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Thoughts I write when I should be sleeping


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I'm thinking about what kind of person I used to be, and I get a clear picture of who I was, before that time.
Clearly more open, more extroverted, more emotional, very much more unique with my dress and manner, more creative, more able to put myself out there. Didn't mind standing out, letting people see me, willing to play harmonica for my friends. More socially adjusted, less self conscious, although still lacking in self esteem and confidence, with a certain vulnerability. I may even have been a virgin and a bit of a square and now I'm like a worldly cynic in comparison.
It makes me feel sad, for what I lost, and what I missed out on for forgetting to be that guy. I wonder how he would have faced his 30s. What my current friends, those who never knew him would have made. There's a nostalgia too, a desire to feel that way again.  
But also more optimistic that even though I feel now like I never discovered myself, I actually did. I had it for maybe 6 or 7 years, in my 20s in Liverpool but why not also in my 40s in Carlisle? Not every time I cast my mind back is nostalgia about when this bar was open and that band were new, there is plenty I can learn from. Being the person I want to be seems attainable now I know its a person I used to be

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I'm thinking again. I go for an extended walk into town that diverts through my nearest park if I can, or if I have to go into town and I can get some thinking done while doing that as well as while I'm supposed to be trying to sleep.

I need to recover/rediscover a lot of my old self, a get my mojo back. It's been missing for over a decade... I've just existed for such a long time. In that time I haven't really created or done anything of note. The photos I used to take are much better than the photos I take now and so I need to get that back... I also want to feel a more enpreneurial thing (I can't be bothered thinking of words, I just need to say 'thing' when the word doesn't come so that I can move on and not get distracted by trying to remember the word that has gone from my head, it makes journalling like this a major effort when you can't words).

I tend to start projects and then not finish, and thus I don't create anything. This isn't new, I can remember doing that way back as a teenager... seems worse though now. I either lose interest or lose faith or both. How did I used to manage?

The faith thing is more of an issue in my career, because if you lose interest in something but you know that it is important to complete it then you can press on anyway, but if you lose faith in it then you stop. It's difficult to complete something once you no longer feel that it is a worthwhile thing to do. I can feel overwhelmed by all the things I could or should be doing, and the thing that feels most urgent is always something that I'm not currently doing, so I switch tasks but now the most urgent feeling thing is something else. I get frustrated with myself because I'm never doing the most urgent thing, I'm always procrastinating by doing unimportant jobs.

But how to deal with that when I will always see the thing I'm doing as unimportant. No matter what I choose to do I will always feel like I'm just wasting time. I try to think through it and tell myself which is truly the most important but I can't tell, and then just waste time on that task instead of doing anything. There is little satisfaction of a job completed to be had because when I do complete something instead of feeling like 'good to get that out of the way', I feel ashamed of myself for spending all my time doing something unimportant.

Depression can make it difficult to have faith in what you are doing... but I was always depressed, it was untreated then too... maybe acknowledging and seeking treatment for it has had a negative overall effect, but then I had a traumatic experience in my late twenties so it was always going to morph into something more serious.

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Timeline of my adulthood

2001 (age 18) - As an adolescent I was painfully uncool, too square to fully realise how square I was. I had friends but thought it was normal to rarely see them outside of school. Sixth form had been better though as I was able to join my friends in the pub, just prior to going to university my social life was properly developing, if still a bit unconventional (for example instead of going to trendy bars with all the other kids we would go drink in a labour club, with pints of bitter and snooker tables and all that stereotypical Northern stuff)

2002 (age 19) - I live away from home for the first time, moving to Liverpool to attend university. My first year is mainly spent socialising (drinking heavily) and I fail, although to be fair I was studying a highly intensive subject with a higher bar set than most for passing first year, only about 40% of students are expected to pass and I wasn't happy with the way the course was going so it might not just be the socialising. Despite going out drinking round Liverpool something like 4 or 5 times a week with large groups of friends, I was still a bit of an outsider among them, in that they were typical 18/19 year olds, dressing in 'nice' clothes (everyone has their own definition of nice, but I prioritised comfort, even to the point of feeling awkward, like I was trying too hard on the occasions I did put something a bit more fashion-conscious on) and looking to meet members of the appropriate gender for hookups. I never even considered that I should or could do the same.

2003 (age 20) - I switch degrees and find my new course much more to my taste, my social life takes a bit of a hit though as instead of moving into a house with a group of friends as is the norm in second year, I move into a flat down by the marina, renting from a friend I was in halls with. J is a good friend but also between his dentistry degree and spending time with his girlfriend (they married and still are so a solid couple) I could go days without seeing him, making it seem like I was living on my own in a mostly 'grown up' very non-studenty area of smart flats and yachting clubs. I realise that my social life was never really based on having close bonds with people, but was more just about being 'part of the gang' able to turn up whenever there was something going on, but I can't do that so easily now. I had one close friend, from my course who I hang with on the occasions he's up to doing something, but he doesn't crave large groups of people as much as I do. I actually didn't have most of my friends' numbers and those who I did I rarely texted, feeling that doing so was a bit of an imposition. I do at least start regularly going to the gym in this time. I'd never been to one before but a membership at the university gym was very cheap. I start to go four or five times a week and lose a lot of weight (I still think I'm fat).

2004 (age 21) - Things are now looking up. I live down by the marina for a second year but at J's girlfriend's encouragement I look to join some of the university clubs. I have been in clubs before but it just happened that the ones I joined previously weren't the most sociable of clubs. I have an old friend from first year who I'm sort of in-contact with and he's in the ten-pin bowling club so I join that, and I make some good friends, for the first time since arriving at university, some more close friends who actually enjoy partying. I move out of J's flat and do the proper student thing of moving into a shared house with five other people. Things go back a bit to how they were in first year, except with some really good close friends I feel like less of an outsider. We attend parties, we host parties, life is good.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dating experiences

I'm not very good at dating, I lack... well, any sort of spark of attraction. I do have some positive qualities but none of them are 'exciting' positive qualities. They're the sort of positive qualities that you might expect someone to have as the bare minimum before dating them but not the sort of qualities that attracts you to them in the first place.




Last week I was due to meet a woman for a coffee date, around a similar age to me. However shortly after arriving at the cafe I recieved a text from her saying she had to cancel our date as her daughter's school had called.

I had a couple of thoughts about the meaning of the text, but none of them warranted any further contact, so I just thanked her for letting me know and then walked home.

1) My first inkling was that this was a classic escape manoeuvre. I'd been standing outside the cafe for a couple of minutes, long enough for her, if she was in the area to get a look at me in person and decide if she actually wanted to go on this date.

2) It could be genuine, thanks to COVID, schools do sent kids home ill more than they used to. It used t only be if the kid was too ill to be in school but now they'll call parents if the kid has a bit of a cough, to be on the safe side.

3) Or maybe it's something more serious with her daughter.

Either way, the best course of action is no course of action as far as I can imagine. If she just didn't want to go on a date then messaging her again to ask to meet again will just irritate her and she'll be forced to tell me she doesn't want to, which will be bad for my own self-esteem. I say nothing, she feels relieved that I took the hint and that she doesn't have to outright reject me.

If it was genuine then I imagined that she would make the first move to reschedule. I think most people would expect that if you're the one who cancels a date then the ball's in your court should you wish to reschedule, and not find it weird if the person who were due to meet doesn't message further.

And of course if it was something more serious then the last thing she wants is the guy she was supposed to meet when it happened messaging her about meeting again.



It's been a few days now, we were due to meet on Thursday and it's now Monday, so I'm fairly confident my first inkling was correct.

I think I should really give in with the whole online dating thing... It seems like a good way to actually get to go on dates (prior to starting online dating I had only ever been on a couple of 'dates' in my life, not include the time I went speed-dating) but then that date isn't too different to a blind date, there's no initial attraction really and you don't know enough about each other so it's also very easy for them to just fall flat, or not even happen. I'd love to be able go just meet women naturally, don't think I can do that though.

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