Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This past Saturday I snapped at The Gal™. We'd planned on going to an apple orchard to pick apples the weekend prior, but The Gal™'s sister was dialated 1cm and... I have no idea. I realize as I'm typing this that I've got no clue what exactly was going on, except to say that her vagina was doing stuff I'll never know about (and never want to), and she was close to giving birth. As The Gal™ was asked to watch her niece when the sister went to the hospital, there was quite a bit of excitement surrounding the possibilities. As such, we postponed the orchard trip a week.

Saturday morning came - well, actually Saturday afternoon. As I don't get enough sleep on weekdays, I allow myself to sleep in as late as my body demands come Saturday morning. Turns out the verdict for this past Saturday? Noon. And I only awoke then because my bladder was on the verge of emptying itself onto my mattress - thank God I'm both past and not yet back to that point in my life. Anyway, The Gal™ came over soon after I awoke and after a bit of chatting and whatnot, asked if it was okay that we not go to the apple orchard that day, but wait until Sunday. See, she really wanted to see her friend Doc, and Doc was planning to go the next day.

"Sure," I said, though I bristled.

At this point I'm a bit frustrated with the change in plans again, and I have an unfortunate way of dealing with it - I don't. I just tend to internalize my feelings, which acts as a repulsing magnet to those around me. Finally, after an hour had gone by and the two of us were in the car running errands, I popped.

I told her that I was frustrated that we weren't going to the orchard. That we were going with Doc the next day. That we hadn't gone the week before, and that the week before that, when we'd had plans to do a different event, one of The Gal™'s other sisters had been added to the guest list a bit late. That I didn't feel like I was getting enough time with her. That she and I didn't actually do much together, but rather when "events" came up, they were always shared with others.

I regret getting upset with her. I don't typically get mad in that fashion - it's just not really me. In the last two days, I've spent much of my head-time thinking about why I did that. Why would having another friend get me upset? Was it really that big of a deal?

The answer, I've come to discover, is that I'm beginning to feel the loneliness of this move, and the daily isolation it is causing me to live inside.

Early on, moving 85 miles away wasn't a big deal - there were daily discoveries, and life was full of excitement. I'd come home from work, and The Gal™ would be there, perhaps cooking a dinner, perhaps quick with a cocktail and an episode of Lost, perhaps feeling a bit frisky. Super-awesome, and the life that I was looking for. Yet, as time as gone on, I'm starting to notice the connections that I've severed. I don't see my friends much at all - I haven't seen one in... two months? Maybe? A month-and-a-half for sure. Can't really remember when Krazy drove over to visit. The calls dried up after a couple weeks. Then the texts. Then the emails. Now with the exception of Dan the Workout Partner™, I have no contact with people that I'd see several times a week.

Two months ago I decided to join taekwondo. I joined for several reasons: more activity would help spur on more weight loss, in the past I'd worked myself to one belt level below the black belt and as such have always had that task in mind as a goal to accomplish and it felt like the right time, and third (and the main one too), is that I wanted to meet people in this new town. People who I shared common interests with. People with whom I could converse on topics that were important and personal to me.

Unfortunately, that hasn't yet happened. I've found that the taekwondo school is populated mostly with kids, a few high-school students, and one or two moms - at least the classes I'm attending. There is nobody who fits my demographic, and really, why would there be? Who starts up a martial art at 33, you know? There's one instructor who's close in age to me, though here's a little-known fact: the belt hierarchy in traditional martial arts schools shows not only who is the more experienced/accomplished/learned student, but also who may speak with whom. Not a whole lot of interaction between high and low belts. So my experiement/hope has become a bit of a bust, in terms of my primary goal. I fully intend on sticking with it, but I'm looking at it more in terms of fitness and finishing what I'd (started and quit) years ago, and not as a place of social gathering. To that end, I'm looking at switching which classes I attend - the Wednesday evening and Saturday morning classes are more geared to sparring, which is where the real workout is, and where the weightloss will occur. Of course, I sleep in Saturday morning, so...

I'm rambling a bit. Oh well - this is much more a "dear diary" entry than a weight-loss one, so I think I can be forgiven a bit of a conscious-stream here.

Point being, I'm feeling lonely here. And I think I've started to worry too much about The Gal™ and where we're going. I think I'm afraid that I could lose her. As such, I'm holding on tight. Too tight.

I realize now that my snapping at her Saturday was the product of my own loneliness. That in an unfortunate way, I've become jealous that she has friends who contact her and seem eager to spend time with her. That she has a large family in town, with sisters in her demographic who love her and want to see her all the time. I feel like I don't have that - that all I have is her - and it makes me reticent to share. And that in turn puts an inordinate amount of pressure on me, her and our relationship. And for no good reason.

I'm writing this not to seek an immediate solution. That's not necessary. I'm writing it just to help me understand myself and my actions as of late. Often times I retreat into myself to puzzle out my feelings to situations. Sometimes I force myself to at least say something, like I did when I finally blurted out what I said to The Gal™ on Saturday. However, what I said then was totally half-baked. I'm not mad that Doc came with us. I'm sad that I don't have a Doc of my own to tag along with The Gal™ and me. I'm sad that I'm feeling lonely. I know that much like my home sickness when I went off to college, I'll get through this and be able to move on (and hopefully soon). Hopefully by discovering this and acknowledging it, I'll be able to better keep myself in check.


Carlos said...

id rather claw out my own eyes with forks than go apple picking

screwdestiny said...

I laughed out loud at Carlos' comment there.

So, what else do you like to do other than martial arts? I'm sure there's some other stuff you could do where you could find some friends that fit what you're looking for. It does suck though, I know. Moving to a place where you pretty much don't know anybody is always hard. Just hang in there.

S. said...

I think it's awesome that you have this kind of insight into what's bugging you and how you're responding as a result. I'm guessing that would be pretty key to successfully getting though this.

I love your blog; keep writing!

Mich said...

Re: Who starts up a martial art at 33, you know?

Well, I started kendo last year at 38, so it does happen. :)

Re: the belt hierarchy in traditional martial arts schools shows [...] who may speak with whom.

I'd check out another dojang. When I trained in a belted art (karate, many eons ago), the dojos I had the good fortune to train in were very friendly. There was none of that snobby/stuck up attitude of "i only talk to people with the same color belt." (Maybe one case in two years, but then the higher ranked folks set them straight about it.)

*fitcetera* said...

I remember the days before The Gal™ was *your* woman ...
remember the anticipation and the excitement?

You're a good man, Roder, with a good handle on your inner self.
You'll figure this out and find solutions to remedy this.

Anonymous said...

As you're finding out, having your own group of friends outside of your relationship is really important. It actually makes your relationship stronger as you're less dependent on the other person to get all your needs met.

I know the distance is a PITA, but I'm hoping that you'll be participating in the league this year and will come up to the shop every couple of weeks to hang out. You're missed and it'd be good to see more of you.

bbubblyb said...

I think you should definitely tell The Gal all you said here. I think it would really help her understand better and I'm sure she would do her best to help with suggestions of how you could make some new friends in her town.

Will (4xlt) said...

Hey Roder,

Been a long time since I've been this aways (thanks for the comment over on my neck of the woods, btw), but it sucks to hear you're going through a rough spot with the move.

I know exactly how it goes and how much it sucks. Granted, I moved 2000 miles away from where I grew up to the Pacific Northwest, but in the past three years since I've been here, I've gone through three distinct sets of social circles.

In addition to that, all but two - maaaaaybe three or four - of my (what I thought would be rock solid, for life) friendships back home have completely dried up.

I hate to say that I've gotten a whole helluva lot more closed off as a result. I used to be a pretty open book about my feelings and welcoming to new, deep friendships, but not anymore.

Which isn't to say I don't have any friends, I'm making more all the time, but I find myself deliberately keeping them mostly all at arms length because I just doubt that any of them will be around.

So yeah, it sucks, but what else can we do but keep moving forward and putting ourselves out there (to a certain level, hahah)?

Will (4xlt) said...

PS: Have you considered starting MMA training? It may be a fad, or it may be something that'll stick around for a long time, but regardless, I bet there are going to be more dudes in the late 20-thirties age range than what you're finding at Tae Kwon Do.

Kelsana said...

First and foremost as hard as it might be share this with the Gal. Do it in as eloquent a way as you have here and lots of love. Sooner than you think you will be part of all of those that love her so and with them will come other friends or family members. You will find your way but keeping it inside with ruin your relationship. It's good that you are wise enough to start looking at this now.

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