'Triduum' may well be my favorite word. I wish I could play it in Scrabble sometime. Is it only a proper noun? But I confess, I have not had a particularly holy Lent. I slipped in my devotions a lot, and I am sitting here right now, on the anniversary of Christ's death, wrapped up in my own little problems.
I've been thinking unusually hard lately. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say I've been thinking about unusually hard things. In the past three weeks, I drafted (with some help) Plan Epsilon-sub-epsilon and executed it. Like every other instance of Plan E (summary of Plan E: graduate college), it seems to have failed, but for the first time in Plan E history, it failed due to circumstances and not due to improper execution on my part. Also, it didn't cost me anything but stress, time, and energy, all of which I have in abundance. Further, I discovered that I am ready to go back to school, by which I mean I enjoyed and was interested in the material, something that had not been the case the past few stabs at E. I am so pleased (if not satisfied) with this result, I think I will redeploy E-e at the time of earliest convenience, but with somewhat more set-up time.
Encouraged by the recent sharp decrease in failure for my Plans, I sat down a few minutes ago and tried to draw up a Plan for romance, but I ultimately set it aside as futile. The first part was too obvious and disorganized to be worthy of the name (eg. "stop being too poor to date", "buy a pair of jeans withouth holes in them"), and the second... Well, if the first part was a list of complaints about myself, the second part was a list of complaints about the rest of the world. The second part was longer, and made less sense. It was based, I suppose, on my guesses as to what young women are interested in, and partly on what girls I don't try to date telling me things about girls I do. They usually don't know each other. Result: confusion.
There is a part of me that thinks itself reasonable and always, always suggests that the best way to attract a girl who will be interested in me is to act like myself. No offense, me, but that is a crock. It certainly has not been working to any detectable degree. There is another part of me that insists overwhelming apathy is the correct path, but that has been a bit harder to pull off of late. This is because I'm impatient. A year and a half is bad enough; maintaining full-scale apathy as an ongoing strategy is... resource-heavy.
There is no third part of me offering advice. I sought outside help, and received, variously "go to church more, there are good, religious girls there" (this is true); "you're totally not to old to be dating college girls" (not really helpful); "have you tried online dating?" (am I the only one who still finds that creepy?); and a short refresher tutorial on how to manipulate people (which, apparently, other people find creepy?).
There is a clear, more-or-less permanent obstacle: I don't understand women. Or most people in general, really. I understand a few, such as Brian. But this is not a function of time, really; I never understood Jeremy, and I definitely did not understand Leah. Obviously, that's no barrier to loving people, but it does make them harder to manipulate, my default form of interaction. There is also a less-permanent obstacle: My Chicago social circles are tapped out. Everyone I know knows each other, is fiercely loyal to each other, secretly hates each other, used to date each other, openly hates each other, and so on. There is a graph of it floating around in my head. It ensures that my relationship to anyone who could be introduced to me by anyone I know will already be complicated at the time of the introduction. That is too much work. That right there, and my lust for a good, honest mosh pit, are the reasons I am so eager to move out of Chicago. But I'm not willing to give up on getting my Chicago degree yet, so.
The first twenty years of my life taught me to accept the consequences of my actions, but they did not often force those consequences upon me. I was miraculously spared, time and time again. Except for the broken leg when I was three and the heartbreak in highschool, nothing bad really happened to me until mid-college. Now I have to deal with terrible realities (I admit once more, often of my own making) several times a week, and I find myself thinking, is this what other people have been living with their whole lives? Seriously, how do you people DO this?
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