Sorry I haven’t written anything in ages; to be honest, I was thinking about stopping this blog entirely… but I pledged that would only happen once I’ve sorted my life out, and despite the improvements I’ve made, there’s still a way to go — especially in one area I’m sure you’re sick of me going on about…
All right, so I’ve finally broken into IT and have a job I enjoy (which perplexes my teammates!), with prospects for the future. And yes, I’m more confident and comfortable with myself than ever, to the point that the depression and self-loathing which plagued me in 2011-2012, and the pessimism and anxiety I felt in 2014-15, seem like bad dreams from which I’ve awoken.
However, I still need to create a proper future for myself that doesn’t consist of renting and playing video games — which means getting a mortgage before I’m too far into my 40s (which itself might be difficult, thanks Brexit). And, of course, I’m still searching for true love (or at least someone to make out with), as I have been since even before leaving home in 1996.
(And no, I won’t stop going on about this topic unless and until I achieve a result more positive than first date after first date — if you don’t like it, either stop reading my blog entirely, or get me laid. Your choice!)
However, I think recent events (including today) have brought me to the understanding that I no longer regret “becoming heterosexual” when I was 18, or all the adventures I’ve had as a direct result of my search — such as going to university, going to Michigan, going to university again, going to the western USA, going to Meetup.com groups… these things may not have happened solely because I was chasing my libido, but it was certainly a driving force in not just sitting around in Worthing watching Doctor Who videos for my entire life.
Indeed, I no longer regret the events of the past few years, because even through the bad times, I’ve felt more alive than in the previous few years — and I don’t regret starting this blog, because setting down my feelings and admitting how bad things got in late 2011 meant I was able to weather the (perhaps worse) storm of late 2014 without contemplating suicide. I’m glad I’m still alive and able to experience new things — and if I’d given in to my darkness, I’d definitely never be in a position to find someone. Dead men don’t get laid, right?
I’m even glad to still be going on dates that don’t lead to anything significant: I don’t regret going to London Bridge (a less logical place than R’lyeh) a few weekends ago, only for the young lady to take one look at my outfit and groan “oookay!”; nor do I regret spending a Sunday going for a walk with a cute woman who had a cute dog, who seemed to think afterwards that she wasn’t what I was looking for (that’s a new one on me!); nor do I begrudge paying the Tube fare for going to meet someone today at Waterloo who seemed to think we should have chatted through the dating app more before even thinking about meeting in person, as I wasn’t really her type. In each case I’ve been comfortable in myself, and it’s really been the woman who’s failed to realise how awesome I am (except in an “I’m sure you’ll find someone special soon because you’re so lovely” kind of way).
Actually, I find myself wondering whether, like the (ahem) protagonist in The Missing Piece, I’d stop enjoying my life so much, and having all sorts of adventures that take me to new places, if I found the woman of my dreams and settled down to raise a family with her. I know I shouldn’t assume that having a family with kids would mean I could no longer do any of the things I like, or that I’d have to stop being my quirky and eccentric self and become an utterly serious adult who never has any frivolous “me time”, but society seems to think all “real men” should strive for this, and derive pleasure only from either seeing their kids grow up, or watching their sportsball team win.
I won’t say I’ll never change, but if I finally find a woman and the experience changes me, that’s very different from me changing myself to conform to what society thinks I should be, as some sort of precondition of finding someone — that I’m somehow “wrong” as I am, and that I need to become someone completely different before I can even think of so much as hooking up. As a great sailor once said, I yam what I yam — and, as I’ve known since my search began (and as I’ve probably said in this blog before), I need to find someone who likes me because of my whimsical ways, not in spite of them. If one day I put away childish things for a higher calling (such as becoming a father), so be it — but until then, I intend to continue doing the things I enjoy, and looking for someone with whom I can enjoy them.
But oh, I hope I find someone significant soon, because all these one-off dates that don’t even lead to a kiss are really starting to grate…