So in following up last night’s post, I’ve been riding on a mildly high on life kick lately. With the move finally being finished from the past month, it has finally given me a chance to settle down and observe things with a little more clarity around me. Lab work certainly hasn’t improved that much, but on the plus side my social life was running a little hotter than I thought it had been, despite what I may have been thinking.

I had been killing a lot of time with Team HGT1 (aka Greg/Rob/Kelly) since late spring between running 5K’s, getting food and beers, or hitting up concerts2, and it spoils me for what I think typical social interaction is these days while I’m slaving over my graduate degree. Amidst all that, it at least appeared that through meeting a few new people (and rekindling some old friendships that have been nearly detached for a while), I got the little ego boost I needed to get me going again and out of the sulk and misery I’d been entertaining amidst the stress of the move. Moving in with a complete stranger contributed to part of it, but I’ve since learned that we get along okay so far, which was my biggest worry3. Running into a young woman at the Canalfest 4-miler that I since met up with after the RMH road race as well will help at least give me another socialization partner for the races in the absence of Team HGT, if not in other activities outside of road races. Making a new friend was a pleasant change, so hopefully that will grow some as well. Adding to the third piece of the pie was just learning that someone would consider recommending me as datable material, which was pretty heart-warming as I haven’t had any really strong signs of that for a while4.

I know I am a pretty decent guy, but those little reminders outside my inner circle of friends really help strike it home. I always used to think it took significant amounts of getting to know me to see something appreciable, but this helps me realize it’s not so many skins deep5. I just need to learn to roll with it more, and not be quite so skittish in public. A singular impression isn’t really going to make or break me (or at least shouldn’t).

Unfortunately for me now, Team HGT is all but disappeared now. Greg, Rob, and Kelly (as with the rest of the Gill lab) have moved on to Rochester. Hopefully Rob will be finishing up with his research in the next month or so and can start writing his dissertation. Greg and Kelly are still in their earlier years, so they’ll be in Rochester for the long haul. Regardless, they’ve really been my social circle since late fall/early winter last year, so it’ll be a sad while not having them conveniently nearby to hang out with. Thankfully with the recent ego boost, hopefully that will spurn solitude and encourage meeting some more people out and about (whenever I manage to get out more, that is). I’ve never been super-awesome at meeting people and making new friends, but it’s going to be a lonely6 year if I don’t accrue a few more. Tom will still be around, but he’ll be busy writing his dissertation for a few months, and he already has a pretty active social life of his own right now. I seem to be scraping by these days, but there’s mixed feelings about that.

So. Social life is highly unstable right now. I may or may not have some avenues to attempt to chase after for dating. I am cautiously skeptical7, but at this point I think I just need to do away with the skeptical portion of it and just treat it as cautious. Skepticism hasn’t done me that much good as of late. Time to ditch that like a bad habit!

1HGT = Horizontal Gene Transfer. Liz is also part of this team, but I’ve only gotten the pleasure of sharing a single road race with her just yet. I’m not sure how many people really get the joke about the team name when we put that on our race applications, but it sure does set them snickering! Little do they know: we’re hardcore microbiologists (‘cept Liz, who’s going to be hardcore doctor)!
2We also hit up the free Our Lady Peace concert up in Lockport earlier on where I got to see The Hours completely by surprise (OMG!), and I forget all the random other stuff we hang out and do. I sometimes wonder if I’m not getting early onset Oldtimers or something. =P
3Which I’m sure many people would be at least a little worried about, unless they’re a complete nihilist. If that’s the case, then I’m boobytrapping any future apartment in case they decide to completely disrespect or shit all over my stuff. All’s fair in nihilism and war, verdad?
4Last case of that was the bartender who served us at the Thirsty Buffalo back when Rob and I went out after I finished moving into my new apartment. She wasn’t blatantly forcing herself on me or anything, but Rob adamantly encouraged me to get her number as she kept dropping pick-up bombs of “since I’m single” and “not seeing anyone right now” into many of her stories. Unfortunately, she never showed at the bar I was to meet her at the following night, and kind of kept dodging around a solid time to meetup outside of her work hours. In retrospect, she may well have been just trying to reap a little more tip money and/or visits on her shifts to earn her more.
5Geeks (or maybe just me) are like onions: we have many layers! (name that reference)
6Lonely or torturesome on my poor roommate. I’ll be clinging to the television and Nintendo Wii, or mooching off of her company/social life. I’m not sure if I have enough books, random side projects, and stuff to fix to keep me entertained all winter long! Maybe it’ll just be a mild’ish winter, and I can take plenty of walks…
7My default stance on many social interactions has always been cautious optimism. Probably explains why my dating life has been so devoid in general. “Oh, psh, she’s just being nice. That’s all!” *epic facepalm* Also, out of consideration to avoid inconveniencing others, I’ve also avoided making the first move until I’m >90% confident that I’ve got permission/access to move in. That’s just a travesty I don’t even have to explain!

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