On the plus side!

I might be lonely and devoid of passion, but that doesn’t mean things haven’t been fun around here!

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were all packed with fun. I went to an on-campus dance to celebrate a literary magazine’s first issue, I spent good alone-time at Gameworks improving my drummania game (Right on Time Advanced omg so fun), I went to a fondue party, played a lot of Smash, went to Neighbours and danced a whole lot (yes, I went to a gay bar with my gay roommates), and met some exchange student friends of a friend and went downtown for shopping then Il Fornaio, all while getting my home/work done. Very fulfilling, and a load off my mind.

Oh and I also decided (after looking at a lot of shirtless mans at Neighbours) that I’d stop making excuses and fit going to the gym into my schedule. I have a class before lunch, then lunch, then just enough time to head to the gym for a good circuit before another class. Going to do it M-W-F. I’m psyched, and already sore.

Who needs lamentations about how un-fun my life is when I fill my life with fun things?

Passion.

I’ve been thinking about passion for the past day or so. It’s been kind of depressing; I’m really having trouble thinking of anything that really, really interests me.

I only hope that I get a job where I can move up to the point where I really enjoy what I do. I’m not sure if it’s very reasonable to think that way, though, so I’m trying to compile a list of stuff that I would enjoy doing, regardless of pay:

– Computer repair. I solve people’s tech problems all the time and love doing the problem solving. I’m not an electrical engineer, I’m not A+ certified or anything, but I can build and diagnose computers, hardware-wise and software-wise. Repairmen don’t get paid that much but I bet I’d really like what I’m doing.

– Flying planes. This is something I know nothing at all about. But damn, I love being flown around. I mean, being a pilot is just like being a glorified bus driver, and I don’t know whether pilots really are able to settle down – not that I’d care. I’ve always respected pilots. But considering all the bureaucracy that must go with becoming an actual pilot and working at an airline – not sure if I would enjoy it at all.

– Video games? I don’t know. I don’t like physics, I’m not a character designer or artist or anything, and I’m barely a composer. I like video games and it would be cool to say that I have a career doing things with them, but what exactly I would do, I don’t know. And before anyone quips, I certainly would not enjoy a career just playing video games. When you get older, sitting on your own and playing the same old thing over and over isn’t as appealing as it might once have been.

And that’s it! That’s all I can think of that I would really enjoy as a career. Computational linguistics-related stuff isn’t on the list. It’s interesting stuff but it’s not something I love doing. Maybe I’ll have stronger feelings about it once I actually delve into more grad-level classes centered around it. I still don’t know enough about the field.

The big problem, as it has always been, is that I hate quantitative stuff. Programming’s fine, to an extent, but regardless of how “natural” I might be at it, I hate doing math. It bores me, annoys me, confuses me. I seriously believe I would not be able to put up with even a year of it to be able to achieve something engineering-related. And there’s also the fact that I’m just a 3.0 student. I’m not a genius, I don’t get awards, I don’t get scholarships and grants – I’m just really lucky to have cash in my pocket. The problem with not having a passion is I don’t try my very hardest to achieve.

Man, I’m really thinking of taking this summer and doing something with it. Going somewhere, expanding my horizons, leaving my student life behind for at least a few months. Unfortunately, that’s something I said I’d do last summer and I ended up sitting on my ass and working less-than-part-time, minus July when I went to Israel.

Ho hum.

LiveJournal Entry

I think it’s been ages since I actually posted something that makes LJ worthy of its reputation – as a sad, emotional, drama-ridden hellhole where people drown in their problems instead of doing something about it. (Fun fact: this is actually the reason why I didn’t join LJ until 2003, when “everyone else was doing it” – while I found that it was a good blogging system back in 2000, its reputation preceded itself.)

I’m lonely. I’ve been lonely since I moved up to Seattle. This was definitely something I expected would happen, and all things considered, I’m doing a damn good job of dealing with it. I’m slowly but steadily creating and building friendships, I’m involved in my studies and other extracurriculars, and I’m en route to employment over the summer. But I can’t help but feel like I’m missing the big picture.

My undergraduate years have already passed me by. In retrospect, I did an average job. Average grades, average activities, average experiences with friends and romance. I left UCSC with a lot of stories and memories. A vast improvement over TLHS, where I couldn’t distinguish one year from the other even as I was walking across the podium to get my degree.

Man, realizing how banal my time at Terra Linda was was a good wake-up call for me. I can now remember three situations in which I missed perfectly good relationship opportunities. I can remember skimping on social groups and gatherings just because, deep down, I was trying to prove some point – not that I really knew what it was. High school was an inoffensive, in-and-out procedure of nothing in particular. I’m really glad I chose my college based on how pretty it was, instead of the academics. That decision embodied a good frame of mind.

Anyway, let’s get back to the present. I’ve got a story I haven’t really shared because things were in the workings, but they seem to be over so I might as well.

I asked out a girl, Kat, from my CS class at a community college last quarter. We went to lunch a few times and got along pretty well. Around finals, she said she’d call to see if we could hang out before we both left for Winter vacation – didn’t happen. I thought oh well, I guess that’s the end of it. There wasn’t really any situation beyond lunch dates where we could get to know each other much better, and there were also some problem areas like location, religious views, etc. – stuff that could have caused problems, but nothing we couldn’t have overcome in retrospect.

Anyway, she called me up after we had both gotten back from vacation, apologizing for not calling back because she had been busy. (She had been a little scatterbrained with communication in the past anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal.) We went on the ideal date downtown: went to an art museum, had a good dinner, and even headed back to watch a movie at my apartment. So many signs that it was in the direction of turning into something more. But I sort of fucked up, I guess.

Didn’t make any “moves” throughout the entire evening. No arms around shoulders, no smooching during the movie – in fact, right when the credits started rolling, the first thing out of my mouth was “so, let’s see when the next bus will be rolling by.” Smooth, huh? I regretted the words the minute I had said them. If I was just a little bit stronger I would have added on, “on second thought, fuck that, let’s make out.”

So after taking her to the stop and waving goodbye, I sat at my computer for the rest of the evening, cursing myself and trying to figure out why I was such a fucking pansy. What the hell was the big deal?

Storytime #2: last Winter at UCSC. Dated my next-door neighbor Jocelyn for about a month. It was nice but pretty uneventful – probably me to blame. I couldn’t think of diddly-squat to do. We spent most of the time playing video games. There was one point where I decided we should take a leisurely stroll around Porter simply because we were doing nothing but playing Final Fantasy X for the last five times we had time to hang out. Eventually I consulted another friend living on the hall, trying to find out why I was being such a bore-fest.

Storytime #3: Spring 2006, the start of the best relationship of my life as of yet. Shiranne and I started dating, knowing that she would eventually be leaving for Israel, but we decided to see each other pretty casually but eventually over the summer it evolved into something bigger. Big heartbreak occurred when it was finally time for her to pack up, move out, and fly away.

It was pretty obvious that I was hesitant around Jocelyn because I was still regularly talking to Shiranne and getting along with her swimmingly, despite the fact that she was across the world and had no plans of ever returning. I broke it off with Jocelyn simply because I wasn’t in the right state to be in a relationship, or something. I dunno.

Storytime #4: Summer 2007, birthright trip to Israel. I went to Israel fully knowing that I was doing it out of love. Going to another country and expanding my horizons was a definite goal, but it was totally overshadowed by my desire to see Shiranne again. Of course, love blossomed and it was the best vacation ever and we went all around Israel and had a wonderful time. The big decision to make, though, was how things would be beyond that. Would we try to remain an item, or would we leave things like they were last year? We tried going the different route and being exclusive, but after a few months it became apparent that it just wouldn’t work.

Shiranne found a great guy, who lives in the same country, for starters, and they’re still together. I’m putting a big strain on her relationship, though, because we’re still talking as much as ever. Being in constant contact is proving to be a real emotional dilemma for both of us, and neither of us wants to cut off all communication – neither of us could really handle it. So what I’m trying my best to do to move on is to find someone else, lest the both of us live in constant emotional turmoil. (It certainly doesn’t help that we’ll be seeing each other over spring break, my summer situation is very uncertain, and she might be visiting again in the fall.)

So I really do have a need to find someone new. And I’m trying. I’m trying to hit up social events as frequently as possible. Trying to meet people in my classes, meet their friends, etc. The problem is, I feel like it’ll end up like it did with Kat, where I’m too hesitant to do anything – maybe because of my emotional state, maybe because of my “high standards” about relationships, who the hell knows.

Now, “high standards” is a bit of a false moniker. It’s really a mixture of my own shyness, uncertainty, and idealism. I was never the sort of guy to approach random girls and compliment them and give them gifts. There’s also the part where certain connections might end negatively – outright rejection, or another slow descent into boredom, anxiety, or outright severance of social connections. There’s also the idea that I need to find someone who fits my OKCupid Match Criteria or my Facebook Interests or my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or all that other superficial shit, or, god forbid, either of us will have to change our habits to accommodate one another. But everyone feels this way. Don’t they? …

I’m really not sure. This ties back to how I felt in high school, how I acted in college, and the way I am right now. When I was young I wish I was born dumber but bolder. I wish I could trade smarts for skills. I wish I was the hare instead of the tortoise. I don’t think my problem is my lack of confidence, but I can’t really say what it is. I just wish I was in a different situation mentally, emotionally, maybe locationally.

What do you guys think?

Edit: A spiel of Noser’s puts a good spin on my situation. You might notice that I haven’t once mentioned the fact that both Jocelyn and Kat were never the ones to make any moves, and I don’t think that this was due to disinterest. Are they to blame for not being more aggressive and active? Is society? It’s certain that I have to keep trying, but how much should I change my approach, and how much should others?