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.

8/4/2014

I can’t get comfortable.

I’m all moved into my new place…the old one is cleaned up, all my things are out, and I’m just waiting to hear back from my old landlord about when he wants my keys back and when I’ll get my deposit back. I’ve got some money in the bank and I’m getting used to the new normal.

But I just can’t get comfortable.

I feel like I’m constantly looking over my shoulder. I’m afraid of the next crisis. What’s it going to be? When is it going to hit? How can I prepare for it?

Since separating from my wife and moving out on my own I’ve certainly had fewer crises, but they’ve been much more traumatic because I’ve had to deal with them on my own. And I’ve survived, which is a good thing, but I’ve got this whole one-step-forward-two-steps-back thing going on which isn’t good. I save up some money, my car takes $1,000 to pass inspection. I save up some money and even spend some to go on a much-needed vacation, and my house gets smashed by a sunroom. Here I am, having survived that one…and I feel like the next crisis is sneaking up behind me.

If it hits me now, I’m screwed. I’m still recovering from the last one.

If it hits me after I’ve saved up enough money and I get wiped out again, I’m not getting ahead. I’m still just surviving.

That’s one thing I always got after the Ex for. I always felt like we were surviving, not thriving. I want to thrive.

Something’s got to give.

There are hopeful signs. I’ve been paying about $150 each week for kiddo’s summer camp ever since the end of June. She’s done five weeks there, so that’s $750 that I’ve spent in the last month and a half. When school starts I won’t have to spend that money. I should be getting my full security deposit back from my old landlord, that’s another $800 in the bank. And I’ve got some flex spending money coming to me as well, not sure how much but it should be at least $500. That’ll get my savings buffer built back up. Then I need to pay my dad back…he loaned me $1,000 last summer to get back on my feet and I’ve only paid back about $200 of it.

But when is that next crisis going to get me?

7/28/2014

This most recent challenge is almost at an end.

On Friday I picked up the keys to my new apartment and got a few things moved in. I finished the job on Saturday, with the only exception being some drinking glasses that I didn’t have room for in my car. I’ll pick them up tonight or tomorrow and finish cleaning the old place so I can get the key turned in and move onto this next chapter in my life.

The new apartment is great. It is has its drawbacks, sure – you can hear the upstairs neighbors walking around, but you can’t hear them talking. Cellular signal is weak at best, and non-existent in certain parts of the apartment. There is no free WiFi there so I will have to pay for high-speed internet as well.

July has been rough, to say the least. A lot of bumps in the road. A lot of stresses to deal with. But I have handled it and as long as I get through this week without spending any extra money I’ll get paid on Friday and get on with life.

7/22/2014

It’s Tuesday evening, and I’m getting by.

I’ve been keeping a hawk-like eye watch on my money this week to ensure that I don’t come up short – I’ve still got renter’s insurance and my first month of rent to pay at the new apartment, and whatever is left will have to get me through next week until I get paid again.

But I’m doing it.

I’m keeping myself busy at work, just trying to keep my mind off of how uncomfortable I am in my present situation. I’m looking forward to tomorrow night when we have trivia again and I get to see P and (hopefully) some more of my theatre friends. On Friday I might play some disc golf, either with my dad/brother or possibly a coworker depending on who can make it.

I’ve got an appointment with my counselor tomorrow – she knows nothing of what I’ve been through over the past two weeks as my last appointment happened the day of the big storm. I’m looking forward to sharing all of this with her to see what she thinks about how I have reacted to the turn of events. I am optimistic that she will be enthusiastic about how I have done and how I have a plan to survive this mess. But I also want to know if there’s something else I should have done, or more that I could be doing, or just to get some feedback from her.

My college diploma should be arriving within the next couple of weeks…I’m looking forward to hanging that on the wall of my office…put it in a nice big frame, maybe with a little label explaining how I got it without paying a penny in tuition. I’m very proud of that accomplishment, and I just signed up for another course so that I can get back on the Bachelor’s degree track.