Sunday, August 08, 2004

Oh yay, more bullshit about BLM's personal life that we don't give a flying fuck about

Mount up.

Okay, I've gotta preface this with a couple of things. One, I'm not trying to make this into any kind of "boo-hoo, woe is me" kind of post. In this endeavor I will probably fail. I've just got so much shit on my mind that I need to get it out in one way or another. Why do I need to get it out here? Well, much like Shinzon was for Picard, this 'blog is a mirror for me. If you don't like it, well, you'll either skip this post or just leave altogether like most people.

Two, I know I'm in pretty good shape right now. I'm feeling orders of magnitude better than I was just over a year ago. Shit, I'm feeling way better than I was just a few weeks ago. This time last month, I was still living in a fucking apartment, I was all alone, my car was all busted up, and I was feeling pretty worthless at my job. Most all of that still stands except for the apartment thing; becoming a homeowner has done wonders for making me feel not woefully inadequate.

So yeah, I'm not feeling sorry for myself or trying to make anyone feel sorry for me, and I'm not trying to boast or any of that bullshit. For once. But holy hell am I fucking terrified.

Like I said: worthless at the job. Okay, that's of course an exagerration. Basically, there's just more downtime than I'd like to see. This, in many ways, is kinda nice. I'm making decent money and go through periods where I don't do shit. Most people would love that. I kinda do sometimes, but I actually would like some work and challenge. More importantly, perhaps, is that I want to be doing something useful so that I don't fucking get laid off.

Now, I don't think that'll happen. Anyone who knows the saga of my getting hired nine months ago knows that the people I work with had to do some work of their own just to get me hired (namely, arguing with the bastion of logic that is upper management). So it's not like they're just going to let me go with ease. Especially not when I know that they're pleased with my progress thus far when I have work to do. And of course, I have had shit to do, and I know that there's stuff ahead. So, in the end, getting laid off just isn't all that logical, but like I've said: upper management and logic - not exactly good buddies.

The potential of being jobless - however remote - is worrisome for the usual reasons but things are compounded because of the new house. If lose the job, I am so fucked. Since I'm A) a spendthrift and B) haven't been working a regular full-time job for all that long, I don't exactly have any money saved up to fall back on. Sure, there's severance and maybe unemployment, but that's only going to go so far.

The idea of having all my cash sapped by the mortgage and other bills doesn't really bother me, it's the idea of not being able to meet these obligations that has me scared. I'm fine for now; I know this. But as I come from a long line of worry-warts, there's no way I can rest easy. If things would just fucking pick up at work again, I'd feel much better. No problem if I'm busy and vital. But when I'm idle, look the fuck out.

I, of course, don't help matters by going through all this nonsense alone. Yes, of course, I'm not completely alone, but you know what the fuck I'm talking about. This isn't going to change, period. My fault, I know that. As long as I can pay the mortgage, I'll deal.

Matters aren't helped by the fact that I've started re-watching Love Hina again. A quick aside on this fucking show.

Many out there probably don't know what the fuck it is, but I've mentioned it, I dunno, a billion times. It's this fucking anime (read: naughty Japanese cartoon) that centers on a total loser guy who gets thrust into a situation where he's suddenly the manager of an all-girls dorm. Wackiness and pseudo-romance ensues. The TBMF (Total Bullshit Male Fantasy) genre at its finest.

Now, I can't imagine why a show like this would appeal to someone like me. One thing that's probably not apparent, though, is why I'm so emotionally attached to the show. Well, as I mentioned (and as you saw if you read or have read that post from last June), I was feeling really shitty last summer. Of course I was being a drama queen (that's just what I do) with that whole "my life/career are in ruins!" stuff, but that's how I felt at the time. I felt the worst I'd felt in almost a decade with some legitimacy; the worst I'd felt since I was back in high school and all clinically depressed and slicing my wrists for attention.

Luckily, I got past that teenage angst crap, just to move onto early twenties angst. No more self-mutilation for attention, just writing shitty posts for all the world to (potentially) see. Looking back, maybe the cutting thing was better. I'm kidding, of course (right?).

Anyway, yeah... Early twenties angst big time last summer. I felt awful, and one of the few things that lightened my mood, one of the few things that made me laugh and smile amidst those dark June days was watching Love Hina. It's retarded, I know, but I'm kind of a retarded person. Hopefully this helps explain some things, stupid or not.

The other stupid thing about that show is that it always leads to me getting unnecessarily introspective. Again, retarded - we've been over that. A big part of the plot in LH is that the two main characters are trying to get admitted to the University of Tokyo, one of Japan's premier schools. They spend all their time studying their asses off, then taking practice exams and entrance exams. And it got me to thinking: man, it's been fucking ages since I've challenged myself like that.

In fact, I don't know that I've ever challenged myself like that. I know what you're saying: so what? Well, there's this stupid part of me that (if you haven't noticed) always has me feeling that I need to be doing something to prove myself.

But even when I have pushed myself towards something, I still feel like I'm setting the bar kind of low. Take college, for instance. I probably could have gotten into a pretty good school if I had tried, but I didn't. I just resigned myself that I was going to go to CU and that was that. Not that CU was a horrible school, but I probably could have done better. And even if I couldn't have done better, I at least could have tried.

So why didn't I? Was I afraid of failure? Was I afraid of putting in the effort to pass exams and all that? For once, not really. Back then I was in the mode of doing all that shit, so that really wasn't the issue. No, what it came down to was that I didn't want to go to school out of state. I'm a mamma's boy, and I just couldn't be far away from my mother or grandparents. They'd have mad separation anxiety in a situation like that, but so would I.

There, of course, lies one of my biggest problems: not always living my life for myself. Letting myself get tied down by what others want. And not that they'd want me to stay close to home if I really wanted to go elsewhere, but, yeah, it's kinda complicated.

Anyway, that ship has sailed, but still. I haven't done shit on that level to really push myself. Realizing that that wasn't all that important, I extended it to a new bullshit level, namely that I not only wasn't challenging myself, but I wasn't taking any kinds of risks. Risks that, yes, may end in crushing defeat, but risks that might also pay off big. Whether it came to life, love, or career, I was perpetually playing it safe.

But then I was like, what the fuck are you talking about? You just bought a fucking house with no safety net and no (relative) comfort level when it comes to job security. You may not be taking exams or trying to win the girl's affection, but that doesn't mean that you're not fucking gambling.

All this nonsense led me to realize that I'm still going to be facing challenges and finding ways to prove worth to myself in one way or another, but those challenges are naturally going to be different than they were a couple of years ago. I know that this isn't exactly a complex conclusion, but there's just something about saying it for the first time. And hey, if I really need that stupid classes and exams bullshit, I can just go back for my PhD.

Bottom line: maybe this is one of the first steps in actually starting to feel like a goddamn adult (yes, adult, even if cartoons are involved). Sure, graduation, the job, the mortgage, were all helping move me in that direction, but, I dunno, I just haven't felt like I'm actually getting somewhere new.

Of course, as part of this passage into the next phase, I'm entering the mystical land of the "real world." Unlike the annoying MTV show, however, this is actual reality TV. Without, of course, having it on TV. Oh yeah, the "real world" that every adult warned me about for so long. The "real world" that they told me to stay in school in spite of and to avoid at all costs for as long as possible. Yup, the real world, or as I like to affectionately call it, "the big time."

Another thing I realized is that (I think) I'm getting a feel for the essence of why everyone said to avoid this as long as I could. It's not just the dealing with shit, but the worry and the anxiety that comes along with it all. You grow up watching your parents, and you know they're dealing with some shit. But still, having a job, paying the bills, dealing with stuff all seems automatic. Regardless, you feel confident that everything's going to be fine; they're adults, they're not going to screw up or have something bad happen to them. Of course, the image holds because you can't see what they've got going in their minds, you can't see that they're worried about the same shit I'm worrying about now. Okay, maybe this isn't how it was for everyone, but I think this is how I felt.

Naturally, I take the worry and anxiety to unnecessary levels. I just moved into the new place, and I'm already paranoid about having to move out in the near future. I wander around the house telling myself "You know, I really like this place. I hope I don't fucking lose it." Once again, this is who I am and what I do. Irritating, yet sometimes strangely amusing.

Yeah, the big time, indeed. And yes, the beginning. I haven't yet had to spend years dealing with the job and constant obligations like a mortgage. Again, that doesn't really scare me right now (we'll see how we feel about it further down the line, of course), it's not being able to do that which scares me. I'll deal with all that shit, just please, please let me feel like I've actually gotten somewhere. And I have gotten somewhere, and I know this - just like I said at the outset of this post. I just don't want to have to go back, even though I know that a bunch of shit stands ahead of me.

I think Happy Bunny puts it best: "School prepares you for the real world, which also sucks."

Alright, this post is unraveling with a quickness. Not that it didn't start off in shambles, but it's getting worse. There's a whole 'nother part I wrote up that I'm 86'ing for now; if you're unlucky it'll be a follow-on to this piece of shit.

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