A Confluence of Stress

I was very stressed out this week: more stressed out than anyone should ever have to be.

It started this weekend.  I was very sick with a cold or flu or some sort of sore throat thing, but I foolishly still decided to engage in a number of social events:  a play on Friday night and the Maryland Rennaissance Festival on Sunday.  The worst day of sickness was on Saturday, which was lucky since I didn’t have anything scheduled then.  However, Sunday was almost as bad and at the Rennfest, it rained and I got soaking wet.  This probably didn’t help matters.

It takes me about a week, at least, to get fully better when I get sick.  So the sickness remains today.  Another stressful thing that’s going on is that at work, we have a project that is very important to get done quickly and correctly.  I’m not too worried I won’t be able to handle my part, but it means less time spent dealing with the other things that are causing me strife.

I will get around to the main thing that’s really bothering me, I promise, I just have to finish up some of the smaller things first.  My SmarTrip card, which I use to pay for the Metro and the bus and which essentially makes my commute run smoothly, broke.  So I have to get a new one, which isn’t so hard, and then I have to get the balance transferred over, which is incredibly hard and time-consuming and annoying.  I am spending extra money on my commute because of this problem, and things are not going smoothly for me.

The real problem, though, the thing that had me shaking and pale and barely able to stand up on a few different occasions this week is that my divorce papers were delivered.  That wasn’t really the problem, though; I was expecting them and ready to work on them.  But when they came, I had a few questions and concerns and when I tried to talk to Melissa about it she shut me out.  We e-mailed back and forth, but she wouldn’t talk to me on the phone or IM about it, and it really baffled me.

Even in our separation we have generally maintained a cordial tone and what I thought was mutual respect, but this confrontational attitude I was running into really paralyzed me.  Luckily I had my Dad help me through it and I got everything finished and sent off today.  I didn’t get to talk to Melissa about it, but I just accepted her decision not to do so even though I can’t understand it.

Last night I was the most stressed out I have ever been in my life, and I don’t want it to happen again.  Then, when I was getting ready for bed, her boyfriend called me to talk about the papers.  Up until this point, we had never spoken, so it surprised me, but I told him to check their e-mail because I had already sent off what I was going to sign.  He said he would call me back but he never did.  I stayed awake for about an extra half hour wondering if he would call or not and whether I would get the chance to actually talk to *someone* about what I was signing and its implications and possibly get a message to Melissa that everything would be okay.  It was tough to get to sleep, but I finally did.

Hopefully these stresses are waning.  I feel better today now that the papers are sent off and there’s nothing I need to do or even can do.  I am getting better healthwise, and I should be able to buckle down on the work I need to do.  I haven’t been blogging much; sorry about that, but it tends to come in waves.

I hope everyone’s having a better, less stressful week than me.

Blog Neglect, or Bloglect

Bloglect can be a serious problem, but in my case I think it’s a good thing! It’s indicative of an attempt to get back into the swing of things: to stay busy and be social. I’ve been busy nearly every night, which has been distracting me from pretty much everything and which is generally a good thing.

Here are some of the things I’ve been up to:

  • Girls – specifically, one girl, who I’ve been out on a few dates with and whose company I’ve been enjoying.  I am enjoying all the little things that dating has now taught me about being single; and she’s pretty good at making suggestions for how to improve my place as well.  I made her garlic bread, one time.
  • Golf – I’ve taken this up, even though I’m not the best.  I go out with my dad about once a week and play 9 holes.  It’s good practice, though I seem to be shooting around the 120 to 140 range so far (except one time when I played the red tees).  I should have gone to the driving range today, but my clubs are in my car and I let my brother use it to drive to the beach.
  • Games – specifically, the scrabble meetups and a few other meetups I’ve been to that generally involve board games.  I’m starting to know the people at the scrabble meetups by name.  There’s also a really cool one I went to in Silver Spring by the publishers of a specific game called Wits and Wagers.  I may do a board game review on it, even though I’ve only played it in the context of this large-team meetup thing.  I may be able to play it if I can win enough dollar-coupons at the meetup to afford it!
  • Poober – I hang out with my Broseph pretty often.  He’s the only person willing to play video games with me at this juncture and we like to watch Netflix movies.  We watched Revolver, which was eminently weird.
  • Burger – Nearly ever Monday my coworkers head to the Quarry House for some drinks and half-price burgers.  I’m starting to get to know some of them a little better which might lead to more socializing.
  • Programmer –  Just recently, I did a little bit of programming on an open source project run by some friends from college.  A tiny tiny bit, but hopefully it will spur me into doing more and having a little fun with it.
  • Mindless Entertainment – There’s the Olympics, Monk and Psych are in season (I could make this a TV blog, but meh), and also I’ve been playing some Bookworm Adventures.  That’s really no excuse for not blogging at all, but there it is.

Hopefully the bloglect will pass, but if it doesn’t, we can chalk it all up to me leading a bit more of a rounded and comfortable life and being a little less forlorn and/or lonely, which is a good thing.  I have some ideas for posts in mind, though, so we’ll see what comes of them.

Weekend Roundup

I haven’t been feeling too creative lately with the old blog, so I figure I’ll just tell you all what I’ve been up to this weekend.

  • On Friday I went to a party for my old high school drama teacher with my brother and some of his friends. She’s moving to the midwest, and I hadn’t seen her for quite a while, nor most of the other people who showed up at the party (a few other teachers and some students). I think most everyone had a good time; there was a pool but poober didn’t tell us about it! So there was no swimming to be had.
  • On Saturday I slept in, hooray! Then I went to Alexandria to visit a coworker and go swimming at her apartment’s pool with her and some of her friends. It was a very nice time and I got some sun. I also got to meet her cats. We hung out for a little while after her friends left and chatted. Whenever I get into a one-on-one chat with anyone things end up going towards libertarianism and such and explaining all that, which might sound boring but it usually ends up interesting. She said she’s usually on that end of the conversation, but on the topic of religion, having to explain Wicca.
  • That was a fairly long Metro ride, there and back. I on the way there I was pretty engrossed in the book I’m rereading: Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson. On the way back I did a fair amount of people-watching, which is my favorite pastime on the Metro. It’s amazing how many people on the Metro seem awesome. I’m mostly talking about nerdy guys and pretty girls. I have no idea how to meet them, though.
  • When I got home, I watched Trekkies 2. I don’t think it merits the Netflux treatment, but I laughed out loud more than a couple times. It reaffirmed my belief that people are awesome and kind of made me want to go to a Star Trek Convention. I feel as though I’ve forgotten too much of my Star Trek knowledge, and would be devoid of the kind of trivia and in-jokes that I used to be able to pull out to impress everyone. Anyway, I liked the movie.
  • After that, I chatted on the phone with a young lady that I met on a dating site, which was nice.
  • Today, Sunday, I have been watching some of the morning talk shows, because they were on when I turned on the TV. Obama is being interviewed on NBC and I am pretty impressed. He’s a likable guy. Then again, all politicians are probably likable people, or they wouldn’t be very good politicians.
  • Right now I need to head out, though. I don’t have any plans for today, for once, but the realtors are having an open house today and I’m supposed to not be here. Traditionally, I’ve gone to Panera and written in a journal or computed, or gone to my parents house. I’ll probably end up continuing that trend. I’d love to hear what you all are up to.

Missing Items

I’ve only discovered one thing that I need that wasn’t left here during the separation:

a hairbrush.

That’s if you’re talking physical items. I also need companionship, love, a best friend, happiness, cuddling, and things of that nature. Hopefully those will come in time.

Meanwhile, if I’m responsible, it will be off to the drugstore with me tomorrow for a hairbrush.

Another depressing divorceblog

So, Melissa is away visiting her boyfriend for the weekend, this is the third of such trips she has taken.

I am dreading her return; the first time she went, she told me that she loved him, and she might leave me for him.  The second time, upon return, she told me that she was definitely leaving me for him.  What more could there be for her to say?

It seems like being with him gives her the courage to tell me things that will hurt me.  They are things that should be said, if they are true, but nonetheless they hurt very much.  I am preparing for anything bad I can think of so as to try to steel myself against them: that she is going to move out immediately; that she doesn’t love me; that she won’t go with me on our last planned vacation to Costa Rica; that they are engaged; that she will never touch me again.  Some of these things are worse than others, I know.

Does anyone else have any ideas for things I might want to steel myself against?

Intellectual Development

We all have a story that helps us explain who we are today.

I was recently challenged to specifically identify the parts of my personal history that turned me into the person I am today with the values I hold today. If that’s a little too weighty for you, consider this a getting-to-know-you post.

Here’s a brief overview:

  • I went to a montessori school for 15 years. It was essentially generically liberal, with emphasis on learning by experience, freedom to choose what to work on, having discussions by sitting on the floor in circles, etc.
  • My parents are both Republican-types. So far as I know, they voted for Reagan twice and Bush twice. They approved of the war and are only now (like much of the rest of the country) souring on Bush.
  • I grew up on science and science fiction books. Star Trek, Heinlein, Neal Stephenson, Feynman. Generally a libertarian outlook comes from these books. Note that I have never read Ayn Rand!
  • I spent most of my high school years on IRC. The people there taught me that freedom is a good, especially in relationships. That is, people should be free to associate with each other emotionally, socially, and sexually as long as it’s not causing anyone physical harm. This is when I started thinking of myself as a polyamorist (though I have never put those beliefs into practice).
  • I went to Grinnell College. I was still essentially a generic liberal, albeit with these weird ideas about sexual and emotional freedom. Some of my best friends were anarchists of various stripes. One was a tribalist, and one was a Marxist. I described myself as a “futurist.” We had frequent and vociferous arguments about tactics and results, but tended to agree that people should be able to choose to live freely and simply in societies made up of the people they wanted to associate with.
  • In my final year I met a nihilist who had turned into a staunch Catholic with aspirations of being a monk. We talked about religion and metaphysics almost every day. He showed me that deep convictions cannot prevent one from being rational.
  • In my last few years at Grinnell, I started reading blogs, mainly liberal ones like Atrios, Matthew Yglesias, The Poor Man, etc. Yglesias would often link to some of the more libertarian blogs, and I started reading some of those as well, like Reason Hit and Run, Will Wilkinson, Julian Sanchez, Unqualified Offerings.
  • I still read most of those libertarian blogs, and some of the liberal ones, but I mainly find myself in agreement with the people who believe in both the principle of Non-Initiation of Force and that big corporations are not the end-all and be-all of civilization. Jesse Walker, Kevin Carson, and Jim Henley loom large on this list.

If you have a blog, please share your own personal history.  If you don’t, e-mail it to me or start a BLOG!

The D-word

My wife is leaving me for another man.

Melissa and I have been married for 5 years. We’ve been together for 10. She makes me happy and I love her very much, but for the past two years or so we have grown apart. We both started playing World of Warcraft, and instead of playing together and staying close to one another in-game, we took separate paths. I went for PvP (Player v. Player) and she went in for a guild doing dungeon raiding. We ended up having completely different sets of friends, different schedules, and different goals.

I have nothing against games, and I don’t think they break up marriages. I am not blaming WoW for my marital problems. I am blaming myself for failing to stay next to her in all our walks of life. If you have a significant other, I implore you now to give them all the attention and love that you can find within yourself to give. I don’t want to happen to you what has happened to me.

The man she loves, she met through her guild. He lives in another state. When she moves away, I will almost certainly never see her again. It’s a very painful thought. She really is my best friend. I want to remain friends, I’m not a spiteful guy. My goal is to maximize the happiness available to all. She could be happy with me again — I know she could. But right now it seems she’s happiest elsewhere.

I have no idea how to get a divorce. I also have no idea how to be a single adult. I guess I will have to learn as I go. I will try to document my experiences here if I can do it.