’t want to feel it anymore. It sucks.

heart

So yeah, 30. Here we go.

9/2/2014

I’m going on a big business trip tonight through Thursday afternoon. I’m really nervous.

I’m dropping kiddo off at the theater for her rehearsal and heading straight back to work where I’ll meet my boss and we’ll drive two hours into the city. Then we’ll work tomorrow until early evening, eat dinner, spend the night again, and get back up on Thursday and try to head home just after lunch.

I don’t know what to talk about with my boss during the car ride. I don’t know what I’m doing job-wise…I guess he’ll tell me when we get there. Then there’s all this report writing that will happen when we get home as well. I don’t know what to eat, what to drink, what to wear, what to say, and my friend J said I should go exploring tomorrow night but I’m just not the type to do that. I feel like a loser saying that, wouldn’t a normal person want to be downtown late tomorrow night checking out the nightlife? I just don’t. I immediately chalked it up to being an introvert, but that seems like a cop-out. It’s because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of “what if”. What if something happens to me? What if I spend money that I could have saved for a rainy day? What if this? What if that?

But let’s be honest – even if I had all the money in the world, I wouldn’t go out by myself. I don’t have any interest in meeting new people or eating by myself in some dark bar. I want to do those things with somebody else. What does that make me? A romantic? I don’t know what the term would be.

8/26/2014

My theatre friends started texting around today, as tomorrow is the last night of trivia and they want everyone there. Well, tough. It’s a school night and kiddo can’t be up late. I might go until 9:30. P messaged everyone and said she would probably be arriving around 9:30 and then of course a few folks started accusing us of avoiding each other, etc. etc. Veeeeerrrrrry funny. I haven’t talked to any of them in a couple weeks and frankly I’m still kind of disappointed that nothing ever happened between me and P, so I would rather not speak to them for a bit longer. I fell for her pretty hard and I feel like I’m still getting over it. The last time I felt like this I let myself get stuck back on the hook and it just led to more frustration.

Plus, things are going swimmingly with J. We got our kids together yesterday for a little bit in the park. It was nice. She is a lot of fun to hang out with.

Kiddo and I found out that we both have roles in the next theatre production. Kiddo will have an acting part and I’ll be in management, and only one of my close theatre friends will also be involved, so I’m looking forward to a show without any of that crowd participating. This is my turn. I get to do a show without them. It will be nice.

Am I a little bit angry at them? I don’t think I’m angry at them, just a bit frustrated that things didn’t go how I wanted them to and even though we’re all still friends I feel like I don’t want to spend a lot of time with any of them because I don’t like how it feels to talk to them right now.

As I write that, I do feel a bit immature, acting like this. But it is what it is.

8/19/2014

*sigh*

While I was at work, J texted me and asked what I was up to last evening. Nothing, I said. She asked if I wanted to come over.

And you know what? I did want to. So I did.

We watched a movie. We talked a bit. It was fun. I met her mom. It was no big deal.

We’re not interested in getting too far ahead of ourselves.

I need more of this.

8/18/2014

I had an unusual weekend.

After meeting R and J last weekend, I had already set up second dates with them for this past weekend. R was going to come over and get some drinks on Friday night, and then J and I were going to go hiking on Saturday, and then R wanted to get together again on Sunday. I spent all week texting with both of them.

By Friday evening all of the plans were set in motion. R was at work until 9 and was going to head straight to my place when she got out. J had been with friends but her plans ended sooner than she thought they would, so she texted me and said we should go for a walk and look at the stars. I suddenly had a decision to make. Kiddo was at a friend’s house for a sleepover so I was free to do either. R was fun, but not as fun or attractive as J. After a few moments of stressful contemplation I decided to bail on R. I told her that kiddo’s sleepover wasn’t going well and that I had to go pick her up.

Yes, I lied to R so I could hang out with J.

J came over around 9:30 or 10 and we went for a walk. We talked until well past 11. Then we went back to my place and talked until about 2 in the morning. It was crazy.

I woke up on Saturday and had to get kiddo from her friend’s house. The plan was to take her to her grandmother’s house, but I ended up having to pick up kiddo and her grandmother and drive them both to the Ex’s house. All the while, J wasn’t feeling well. I told her that she could still come over and hang out, we just wouldn’t go for our hike. So after I finally got home around 1 in the afternoon, J came over. We hung out until about 7, and she had to go deliver something in York but we decided that she would come back when she was done and we’d eat dinner and keep hanging out. So that’s what happened. She got back around 8:30, we had some pizza, and just talked and talked. I thought for sure that she would eventually get bored and leave but she didn’t. By 2 in the morning we were tired but still talking. Long story made short, she ended up spending the night. We didn’t get to sleep until around 4. We slept in until about 9:30 Sunday morning. We spent more time talking. She didn’t leave until about 11. So all things considered, we were together for almost 24 hours straight.

On one hand, I’m afraid (once again) that things are moving too fast. But on the other hand, I like J more than all of the other girls I’ve dated – with the exception of P, but P just hasn’t opened up.

So that was my weekend.

In other news, it is less than one month until I turn 30. 30 certainly isn’t old, but it is definitely “grown up”. I’m no kid anymore. Getting from 20 to 30 was good at times and bad at times, and I’m determined to make the trip from 30 to 40 more good than bad. I am ready to make some progress in my life, do things the right way, really make my mark on the world and be successful.

8/15/2014

Oh Good Lord, I’m slowing down on my writing. I’ve been so busy lately. I really don’t know what to write.

A couple weeks ago I signed up on the dating app Tinder just for the hell of it. It’s a very simple app – you swipe left to anonymously “Nope” somebody, and you swipe right to anonymously “Like” somebody. If two people “Like” each other then they get notified. Most people post a couple pictures and a sentence or two of text about who they are.

The one thing I noticed right away is that, generally, the women on Tinder are more attractive than those on Plenty Of Fish. I did a lot of swiping to the right. I like to flip through pictures and read too so I’m probably slower at it than most people who see the first picture and make their decision.

Well I matched up with some people and had some conversations and what do you know, I ended up going on a date with one girl last weekend. We played disc golf and had some drinks. I’m a little nervous about her because he’s getting kind of clingy and wants to hang out all weekend. We’ll call her R.

I met another girl on Monday night, she lives much closer to me and we had some drinks. She’s cute, we’re planning to go for a hike tomorrow. We have a lot in common, good conversations, it’s nice. We’ll call her J.

But I’m a real mess. I keep telling myself that I’m not interested in dating anyone, and that I just want to hang out with groups of friends, but here I am online again meeting new people and going on dates and for fuck’s sake, having girls try to get more serious with me than I really want to be. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself.

8/6/2014

I had an AMAZING run yesterday. I got home from work and was being kind of lazy, I ate dinner and was watching a movie. I had wanted to run the day before and didn’t do it, so I was feeling guilty about that and it had been a few days since I ran last so I got off the couch and strapped my sneakers on and did it. I took a new route; up a steep hill right off the bat, then downhill to the trail that runs parallel to the railroad. That took me slightly uphill into town. Then I looped back around in town, which also took me up a moderate incline. I wasn’t sure I was going to have the energy to get up that hill but I did, there was a girl walking up the hill and I caught up to her by the top and then took off on a nice downhill straightaway to get home. It was around two miles.

I was cooling down but I still felt like I had a lot of energy so I started walking a different loop, but that didn’t feel like enough so I started running again. I got another three-quarters of a mile in on that loop. The arch of my right foot was kind of sore during the run but it went away quickly.

There’s a 5K coming up this Saturday that I’d like to participate in. There are no awards, it’s just for fun, but it’s a nice run through town and it would be cool to do something like that.

8/5/2014

I get really frustrated at work sometimes.

I’ve been with my current employer for almost six years now. I started in the IT department and just over two years later I moved into a vacant position left by the outgoing Transportation Coordinator. I was a good fit for the position because A) I’m a fast learner and B) I have good customer service skills. They knew I could gracefully and quickly transition into the new role. They basically custom-designed the new role for me, which I took as a great complement.

In my new role, I was given (as a result of my willingness to head up projects) a lot of responsibility. I pushed for change and, in some cases, was given time and resources to commit to those new projects. And some of those projects have come to fruition, and others are in the works.

But my frustration has been a result of several things, things within and outside of my control.

First, I feel like we don’t move fast enough. Take, for example, a project I ran to create a Twitter account for our organization. I’m an avid Twitter user and I believed that it would be beneficial for our organization to use Twitter to broadcast out news and information. It took a lot of legwork to get that account created and managed. And, unfortunately, it hasn’t been as well-used as I wanted it to be. But at least it was done. A second effort to expand our use of Twitter was shot down. I felt like our leadership was standing in the way of progress. One of the main concerns I heard from our head honcho was that we just didn’t have time for Twitter. That was frustrating, but today I realized that it wasn’t his fault for thinking that way. I always have time for Twitter so I didn’t see it as an issue, but looking at it from an outside perspective, from the perspective of someone who has never used Twitter, using Twitter for the sake of using Twitter would be pointless. I should have pitched the idea differently.

We don’t have time for Twitter. But we do have time for improving the way in which we communicate with our customers.

That same idea could be applied to a lot of things we do.

We don’t have time to use product X. But we do have time to improve the way we perform Y, which will happen if we use product X.

It’s all about focusing on the function, not the product itself.

Every organization wants to improve the way that they communicate with customers. Ours is no different. But instead of pitching an organizational blog, I should be pitching the idea of improved transparency and the sharing of news and information in real time. A blog just happens to be the product that would allow us to accomplish that goal.

I also get frustrated about our culture. We have a culture that shies away from thinking outside the box, or doing things differently, or trying to stay at the leading edge of innovations that would be beneficial to our customers. We are very “stuck in the mud”. Now, that may be changing – a recent retirement at the top has allowed some new ways of thinking to take over, and we’ve seen some (small) progress made in recent weeks. But I think that a wholesale culture change has to occur. It has to start at the top and the bottom at the same time and meet in the middle, buy-in from everyone. How does that happen? I have no idea. But my complaining isn’t going to do anything.

In my frustration, I’ve stopped pushing. I’ve also stopped leading by example, which is one of the few ways that I can lead in this current role. I’m nowhere near the top of the decision-making tower, so it’s going to be the way I lead from below that makes a difference.