What does it mean to be happy? Is it another person’s responsibility to make you happy? Are you supposed to do things selfishly for your own happiness? Well, I’m happy now for neither of those reasons. I’m happy not because of someone else, but happy FOR someone else. I’ve found someone that legitimately makes me happy just to be around, be near, talk to, and spend time with. 

I used to feel like i needed someone to show me attention/affection to be happy; but its not at all what i really needed. It was a matter of finding someone who appreciated me in a way, that was supportive and encouraging of what i’m doing on my own. I don’t feel the same way i did before, i don’t feel alone, or extraneous; i feel like i mean something to someone, and that alone gives me a great feeling. 

It has been a long long time since i felt so contented with my life. I’m happy i have found someone so special who wants a healthy relationship. 

Somewhere, between Like and Love, is where i’m at now. Things are going great with the magnanimous one. We are spending almost every free evening together, and introducing each other to various things that interest us; both of us considerate of each others boundaries and getting into deeper conversations about what our past lives have been, and what we’re looking forward to in the future, or things we’d like to do, possibly together. 

Even discussing each of our baggage, I still really am looking forward to more of her.  Neither of us has really flinched at the others pasts and negatives; and i can’t say i’ve ever felt more comfortable getting to know someone. 

In my past relationships, i’ve felt really vulnerable, and unable to really express how i’m feeling; i’ve felt like i’ve needed to walk on pins and needles and avoiding subjects that may cause tension. But with her, I can tell her almost anything, and it feels liberating.  So far, only a little over two months in, this has been one of the most fulfilling and rewarding relationships i’ve been in. She appreciates me, respects what i do, wants to dig deeper into what makes me tick (SIDENOTE: I may be a research project?), and she isn’t just trying to impress me or present a likable version of herself to appeal to me; I honestly think she’s showing her true self to me, which i find even more endearing. This may be a byproduct of her career, and the help i’ve gotten from my own therapist over the last few years. Building a relationship on open, honest, and truthful communication, and truly wanting the other person to be happy. 

We’ve even discussed our ‘Languages of Love’; Words of Affirmation. Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Which was a new concept for me, however it makes perfect sense as to how i prefer to show my affection, as well as how i’d like to be loved in return. I am definitely a supporter of the Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, and Acts of service; and Physical touch; and neither of us is high on the Receiving Gifts. I highly encourage anyone to look into what their preferred languages are. It opens a whole key to how you relate to your partner. 

Both of us have expressed feelings beyond ‘liking’ each other; but are both of us are working up to the L word. And it doesn’t look like either of us is playing chicken with the other’s emotions. We’re heading straight for something substantial. And yet, both of us are completely aware that this still may not be the final destination, but enjoying the journey of getting to know each other more and more. If we split, both of us will come away feeling like better persons because of it; and have better ideas of what comes next. 

I’m not looking for a way out; like a bird with the cage open, i’m happy where i’m at, and not going to fly away. We’ve got a few more months left to go before i can introduce her to my daughter, and i cannot wait. I think she will get along with my daughter great, and once my ex has warmed to the idea, i’m fairly sure, she’d get along with her as well. 

Since my last post; things have changed a bit. I met an amazing girl; she’s kind, generous, beautiful, and appreciates me for me. We’ve progressed to the point i’m confident in calling her my girlfriend, and really enjoy spending time with her.

This past week, my divorce was finalized, i’m officially a free agent again, no longer married.
While this is good news; troubles have come again.

I messed up this week, twice, which i regret both instances. Thursday was my birthday; and while it was overall a good day, lots of birthday wishes from friends and family; i was busy at work and had waited too long throughout the day to try to make plans with my daughter to make plans to have a birthday dinner with her. I had waited until i got home from work to try to contact her mother, to arrange for plans; but i had gotten no answer to my calls; and when i texted my daughter, she did not immediately respond. I wasn’t sure if i was going to hear back, as i was sure my ex was still upset about the events earlier in the week; so i wasn’t sure if i was going to be able to see my daughter. So i made alternate plans, and left the apartment to head out to meet friends for a birthday drink.
While i was already almost to my destination, my daughter texted back, and i apologized for not making plans sooner, and assumed it was too late to make dinner plans. I told her we’d celebrate this weekend, by taking in a movie, and getting dinner, and do some fun things.
This was a bad choice. I should have turned around, and immediately headed to pick her up and spend the evening with her.
I chose instead to go see friends, and meet up with my girlfriend instead of seeing my daughter.
I hurt her, i made her upset. I feel terrible about this, after the fact. i should have been a better father. i wasn’t sure what her plans were for the evening, i also was low on money.
I fought with my ex, about this mistake; and how much i hurt my daughter’s feelings by not spending my birthday with her.
I am hoping i can make things right with her before next weekend; so i can see her, and focus all of my attention on spending time with her.
I messed up. and i’m really sorry about it; and no matter how much my ex tells me she doesn’t think i really mean it when i say i regret my decisions; i really do. i feel like a jerk, and i really don’t deserve forgiveness for what i did.

i love my daughter, and she should be my top priority, but that night, i chose not to.

i hope i can be a better father than what i have been. she really deserves better than what i’ve been able to give her.

So, I recently met a new girl through Bumble; and my attention was perked immediately; though we matched sunday evening, by early monday morning she had crafted a thoughful and curious message; mentioning how she had learned what Klaatu Barada Nikto had meant and a few other things that she had gleaned from my recent instagram posts. It obviously wasn’t a thoughtless swipe on her part; i must have had something that stood out to her.
We met for drinks monday evening after work, and almost immediately hit it off; we discussed lots of our common interests, troubles, and pasts; i challenged her to a game of tetris (just to test her skill), and she did pretty well; able to keep up with me for a dozen levels or so.. i still won. i don’t LET people win.. they have to earn it.
She is definitely a long term possibility at this point (granted, we’ve only seen each other twice), she’s kind, funny, cute, fascinated by my nerdy interests and curious to know more; so when i go off on a tangent about what marvel movies she has to have seen before Infinity War, she was actually interested in what i had to say; and what my suggestions were. We discussed comics, television, briefly discussed music, and greatly enjoyed each others company. After the bar, we took a walk, enjoying each others company for a while longer.
Tuesday night, we met up after an appointment to venture out to a bar trivia night; since the night before she had mentioned that was something she was interested in doing. I love trivia; so i was definitely game. it was a little rocky through round two, (a music round) in which we were both comically out of our element. All in all, another great time was had while attempting to hold our own at a bar trivia event neither of us had prepared for.

side note.. i really should learn more about pop music…

Things have been up and down lately; no recent hits on the dating apps; and a few good nights here and there. And another cycle brought around full circle. Me and this girl have been back and forth with being chatty and flirty; a series of good times, and also a series of dry periods where she seems to go completely cold on me. and yet; i still allow myself to get wrapped back up in thoughts of her. Things had gone back to a fun upbeat state; and i thought we were doing ok. But after the last week, again, i feel like i don’t register anywhere in particular on her radar. She doesn’t introduce me to friends as a friend, but as her designer; and although the time we hang is fun; i’m pushed aside for something else. which i cannot understand.

time and time again, i let myself back into a groove, and then when it gets rough, i have no one else to blame but myself. I put myself out there, and get burned, or scarred, and apparently i’m an idiot who doesn’t learn not to touch the red flames. but the flames are pretty.. and look so warm and friendly..

I’m not in a good place this week; i’m cranky and despondent, and almost feel like i could vanish from site and no one would notice. I know, i know.. there’s always my daughter that would miss me; but when was the last time someone called me up to do something, and not just because they needed something; or when was the last time someone reached out to contact me via a message to say hi, whats up; instead of asking me for work. hard to imagine feeling good about myself, when i don’t feel valued as a person; only as a machine punching buttons.

I keep finding myself screaming hateful obsceneties in my head at random strangers for their slow ascent up the escalators (IT’S NOT A FUCKING RIDE. KEEP STEPPIN), slow walkers on the street who change direction on a whim without considering whose path they be crossing, the selfish person who immediately checks their phone as soon as they exit the train, or people who stand with doe eyes when passengers are trying to enter or exit the transport, but are unable to because of your dumb oversized backpack.

i’m a hateful asshole this week. and really am in the mood to just tell everyone to go fuck off.

When its been a long productive day; there’s nothing more that i’d look forward to doing than sharing aspects of my day or laughing about what idiotic thing i may have done or said with another human being; and even more so when that other person can reassure me that it wasn’t as bad as i had thought, and that all of the bad things that i had thought were nothing more than just that, thoughts.

Modern dating is more than just discouraging, its down right depressing. You’re shown all of the other lonely people out there, the glamour shots, the shameless selfies, the gym uniforms, the touristy stuff; and the obligatory shot of snuggling with a pet.

But when you’ve spent enough time swiping, liking, and clicking those individuals you think are within reach, and your actions fall upon death ears; your left discontent and wondering if the entire system is rigged towards those more attractive and better off than yourself. I am almost for certain, i fall amongst the populous of people that don’t indiscriminately swipe or click yes on every profile hoping for a match. I take more caution and thought into my approach; and wonder if there is any difference between a ‘like’ from me, or the other applicant. Would there be any benefit to a weighted system, that favors a more selective choice such as myself instead of casting a wide net hoping to catch a bite? I have numerous criteria i hope to see in a profile before i begin to consider casting my ballot; over-make-up’d selfies are an instant turn off; groups photos where you cannot figure out who is the primary objective; photos of half a head in dim light in an attempt to be mysterious. And don’t even get my started on the aberrant use of the ‘blue steel’ gaze and and various fowl species attempting to be portrayed by the duckface genres. Once i’ve been presented with a good idea of what you look like in 1.) your daily presentation, 2.) a night out, 3.) your morning makeup-less self; and/or 4.) looking like you’re actually enjoying yourself in your surroundings. If i make it this far, then i look forward to reading the bio, to determine a few other characteristics about you before i swipe. I look for humor, admitting to some deeper nerdiness, or perhaps just that there’s some underlying fact that gives me some idea that you’re intelligent and aren’t filling your brain with the instagram accounts of what the kardashians ate for lunch. I think i’ve got every right to be at least a little bit picky; i mean, i know what i DON’T want, and am at least pretty sure of what i’m looking for on a superficial app presentation of a woman.

its getting late, i’m getting drunk, and i should be heading home.

tomorrow brings a new day of challenges, and more of the same waiting and wanting.

Aside from a girl in Ukraine who desperately wanted to get to know me this past week; not much else has occurred.

I matched with a girl, who Hinge said lived nearby; so i accepted the request, and said hi, as i usually do. She took a day to respond, but once she did, she flooded me with questions about what i was doing professionally, and what i was looking for in a girl; while not completely strange, most of this information was available on my profile; so she obviously didn’t read it.

I asked what part of Chicago she was in, and her only response was that she is not yet in Chicago, but hopes to move here soon.. umm.. but.. you’re not here now? so whats the point of seeking a mate on the far side of the world without being anywhere in proximity to get to know that person more?

after i un-matched her, a few days later she had requested another match; which this time, i wasn’t falling for it. Sorry, i’m not going to be your green card spouse.

After a busy week last week; and cranking out another freelance project; someone made a promise to attend a movie with me; under normal circumstances, i wouldn’t hold her to it, but she assured me that she’s in; this is the same girl who had previously made promises, and or tentatively had made plans but was unable to ever fulfill them. I’m anxiously awaiting this get together, but without expecting anything other than enjoying a movie together. Its not a late show, so maybe we’ll hang out afterwards; but i won’t be upset if we don’t. Coincidentally, i have Friday off of work, so i have no real reason to go home; i’m leaving myself open to the possibility something may happen, but i’m not getting myself too excited.

I’m officially in the home stretch of the divorce; my lawyer contacted me today suggesting we may have a final deal and would be able to have this all completed before the end of the month. to close that one chapter of my life and move onto the next is ever becoming a possibility. I’m ready for whatever is next.

Yeah, maybe i over-thought the entire situation; and maybe i overthink everything; maybe all of these thoughts i should just keep in my head; and not let them loose upon the world. I habitually overthink everything. I am constantly second guessing every statement i make, every action i incur, and whatever consequence comes from it; i go off into my own little multiverse to see which choices lead away in each direction.

Like Dr. Strange; running through the thousands of possibilities; this is how my brain works on a daily basis. there is no situation i do not second guess what has transpired. I will send an innocuous email just letting the client know what the status of a project is; and as soon as i’ve hit the send button i wonder if it was at all necessary for me to have sent the email too soon? Did i express the right information, will they know what i meant? will my statements come back misinterpreted?

I’m not ashamed of how i process information; or how i run through my events. I own it, but this same habit keeps me awake at night. Without given solid information, i am left conjecturing and trying to extrapolate information that i probably will never get. so if at any point you think to yourself “jeebus… can this guy just SHUT IT DOWN?” or maybe you’re thinking “holy shit.. this guy is a god damn mess”, or perhaps, “wow.. nutzo.. ” I cannot shut it down, i am a mess, and yeah, a little crazy. Who wants normal?

I’m not looking to fill a void, and i’m not looking for someone to fix me. I feel like sometimes i’m falling apart, and all i really need is the human version of scotch tape to hold me together for a little while so i don’t completely break up.

Thor’s hammer can only be wielded by someone worthy; am i worthy enough for a relationship? after yesterdays post; i began to wonder and work through whether i thought i was ready for a relationship. If i’m ready for another human being to depend on me for empathy and sympathy, to depend on me to support them and help where needed. to offer myself unconditionally to another being in exchange for intimacy and their own offerings of intimacy, empathy, and sympathy. I don’t expect much from a significant other; aside from their desire to want to spend time with me, and not in a purely request for responsibility and relying on me to accomplish a task for them.

I have been troubled by the feeling of not being worthy, or good enough. I’ve been on quite a few dates in the recent weeks, all of which have lacked fruition. I have tried to put myself out there to meet new people; and in turn, they have left me to dwell upon my failures.

I had a date a few weeks ago with a woman who had her shit together; knew what she wanted to be doing, and seemed to be quite successful in doing so. I thought we had a good time together (i apparently have no idea what a good time actually is), we laughed, had a couple of drinks, and were comfortable spending a brief few hours together as we sipped our drinks and lamented the daily tribulations; and getting to know each other more. I”m not exactly sure at what point the evening turned; it may have been from the beginning, and she was just being polite as to not rush off to somewhere more important. I may have soiled my chances with her when i described a situation where i was troubled by a fairly racial transgression, and didn’t do anything to rectify the fault. Perhaps it was just me, not being worthy.

The red one, whom I still cannot seem to shake; has once again, rekindled my interest; offered promises of future activities, and still gives me good feelings. Maybe she’s read what i wrote, maybe not; maybe what i thought i had lost in her was still there, just restrained by responsibility or duty.

The girl i had met a few weekends ago over a hearty game of tetris; seems to have forgotten that i exist, and doesn’t really seem to show any interest in pursuing any contact with me; which is disheartening, as i thought we had hit it off and had acquired a certain bond. She’s cancelled a dinner date, and pushed off any chance of getting together in the near future.

This, coupled with my recent string of failures, [hold on a second, i’m going ot try to make an analogy i may not have completely correct] has me feeling like i’m batting a 0.100. I step up to the plate; and take a swing; and apparently i am either continuously fouling out, or i hit a grounder and am out after i hit first base.

Sports analogies are obviously not my strong suite; but my therapist had recognized what i had meant when i said i wasn’t batting a 0.400; and every time i seem to keep striking out. She laughed and said i had at least made a base hit, or am at least making contact with the ball.

I’m not looking to hit a home run. I’m just trying to not get stuck playing in the minor leagues for the rest of my life.

If i could hit one grand slam, and go down in the books with a record hit; maybe i’d feel worthy,