As I Live and Learn

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Reply with your name and I'll respond with one (or more) of the following about you.

1. I'll tell you what song/movie/book/fictional character reminds me of you.

2. I'll pick a flavor of pudding to wrestle with you in.

3. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me.

4. I'll tell you my favorite memory of you.

5. I'll tell you what animal or plant you remind me of.

6. I'll ask you something that I've always wondered about you.

If I do this for you, you must post this on your journal. You MUST. It is written.


The World is Not Enough

I'm NOT a manager. It's times like tonight that are the exact reason I do not want to BE a manager. They can't pay me enough to put up with crap like this.


Sunday, July 31, 2005

No Stepping Back

(Note: This is not about NERO. Really.) Wow this got long.

The NERO weekend ended. I milled about with people - kinda - as usual. I helped clean up, as usual. And finally I had to go home, as usual.

And, as usual, I felt somewhat sad and just did not want to go. But I didn't feel cheated this time. Not annoyed. I got a good weekend. Oh by no means the best or one of, but a very good one and my character was basically happy. And my sadness over the weekend being over did not last long this time. Why?

Because this time the difference was not only did people play on Sunday with me, but after the game people hung out some instead of everyone up and going home. I got my full playing time, and then my social time after. My favorite kind of NERO.

So it was a surprise to me to find myself depressed today. It took a while for me to realize it. But for a couple hours after I got home, and got tired of looking for women's leather armor patterns online, I could not find anything I wanted to do. Everything I thought of I'd immediately then think "I don't want to do that." It was very annoying, because I knew I wanted to do SOMETHING. I napped twice, which I did not want to do either, but not having anything to keep my NERO weary body and mind awake I did not have much choice. I tried very hard to figure out what I wanted to do, and it bothered me I couldn't find anything I didn't say "I don't want to do that." Especially when I was thinking of things I normally do, or usually like to do, and even things involving NERO and this event I'd just enjoyed.

And then it hit me. "I'm tired of being alone." That thought revealed to me my problems from the last couple hours. And started me sliding backwards.

Memories, no, more like emotional memories from last year started coming back. I don't think as bad, and definitely not as intense. But there they were. And I did NOT like them. Which is how the self-defeating cycle starts. The one that feeds itself and sends you deeper.

"I don't want to be alone." "I want to have someone to come home to." Thoughts running through my head. Thoughts brought on by the thoughts that everyone at NERO had gone home to their spouse or girl/boyfriend or roommate(s). Followed by the obligatory, and true, "Well, I created this for myself. It's my fault things are this way."

But just what way is that? It's me, at home. Lots. And why? Because I needed to be. For a long time I've had the desire and NEED to be at home a lot. And I live alone, so that meant being alone a lot. Much more than I used to be. Much more than my friends back in Massachusetts know me to be. And there was indeed a reason. A very very good reason. If you want me to get into all that, ask. The short version is, I got laid off, and the only security I felt I had was my home.

But over the years since then, the healing that had to happen, the ways I had to get what I needed, I ended up being much more of an introvert than I think anyone but me is aware. It's made me think several times, wonder a more than few times, and even concerned me sometimes. Turning introverted, being introverted more than just once in a while when I needed to decompress, was not Jennifer. But, it was what I felt I needed, and did not make me unhappy, so I let it go.

Then a year and a half ago happened. I've already posted about that. The months after that, half year at least, I spent reeling and healing from that, and trying to figure out how to, what to do. There was therapy after the scare. There was me doing what I could to get what I needed after therapy worked and I had my break though. There were plenty of ups and downs, a whole heaping ton load when my Grandfather died - and I reconnected with some of my family. I made a pair of great and wonderful friends here in Michigan out of a couple I only knew through roleplaying (who have helped me so much). But I still struggled with things internally. I still vividly remember one time when it was so bad while I was trying to explain to Mom what I wanted her to help me with, and I had to put my fist to my forehead. Mom said, "you look like you're in pain." And the truth was, I was in pain.

Finally, finally this past March I realized I hadn't cried in quite a while. I think it may have been since the November before, but it had at least been months. I remember the breaking point was when I had gone out to Massachusetts on about a week's vacation to see Mom and pack up what I could of the rest of my things to bring back to Michigan. And I spent a fair amount of that week in her basement cleaning out the storage side. It was something I just had the urge to do and keep doing. It turned out I had just needed to not think hard for a while and do some manual labor. It effectively worked out the last of my tension and issues my body had been holding. And once my body had let go, my mind followed suit (or perhaps my mind already had let go but my body hadn't?).

Either way, I hadn't cried "because I needed to" or "I just felt like it" in quite a while. I knew I was happy, and had been since that visit to Mom (with the exception of then going into family overload due to that vacation being so close to Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then family staying with me around New Years - WAY TOO MUCH). And since I had been happy for that long, I realized it was time I started being a better friend to others again. And I tried, and I like to think I've been doing well on that front as well as my own.

Then today happened. And I found myself headed back down that familiar road. Do you know, I can't remember hardly any spans of time in my life when I did not cry just because at times? I like not being like that anymore. I don't want to go back to that.

No stepping back.

So I stopped, and tried to not think too hard, but let the answer come to me. And, I think, it did. No, I'm sure. I need to change my perspective slightly.

You see, today I did something I've wanted to for a while. I asked out (and my definition of that is "Do you want to hang out some time?", basically it's a let's get to know each other and see if there might be any potential) a guy I've like since pretty much I first met him. Of course he had a girlfriend at the time, so I didn't do or say anything. But they broke up the Monday before last. This guy is one of the plot staff at NERO. I waited until the end of the event because I didn't want either answer from him to impact anything game wise. Guess what his response was. "If you don't mind hanging out with a couple drunk college guys, yeah." He seemed cool with the idea. He totally misunderstood me. He thought I was trying to break into that social circle, he and is roommate run in. I let it go, because, well, that did sound appealing to me too. But, really, it doesn't. Drunks are not my scene. College is no longer my scene, even if I wanted it to be, no matter how much I liked it. (I know this guy is 24, so it was a surprise to me he's in college.)

What appeals to me is getting into a group, circle of friends again. I so very much enjoy being with my pair of friends (they are a married couple) and with their daughters (my girls!). And while it's great and so helpful and I love being with them, it's no longer enough. I need more close friends. I do have friends here, but only the two I hang out with outside of roleplaying on a regular basis. And yet, I don't much want to go hang out with those guys. And so today's issues began.

It's all about perspective. I stopped for a moment. I could not let myself go back to how I was. So I had to find the new path to continue away from there, because it seems the one I am on has come to some sort of end. Transition actually. I could circle back around to where I was, and be depressed again. I could try to force this path to continue on, and likely only slow the circling back around. Or I could take a new one. And when I stopped to think, a new one presented itself.

I want to be in a circle of friends again. Building one is hard and takes a long time. Breaking into one, if you can in fact get in, is faster. And earlier today one of the guys at NERO (Tim) mentioned to me he'd be going over to another of the guys from NERO (Doug's) on Friday. And that thought floated into my head. And I realized- I knew the guys I now had an open invite to hang out with where not the kind that did or talked about things I wanted to. They are early twenties, still in their teenage college mentality. Tim, while 19, is married with a five month old child (who is so cute!). Doug is married, and in his 30's. And from the "team" meeting we had last week - which I enjoyed both the meeting in getting things accomplished and finding out we will back each other up in calling out other players when they're bad, and the hanging out afterwards (but had forgotten about until just about now) - I am fairly certain the circle I want to get into is that one.

I just find it interesting, that by "looking around" as it were instead of focusing on what I was thinking and not being happy about, I found almost right under my nose something so similar to what I was focusing on yet different in the ways I wanted, and needed.

And interesting to find that the idea of having a circle of friends has taken care of my "I don't want to be alone" issues today. Oh I'm sure finding a partner is what I want, too. But I'm also pretty sure that even that wouldn't fix up today's issues. Today's issues were really last year's again. I need friends. Good friends.

I'm glad to find my extroverted nature is returning. Being with friends is becoming more important than being at home again. And I'm really relieved to have found the path I want to take now.

This post is (was) to serve as a reminder to myself to start trying to break into the Tim, Doug, GJ, and wives group. (I would have listed the wives separately as I've met them and they played NERO this last weekend too, but I can't remember their names! :\ )


Oh, and call Jessie! Have to work on getting that friendship moving again too.


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