Posted by: GeekHiker | July 27, 2011

The Journal: December, 2010 (2)

The Journal: December, 2010 (2)

Driving north today, on my way to Sacramento for Christmas with my parents.

I’m sitting in the car at a highway viewpoint overlooking the Dos Amigos Pumping Plant on the California Aqueduct.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but I’ve endeavored to do all these journal entries outdoors: hikes, picnic tables, park benches, whatever.  Along the monotonous I-5 during a rainy trip, this is the closest I can find.

[And, after typing the first few entries at home, I’m now sitting outside on a hike, having hauled a laptop with me and doing transcription at a picnic table in a campground.  Less distractions (except for the damn flies…)]

I think I found the cause of my lack of motivation last time: I was getting sick.  I think the pace I’ve been trying to keep caught up with me, finally.  I ended up deciding to push the test until January, which may or may not be a mistake, since I’ve signed up for a class starting the same month.  We shall see, I guess.

Its odd, though: I still feel like I’m not accomplishing enough.  Others do more, maintain heavier schedules, accomplish more with their time.

I probably watch too much T.V…

[The time-management theme is definitely a recurring one for me, isn’t it?]

* * *

Five days with the Parentage, and I’m already ready to go home.

That isn’t to say that I haven’t enjoyed my time here, more to say that its exhausting.  The fact that I’m an only child, combined with the relatively few times that I see the family, leads to me being the center of attention.  If Mom’s not asking me a question, Dad is.  It doesn’t lead to a lot of moments of solitude.

[Ironic, no?  After all, the accepted wisdom about only children is that they’re selfish and always want to be the center of attention. Turns out in reality, not so much.]

To write this, I’ve walked away from the house to a nearby open space preserve.  There’s traffic nearby, but at least its outdoors with birds singing.  And while I have to qualms with walking back in a short time, its nice to have a few moments of solitude.

* * *

Although I’m sure I’d never trade it, It think I’ve seen one drawback to the course of my life so far.

[Only one?  I can’t wait to transcribe this and see just what the hell I’m talking about here…]

During this vacation, the Parentage and I have talked, played games, watched movies, and shared meals together.  There has been fun and laugher as well.  And its been that way, with rare exceptions, for most of my life.

This is not a bad thing, and I don’t intend to give that impression.  But I do think that a side effect of this is that, unlike a lot of friends with family drama, or children of divorce, there hasn’t been as much motivation to get away.

Pain, stress, sadness, anger – these are all great motivators to move.  To a large degree, having always had a happy home to return to (should the need arise), the motivation to move hasn’t always been present.  It’s a factor of inertia.

One that I must somehow overcome.

[I’d be lying if I said it still wasn’t a factor.  Think of situations like “Eat, Pray, Love”, where the author was motivated by the changes in her life.  Unlike her, I’m having to self-motivate.]

* * *

I find myself approaching the end of 2010 with decidedly mixed feelings.

On the one hand, I have a good life.  I have a good family (in reasonable health), a great group of friends (even if I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like), and a good job (even though I’m fairly certain certain people want to get rid of me).

So why, then, am I still so dissatisfied?

Perhaps its because I failed to do what I intended when I first started this handwritten journal: I failed to get out.  Although I’ve set some groundwork in place for that, well, no one will ever claim that groundwork is satisfying.

The holiday has brought things into focus, too.  I spent Christmas as a 37 year old man with his parents.

I find I miss when I spent the holidays here with The Ex-Girlfriend.  Somehow, when I was in a relationship, my parents were more able to treat me as a man, rather than their kid.  I’m tired of it, and I miss how it was before.

[I wish that weren’t the case, but now that I’ve seen it both ways, it truly is.  While it’s annoying as hell, I have yet to figure out a way to communicate it to them.]

Truth is, I don’t want to be single on the holidays any more.  At this point, I think the only thing that prevents me from going completely off the deep end about it is the fact that all my friends are single.

That’s a good thing, of course.  Is it bad, that it doesn’t ameliorate my desire to lay next to someone, while the winter rains of Sacramento pound on the roof overhead, and whisper “Merry Christmas” into their ear?

Whether it is or not, that’s exactly what I pined for as I lay in the bed that night.

That, and some really good “we’ve-got-to-be-quiet-we’re-at-my-parent’s-house” sex.

Whether that’s dirty or romantic, I’ll leave for the reader to decide.

* * *

As it should be, I’m closing out this post on December 31, seated atop a sandstone outcropping in the Santa Monicas.

I feel old.

That’s the thought, and the feeling, that’s been plaguing me these last few days.  Perhaps, in the greater totality of the human life-span, 37 isn’t old.  But it feels old to me.  Or perhaps in terms of productive life-span, old because I have accomplished so little.

I keep thinking about the 29 Year Old.  I don’t know why.  It was a long time ago.  I’ve gone on dates since then.  Hell I’ve dated other women since then.  And yet she’s been on my mind.

I could go into all the fantastical possibilities of what happened back then, but I realized on a rainy walk a few weeks ago I’m only distracting myself from the only possible truth: she met someone else, someone better than I.

Not that I could ever trust her again, but there’s a part of me that’s still curious, still wants to know.  I suppose there always will be a part of me that wonders, and wants to find out.

But I’ll talk myself out of it again, I’m sure.

* * *

I could close this out dipping into a number of other topics.

I could talk about how I’ve felt depressed for the last couple of weeks.  And lonely, how the short days of the winter months and the chill of my uninsulated apartment make the bed seem cold and empty.

Or the goals that I talked about at the start of this journal are unfinished.  The achievements not yet made and the groundwork not yet laid.

Or the growing hell of my job, that I cannot quickly and easily escape.

Or the fight against growing older, which everyone wages, and everyone loses.

But… no.

No, instead I will end 2010 reminding myself that I will shortly be leaving this cold stone ledge to go to a friend’s house to ring in the New Year.

That 3 or 4 years ago, I could not have imagined such, and to remind myself not to forget how I got to the place I am now.

Perhaps, tomorrow morning, I’ll still feel down from the short days and the cold bed.  Perhaps.

But tonight, I will enjoy the warmth of friendship (and beer); a warmth that has been too uncommon in my life until now.

That is a good thing.

Let’s see what 2011 brings.

[Well, damn.  Reading that now, having just seen my friends a couple of nights ago for a good-bye get together… shit.  Am I really making the right choice?]



  1. I think New Year’s is always tough. And birthdays too. We start to take stock of our haves and have nots. And that can be rough. I felt old when I turned 35 this year. Mr. W felt old when he turned 37. I can only imagine what all of us will feel like 10 years from now! And then there are the parents…I thought mine would start treating me like a grown-up when I finally got married. No such luck. Maybe yours will be better than mine about that.

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