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29 April 2017 @ 08:39 pm
So I guess you're having trouble moving forward in any direction, because you took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and now you're stuck wanting to go back there, except you can't actually go backward to fix it, you can only go forward from where you are now, but any step forward looks like it'll just take you farther in the wrong direction. And so you end up sitting around playing video games instead. Can't go wrong there I guess. A large part of me doesn't want you to go anywhere either, which probably isn't helping. Every direction looks to me like it'll take you farther away from me, which makes me just as anxious as it makes you.

I don't really know what to say to that. I mean, I know what would help the situation and I could even tell it to you. Whether you could actually do your part of it is the question, and it's not one that I feel up to asking, because every other time I've asked, your response was .. well, not helpful and in the wrong direction.

Someday I'd like to be able to talk to you about all of this sort of stuff directly. That day isn't here quite yet though; it seems to work better for you to read it all on your own time and react to it at your own pace and not have to come up with any kind of direct response in real-time. So, here we still are...

So, where we want to be is with each other. (I'm hoping that 6 weeks later, you've worked your way past all the rationalizations and denials to that conclusion about yourself by now.... if not, come back to this post when you have.) How to get there from where we are now is possible, just difficult.

First, it would help me a lot (at least) if we could make it official that we're with each other. I'm with you and you're with me, neither of us are available to anyone else, I'm not going to wander off from you and you're not going to wander off from me. It would take out a lot of the anxiety that goes on from both sides whenever you do anything forward-moving-wise, and whenever I do stuff with other people that you aren't able to be involved in (which is, at the moment, everything..).

(If the notion of doing that is making you all waffly, just stare into the emptiness of my absence some more until you work out that we're de facto with each other already and have been for some time...)

Then, after that happens, we would be able to work out the details of how to do a long-distance relationship until all the other aspects of our lives resolve out so that we can be in the same physical location again, and then how to actually get to be in the same physical location again.

Of course, spelling it out like that is easier said than done when neither of us know how to open the conversation about it. That part I haven't figured out yet. I am just not going to ask you directly about it, because every other time I've tried that, it didn't end well. I don't think it would work well at all if I tried now, and it went the same way, and then you're all the way over there and it would be really easy for us to never talk to each other again if I can no longer start any more conversations. It has to be when you're ready to have that conversation, and since I have no way of knowing with any certainty when that is... so I haven't figured out what to do about that yet. Maybe you have. I imagine I'd eventually notice any smoke signals you tried to send me, once I figure out where they're coming from and what form they're in.

(This'll be the last one I crosspost over to LJ, I think. I'm hoping that the next time I have anything to write about, things will have moved far enough forward that I can call all of the past two years .. in the past.)
20 April 2017 @ 10:51 pm
Okay so ... I've finally migrated after the bandwagon has already left, but better late than never, right?

I'm posting this over at https://nerwengreen.dreamwidth.org/, and letting it crosspost back to the LJ, just to see if that works. The new place doesn't look much like the old place yet, but I'll tinker with it some more. Then I will probably just stay over here and probably stop crossposting. So, for all one of you that still reads my LJ, might want to update your feeds and whatnot...
02 April 2017 @ 09:00 pm
Tomorrow I start working on making a database for the local DNR (who aren't called that here, here it's the ADCNR-MRD). It'll be the third database I've ever made, the first one since I left Georgia, and the first "real" database where someone is specifically paying me to do it rather than me just piddling around. It's something I've wanted to do ever since I made the first two and I'm looking forward to it, while at the same time hoping that I won't screw up.

I'm figuring that it'll probably take me around 4 months. They're going to pay me for 6 months, that I can spread out over 9 months. If it succeeds, I'll have new credentials that will give me more options for going more places later. I never could land a fish-related job on the west coast, and they don't pay well enough for me to actually live there by myself anyway. But data management type stuff is becoming an option and might possibly also be better paid. I also imagine it'll be easier for me to convince another academic institution to hire me if those two grants I'm written into get funded, because they like when new faculty bring in money with them. I'm not looking to be faculty, but it might work the same way.

So I guess even though you've finally succeeded in putting yourself somewhere far enough away from me that I can't come over to you anymore ... some part of me is still trying anyway.

I don't think I know how not to. I want to be with you. You've finally in the last couple months figured out that you want to be with me, that I really am on your side and not your enemy like I've been saying for the last two years, that me saying "hi :)" at you in the morning instantly brightens your whole day and makes you happy in a way that must at some point outweigh that I'm also intimidating and scary to you. And when you're happy, I'm happy, because it's the same happiness in the same shared mindspace.

I also don't know how it's going to work or where things are going, other than that I should keep saying hi to you in the mornings. Everything else is still up to you. You're holding all the cards. You have to be the one to decide whether you're just going to wander off and start doing new things with new people over there until you stop thinking of me anymore, or whether you can ever acknowledge out loud that you want to be with me as much as I want to be with you. You're the one with the resources to either come back to visit me or fly me over to visit you.

I don't know how it would work even if you did help me move over there. Sometimes I imagine us living in a duplex, where you'd be on one side and I'd be on the other, and there'd be some common space in the middle where we could hang out with each other and invite over people for board games and such. And the rest of the time we could continue where we left off, seeing each other 2-3 times a week like we were before. If you'd stayed here, I think we could've gotten to the point of a normalish-looking relationship in another year or two.

I guess I'll just keep saying hi to you in the mornings.
17 February 2017 @ 08:15 pm
Two years later, we're finally where I hoped we could be two years ago, and all I can think is that I don't want to give up now. We have hugs and cuddles now. We're about a quarter of the way to actually being able to talk about important things out loud and in person. That was what I was aiming for, Valentine's Day two years ago. But there was a giant bottomless chasm between you and me, that I had no idea how to cross, and you weren't going to put forth any effort to come toward me. Not being able to do it was what made me decide it was time to give up and move on. But we've come so far since then. The chasm is crossed. We can read each other's minds (more or less). Sometimes there's even conversation in our shared mindspace in real-time.

And now you're trying to leave.

I said what I wanted to say about it on Monday. If you went away and left me, I wouldn't be able to hug you anymore, and that would make both of us very sad. The only way to not be sad is for you not to leave me. Don't do to me what you've always been so afraid that I'd do to you.

So then there's two ways to go. You can either stay here with me, or you can take me with you. You seem pretty determined not to stay here, therefore, I guess we're both going.

Of course, that opens up whole new categories of things for you to find terrifying. Actually planning a cross-country move and coordinating something that will work for both of us is not trivial and not something that will just magically happen by itself, and we need to start talking about the logistical details as early as possible. If I'm leaving, work needs to know in advance. There's a whole lot of people who are doing their best to find funds to keep me employed, and I don't want to be an arse by not telling them. Academia is not like the corporate world where they just throw you away when they don't need you anymore. It's a good workplace and they deserve respect.

I also can't just follow you to where you want to go by myself. I'm not going to be able to pay for anything until I find a local job, and even then, Academia (at least in my field) is not known for high pay or cost-of-living adjustments. So if I'm coming with you, you're going to have to help. With actual money. Your money. I can't say I find it reassuring that your track record for material generosity in my direction has been ... shall we say, extremely limited thus far. Not wanting to pay the extra cent at dinner on Wednesday did not help with that.

Also, we should probably plan to live in the same place. Maybe it would be easier anyway to move together into somewhere new, than either of us barging in on each other's established spaces. I've thought for a while now that a lot of things would be easier if we got married first and worried about how to interact with each other after, when we could at least be secure in the knowledge of having each other. Sometimes arranged marriages have their merits. But I guess that's yet another category of terrifying thoughts to you.

What it all boils down to, and this is the next ten feet, is that if they offer you the job, and you accept, and you get to the part where you negotiate salary and look for somewhere to live: do it for two. It will at least keep the option open, even if you later decide that you're going to be a big chicken about committing to anything and you'd rather choose sadness and emptiness than plentiful future hugs (not that I'm biased or anything...), and at least you'd end up with more money.

And then, getting to a train of thought I might've overheard yesterday. You don't want to stay here, but also don't want to take me with you, because the whole point is to end up somewhere that you've never been, far away from anyone you currently know, so that you can start your life over from scratch. Well, why? Is it an elaborate ploy after all to run away from yourself? Because, one, it won't work, and more importantly, it would be a really stupid reason to leave me. Since it isn't me that you want to leave, that's more a side effect, what are you really trying to run away from?

Meanwhile I keep hoping that what you're really doing is waiting on offering me anything more than platonitude until you have something financially solid to offer, which wouldn't be until after you accepted a job somewhere. Which sounds great on paper, but in practice just leaves me hanging and unable to plan.

How I feel about you is still the same. I still just want to be with you.
11 February 2017 @ 11:41 pm
So... Diablo 3 Season 9 Chapter 4. I'm playing a barbarian. Good things that happened today:

I'm currently wearing two pieces of the Immortal King set, where the 2-piece set bonus is "Call of the Ancients lasts until they die." (Normally they only hang around for 20 seconds at a time.)

Meanwhile, my hired minion, the Scoundrel, is wearing a token that says "Follower cannot die." Somehow the game has interpreted this to mean that the ancients are also followers, therefore they also can't die.

So of course the rune I'm using with Call of the Ancients is "50% of damage dealt to me instead goes to the Ancients."

Thus: I have four really good invincible minions following me around at all times (3 ancients and the scoundrel), and I take half damage.

I'm also wearing four pieces of the Might of the Earth set. The set bonus at 2 pieces is "Timers for Leap, Avalanche, Ground Stomp, and Earthquake are reduced by spending fury." The set bonus at 4 pieces is "Leap causes Earthquakes."

Earthquake is one of the high dollar powers. It normally has both a lengthy timer and a fury cost, but since it goes off with Leap, I don't have to put it in a slot and it doesn't cost fury. Leap has a default timer of 10 seconds, but with the 2-piece bonus, I can pretty much use it all the time.

And speaking of reducing the timer by spending fury...

I'm ALSO wearing two legendaries. One is bracers that say "Hammer of the Ancients is 50% faster and does 193% more damage." The other is a weapon that says "Hammer of the Ancients does 100% more damage" and "Hammer of the Ancients returns 25 fury when hitting 3 or fewer targets."

That last doesn't sound like much, until you remember that Hammer of the Ancients costs 20 fury. In practice, since I don't hit more than 3 targets at a time very often, it means Hammer of the Ancients is free. (And does 293% more damage.)

BUT, that fury is STILL SPENT before it's returned, which means that not only is it free, it reduces the timer for Leap, Avalanche, and Ground Stomp, all of which I'm using.

I have thus equipped Hammer of the Ancients (normally a high dollar power) as my default left-button attack. And I can go around with my four invincible minions hammering the crap out of everything. :D

To make things even better, one of the last things I found as I was wrapping up my playtime was a ring that says "set bonuses for one less set piece (minimum 2)." Meaning, I can get the 6-set bonus for Might of the Earth while only wearing 5 pieces. So... if I had the chest armor, I'd be wearing 5 pieces, and then I could keep on the hat from Immortal King and keep my Ancients...

Might of the Earth is the barbarian set to earn this season. I've earned 4 of them so far. I've found two others, so I do have 6 pieces, but two of them were boots. I tried to Kanai Cube the boots, but they turned into shoulders, and I already have those too. I just need to find more Forgotten Soul so I can try for the chest armor again. (Or finish Chapter 4 to earn the last two pieces, which I will be doing anyway because I'm going for the pet.)

This is the first time I've had a character that has been well-equipped enough to actually go beyond Chapter 4. (I play casual and usually solo.) There's not anything notable to earn past that point without doing a ton of work though.

I wonder if any of this post will make sense if I come back to read it ten years from now...
08 January 2017 @ 12:21 am
So here we are, standing together near the bottom of the mountain.

You keep looking at the top where we'd like to be, wondering and/or daydreaming about what it's like up there, and feeling intimidated by the enormity of getting all the way up there because you don't have the faintest idea how.

I want to get there too, but I'm focusing on the ten feet immediately in front of us. We're not going to get all the way up to the top in one go. But each individual step forward is reachable from the one before.

So to me, if I ask you to come play a board game with me at my place, the most challenging part for you is to agree to show up. Everything else about that plan is something you've done before (from my perspective, anyway). You'd arrive, I'd hug you, we'd play, I'd hug you some more, and you'd leave. There might also be food. There might also be a quick goodbye kiss.

Meanwhile, you're thinking about what else could happen, that maybe you wish would happen, and then you seem to become completely paralyzed with fear about trying to do any of it. And then you're upset with yourself for becoming paralyzed with fear, which makes it worse...

But nothing else is going to happen. Not in the next week or month or probably several months. I'm not expecting you to do anything you don't know how to do yet, and I'm not planning to do anything you aren't ready for. Not until you're completely comfortable with everything again and start showing signs of wondering what "move forward" entails next.

We'll get there. Just not all at once. One step at a time. Don't look at all the other steps up to the top of the mountain. Just do the step that's next.
30 December 2016 @ 03:54 pm
So, in case it bears repeating: these essays are powered by hugs and cuddles. If the cuddle-meter is low, it takes a lot longer for me to get up the motivation to write anything. If the hug-o-meter is low, you're sad, which then makes me sad too and want to hug you more...

Which I guess brings us to the current problem.

I mentioned in a previous post about kisses with no plans to actually do it. But then you looked like you really wanted to go there. So we did...

The first one was intended to be comforting, because you looked sad. I assume it was because I'd found someone else to watch Star Wars with this year (but didn't conclude this until a few days later). From my perspective, it was the simplest way to handle the situation. You weren't going to watch it with me this year either, I dislike watching movies in theaters by myself, I'm not going to NOT watch that particular movie, and I didn't want to repeat how it went last year. Therefore, after you said no, I asked someone else with no one to watch it with and went with her. The end? Except this was apparently not okay with you either, which prompted my previous post that you should figure out where in the train of thought you're having a problem with it and why, and maybe get back to me on that. MY preference would be to watch all movies with you, and for you to watch all movies with me, whether we're also with other people watching it with us or otherwise.

The second time I kissed you was also not planned. You just looked like you really wanted me to, even though you were also terrified. I am proud of you for holding still for it, and elated that we've reached a point where I can do that now.

And then you stopped being excited and started withdrawing from me again, pretty much like when we first started cuddles and hugs, and I guess you're probably going to find yourself in the same discomfort zone every time I do something completely new. I guess it's a matter of intellectual trust vs body trust. Your mind trusts me to not hurt you, but your body doesn't, and the only way to get past it is if I keep doing the same thing enough times without hurting you, until you can internalize that I'm not going to.

It does make me wonder if you were ever abused or molested as a kid. If you were, I kind of need to know that. It means there's going to be all sorts of land mines everywhere if I do things similar enough to what someone else did to hurt you in the past.

Either way though. I'm not going to push anything forward before you're completely comfortable. I won't kiss you again if you aren't ready for it. We can go back to just hugs and cuddles. But I also get the impression you don't really want to stop either, so, the way I figure it, I'll kiss you once at the end of whatever we're doing, in exactly the same way as the other two times (casual neck pecks), and not add to it until you're ready. And only if you look like you can handle it that day. Otherwise it'll just be hugs.
18 December 2016 @ 11:09 pm
If the way you think about things and the way you feel don't match up, it's time to rethink how you think about things.

In case you need me to expand on that, consider the following:

1. First, how do you feel? By that I don't mean how you think you SHOULD feel, or how you WANT TO feel. I mean, how do you ACTUALLY feel.
2. What situation is making you feel that way?
3. What would make you feel better?

When you can answer those for yourself, you can begin living a life that is truer to yourself.
When you can answer those for me, we'll be able to start having a real relationship.

I think the upcoming year will have to be about figuring out how to talk to each other about all the things that are important, including all the things that seem to be trivial on the surface, without you negating the whole relationship in the process. It's another natural progression from where we are now to where we could go.

To be more specific on the rethinking. Up to this point you've been doing your best to treat me like I'm exactly the same as everyone else to you. That I neither matter more nor less. That's the part that doesn't seem to match up to how you feel, and doesn't seem to be working out very well for you anymore either. So... try something else.
12 December 2016 @ 11:38 pm
One of the things I'm trying to keep in mind is that what looks like a standstill to me might be more like a brisk walk to you. I know now that I was trying to go too fast with everything before, and I'm trying to not do that again. (And at the same time... if things didn't go faster, will we have gotten anywhere by the time our paths start going separate ways?)

I'm also getting some glimmerings that you want to move forward, or are at least wondering where "forward" is and how to get there. So, if I'm not just indulging in wishful thinking again, I guess I'll put forth some suggestions. If I am just indulging in wishful thinking, we can of course not do any of it and just stick with me hugging you whenever I see you and call it good, and probably you should skip reading the rest of this post.

On the physical affection front... after we're comfortable with hugs and cuddles while standing and sitting, then there's hugs and cuddles while lying down. That means going into each other's homes. You're welcome to come here whenever you want, but I'm pretty sure your place contains more entertainment options than mine, unless you're comfortable enough to go straight to the nap together (fully clothed) option. Either way, for some reason visiting each other's homes feels like it would be a pretty big step, and I don't know how to turn it into several smaller steps. I suppose I could invite you over to cook again or something.

There's also kissing, but that's a whole slew of separate skills that I'm not going to even start on while trying to pretend like we're being platonic.

On the relationshipping front. The way it generally progresses:
First, you go to various social events because the event itself is of interest.
Then, you go to various social events because the event is interesting, and also because you enjoy seeing specific people.
Then, you go to the events as an excuse to see the specific people, and it's still an interesting event but the event is the secondary rather than primary reason you go.
After a while, you stop needing to have events as an excuse to see the specific people, and you arrange to see them directly (sometimes this includes going to an event).

We seem to be stuck with only seeing each other when a third party arranges an event. I'm still not convinced that it's safe to start asking you to do stuff with just me again. You have a long track record of saying no to everything. It would help if you invited me to do stuff with you more often. Whenever you see an interesting event, consider asking me to come with you to it. Or, don't wait for events. Just invite me to do stuff with you.
05 December 2016 @ 12:21 am
I guess there's two things I need to write about.

First, about cons. I'm not planning to leave you by going to one, and I wish you would come with me. If you did, I would treat it like the laser tag trip where we basically hung close to each other the whole time, which I liked a lot, and I wish we could do that sort of thing more often. Yes there was a time a couple years ago when I pondered finding more potential lifelong mates at one, and if you left me I might still do that, but while you're here, I've already found what I'm looking for and would rather just keep you instead of having to find someone else.

Beyond that, I'm not sure what else I need to say, so I guess I'll hug you extra right before and right after.

Second, about burrito runs...

Before I start: I'm not mad at you about any of it because I already know that you're completely clueless about how relationships of any kind work, and that you're willing to learn and do better, and I think you did clue in on some of it while we were walking to the door... but I'm going to explain a few things anyway. The short version: you eventually did the right thing. Next time just do it the first time I ask, and without harrumphing about how horribly inconvenienced you were.

So, when you agree to let me carpool in your car, you're not just agreeing to provide me transport to and from the event. You're also agreeing to be responsible for any other transportation needs I might have during the event, because I've placed myself into a position of being completely dependent on you, with the unspoken understanding that you are in fact going to take care of me if I need you to. Most of the time nothing is going to come up where I actually need anything extra, but if you aren't willing/able to take that level of responsibility, then I should be the one that drives.

There were a couple main ways it could have played out if you'd stuck with saying no. I would've basically had two options: schmooze up to someone else with a car to get them to take me to the burritoes, or walk. If whoever I found to schmooze up to additionally offered to drive me home afterward, there was a non-zero probability that I would've taken them up on it (depending on how well I knew them). In no case would I have spent much more time talking to you that evening.

But you did get up and take me to the burritoes, eventually. And I think you're slowly figuring out that relationships are about thinking beyond your own wellbeing and caring about someone else's. You may not have been hungry but I was, therefore, burrito. There are moments like that all the time. Sometimes you may not need a hug but I do, therefore, there should be hugs. In the past there have been times I've reached for you because I needed you, not because you needed me. It's important that you're actually there for me to reach when I need you to be. Otherwise I have to go find someone else. And I'd rather not, any more than you'd want me to.

Hmm. I guess there's a common theme to both of these things I just wrote about.