Sometimes you may get sucked into conversation with strangers. That’s not a big deal. Especially if you’re coordinating hosting a social event. No big deal.

It’s when you realize you may be inadvertently cockblocking another individual that you realize what you’re really doing. You get suckered into a conversation. You keep talking. You know said individual is there with another person. No big deal. 30–45 minutes pass; you’re still stuck there. You try to succinctly escape. It never quite happens.

You try to pass the buck. It almost happens, but you’re again not afforded the opportunity for escape. You continue to try (nonchalantly) to no avail. At this point, you’re more than obviously aware of your own situation. You just pray it’s not what you think it is.

I wanted nothing more than to partake in social interactions, win some (favorable) approval of others, and maybe leave the social with some improved opinions of myself. Instead, I leave worrying I cockblocked another professor in the department (whose “date” (?) needed to wish a goodbye before they departed), and feeling awkward as fuck for doing so. I even tried to escape to conversation with others, yet she (obviously, easily) found me to wish be good departings.

Yes, I want to feel appreciated. Yes, I want to feel wanted. But sweet Jesus fuck (perdon mon français), I don’t want to be cockblocking another colleague in the process.

Pleeeeeeeeeeeease don’t tell me this is what was happening tonight…

To the fellow operating streetcar 4177 on the eastbound College Ave (506) route this morning at 07:00, I commend your energy & enthusiasm this morning. You greeted every boarding passenger with a non-redundant hello, and bid every departing passenger at the front doors with a goodbye & good wishes for the day. That takes some energy & concentration, and you did it all in stride. Riding the TTC since November, that was a first for me to see. I hope you have a fantastic day, good sir.

…is a warm fire, some spiked hot chocolate or glühwine, and some good conversation to wane away the day with. I don’t have to have the family & the loved ones…but they would certainly help. Just a sip of the same social interaction nigh everyone else is having today.

Maybe someone to watch a Star Trek marathon with, but certainly not necessary!

Getting an iPad from the parents (although I had to go purchase it), and buying myself a steeply-discounted Star Trek movie collection are I nice gifts…it’s not quite the same as unwrapping something, or receiving cards (of which I only got one this year).

I think the lack of that strong social circle is just making me pine more this year for being alone. But whomp whomp I suppose, right? It’s all of my own doing, in some fashion or another. However, lunch with a couple recent post docs on Monday and an aquarium visit & dinner with another post doc yesterday did at least dampen the feeling that everyone is gone for the holiday.

I laugh a little when people ask what Zodiac sun sign I was born into. I read up on what constitutes a Piscean individual years ago, and even to this day, I feel I embody many of the more characteristic traits of the fishies.

Pisces signs are often described as non-judgmental and very receptive towards others. Under rare exceptions, this usually describes me to a T. It’s hard for me to not be willing to consider someone’s situation or issues without hard evidence against such a stance. I’ll do my best to understand where someone is coming from on an issue, and use that to make any rational decisions on an issue. I used to spend hours helping friends sound out their woes and problems during my college years, helping them realize what was their best course of action (and not someone else’s).

With that in tow, it is also described that us fish are born with an altruistic streak. For a long time, I really tried to entertain this streak. In the years of living on my own, blooming and burning in relationships, and watching friendships reinforce or deconstruct themselves, the altruism has been tamed down a little. I still firmly believe that a strong sense of altruism is what’s missing from the world today, and it irks me to no end that it’s so devoid from our culture on many levels. My altruism even puts many a person off at first. When I first moved in with Emily, she was having issues with her brakes and so I offered to take a look at them and even replace them if she would just pay for the parts. After inspection of her brakes, it was blatantly apparent they needed replacing, and so I told her what she needed and offered to do the repairs at first. She replied with a thanks, no, I’ll take it to the shop, until her coworkers told her she was being crazy. She accepted my offer, and so I got the brake (and even a caliper after the fact) replaced on her minivan over the 4th of July weekend, just two weeks after I had moved in with her. Even recently, I’ve offered to at least two others that I’d replace their brakes for them if they just purchase the parts. If I can readily (and within reason) do something for someone to help them out, I will.

A pair of less noted but equally characteristic traits tend to be the capability to get lost in their of idealized fantasies, and a nigh subconscious striving for knowledge. It’s not hard for me to daydream and get lost in my own mini-fantasies on life. I can idealize for hours and days on just what I want in life, and it’s not hard to get completely lost in it, and even in some cases retreat into it. The world is a painful place often, and where better to deal with it than in your own self-realized pipe dream that you can hide within? However, the chronic search for knowledge helps keep me integrated in life. Look at my current professional status: I’m a graduate student doing scientific research, trying to understand how initiation of DNA replication transitions to elongation of DNA polymerization, and what other crucial process(es) tie into that. I’ve disassembled many an electronic tool in order to (a) figure out how it works, and (b) attempt to repair said electronic tool. I spent four years learning chemistry to understand how chemical reactions work. I spend hours talking to people, trying to understand their point of view, just to learn how people tick. My mind thirsts for an insatiable amount of understanding.

So, with the strengths of Pisces, I’m subjected to the weaknesses very similarly. As a fish, getting lost in my own fantasies is a viable retreat from the cruelness of the world. Any attempts to re-enter reality can be just depressing as the event sending one into the fantasy, leaving one often left to instead wander in their own fantasy instead of remembering to come back down to reality and enjoy the situational blisses there. Because of the very receptive and non-judgmental nature, it’s not uncommon to commonly be a reliable confidant to many people. However, as I’ve learned in the past, it’s easy to get burned in situations like that, and can leave one very distrusting of others. I come off as relatively trusting to many people, but I have a deep-seated worry about deliberate or even unintentional two-facedness. I see coincidence as too coincidental. If someone loves things as much as myself, an alarm starts ringing in my head; I can’t believe that anyone could be that aligned with me. It can be debilitating at times; it has destabilized a relationship or two in the past.

But, Piscean or not, I have to revel in the strengths, and fight to control those weaknesses. Understand that the strengths are partly reasons for the weaknesses, but that when wielded properly just make me that much better. I may be an aloof, overly sensitive creature with a thirst for knowledge and making the world a better place…but as long as I know how to guard that and not let it ruin me, then I fully intend to let loose what I can of it on the world and add an extra little glimmer to my not-so-myopic sphere in the world.