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Self-Improvement & Venting Journal


Pleasedonot5
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Hey, ENA. 

I am going to be starting a journal. I am hoping to find a place to enter my thoughts. I have nearly always found that when I have an outlet onto which I can give my thoughts, I actively seem to organize the issues in my life. As a result, it helps me to do and feel better.

I will list out categorical areas in which I feel I am experiencing stress, worries, or anxieties. Then, my subsequent entries will try to solve them. However, I anticipate that several entries will involve impertinent venting. 

If you choose to reply, keep it constructive. Do not debate me here. 

PROBLEMS

Anxiety, Brain Fog

This summer, my anxiety has heightened. After a while, it has become difficult for me to even string together a set of coherent sentences without feeling like I am making a bunch of grammar mistakes. I would say that the anxiety heightened in May.

Schedule. In late May, my schedule changed from a fairly consistent, manageable schedule to one that was totally reversed. It went from starting in the mid- and late-mornings (around 10:00 a.m.) and ending late-afternoons (around 4:00 p.m.) to starting in the afternoons (around 1:00 p.m.) and ending late at night (around 9:00 p.m.). It changed because I started an unpaid (yikes) internship - the university requires the credits and proscribes payment for the work (double yikes). The university offered these summer classes solely at night. The good news is that this schedule will end in about a week. I will choose a better schedule for this upcoming Fall.

Student Advocacy Stresses. At a previous university, I was the leader of the student body and accomplished quite a lot. This time, I ran for a normal member position on the new university's body. I had ideas for what to fix. I have a bachelor and master degree in administration - and I knew this student government was lacking in several key areas. So, I developed a compelling platform, campaigned, won an election, and started on the body with around 20 other individuals. Unfortunately, not only was this body lacking but it became toxic and explosive almost immediately (something - honestly - I have never experienced in student government work). We opined on a controversial Israel-Palestine issue over three controversial meetings (a little out-of-scope: the statement that some wanted to put out on recent happenings in the Middle East contained some resources for students, good, but was also one-sided and unnecessarily vitriolic). This topic made me so anxious: doing the right thing would be a poor political move; doing the smart thing politically would be morally wrong in my opinion. So, I did the right thing and broke from the mold. That soured some relationships but earned me some "reasonableness" points from some students, university administrators, and etc. However, there is a newspaper article being written about the topic. Unfortunately, this pointless debate we had as a student government will likely end up being that one "breaking news" article that gets me criticized when I am running for an actual office in the future. 

There are some upsides. I am on a budgetary committee at the University Board level. I was able to vote "no" on a televised Board-level tuition increase recommendation, which felt valiant. I was wearing a power blue suit, and looked great. I asked a pointed, salient question about the university's reserves (I know best practices from my master's degree). It will probably score me a few points in the long-run - and this is the type of work/advocacy I enjoy. 

Afterward, I attempted to make a common sense and best practices fix. Throughout the pandemic, most organizations who allow for public comment (either discretionarily or because law requires them to do so) adopted procedures for electronically addressing the body. Ours did not. So, I proposed a procedure informed by state guidance and local government practice for allowing this public comment at electronic meetings. Based on initial pushback, I had to give what I would describe as a "department head-level presentation" for a relatively simple and common sense fix. [In context, I had to put more work into this than when I proposed a procedure change at my previous full-time job. That was a televised local government board meeting and my proposal passed 7-0 - no hassle]. My proposal at the student government ended up passing unanimously, but it took an hour-long presentation, PowerPoint, supporting packet, and discussion on "free speech" caselaw (my proposal was not about changing our free speech procedures - a few members wanted to screen and preempt speech they found distasteful - yikes) to get it passed. 

I am doing good, important work to simply allow the student government to function so that it can actually do work that matters effectively. But, all this B.S. stresses me out. I get that I am 26 and I am coming into this student government as guy with some experience among 19- and 20-year-olds who have not done this before. I try to leave my high confidence at the door - but this group is openly loud, hostile, and quite ignorant. It is difficult that I have to give a mile to get an inch in the right direction. [I have developed rapport with one of our deans, who sits as an advisor (and has been doing so for around 15 years). He said this group is the most toxic, without hesitation].

For these reasons, I have thought about quitting. I am planning on staying though because the student body elected me and I have a duty to them. Though it might be a hassle for me, the student body benefits most when I nudge the student government in the right direction. 

That said, the "student advocacy" point has increased my stress levels overall and may be contributing to the brain fog, so it deserved a major mention.

Sleep/Insomnia. I cannot sleep until like 3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. I am most often a night owl, but that is getting ridiculous. The last time I had this sleep schedule, I was in my teens. It is probably not helping anything. I take benedryl some nights as a sleep aid, but lately it has lost its potency. I also have a calming tea - but that has not seemed to work lately. 

Freakin' Fruit Flies. I have a fruit fly infestation. I have cleaned every nook and cranny of my apartment - behind and under the fridge, underneath the stove, etc. I vacuumed my apartment, wiped everything down, took out the trash, set out new fruit fly traps, put vinegar and baking soda down all my drains; detached and looked into my garbage disposal/pipes (they were not there), wiped down any moldy areas in my bathroom, and more. Look, for a single 26-year-old guy living alone, I am very clean and organized. I do not understand why the fruit flies are here. If I tell my landlord, the provision in the lease that pertains to animals (including insects) would cause a $500 cleaning charge. I do not want to give the landlord $500, but I do not know what to do to keep these freakin' pests away.  It is so difficult to live in a place where I cannot rest easy/relax because a fruit fly will buzz around my ear, land in my food, or land in my hair. I cannot relax. That is probably contributing to my anxiety. 

Career

I know where I want to take my career, ultimately. I want to make a difference in a higher political level, either as a state legislator or a judge/justice. I joined law school for several reasons, but most notably because I believe that if I am going to change or rule on the law, I should learn it. Therefore, law school was and is a necessary condition for my ultimate career goal. 

The question is, how should I tailor my career in the intermediate term in a way that (1) serves my passions and interests, (2) is something at which I am skilled, and (3) builds a solid network and reputation for my ultimate career goal.

My education and previous part- and full-time work has been in the realm of public administration / local government. Therefore, a focus in municipal law makes sense: I would start in that area with more understanding than most, especially with regard to my state's most critical municipal statutes. However, while I would be thrilled to be the municipal guy, and guide a city, township, etc. toward best practices and away from liability, I am not interested in just finding excuses for poor business practices: I have seen this happen quite a few times. It is also difficult to be "passionate" about local government. I am definitely interested in the idea of a municipal practice - and I am interested in the substantive components of municipal law (e.g., public-sector accounting regulations, land use development, landmark public body legislation, etc.), but it does not stoke the flames of my deepest passions.

There is also criminal defense, in which I seem to have developed what I would describe as an "initial burning passion." I believe firmly - especially in our society at present day - that people deserve to have a competent defender to protect their liberties. Too often, our barbaric system of justice puts offenders behind bars for entire lifetimes - or puts innocent people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time behind bars. This deserves a countermanding force - and I would love to be that force. So, I am passionate about the idea. Also, I can foresee that this would serve me well in a future political run. However, in the U.S., criminal defense attorneys are often overworked, underpaid, and experience low job satisfaction. I would need experience in this field, perhaps doing clinical work, before I would be able to confidently alter my career trajectory to focus on this area. If it is not for me, I would want to know this now, before I put my municipal experience / path on pause. 

I have signed up for my university's voluntary pro bono program to help me obtain clinical experience in this area.

The tentative plan is to pursue experiences and classes in both areas.

Love, Relationships, & Sex

FWB. I am in a FWB with someone who is in an open relationship. However, this FWB just started medical school, so understandably, she is busy. We are friends first and we have been good friends for a while - however, though we share similar sexual interests, I do not think this FWB is serving me anymore. I am pretty open when it comes to sex - however, I think some level of emotional connection or rapport should be there (I am mature enough to handle it); if it is pointless sex, I do not really enjoy it. This person, U, has essentially relegated me to the person she calls sometimes and hits up for sexting (mainly for her benefit) late at night (I don't like feeling like JUST simply a sexting/quickie booty call). Though we have had some level of emotional connection or rapport in the past, I am not really feeling it now. It is difficult to feel that - and thus enjoy the sex - when one has clearly not made the "med school cut."  I do not know what to do about this, but I will communicate my concern and see if there is any satisfactory way forward. If there is not, then I will just go back to being friends with her.

Relationship. I want a relationship. I am obviously not good at dating apps. I am better at making connections in person. I feel like I am at a point in my life where I could be the best boyfriend I have ever been: I am looking forward to it. That said, I have not found anyone. I am keeping an eye open but cannot help but feel a little lonely. 

Life Is Suffering

Preface: I am not suicidal. If I was, I would consult a professional. Still, life causes me stress because of the way it actually is.

Ever just sit around and observe how awful our set-up is? We come into this world without anyone consulting us first. Then, you have a few ignorant years until you are thrown head-first into many of life's sufferings. Break-ups, familial deaths, anxiety, back pain, etc. Producing and eating good food comes at the suffering of sentient animals. Medications that can make life blissful and euphoric are illegal and/or will make one detrimentally addicted. And then one of life's purported blessings, children, is a but-for cause of suffering. 

People try to get around this by conjuring up metaphysical paradises. All our worries will go away once we are there! Yeah... without evidence, I will not buy it.

As far as we know, we suffer and then we just die. Many of life's blessings are actually covered in the blood of innocents. That's really messed up, when you sit down and think about it. C'est la vie.

What keeps me going is the concept of duty. Yeah, I suffer. However, I am not the only one. I have the opportunity to reduce the suffering of others, I should take it.  

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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Great idea to start a journal! I find it useful for myself. 

You have to pay your landlord $500 to get rid of a fruit fly infestation that is caused by nature and not because you keep an unclean home? That is nuts.

My mattress became infested with bedbugs at my previous apartment. While I'm convinced they originated from the carpet, I went ahead and mitigated them myself. Not fun.

I hope you find your journal to be a good tool for getting your thoughts out.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, Bolt. 🙂 I will give effort to keep this going. I find it helpful to put my thoughts out there instead of keeping them buzzing around my head. 

In regard to the lease, well, let me know what you think. The pertinent provision seems clearly adverse to my current situation:

Contract Stuff:

"49. ANIMALS. No animals (including mammals, reptiles, rodents and insect(s)) are allowed, even temporarily, anywhere in the Apartment or Apartment Community unless the owner has authorized [sic] in writing. If an animal has been in the Apartment at any time during your term of occupancy without consent, we will charge you a $500.00 fee for deodorizing, shampooing and flea treatment, in addition to all of the following..." (Emphasis added).

[it goes into terms clearly related to pets, which would not apply].

There is no other provision plausibly related to pests explicitly mentioned in our current lease agreement - including exhibits, addenda, etc.

In contract law, most courts are persuaded by the "ordinary and plain meaning" of words/phrases. It seems ordinary and plain from the above that insects are not allowed in the apartment and that I will be responsible for treatment if there are insects in the apartment. In my state, which is looser in the way that courts interpret contracts, I may be able to argue the provision is ambiguous since it seems to imply that it is only about pets or animals brought voluntarily into the apartment. However, if my landlord could not be persuaded, they would charge me and then I would have to either (1) refuse to pay and go to court. Practically speaking, my lease is due for renewal soon and they would likely not allow me to remain if I did press the issue. Either that or (2) pay the fee. 

As fun as it would be for a law fanatic like me, I have no desire to go to court over this: it would be more expensive than just $500. Plus, other than the present issue, it is pleasant to live here and I do not want to move.

I might be able to get this fixed on the landlord's dime, if it can be shown that other tenants in my building - or a defect caused by landlord's negligence - are the cause of the infestation. The adjoining units ARE connected via one of the ventilation units. In that case, then, the landlord would be violating an implied duty, habitability or quiet enjoyment: either is a material breach of the lease. Of course, again, it would not go to court, but they probably wouldn't push the $500 charge.

Misc. Fruit Fly-Related:

The pests are localized and in number enough that if a maintenance person entered the apartment, they probably would not notice. But spend enough time here and they are everywhere. My traps have killed hundreds of them but there are always more - and I have no idea where they are laying eggs. 

I do not have fruit in my apartment. I have coffee grounds, but I've sealed it up in Tupperware so there is no way for them to access it. My garbage can has a lid, but even if they were getting past it right now it is empty. There is some light mold/mildew in the bathroom, but it is light and I am finishing the cleaning of this today.

They are really bad today and I am already having an anxious day. I feel so bothered. 

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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Posted (edited)

Well, I turned what started out as an awful day into a fairly productive one. 

The fruit fly menace. I went shopping to arm myself with cleaning supplies. Since I recently learned that fruit flies will feed on mold in a pinch, I resolved to deep clean my bathroom, where I observed light mold. 

I mixed some warm water and bleach into a spray bottle. The work in the bathroom took a while - there was more mold/mildew in hidden spots than I had originally observed, but it was so satisfying to eradicate it. In addition to spraying, I washed my shower curtain and liner. My bathroom now looks bright and clean. 

I bought a cheap, fruity wine from the store. I substituted traps with fruity wine and dish soap for my apple cider vinegar traps. Hopefully, they'll be just as effective - but in any case they'll be without the pungent odor of the apple cider vinegar permeating my apartment.

My previous toaster was cheap and there was no feasible way to get the burnt-stuck crumbs out of the bottom. I figure the pests might be attracted to the crumbs. So, I bought a new toaster for around $20 and threw the old one out. The new toaster was a low price and still looks more modern than my old one - with a more intuitive design/tray removal.

I took out the trash, cans, and other recyclables. Though I had been washing out the cans, I figure better safe than sorry. 

I thoroughly cleaned my sink and coffee maker. 

As of this post, there appears to be a reduction in evil fruit fly activity. 

This was a satisfying cleaning day for the type-A, organized PDN5. 

I am going to give myself props for this one. I really worked hard on this today. 

+1 move to fix anxiety/brain fog.

More importantly, 5,000 point-deduction to team assh- I mean team fruit fly.

FWB. I communicated my concern to my friend in a respectful and respectable way. She was more receptive and reassuring than I thought she would be. She asked what she could change so that I would not feel like just a booty call or "side-piece," as she put it. I offered a few suggestions and we talked about them. 

I am glad I communicated my concern. It is better to communicate with dignity than to be resentful in silence. I count this as another success that turned today around.

Gym membership. I purchased a gym membership at Planet Fitness, for a solid price. I have been meaning to get back to a gym for a while - though I have a few dumbbells, resistance bands, a jump rope, and of course, my running shoes here, I think it has been difficult for me to see this apartment as a place for exercise. I feel hopeful that having a destination where I can exercise be better for my health, including my recent anxiety/brain fog. And, if I stick with it, being in shape will definitely not hurt my chances of catching the eye of Ms. Right, lol. 

--

Bonus points: K (from my last thread) messaged me and asked me to go for a meal and social dancing with her tomorrow. I accepted but she did not have a restaurant in mind. So, I'll / we'll come up with one tomorrow lol. Good news - that was a nice mood boost.

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, boltnrun said:

That clause pertains to pets.  The fruit flies are not pets. Therefore, they are required to mitigate them as they are an infestation.

Thanks. I think that is a reasonable reading. If I can rid of them myself, like you did with the bed bugs, then I will not even bring it up to the landlord. Don't want to give them even the chance to ask for my money!

8 hours ago, LaHermes said:

I'll be reading you PDN.  You always make valuable and insightful contributions on the forums. 

Thanks, LaHermes. That was nice of you. I very much enjoy your contributions (and song suggestions) as well. 

I'm not waitin' onnnn a laadyyy. I'm just waiting onnn a friend!

I blame credit you for that song being in my head! :D 

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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I love that song PDN. It does sort of get into your head. Look up his version of The Girl with Faraway Eyes". You'll like it.

News for you. Those fruit flies apparently have same DNA as humans (I am simplifying here). Was half listening to radio documentary as I worked last night about scientific research into these creatures.  

"Fruit fly: 60 percent identical

These tiny winged creatures share common genes for many biological processes involved with growth and development. In fact, nearly 75 percent of genes that cause disease in humans are also found in fruit flies, making them good models for the study of human disease." (NASA)

They're about to become genetic models for astronauts."

Edited by LaHermes
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Wow, I love all the cleaning!

I too am a "clean freak" and take a lot of satisfaction from a clean home. I live alone partly because I haven't met anyone who values a clean home as much as I do.

Glad to see you had a good day!

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On 7/22/2021 at 3:14 PM, Pleasedonot5 said:

Unfortunately, not only was this body lacking but it became toxic and explosive almost immediately (something - honestly - I have never experienced in student government work). We opined on a controversial Israel-Palestine issue over three controversial meetings (a little out-of-scope: the statement that some wanted to put out on recent happenings in the Middle East contained some resources for students, good, but was also one-sided and unnecessarily vitriolic). This topic made me so anxious: doing the right thing would be a poor political move; doing the smart thing politically would be morally wrong in my opinion. So, I did the right thing and broke from the mold. That soured some relationships but earned me some "reasonableness" points from some students, university administrators, and etc. However, there is a newspaper article being written about the topic. Unfortunately, this pointless debate we had as a student government will likely end up being that one "breaking news" article that gets me criticized when I am running for an actual office in the future. 

I'm so happy you're starting a journal!  I love reading your outlined posts LOL, and I've found it nice to have your own little place to ponder things, with or without interruption of others' thoughts 🙂 .

But for the above quote... that is actually a common thing with college groups unfortunately, I'm surprised you haven't encountered it before (consider yourself lucky!).  It's normal for things to escalate quickly and then become toxic in my opinion because 1) some personalities more prone to high-emotion/low-reasoning ability are more drawn to that kind of environment, 2) people at this age don't usually have the scope of lived experience, and are sometimes less likely to want to see the other side's point of view.

You don't have to take my advice, but after seeing many people go through something similar to what you've described, I think those student groups can cause more trouble than they should for the students so mentally caught up in them.  If anything, you may just want to step back a little if you ever can (now that you're in another office, possibly not implementable right now).

But of course things like that would cause high anxiety... and more importantly, it's purely a distraction to the goals of your life.  I know it may look like it can help, but I've seen it harm more than help in many cases with friends and family who all had at least one very bad experience in this way.

 

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On 7/22/2021 at 3:14 PM, Pleasedonot5 said:

For these reasons, I have thought about quitting. I am planning on staying though because the student body elected me and I have a duty to them. Though it might be a hassle for me, the student body benefits most when I nudge the student government in the right direction. 

If you can find a way to mentally be so relaxed and also busy with important, good tasks, you'll find yourself not caring as much - if you do decide to stay.  Their petty nonsense will register in your brain for what it is - pointless and non-deserving of your attention.

Get out in nature as much as you can.  Take a lot of mental breaks if possible.  Make sure you're fit and healthy and eating good foods... you probably already are since you sound like you take life very seriously, but I'm just pointing out different things that affect anxiety in general.

A lot of it just comes down to being so at peace and also occupied that you just don't care what they're saying/doing/etc. and you press on with what you have to get done.

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On your FWB situation, yikes!  Reminds me of why I was so happy to find someone compatible and marry ASAP and settle into a wonderful, calm yet insanely passionate love life with my husband so young!  I hated dating and all the games people play... and I would never have been good at just FWB probably.  

I hope you find the relationship you desire.  What happened with that girl you were interested in?

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I had a FWB a few years ago. It worked out great for me because, while he was supremely hot and great in bed I could not have tolerated being in an actual relationship with him.  Our politics are completely opposite for one thing.  And he thinks nothing of cheating while in a relationship so that would be a no go.  He said a lot of stupid stuff too.  But I didn't care because I wasn't trying to spend time with him outside of the sex stuff anyway.

But with someone I have actual feelings and respect for?  It wouldn't work for me.

You have motivated me to look for a new toaster!  Mine is old and the crumb catcher doesn't seem to want to get clean either, like your old one.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/23/2021 at 7:45 AM, LaHermes said:

I love that song PDN. It does sort of get into your head. Look up his version of The Girl with Faraway Eyes". You'll like it.

News for you. Those fruit flies apparently have same DNA as humans (I am simplifying here). Was half listening to radio documentary as I worked last night about scientific research into these creatures.  

"Fruit fly: 60 percent identical

These tiny winged creatures share common genes for many biological processes involved with growth and development. In fact, nearly 75 percent of genes that cause disease in humans are also found in fruit flies, making them good models for the study of human disease." (NASA)

They're about to become genetic models for astronauts."

Haha, yes. Fruit flies are very helpful for scientific research. Unfortunately, they make terrible cotenants. None of them pay rent and they keep trying to room with me! I'll have them evicted yet!

On 7/23/2021 at 10:25 AM, boltnrun said:

Wow, I love all the cleaning!

I too am a "clean freak" and take a lot of satisfaction from a clean home. I live alone partly because I haven't met anyone who values a clean home as much as I do.

Glad to see you had a good day!

Thank you! Yes, I am that way too. My future spouse will benefit: I will happily be the one to clean up after dinner, etc. It is a nice way to contribute - but also, if I clean it, I know it will be clean. So, it works!

Quote

You have motivated me to look for a new toaster!  Mine is old and the crumb catcher doesn't seem to want to get clean either, like your old one.

Awesome!

boltnrun and PDN5, keeping toaster manufacturers in business since 2021. :D 

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

I'm so happy you're starting a journal!  I love reading your outlined posts LOL, and I've found it nice to have your own little place to ponder things, with or without interruption of others' thoughts 🙂 .

But for the above quote... that is actually a common thing with college groups unfortunately, I'm surprised you haven't encountered it before (consider yourself lucky!).  It's normal for things to escalate quickly and then become toxic in my opinion because 1) some personalities more prone to high-emotion/low-reasoning ability are more drawn to that kind of environment, 2) people at this age don't usually have the scope of lived experience, and are sometimes less likely to want to see the other side's point of view.

You don't have to take my advice, but after seeing many people go through something similar to what you've described, I think those student groups can cause more trouble than they should for the students so mentally caught up in them.  If anything, you may just want to step back a little if you ever can (now that you're in another office, possibly not implementable right now).

But of course things like that would cause high anxiety... and more importantly, it's purely a distraction to the goals of your life.  I know it may look like it can help, but I've seen it harm more than help in many cases with friends and family who all had at least one very bad experience in this way.

(...)

If you can find a way to mentally be so relaxed and also busy with important, good tasks, you'll find yourself not caring as much - if you do decide to stay.  Their petty nonsense will register in your brain for what it is - pointless and non-deserving of your attention.

Get out in nature as much as you can.  Take a lot of mental breaks if possible.  Make sure you're fit and healthy and eating good foods... you probably already are since you sound like you take life very seriously, but I'm just pointing out different things that affect anxiety in general.

A lot of it just comes down to being so at peace and also occupied that you just don't care what they're saying/doing/etc. and you press on with what you have to get done.

Thank you for your reply. Yes, I like that you share my affinity for organized posts!! :D

I agree: though I will put in effort to improve the organization and the university where I can (see my "no" vote on a Board-level tuition recommendation), doing things like debating about whether Israel should exist is not productive - and their one-hour questioning of a way to facilitate electronic public comment was a little much. 

I have been in student government associations before (my undergraduate and graduate study). Though there was sometimes a clash of personalities, interpersonal conflict, and inexperience, overall there was usually a way forward: there were structures in place for people to make a meaningful difference. I have been elected to the new group and there are no such structures; unfortunately, this group is not receptive, generally, to fixes of this nature. 

10 hours ago, maritalbliss86 said:

On your FWB situation, yikes!  Reminds me of why I was so happy to find someone compatible and marry ASAP and settle into a wonderful, calm yet insanely passionate love life with my husband so young!  I hated dating and all the games people play... and I would never have been good at just FWB probably.  

I hope you find the relationship you desire.  What happened with that girl you were interested in?

I am glad you found your person. 🙂 That is what I want too. I want someone compatible whom, eventually, I can marry. A passionate love life with a spouse sounds amazing, lol.

The FWB is something fun in the meantime while I keep my eyes open for a significant other. I have had FWBs in the past that blurred the line between FWB and a relationship, but this one is clearly in the "FWB" category, which is good. And, it does not take up a solid portion of time (that I could be using to go on dates, for instance), because we do not see each other all too often. I would say this interaction is in the category of fun for now. 

In regard to your last question, "K" and I recently went out for a meal and social dancing (she invited me out)! I have mixed feelings about how it went, but I had a lot of fun. Your post on my last thread about this topic was very helpful: I have followed a substantial portion of that advice. 🙂  

I will likely discuss the night out with K in my next entry.

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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Posted (edited)

So, I mostly had fun over the last couple of days. 

Anxiety and Brain Fog

Exercise. Just my luck, I signed up for a gym membership intending to go to there immediately and the place was temporarily closed for a few days. However, I ran two miles and danced for hours on 7/24. Today, 7/25, the gym reopened. In the evening, when I was done with events for the day, I went to the Planet Fitness for the first time. For the price I am paying, it really is a bargain. There are plenty of amenities: lots of equipment, cleaning stations, and actually very few people. I ran two miles on the treadmill: ~14:30 total time, then did a chest and triceps workout. It was great to get back into an actual gym!

Anecdote/good memory: as I finished my run, my area was hit with a severe weather / possible tornado alert. The rain was coming down at a sharp diagonal and in droves. A few of us in the gym gathered around to watch for a minute. After a brief silence in the conversation, I asked, "so, anyone want to go for a run...?" The others laughed. That was a nice moment. The awful weather subsided just as my workout was finishing.  

The Fruit Fly Menace II. My new traps have caught dozens of the little buggers. And, as mentioned in a previous entry, the apartment has been thoroughly cleaned. I am being careful not to allow for any new potential breeding grounds (i.e., not throwing food in the trash, running the garbage disposal regularly, that sort of thing). That said, though they are reduced in number, they are still here. I am wondering if there is some important area I am missing or have overlooked.

Relationship-Related

K and Friday Night. Previously, after my last thread regarding K, I resolved to give a little time and not put so much emphasis on any "moment." I was (and am) not sure about her level of interest in me. I recollected that I find that a potential romantic partner's lack of interest in me is a major turnoff. It might sound obvious, but to many who end up "friendzoned," it is not obvious. I do not often find myself in the "friendzone," because I typically have no desire to be with someone who is not interested in me. "The one" will see me as a potential romantic partner; and those who do not are not "the one." 

I think myself more adept at determining interest when in person (rather than at a distance), so I resolved to go with the flow. I knew I would see K at an upcoming social dancing event (August 6), and I planned to see if the chemistry was still there and if she was showing interest. If it felt right I would ask her for drinks, dancing, or some other date. If she did not show interest, I would not. Well, on Thursday, she (pleasantly 🙂) interrupted my go with the flow plan: she invited me to go with her for a meal and social dancing on Friday evening/night. I said yes. We determined where we would be going for food, and then Friday came and we went. I paid for the meal; it was around $30. We had solid conversation this time around. Then, we went dancing: we danced with each other a lot but others too (this is normal for a social dance event).   

 Overall, I would call the night a success: I had fun, and, any way you cut it, I have better information now.

Factors possibly indicating interest:

  • She asked only me out for the meal. 
  • We were amply flirty with one another. (Lots of innuendos, teasing - once she kissed my hand because I had cut / bandaged it; that sort of thing).
  • We complimented one other's looks on occasion. 
  • We seemed to gravitate toward one another throughout the night. 
  • When the dances had ended, she waited for me to walk out. She said she would stay with me because I was a little tipsy from the wine I had brought. [Unfortunately - I like the guy - but another guy from the club stayed and spoke with us]. I could be wrong but it felt like more than politeness, but rather a desire to stay and chat for a bit.

Factors possibly indicating lack of interest:

  • Though she invited only me for the meal, she did invite another few (guy) members of the club to the social dancing. She could just have wanted a "group." It is fun to dance with a variety of people.
  • During a fairly "sensual" type of dance called bachata, she moved closer, embracing me in sort of an arms-over-the-shoulder hug type of way. I moved closer, moving my arms to a sort of more sensual embrace as well. But, then she moved away and joked about it, like "this is too much haha" or something like that; she did the same with a particular swaying/"grindy" move which looks kind of like this. So, that was fine, we just danced the bachata in other ways lol. [That said, toward the end of the night, she said she was okay with the move; she even flirted to see if I could "keep my composure" lol]. 
  • After the aforementioned end-of-the-night conversation between K, a guy from the club, and me, I said I had to get home. The guy left, and K and I got into our cars, which were right next to one another. She looked at me for a moment, and then I motioned for us to go back out. We gave a few-seconds-long hug, but after that few seconds she seemed to move away (as a person would if someone were going in for a kiss and the person did not want it - I was not going in for a kiss though).
  • When I texted her the next day that "Hey, thanks for inviting me out yesterday. I had fun. 🙂" she just replied "Thank you for coming out."

Other notable information: 

  • She did explicitly mention she was still grieving while we were at dinner. She and her ex-boyfriend broke up a matter of weeks ago, so this makes sense.

My overall take:

  • There is still at least some level of interest between her and me. She thinks I am fun, and she flirted with me a lot. That said, she is grieving her most recent relationship. Additionally, some of the things I mentioned above (and just my gut feeling) say the interest level is not at its peak / exceptionally high. 

Moving forward:

  • I think it is best not to be overenthusiastic. I paid for dinner and brought wine for the both of us (for the dance event - not the meal. I did not present the as a romantic gesture but more of a BYOB let's have fun dancing, you're free!! gesture. I regularly bring cabernet for the ballroom group but this time I brought cabernet and an inexpensive pink moscato). I was flirty, and for what it is worth I showed interest in her. She may need time to heal, clear her head, and determine what she wants. There is a possible future, but I am not going to rush it / be overenthusiastic about it. Back to going with the flow, I think. 🙂 

FWB. My friend was receptive when I spoke with her about feeling like just a booty call. She wanted to make efforts so that I do not feel that way - we discussed plainly what would help. One of those items was that we would do one of the things I like sexually soon. Tonight, I tried to start a fun conversation, and she played along for like fifteen minutes, but around 9:45 p.m. she mentioned she was tired so she was going to go to sleep in in ten minutes or so. She apologized (and eventually with several messages) and then she herself pointed out that this probably did not help considering our last conversation. [I think she is right]. I told her that yes, it was a let-down; but, in fairness, I had not asked what she had going on that night. This is more of a "venting" paragraph -- it can sting when a conversation like that stops abruptly. I think I behaved appropriately; but, yes, this was frustrating. 

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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The fruit fly menace.  Fruit flies can appear in the cleanest environments, often drawn by a bowl of ripe fruit on a table, for example. Mind you, I haven't seen those in years.  

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That is so hard to figure out with K... women are confusing sometimes.  But overall, it sounds good.

I do think the best thing you can do is try to not care so much.  Sounds like you're already doing that.

I understand though that dates like that can mess with your head.  

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On 7/25/2021 at 8:39 AM, LaHermes said:

For you PDN.  Love to dance bachata.

 

Oh my goodness! Their footwork is awesome. Someday, I will be this good. I might steal a move or two from this couple. :D 

I did not know you danced! Bachata is so fun. 

On 7/25/2021 at 8:58 AM, LaHermes said:

The fruit fly menace.  Fruit flies can appear in the cleanest environments, often drawn by a bowl of ripe fruit on a table, for example. Mind you, I haven't seen those in years.  

Thank you. Yes, they must be clinging to the tiniest crumb or food source. I cannot for the life of me figure out (1) how they are getting in, or (2) on what they are sustaining themselves. 

I do not have fruit in my apartment at the moment - but I have read that in a pinch they will find any organic food source, even mold/mildew. So, I have tried to deep clean the apartment. I have seen a reduction in fruit fly activity, but they are far from gone. They are centered around three places in my apartment.

  1. the kitchen (possible attractions are the drain, coffeemaker, and miscellaneous crumbs) 
  2. the bathroom (possible attractions are mold/mildew), and
  3. my bedroom (possible attractions include a sporadic crumb or two - this one is most baffling).

For (1), I have repeatedly cleaned (bleach, baking soda and vinegar, and boiling water treatments) and blocked entry to the drain/garbage disposal, cleaned the counters, sink, coffeemaker, toaster, etc. and set out five traps. For (2), I have at least twice deep cleaned the entire bathroom with bleach and warm water treatments. I eradicated hidden mold in my shower, toiled, and even some light pink mold on the ceiling I had not seen before. I have one trap in the bathroom. For (3), I have vacuumed everywhere, including under the bed and behind a bookshelf, kept food items out of the bedroom trash can, thrown out an old tempurpedic mattress pad. I have three traps in my bedroom. This one, as I said, still baffles me. 

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On 7/26/2021 at 11:31 AM, maritalbliss86 said:

That is so hard to figure out with K... women are confusing sometimes.  But overall, it sounds good.

I do think the best thing you can do is try to not care so much.  Sounds like you're already doing that.

I understand though that dates like that can mess with your head.  

Yeah. 😕 The moment that sticks out most in my mind is this one: 

Quote

 We gave a few-seconds-long hug, but after that few seconds she seemed to move away (as a person would if someone were going in for a kiss and the person did not want it - I was not going in for a kiss though)

Maybe she was worried about me going in for a kiss (like I said, I was not going to do that - but maybe I was too affectionate). Either way, I think that is most revealing of her interest level in me. 

She may just be trying to "get back out there" after her relationship had ended. I am a fun guy to go dancing with, and we were able to be flirty. My overall feeling is that she does have interest in me (making a future a possibility) but the interest level is not high enough at this time.

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Oh yes. I dance. Always loved to dance. We had a great Cuban girl teaching salsa and bachata. And then doing classical for years (even if an entirely different discipline) helps with other genres of dance.

Yeh. Like you I love the place being squeaky clean.  It is a bit mysterious why those fruit flies are still bothering you. Is it perhaps to do with the climate where you live. 

I can remember plagues of ants in countries where I have lived. Little perishers!

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Posted (edited)

Awesome! Dancing is so fun. If I come across any videos I will have to share. I do very much enjoy that couple I linked who dances bachata sensual.

I have picked up bachata, salsa, merengue, and parts of cumbia from social dancing over the last few years - unfortunately in my ballroom club we rarely focused on these dances, since they were not tested in competitions. I really would like to learn more moves / techniques in those types of dances: they are the dances most commonly played at Latin social dancing clubs.

--

I live in a temperate climate. It is summer here now; they seem to be at their worst in the summer months. 

I think I have had enough of these fruit flies. I am doing legal work for my university's legal office. My supervising attorney there (without giving me actual legal advice) recommended I just call the landlord. She said I would be surprised at how reasonable landlords can be when they are dealing with nice and reasonable tenants. I would like to think that that is me. 

Either way, if they charge me $500, I think I am willing to live with that - it hurts since I am living off of money I have saved up over the last few years, but it does not break the bank. I cannot live like this anymore - and I feel like I have taken all reasonable steps on my own to deal with the pests.

I think my strategy is that I will not give too many details. I will mention that I am clean and organized and keep the apartment in tip-top shape. I will mention that not too long ago (this stretches the truth but I cannot say I have been dealing with them for months based on my lease) fruit flies entered my apartment through no fault of my own. I have taken reasonable steps to deal with the nuisance (traps, deep clean of apartment) but they persist. I fear they may be coming in through a defect in the apartment or via an adjoining tenant (as our ventilation is stacked in the bathroom - they could enter this way). I plan to do this over the phone with my favorite management person, A (she looks out for me), and take note of the important details of the conversation. 

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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Posted (edited)

Anxiety / Brain Fog

The Fruit Fly Menace III: Revenge of the PDN5

I called the landlord this afternoon and asked to speak to A, as she has taken care of me since the start of my tenancy. I explained the following, near verbatim except said more casually:

  • Hi , A, I am dealing with a problem in my apartment and I think I need management’s help.
  • I am a well-behaved tenant. I am clean and organized: I am very "type A," as you know, and keep the apartment in tip-top shape –- as the lease requires. I clean pretty regularly. 
  • Not too long ago fruit flies entered my apartment through no fault of my own. I have taken reasonable steps to deal with the nuisance (traps, deep clean of apartment) but they persist.
  • I fear they may be coming in through a hole in the apartment or via an adjoining tenant (as our ventilation is stacked in the bathroom -- maybe they could be entering this way). 
  • Are there ways that management can help me resolve this issue without charging me $500? I did not consent to the fruit flies entering my apartment and I do not think they entered by my fault.

She said she understood that it was not my fault. She is a tenant here too and had fruit flies one year - and it was not her fault either. She said that fruit flies are tricky. But, if I heard her correctly, she said that management would not charge me. (If I misheard, oh well, not like I can stop it anyway at this point). 

So much for my anxious "legal rights and duties"-centric brain. Lol.

A will call the exterminator that the management company uses and see what options are available, then she will call me back.

Exercise.

I was right about needing a "destination." Something about having a gym to go to which is two miles away has increased my motivation. Since I had been sporadically working out over the past few months, my initial few workouts  did not put me out of commission for a few days this time (that usually happens when I go back to the gym for the first time in a while: I typically default to my intense cross country / track-and-field workouts. Then, I overexert myself the first week. I am glad that did not happen this time). 

I have gone to the gym in the evenings consistently since 7/25. I have done cardio for an average of 1.5 miles per visit. I did chest/triceps, back/biceps, abs, and shoulders/some triceps over the last few days. I feel so sore, but it is satisfying. 

I can feel some of my analytical brain coming back. The clearer I feel, the more I seem to respond in "active" voice (subject-verb-object) and succinct sentences. And, my posts become more outlined and organized. :D 

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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Posted (edited)

Well, so I have taken a few Ls lately. I have not had a great couple of days. Here is why. 

Procrastination

My university-required, unpaid internship is ending. That is good news. However, because of procrastinating, I have / had a few legal research tasks due. Well, I learned a lot about federal copyright law in a short time. Lol. I have one task to go, and I will get it done this weekend.

But, I lost sleep. I'm running on three or four hours of uninterrupted sleep here.

I am not a teenager anymore: not getting my beauty sleep really hurts, man. I'll manage.  

The Fruit Fly Menace IV. 

[I wanted to write "A New Hope" here to follow the Star Wars naming scheme; but if there is a new hope, then it is for Team Fruit Fly, and not for Team PDN5].

I did find an area I had overlooked in my cleaning. There is a mini fridge that I have not used for some time, probably at least a year, maybe two. It is unplugged and is a bit on the larger side so it works as a neat little corner shelf in my apartment. When I had unplugged it some time ago, I made sure all the moisture had dried. Well despite that there was mold growth in there; and I found one of the headquarters of the the fruit flies. Crazy - I would never have thought the empty minifridge used as a corner shelf / decoration would have exacerbated the fruit fly problem. And, it would seem to be sealed enough to keep them out. But I guess not. Of course, I cleaned that mess right away. That reduced their numbers around the kitchen area. However, they are still there. And, they are still in my bedroom attracted to God-knows-what. 

"A" from management called back and said that multiple tenants are experiencing a fruit fly problem. She herself is dealing with the fruit flies too, despite her also being clean. However, she said that the exterminator that the management company uses does not treat fruit fly infestations. So, she apologized and said if I learned of any way that rids of them for good, to share it with management so they could advise other residents. That sucks.  

I do not blame A but management should find a new exterminator. 

There are ways to deduct apartment repairs from rent, such rights are prescribed by state law. And, since we just signed another year-long lease, they are stuck with me - they cannot just elect not to renew now at the first sign of trouble. Maybe I will hire my own exterminator: Orkin, perhaps, and then deduct rent from that by putting it in escrow, as the law dictates.

Maybe I am just being too "legal" again and should find another way. I am very frustrated. Tired too. Tired because of sleep and tired of dealing with something that makes it so I cannot fully relax in my own home. 

FWB - major yikes.

So, one of the most bizarre things happened to me yesterday. I am friends with someone with whom I have been in a FWB arrangement over the past few months, after my last relationship ended. Since the last time I wrote about my friend, she has made earnest effort to appeal to my sexual interests. I appreciate that. In fact, I have been having a lot of fun. 

This friend (22F) is in an open relationship with someone else. Her partner is actually also my friend. It is kind of peculiar, I know. But, I know for certain that everyone is cool with it, and so am I, so.

Yesterday, I went over her house (she lives with parents) to have a "work and study" day. She studied for her school, and I did my unpaid externship work. We indeed worked for like 7 hours in her spacious basement. In the last ten or so minutes, we started being flirty and it led to a makeout session. She was on top of me but everyone had their clothes on. Well her dad sneakily comes downstairs (no door noise, no steps, nothing) and sees us. Okay, a bit awkward, right? Naturally. Well, he comes over and says he needs to talk to us, what were we doing, what the heck. Okay, not good. Well, we say oh, sorry, we were making out. Though her parents do not like the guy she is in a relationship with (that guy is an awesome person; but anyway), they know (but disapprove of) that she is in a relationship. They did not know she was in an open relationship. So, he thinks she is cheating. She starts to skirt around the issue, but I was like, wait... come on, hold on, tell them the parameters of your relationship: this was not cheating or betrayal. So, she does tell him. Obviously, her parents knowing about an open relationship (which apparently they did not know about) is better for both of us than them thinking she's cheating with me. I can understand being like "hey, guys, what is going on, you are in a relationship..."

But any "inquiry" should have stopped there. Instead, the dad calls the mom downstairs and they launch into this bizarre inquisition of their daughter's sex life. Telling her to explain our involvement, testing her honesty, asking what is up with her and the guy she is with, what is wrong with her, they know she is having sex, etc. She actively lied about her involvement with me and other people, etc., pretty much everything she was saying was not true. That put me in a tough spot, because I do not lie. But, I was not about to get my friend in more "trouble" (she is a grown woman so this whole thing, again - so unexpected). When they motioned to me to see if I would lie too (they were that confident that she was lying), I just said that I do not comment on my private relationships with women, but I know that our actions were ethical.

They then did this weird religious (different religion / upbringing) oath thing in front of me. So, they do this whole promise / tell the truth thing. My friend dug deeper into the lies during this oath.

Anyway, just my writing this out feels bizarre. I was still and quiet because at first the dad said he wanted to talk to us. Then, the parents were sat between the door and me (this was almost certainly not intentional - but it did scare me a bit).  So, I felt an imposition to stay for this hour-long inquisition into my friend's sex life and then when they left I said goodbye, thanks for having me, sorry, and pretty quickly saw myself out. If I had to do it again -- well I would probably want to leave earlier but I do not know what I would do. That was so unlike anything that has ever happened to me. 

Anyway, that was wrong of them. I again, understand the "whoa, wait are you not in a relationship, daughter." I understand the confusion about open relationships. But they are wrong because they ended up being so weirdly interested in controlling their daughter's sex life. They snooped her stuff (that came out in the conversation); they snuck down to catch us; they embarrassed her by doing that to her in front of me. On the other hand, this whole situation would not have happened if they knew her relationship was open and she did not actively lie throughout it all to cover it up.

And, she is still my friend. I am not sure about the status of the FWB interaction after that. But I am worried if she lies through her teeth like that (which put me in an awkward place - and at times her willingness to obfuscate made me look bad): what else is she going to lie about. Of course, I am not in that family (thank every possible god) and I do not know what it is like. I will try not to be too judgmental, but, yikes.  

Now, I am on the family's persona non grata list for sure. I do not have committed expectations for this friend. However, we mesh and I'm sure a future was possible. Now, that possibility would be almost impossibly difficult. And well I do not usually sleep with people if I do not have some baseline attraction/remote possibility with them. I cannot say "oh, I am hurt" by all that. But, it does leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

I do NOT want to experience something like that ever again. That felt like a mixture of criminal court and high school parental inquisition. I am 26 for Pete's sake. All this over two twenty-somethings making out a little. Yikes, oof, and ope.

--

I think I'm going to hang out with friends and have some wine today, lol. Maybe cry out of pure cringe and confusion. TBD, lol.  

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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