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Sunday, July 1, 2012

A 2012 Mid-Year in Review: A Year Without Mom

I have not been writing very much lately. It has dawn on me that my skills as a writer may not reach a level worthy of recording every silly thought or review of a situation. Just seems irrelevant to pop online to talk about whatever movie, legal case, political issue, or economic turn happens to catch my fancy for the time it takes to organize some coherent thoughts. Other matters are more important than the contributions one makes via blogs.

Today, one year has passed since my mother's death and funeral. Obviously, it runs through my head a lot. July 4th is my grandfather's death to remember too. So while others prepare for food fests, live concerts, fireworks, tracker pulls, horse showings, and whatever else makes the Fourth, the fourth, I will likely ride my bike around campus a lot and watch movies for my own way to get through the holiday.

The year since has been one of reorganization and reality. I got into to Purdue again, achieved my best GPA ever and semester honors, and will take the GMAT in August. I moved to West Lafayette, and currently, paint apartments and bust up plaster that needs work while spackling over the rough spots too. My life too needs more spackle (and walls of plaster) in places we've discussed before, many years ago on this blog.

I spend most of my time alone. Have not made good friends yet, not for lack of trying. But again, as always,
past experiences and realities just are...there. A line from the movie, Hoosiers, by Barbara Hersey's character regarding Gene Hackman's plights before coming to Hickory to coach basketball: "A man your age comes to a place like this, either he's running away from something or he has nowhere else to go."
At Purdue, a little of both is probably true of me.

I saw this course as the last go at school and whatever that might bring. That there can not be much to gain from staying on a paper route, hoping I'll get ahead, and knowing it never did get me (or my mom) anywhere in the decade plus of time we both dedicated to that task. That I also have no where else to go and no one left in my life to share it with is true. This is due to a fear of intimacy.

To be clear: In the last moments and months of my mother's life, I found a closeness to her even as she could not always make clear her thoughts (dementia and cancer.) Being relied upon, and counted to do the right thing, is never easy. I made mistakes and stress was in every decision. Yet, I did my utmost to give my mother as much of a happy time as we could afford. (Her favorite: going to PETSMART to pet the cats. We went about twice a week as it was nearby.) Simple, frivolous to many I suppose, but it was something. Book stores too were treat. Shopping at Target. Watching the Cubs...

But outside of that one relationship (the easiest one to be closest, for many people, but not all), I have no real close relationships. Just superficial acquaintances and meager work connections that end at the juncture of mutual interests and quitting time. Years ago, I discussed this from the woe-is-me, victim-is-me standpoint. I was who I was then; flawed and failed and flailing around for answers. It was after the first time I seriously attempted to tear down a codependent, fear-of-rejection/intimacy wall as a recovering alcoholic in 1999-2000 while in a community organization. Later, I was duly burnt by pursuing an unavailable woman; reacted very badly to her salt-in-the-wounds rejection; was punished rightly for my bitter and spiteful words in retaliation; and had to accept lies told (to buttress the legal case) on top of that. And then...life had to go on with the damage done.
Now, I have tried to be more open, yet guarded also, since there are others out there that are just as hurt and
just as willing to repeat their cycle of re-victimization. So while I can hope to make things work, I realize what are the missing pieces to the puzzle: intimate relationships. What is worse - I have never seen them in operation in my own life. No happy intimate relationship while in any romance. (14 years since I've even kissed a woman.) Barely a friendship to count on. For some, I can hear, "well, you need to give more to others." 

The last six to eight months, in various ways, I have made strides on this area. At least dozen fellows, for various reasons, I have tried to advise in long form. Work-related, life goals, self-improvement mantras, or titles of worth, or just general encouragement in pursuit of the long-term. Sometimes a few minutes, others, maybe 1/2 to and hour in social atmospheres I probably should not be in - bars. Advise, not, "This is what you should do...period," instead just stories from my own failings... Yet, while worthwhile, it lacks. It's not fulfilling long-term. Still does not solve my own personal issues. But, I try.   (And for contrast: I've tried a couple times to talk to ladies. Not very successful at all - nor were they open to advice - in fact, plenty of know-it-all ladies must attend Purdue. Wisdom: the outcome of failed experiences. Or: You can learn a lot from a dummie. )

That said, you have to Run Your Race. (See Below.)

So, that's the year in review, mid-year. We will see where I am next year.

Will I still blog, if infrequently?
Will I be in an MBA program?
Will I make a contribution of note?
Will I cross a rubicon in my evolution towards a more whole and satisfying life?

I realize some may not like Joel Osteen, but a few bits here in Run Your Race are worth listening to:

1) 20:25-22:30 Saul & High Maintenance People
2) 24:15-25:30 The Old Man, the Boy, and The Donkey, People Pleasing
3) 25:35-27:15 Dreams Untold (Joseph, Mary)
4) 11:55-13:00 The Pit: People Pleasing, Ignoring Advise


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