Pick Your Own Adventure

Alas, here we are. Another year, another new year’s resolution, another year of challenges and opportunities. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. Did I sell that right?

2019 was a pretty spectacular year, still stead-set on braving new experiences and getting out of my comfort zone. I would say the two weeks in Europe certainly solidified that effort.

2019 highlights:

  • Europe Trip; England, France, and the Netherlands. Bonus: got to meet a long-distance friend of almost 10 years. That was truly the highlight. 🙂
  • New gym with a class structure. That’s right, forced interaction with humans–and they’re not bad! It was the next step in my fitness journey and it’s certainly what I needed. I love their classes and instructors.
  • Riding on the coat-tails of the prior item; did my first 5K run. I know, who am I? I hate running, or maybe not so much.
  • Self-care centric; I started and finished my Accutane treatment, as I’ve written a few times now. It has cleared my skin–heck I’ve worn a sleeveless shirt for the first time in my life. The question of whether or not I can pull it off is something else entirely though. Ha!
  • I’ve acknowledged and managed my hyperhidrosis, taking botox treatments for underarms and other medication to address the general problem.

2019 was great and I think 2020 will ride on the momentum built. There are a few more runs I signed up to attend throughout the year, so I plan to build and maintain that stamina. I want to travel more this coming year, initially planning to return to the UK, but there are a few other events on the horizon that may make this difficult…

I’m starting school. In fact, my first day was technically today. I’m going back to broaden my horizons, expand the available jobs. While I’ve been very happy with my current job, having been there and the industry for 12 years (including acquisitions and transfers), I want something different. That’s not to say I’m not extremely grateful for all the opportunities awarded, but it’s time for a change. The over a decade of experience has in some ways burdened me with certain knowledge and a position that’s always in the “hot seat.” To be frank, I’m getting tired of being in that hot seat. It’s incredibly draining and the compensation has well… I’ve reached a potential limit without sacrificing a certain quality of life and work-life balance. There’s a lot more details that I can’t get into involving my direct superiors and the changing climate of the industry. Suffice to say, it’s time to seek greener pastures. Going back to school was the logical next step.

I’m getting a puppy.

A dalmatian to be more specific.

“A dalmatian? Why a dalmatian? You know they’re high-energy, right?”

Yes. I’ve read on the breed for a couple of years. I’m familiar with their temperament, needs, and health concerns. I fell in love with one while a friend was babysitting one some time back. Considering my active lifestyle and my desire to get into running, I could use the companion. Plus, maybe now I’ll finally be able to hit all the hiking sites I’ve been wanting to. I practically live in a forest being in the PNW.

As you see, it’s already set on being a busy year. I don’t think I’ll make up my mind about the UK for a couple of months. If I do go, it’ll likely be October again. I think that was a pretty good time.

The biggest struggle in all this apart from being a dog-parent that I’m sure will set as routine, is staying on track for school. I want to finish in under three years with all my certifications. It’s going to be a challenge. I’m a huge procrastinator (remember that third book?). I got a planner set to mark out milestones and hopefully keep me on track. Though somewhat ironically, it’s proven hard to keep to the planner.

If the planner proves its worth, I’ll add the unfinished book projects. That’s right, let’s tack that on as well.

Here’s to 2020!

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Hiraeth

I don’t think I realized just how “broken” I was until recently. Or rather, I don’t think I understood the origins of the many fragments that make me up.

I suspect my JW upbringing has a lot to do with it. A recent exercise in self-discovery allowed me to re-examine certain aspects of my life. You see, I was taught that I was not part of this world. That everything not strictly adhering to their interpretation of the bible was sinful and worldly. That’s a big part of the JW belief system, that’s why birthdays, national holidays, and any political involvement are prohibited. It’s also why I’ve missed out on a lot of popular culture and in some ways I’m stunted; anything before 2000 is hit-or-miss as to whether or not I’ve seen it. Confounding all that is growing up as a minority and being gay. It’s like the Russian nesting doll of compartmentalized psychosis. Did it lead to my introvert tendencies? :: shrug :: mayhaps… mayhaps.

It takes me a bit to warm up to people, in groups, to new places in general. I’ve written about the new gym before and how I’ve come to enjoy the vibe there. It took a few visits, and a few weeks of people-watching to understand the culture, the general flow of things, and figure out the dynamic personalities and how they work. I’m sure this is the same for everyone, especially when you’re the new person. It just takes me a bit longer.

Still, I can’t help but feel broken each time. I can’t help but always feel like the outsider looking in. It’s not always a terrible thing, and I like to think it helps develop perspective. It’s sometimes more comforting to be the third person in the room, the person in the audience rather than on the stage. Heck, it’s this dynamic that eventually gave me enough FOMO to step onto the stage; I got tired of always watching. It’s an odd duality, a balancing act. I try not to feel broken all the time.

Seattle feels like home. The PNW is home for sure. I’ve written many times before how much I longed for this place since I was twelve. It’s no wonder then that my arm tattoo is of the PNW. I finally got it finished, after having to wait for my Accutane treatment to end.

Minutes after finishing

I think it says a lot about my personality; my love of the PNW, my love of Seattle, my love of sci-fi, being part of the LGTB community, and my general disconnect from society.

“Why the abduction?” people ask. “Is that you being abducted?”

“I dunno,” I admit. “Maybe. Maybe it’s showing that I’m home, that I’m either going to die here or get abducted. My chances are 50/50, right? Or…” I think. “…that I’m just visiting. A sort of homage to humanity’s transience.”

“For someone who was never meant for this world, I must confess I’m suddenly having a hard time leaving it. Of course, they say every atom in our bodies was once part of a star. Maybe I’m not leaving… maybe I’m going home.”

Vincent (Gattaca, film)
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