This year, there’s only one thing that I need to focus on. I’ve danced around & touched on it in years past, but this year it really needs to be the only goal.
The past plods along, unwavering & unreceptive to influence. It cares not what we do; it continues on with itself as expected.
While in contrast, the future waits patiently, watching our every move, dynamically plotting its intercept course.
The past—the irresolvable soldier of our lives—cannot be forced to stray its course. We can only follow its trek & learn from it.
The future bends—to some extent or another yet it always does—to our whims & our actions. We can model it as a young child and turn it into something amazing.
Yet why do so many people fixate on the past as if it was some slumbering thing that we can simply reawaken or rekindle? There is no fuel left to rekindle; the fire has to be fed anew, and only the future bears fresh fuel.
Someone get me some blasted sunglasses. I can see the damage & desolation, the missed rest stops & scenic overlooks, behind me, but I’ll be damned if I can see anything ahead because of all this blasted glare…
…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.
For just a minute today, I felt good about myself. Really good, like, I look good. To top it all off, I even felt that it could even be construed as sexy. And then it was just gone. Just like that. A fleeting thought, like a dragonfly that stopped for a second to check you out, and then is blasting off gone again.
Woah now, hold the horses there. That is a first; pretty sure that has happened next to never. I felt pretty close to that, nearly twelve years ago when Misty told me I had a cute ass. But since then? I don’t think I ever have. Maybe I came close a couple months ago (as noted here and here).
There may be some hope for my self confidence just yet. I just need to find a way to capture whatever it was I had there. Mold some more self-image around that nucleating event and rebuild it into something properly acceptable.
I know it’s a broken record to revisit, but I was surprisingly enlightened into some of the social politics amongst the younger members of the department. I know I’ve been distraught previously over the difficulty in socializing with graduate students & postdocs in the department. Friday garnered a little more than coincidental information about that.
The holiday drive home to North Dakota will likely not be coming to fruition. Discovering a bulge on one of my car tires, I probably need that addressed before I take it on a 1300+ mile road trip. I don’t quite have the dispensable cash on hand for an entire new set of tires, since they’re all ~2/3–3/4 worn at this point (in the event the bulge’s origination isn’t reparable). So, driving isn’t an option right now.
Being that new tires aren’t exactly affordable right now, nor are plane tickets. Flying around Christmas is rather much a nightmare, anyways, so I guess my best option is to forego the trip (for now), and just hang low in Toronto. Conveniently, this at least ensures I can make a Christmas party in a couple weeks down in Buffalo, so at least I’ll have that!
I can’t wait to hear the bemoaning from (most of) my Fargo friends who were anxious to see me again for a change. Ironically, they’re the ones who precipitated my ire over neglectful friends, and needing to do something about them. Thankfully, my strongest network is clearly the Buffalo crowd (who I’ve known half as long), with a few choice individuals in the midwest still. I keep hoping to finally incorporate a person or two from Toronto, but it feels like a game of whack-a-mole: as soon as I’m about to get a hold of one, it disappears for a while. Along that same analogy, I’ve got more “moles” rearing their heads, but with equal uncertainty. Running around trying to catch them just isn’t working; maybe I need to take an old stratagem from my college dating days.
Quit trying, and just let life happen.
I found Holly during that period, and a few more good friends, and it was great. Between my frantic mental attempts to try & make time for things in the hopes I can interest another person or three to go, and the ever distracting workload of my postdoc, I’m probably better off just not trying. Pull my head & neck back in, stick to my own, and just trod on. Don’t neglect to be engaging when prompted, but definitely no need to try and “put myself out there.”
Would it really be the end of the world coming out of a three year postdoc here with just one friend, and a bunch of professional acquaintances? Probably not. Especially if I end up moving elsewhere afterwards for my next step professionally. If I don’t end up moving out of Toronto? Well. I’ll just be that much better at enjoying what the city has to offer as a lone individual; nothing to hold back my interests, and no one to judge my idiosyncrasies (amusingly or crassly).
Sounds slightly depressing, but the better I can make the end result look, the better I can be in accepting the plan.
So. I wonder what the hell there is to do in Toronto as a one-man show on Christmas day?
Last week, I was dealing with a lot of my own emotional war all week1, and ended up partaking in a few too many days of inebriation as a distraction from it all. That, combined with the vehicular cesspools that are the TTC right now, this weekend announced the introduction of some later TBD infection.