I always get into a reflective mood around my birthday. More than the start of a new year, I think this is a better time to make resolutions and set goals, because it gives me a better idea of how I grew over one discrete year of existence. The reflective mood probably also has to do with the fact that my birthday is just 3 days before Valentine’s day and since I am invariably single during this time, I am in a particularly vitriolic state of mind.
So, year 25 of my life was, in general, a positive experience. I grew a lot and it was not only in circumference and weight (actually, I think I shrunk it both those departments). More importantly, I feel like I finally settled down in my job and my life and developed a friend circle that I can both depend on and have fun with. Mentally, I stopped taking myself so seriously and made an effort to be more extroverted, though there are still eons of room for improvement in that department.
There were just as many negatives, however. For one, I was pretty financially irresponsible. I fear that I am becoming the quintessential American consumer—purchasing all sorts of crap that I do not need and allowing it to pile-up in the various crevices of my apartment. I spent unspeakable amounts of money on dining and entertainment with friends. My only real investment in my financial future was irregular contributions to my savings account and consistent purchasing of employee stock. I did not maintain a personal budget and thus was prone to making bad consumer decisions. My attempt to rectify this has been to actually plan a budget for 2012 and tracking it week-to-week. Even if I do not stick exactly to my budget, at least I will have a smaller feedback cycle for when I am fucking up.
The second, and infinitely more frustrating, part of the last year of my life was the dearth of romance. Not that romance has been an integral part of many of the years of my life, or at least, successful and reciprocated romance, but I did make a conscious decision to make more of an effort. After having spent the majority of my college career being infatuated with a girl who was not only not interested, but ended up being not that great of a friend, I was more than ready to move on. Living with roommates for my first year of employment delayed this process since I didn’t have to feel the entire brunt of loneliness. Once I moved into a one bedroom, however, I realized that my social life was entirely in my own hands.
Now, the only problem was that I had to put myself into situations where I could actually meet women, since that would appear to be the required prerequisite to finding a woman who I was attracted to and who reflected that attraction. Unfortunately, my only existing avenues for such adventure were (a) the workplace and (b) the bar scene. This was not ideal since workplace romances are always tricky situations and I am always distrustful of the bar scene, telling myself it is because I don’t want to find some random at a bar (conveniently ignoring the fact that I am myself some random at a bar).
Neither of these situations really panned out. My workplace advances were pathetically rejected, leaving an expectedly awkward dangling friendship that took a while to repair. The bar scene prospects never panned out, probably because evidently all Austin bars are full of dudes and the ones that have girls seem to have ones that need to perennially run off to the restroom. Girls, you should get at least a little more creative with your rejection!
Around the time I was predicting, nay, expecting failure on both these fronts, I went ahead and created an account on OkCupid. The biggest step going into this was lying to myself that I was not as interesting enough in real life as I was on some website. It was probably after spending a couple of months sending 20-25 messages and receiving a response or two that I realized that, incredibly, I was more boring online than I was in real life. The ego blows continued. I have since concluded that the one thing OkCupid has going for it is that it is free. Unfortunately, since it is free, I feel like many of the girls on the site aren’t taking it seriously. And, talking with the one friend that I did make from that website (who is an extremely awesome platonic friend that I can now talk to about virtually anything), they are getting bombarded by hundreds of Neanderthal-writing-comprehension messages a day. These two theories combined, I am able to still sleep at night.
So where does this leave me in my current stage of life? Well, my problem in the earlier years of my life was the fear of rejection. For this reason, I would always take the time to get to know someone well before attempting to initiate a romantic connection. While I still do not believe this process is doomed, it has not panned out thus far. My continued rejection, both in real life and in the form of ignored messages on OkCupid signal that, unfortunately, rejection appears to be the norm. That kinda sucks, because I’m used to #winning and just being really awesome, generally speaking.
One of my close female friends from Rice suggested that I partake in more young professional activities. While I’m not exactly sure as to what this entails, I do realize that going out to a bar is not the most effective way to find someone interesting. For one, you usually can’t even hear what they are saying. I guess I will finally stop deleting the millions of emails I get every day from MeetUp and actually start attending some events. I’m also planning to volunteer (more?), especially at dog shelters. And I’m actually going to get a dog, after thinking about it for a year and a half. As a tweet from the @brotips_hq account put it best: “be the person your dog thinks you are”. Well, I don’t have a dog, so I’m going to rescue one and then hopefully enjoy some unconditional love. That’s my selfish reading of it, anyways.
Thank for reading! Feel free to leave comments but don’t expect responses. J