Thoughts In Space in Book Six: Trying to Hold On 2019

  • Dec. 17, 2019, 8:40 p.m.
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As I write this, I still haven’t decided whether I’ll respond to notes in my last entry individually or in a large clump here in this entry. Thus the joy of who I write my entries sometimes.

Some days, I have a specific thing I want to say or (too often) a specific thing I need to vent. Often, in those cases, I will come to Prosebox, write my words, hit save, and think “There. At least I’ve said it. I’ve memorialized my current thoughts and feelings and even if it makes no difference at any point; at least my thoughts and feelings have been shared in some way!” Some days, on the other hand, I simply open the “NEW ENTRY” tab on my computer and write as the mood strikes me. As should be expected with my job, this type of writing happens far less often than it once did.

Today is shaping up to be more of the latter. You see, I had a lot of work yesterday (shit ton! Stayed at work late!) and had a lot of work in the morning today… but this afternoon actually looks… suspiciously calm. Mostly, I have therapy this afternoon and it won’t be much.

In truth, I haven’t done the “homework” she gave me. She doesn’t like giving homework and thought with me it would be impossible because I’m an expert at rationalizing and persuading other people of my own logic. But I told her that homework and accountability are important and should be part of my process. So she wanted me to do something solo that I wouldn’t normally do solo. Like go to the bar or a coffee shop. And I intended to do that. But my last therapy was on Thursday. Friday I was already scheduled to get food with Martha as a “Congratulations” dinner on her semester (top of the class in both classes!); Saturday I was at a concert being performed by my parents; Sunday: Nala was super sick and I wasn’t going to just leave her; and Monday I was doing Christmas shopping online most of the evening/afternoon. So yeah… while that could be “rationalizing” and “persuading”, I would argue that those are legitimate “excuses”. I’ll get to the “doing the thing alone”… I just also need to work around a busy Christmas schedule.

After therapy, I need to pick up a few more Christmas items at a local shop and then I’m done Christmas shopping. Oh, speaking of… I thought this was rather telling. SO… Martha isn’t buying gifts for me or my family this year (duh) and my parents were sad that Martha requested nobody buy her anything. BUT is Martha buying any presents? NOPE. Not a one. I… as an adult, I can’t imagine anything more lonely than that. She isn’t bothered by it, barely registered with her. She’s not buying presents for her parents or her cousins or anybody. I mean… I know growing up as an only child, you don’t have siblings to buy for but… you aren’t even going to get your parents something? Just… honestly shocked the hell out of me.

In Nala news: She did better yesterday! She was playful and energetic… back to her old self!! Until about 8 p.m. When she threw up again. BUT HEY… 1 versus 10… I’ll take the “lingering effects” vomit over the “she’s puked everything in her, she may actually vomit a lung”! I just hope that she’s feeling even better today!

And as to my answer for the first thought of the day??? I think I’ll write something here and if I have time go back and comment on some of the notes.

You see, I was born in 1984… in a state that South Park mentioned as being “out of touch” in “Prehistoric Ice Man”. I remember receiving access to my first Home PC during Clinton’s presidency. I received “The Internet” as a Christmas Present in the late 1990s. Now, while speaking to your real life friends via online chat programs was new and fun and a great way to engage in private communication… speaking with people you did not know irl was considered extraordinarily dangerous and inappropriate. Even in the video game community, I wouldn’t be exposed to the idea of speaking with online gamers until X Box 360 and World of Warcraft Burning Crusade.

Now, I’ve been online journaling off and on since 1999. But it has honestly been more off than on. I journaled steadily from 1999 to 2004. Of everyone who had access to that Open Diary space, only one person ever became more than “a name and comment”. I added her to facebook and spoke with her over the phone two or three times. To this day, we’ve never met in person or (to my knowledge) even been in the same state at the same time. After 2004, I stopped writing for the most part. I was trying to dedicate myself to my studies, graduate, and get a job.

After college, I met some people that could be considered friends… but my entire social circle was either (1) the group I knew in college but didn’t 100% get along with; or (2) a few people from high school that still lived in the area. I started working at Best Buy and met people I liked, but as I was in a supervisory role, I couldn’t “be their hang out friend” and kept it business friendly. Until my department was dissolved in 2009, and then I could become real friends with those people. And I did!! Through the Girl Gamer in the group, I met a bunch of other people online. Voices and Gamer Tag Handles. We’d fight through the Covenant in Halo or explore Tython in Old Republic or whatever game we were playing.

Then Law School and Married Life. I had to cut WAY back on the gaming! I met some really cool people in law school and we studied, hung out, survived law school. My marriage started tanking hardcore right out of the gate and I couldn’t really dedicate my intellectual or emotional space to everything. I mean… taking care of Wife’s shit, dealing with Wife’s shit, connecting to new friends, surviving law school, getting a part-time job to pay for law school.... my own emotions needed a place to go. So I started writing again in OD around 2013 or 2014 or so. And then OD started to die and we fled to Prosebox.

Now… there are some people on Prosebox that I think are absolutely amazing. If I had my druthers, there are at least 30 or more of the people on my Friends list that I think it would be amazing to meet, talk to, spend a few hours together. That would be cool. AND* there are even people on my Friends list that I genuinely, deeply, truthfully, care very much about. Even added them on legit social media apps like Facebook and Instagram and the like. And some of them, I would be interested in flying to wherever they are and meeting, shaking hands, buying them dinner, and just really chatting. It would be really cool!

But yeah… end of the day? Call me old fashioned if you wish but… the difference between an IRL friend and someone you’ve only ever known through a Diary Website? That is… a huge chasm. I’m still a guy that significantly and strongly prefers books to e-books. I need a physical concept that I can smell and see and touch and experience. As fun and enjoyable as some of the “Comment Debates” can get and as INCREDIBLY VALUED as notes are… I can’t exactly come to Prosebox and engage in a legitimate back and forth conversation regarding… anything. I get that the world today is all “text me and I’ll get back to you when I can” and “the cool thing” is to have a sort of disaffected detached lack of urgency about things but do you know what fills me with social joy?

I want to sit in a room, with physical actual people, and discuss things. Talking over each other. Laughing and high-fiving. Hoisting a pint in recognition of a better made point. Able to put an arm around someone if they start crying. Able to hear if a person’s voice betrays some tension or emotion.
I want to be in someone’s basement, watching a movie, and passing around a bucket of popcorn. I don’t even eat popcorn. Just sharing the experience together in a legitimate physical space. Able to tie the sights and sounds with the smells and touch-sensations of that specific time in that specific place.

I guess I just… really am old fashioned. Because I’d rather six other people hanging out at a bar engaged in discussion… than the whole internet laid before me to type out words on.

hippiechica15 December 18, 2019

Having been in a friend's wedding that I met on OD, I really have to disagree about those friendships not being as valuable! There is something to say for having friends at a "see you in person in 10 minutes" range, but I don't think that diminishes how real "online" friends can be. Every single person I've met up with in person who was first an internet friend have been awesome and a real friend, not superficial. I have certainly found it harder to make those friendships in person as an adult who moved to a new state. I am a huge proponent of meeting your online friends! (while being discerning, of course.)

DE_KentuckyGirl December 18, 2019

If that's your preference, then that's what it is. I disagree with your conclusion about friendships in that fashion. My husband was on the net in the 90's as well and I started in 1999. Now, 20 years later, I have some of the best friendships, REAL LIFE friendships, that have come from these forums. I married someone I met online and have a wonderful thriving marriage. I know others who did the same. I am like you in that I prefer small groups. I am an acquaintance with many, close to few. Some of those few are miles and miles away. We don't talk every day. But we do get together several times a year, and in some cases more and in other cases as a group. Broadening your horizons in this way can offer you more opportunities. Especially so when it comes to certain interests that can be hard to gauge when meeting someone th old fashioned way. The online relationships can take longer to form. Only you can decide if it's worth it to add this way to your possibilities.

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