How Things Have Changed

I just went back in time to October 3rd 2012, and read my personal synopsis post, which was so very shocking. Back then, I really did hate myself. I had no pride, no escape from the mistakes of my past. The burden of my errors was smashing my mind to pieces. The post I read was dark, troubling, loaded with fury and seething with regret. I’m really surprised by it. I didn’t really recall it being so acutely bad. But clearly it was.

I reflect, because when I look at myself now, it’s truly amazing to see the full-scale transformation that I have undergone. I’m a man who is proud of who he chooses to be, not ashamed or otherwise mired in sadness. I am confident, assertive, charismatic, hilarious and honest. I sensed from my words that I was deep into depression and not able to grasp any sort of positive thought. I had no love for myself. The contrast between them and now is striking and noteworthy.

I see in this reflection a clear example of the dramatic change I have created for myself. I built this new life I lead from a place much like the one I wrote from more than two years ago. I have come so very far in that time. It shocks me to read those words I so vehemently spat onto the page. I was a troubled, unresolved, angry person back then.

So give it a look, if you dare. The words are laced with a deep internal rage, and unacknowledged loathing. Reader beware.

Impressions

I had an opportunity presented to me at work over the last few days, of which I have already made mention. Today I finished the conversion spreadsheet. Not only that, I also documented each time where the agent who took the original exchange completely butchered the information collection process. These orders would have all been kicked back because they lacked every single piece of critical data they should have gleaned from the customers when taking the call. So of course Dominique had the most egregious errors, which doesn’t surprise me. He’s a fucking idiot. The others had one error or two, still not good, but less negligent. I handed that’s observations and the completed spreadsheet over to my bosses today, and was immediately thanked and acknowledged. I know they will be able to use that work I did, and now have a much clearer understanding of the status of our back orders.

I also took the initiative today and started working tickets in our web-based help request system, specifically, the ones that no one wanted to deal with and had been largely ignored for days or weeks. I hammered out four of them and am in process on another three. Which is a lot, considering that only two or three guys actually do them, and maybe one a day. Not seven. And my boss Don recognized me already for that, but I wasn’t about to stop applying myself after eating my cookie. Praise or no praise, I’m going to make sure I spend my spare moments during the peak hours on a task, only to be interrupted by an incoming call (which takes priority). I’m pushing myself to not only do what is asked of me, but to do something more than the expected. I’m a mentally ill guy, and for me, this is a matter of pride. Will I live up to my handicap, or will I work THAT much harder to show them all that this disability can’t keep me down? The rest of those guys have normal brains, and I intend to do what they can do, plus 4 times more. I’m better than them, handicapped or not. That’s how I show myself that even a severely ill person can still live a life that I can feel proud of.

And I’m humble. I would never flaunt any of my achievements at work, nor call attention to myself. I lead by example only, and I gain no satisfaction from boasting. I have dignity, and I respect the qualities of humility and politeness. If you really walk the walk, you don’t need to go telling everyone what you did. They can see plain enough what I’m about. So today I feel especially good about my work ethic and sense of self. I have earned a figurative gold star beside my name, and that is quality satisfaction that money can’t buy.

I have been missing Amanda. I’m feeling many positive things for her, and I am making the best of our fractured and infrequent ability to communicate. I am still talking to her quite a bit, but my heart aches for her. I can’t wait until I get to hold her again. This is a test of my self control, and so far, it has been difficult to contain these fledgling emotions I have inside me. New relationships have an energy that is impossible to replicate; they burn with the white-hot fire of 1000 suns. I’m looking down the road, to all the time I plan to spend with her and Tristan. The present moment being arduous, my sense of hope overrides everything with the intention of spending many more days with her than these few without her. It’s hard to direct my mind away from the warm glow of these new feelings, but I know this is only the beginning of a great new adventure. All good things come to those who wait.

Tonight I must retire rapidly. My wake up call will sound much earlier than during the week, as my shift starts two hours sooner. So farewell. More words to come.

Closer

I have been handed some new responsibilities at work. They are asking me to review and convert (if necessary) nearly 30 exchanges that have parts on back order. We can’t send those orders the way they are, so it became my responsibility to call all the stores that placed the exchanges and get them to agree to box up the broken equipment they have onsite and let our UPS driver come by and pick them up for repair. This seems like a simple enough idea, but the legwork involved in uncovering the information in one order, and then making an entirely separate order for the repair is a mess. And I’m finding that the other agents I work with place orders that are just shamefully wrong, lacking key pieces of information, and may not have shipped anyway because of the sad state they were in. I can’t believe these clowns still have jobs, and they don’t do them very well at all.

Anyway. I’m doing a lot of unpacking and converting, and calling stores to have them box up their equipment for retrieval. And I’m well over 50% done with the list (having had only one day to work on it), after figuring out that many of them had actually been filled and shipped, but we’re still on the list as back ordered. So those were, at least, simpler. But it was a whole new thing I was being asked to do; a total departure from my regular responsibilities. I was asked by Mike, Joel and Don (my three immediate bosses) to handle this. And so I am. And following each process through to the end. No mistakes.

My brain was furiously scrambling to gather as much focus and concentration as I could muster to keep track of all the open issues I was juggling. I got help from all over, and had lots of questions to ask my supervisors. Naturally. And they were happy with my work.

I was preoccupied with that for most of the morning and early afternoon. Then at 3 I hopped back in the queues and started taking live calls. I only ended up with 26 total, and some of those were the calls I made to the stores to get them to box up their broken equipment. Still counts though. My level of exhaustion is high, and I can’t wait to fall asleep.

It has been hard to be without Amanda physically. We text every day dozens of times, coping with the things that are going on in our respective worlds, so it’s not like we are out of touch. But I want her, and my body craves her badly, and the sudden yearning I experience at my desk keeps me from standing or moving at all until it passes. She had a really tough day today, and I wanted to be there for her. But that would have caused more harm than good. Her son hasn’t met me yet, and to just suddenly be there with her would leave him totally confused. I’m going to get a chance to make my introduction on Sunday, in a structured encounter where he can be there with his mom and feel safe. I look forward to meeting him, and taking the first steps toward becoming his friend.

My parents are in Sacramento helping my sister move out. I do believe she will be coming to San Diego with them, and will be back in town sometime this Saturday. I work 7:30 to 4:00 so I might be able to go see them in La Mesa once they settle in. It’s going to be quite a busy weekend too. Somewhere between breakfast and 3:00 I have to do all my laundry and clean my house. I have been in working mode for this week, and need some time to catch up on the essentials.

I know that was a lot of blathering. But I’m so full of thoughts from today, and this is where I go to let all that stuff out. Be free thoughts, be free.

Both

I have been unfair in my presentation of my feelings for Amanda. There is much more to this relationship than I have indicated. I know I feel profoundly for her, but even though I have not met him, I care for her son too. He is a boy growing up in a fractured parental structure, and from what I have gleaned, he may not have a strong male role model in his life. This is where I come in: a confidant, friendly man who has only to lead by the example of consistency to be a boon in his life. I can do so much just by being there, playing with him, laughing with him, and being the father he should have had. If I’m really serious about falling for Amanda, I should also love her son like he was my own.

I’m a wonderful example of an atypical male who can be both strong and compassionate. I have an extensive history of bonding and befriending children of all ages. I used to tell the kids at the Boys & Girls Club (where I worked) that I had a private rocket ship that would take me on a trip to the mall on the moon, where all sorts of neat things could be found. I told them all about the amazing toys that were up there, and one day, I brought one back. It was a bouncy ball that started off one color, but the more you bounced it the faster it would change into a new color. Which was all true. But the kids lost the ball on the roof before they could get it to change color, and soon they had moved on to the next interesting thing (much the way children do). This was one of my many stories, and the kids looked at me like a big brother. They respected me when I asked them to do something. They listened when I had words to say. I have the capabilities inside me already to be a great friend, a trusted ally and as close to a father as I can manage.

It is important that this be clear: I’m in this all the way. Not just for Amanda, and never to divide her attention away from the most important person in her life. I just want to help him grow, and show him that with love he can feel safe and have someone to look up to. I have not forgotten Tristan amidst the sum of emotions I feel for Amanda. It is a role I am more than willing to accept.

So blog, I have been unfair to you: I have shown you only the new growth of passion I feel for Amanda. I feel it too for her son. He is not forgotten, and will be someone I greatly look forward to knowing. I hope this brief memorandum states the viability of my intentions clearly. I want them both in my life. The end.

Testament Of Respect

I’ve been a fool in the past, often committing myself to situations that warranted a much deeper level of understanding than they were given. I never offered myself the chance to know my partners, and the differences that arose once sturdy bridges had been built caused me a great deal of suffering. I have vowed not to repeat these same transgressions.

I’m thinking about Amanda, and the way she has accepted me, flaws and all. I have laid some seriously pungent history on her, and in return she has kissed me. I don’t know what to say, I’m surprised that she can still see who I am despite all the emotional crime I have perpetrated. I try so hard to live a life I can be proud of, that I often wonder if it will ever be enough to equalize the sins of my past. I’ve hurt so many, made so many fatal mistakes, even taken my life for granted and tried to throw it away. I don’t know why I deserve a person like Amanda.

But truly I am a being bound to the doctrine of forgiveness, and held upright by an unending desire to grow. I face myself in the mirror, and I look at the man I am, and I feel proud of him. I’m not discounting what I have done, but I am forgiving myself. I must. I need to be unencumbered by my mistakes in order to blossom as a new person. If I was stuck beating myself down over two divorces and three people I loved all driven away from me forever, how could I grow into pride again?

Amanda reminds me that I am a creature of change, and that my story is still being written. I have the choice to continue on and represent myself in the world, or I can spiral down and implode into nothing. The decision has always been mine, and now I strive for a life I can feel proud of. I don’t do this for her, I do it for me, because I am the only one I have any control over. I choose how I want to be; no one else can decide that for me. Can I rise to the occasion?

I think I am making progress as a person. I really do like who I am, heavy luggage and all. I have failed to learn enough from my past partners before offering them my unconditional love. I gave it out to whoever showed some interest, and that has led to consecutive failure. I will not do that again. I have grown from the boy who loved so blindly, to the man who thinks so clearly. I deserve that, and it is out of respect to Amanda that I am reserved, because I really do want to build something that lasts with her, and I would squander that chance by hurrying us along to a place we are still climbing up to. Time is the great spectator, watching events unfold: will we burn up like paper in fire, or will we glow like embers? The choice is ours.

So peace be with you on your journey. I am resting assured that my heart is singing the song of infatuation, while hardened by the respect of longevity. I will not ruin this beautiful thing I am making with Amanda. I will be strong. I will be true. Goodnight.

First Light

I’m in a good mood. I woke up this morning to the soft blue glow of the dawn, and was up and ready to go in to time flat. Today I’m not leaving home until much later than I normally do: I have to go by the credit union and create a cashier’s check so that I pay my rent. I always do this a few days before it is due, because that’s just how I roll. Punctual at all times, and preemptive whenever possible.

I have been hanging out in limbo over two very prominent mods: Ultimate Apocalypse and Edain, both of which were expected to be released between now and the end of March. I am unsure which mod will be our first, as Edain looks closer to releasing the four faction demo than UA. So I’m checking the sites regularly and the only news I have so far is that the UA team had some problems with donations, and were working on getting them fixed. Not really any news about a release date or any such event.

It’s Tuesday. I work straight through until Saturday, where I have another 7:30 to 4:00 pm shift. My parents will be in town at that time, so I may just cruise on over to the RV park in La Mesa and see them after my shift. I can pick up Moo and together we can go see the rocks, which were delayed in yet another technical snafu. One of the tumblers shut off and was not rolling for the entire week. The slurry never formed because they weren’t rotating because of a power failure to tumbler 1. Tumbler 2 was done though, and I switched it over to the 500 grit. So now we are a bit out of sync, and I am making daily trips down there to make sure they are behaving normally.

For now, adieu. Amanda’s son Tristan is sickies today, so have him and his wellbeing in your thoughts.

**UPDATE 8:35 am**

I just checked the tumblers, and they are both still going. No stoppages of rotation as far as I can tell.

I’m waiting for the bank to open at 9 so I can make my rent check. I have a bit of time to kill.

Today is going to be a good day. Last night sucked when Jason just decided to not take any incoming calls for the length of the final hour. So it was all on me. He’s a very skilled tech, but that was a lame thing to do to me. I was pretty pissed when I left there. I don’t care what kind of personal problem he might be having, don’t abandon your teammates.

**UPDATE 1:00 pm**

I got my new glasses today!!! I can see again! And it’s like having high definition vision. I had been used to everything in the background being out of focus, and now I can see with laser accuracy. I mean, laser. I feel great, and I fucking love my new glasses.

**UPDATE 3:30 pm**

It’s rad to be able to see again. I feel great. I had myself a big coffee and I am still tired. I guess the double shot is not going to do the trick anymore. My friend Will is going to call me tonight after I get home. I’m going to tell him all about the stuff I have been doing. He’s moving back to Portland in the coming days, and giving it yet another try with his (now) girlfriend Sandra. They have broken up several times and I sure hope this is a healthy thing for him to be doing. Though I would have no clue considering I know little about their relationship.

Anyway. The final quarter of my day is here. Time to make a mad dash for the finish line. See you tonight.

The Learning Stage

I’m at a special time in a relationship when the preliminary hurdles have been overcome: what mistakes were made in the past, what socially unacceptable things are a part of who I am, what sour chapters of my history that have been etched in the obelisk of my life, and so on. Once you get past the brutal reality, there is only green grass and warm sunlight for miles. The next task becomes exploration of a vast new land, full of secrets waiting to be unearthed. I’ve done this part of a relationship many times before, but I feel like I held back my preferences and beliefs, because they were not compatible with my partner. Some things I found caused me concern, but I never voiced it. I kept those things a secret from my partners and stuffed them down, stranding them in an oubliette of forgetting. I cannot do that again.

In this time of discovery, things begin to feel safer. The things that could have caused major differences are past, and what remains is largely about appreciation. The tumble into understanding hastens, and intimacy deepens as the pages are turned. I want to fall in love with Amanda, and I think I will. As I open up to her, I will unfurl my emotions and they will solidify into connections that bring us closer together. My heart already beats for her, and that energy invades all parts of me. My manhood is electric for her physical self, rising even with just a few words of trust from her lips. I am a machine, pumping the fluids of eccentric joy. I have found someone who I desire to know deeply, of who’s respect I yearn for, and who’s body I’m enslaved by.

Tonight is a night of peace, as the fertile land of my uncharted journey lays beneath me; a welcoming landscape I pine to explore. And soon I shall, and I will find myself neck deep in enthusiasm for her, as if I wasn’t already.

Have a tranquil and restful night. On the cusp of great things, I bid thee farewell.

P.S.

It’s been:

331 days since I tried to kill myself, and my life with Jax came to an end.

218 days since I started working for Mood Media.

115 days since I moved into my apartment.

63 days since I was officially divorced.

12 days since I met Amanda.