An Evening with M

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Status: just about okay. very little sleep from a semi-big night. Bigger than expected. Struggling to get going, which is to be expected and it seems like I’ve decided to write off the day. Anxiety levels: high. I’m all brain fog and fat fingers as I try and get into the daily ritual of writing.

Date.

Got together with M last night for dinner and drinks, which ended in her spending the night and then leaving at 6:30am this morning. Which was unexpected and also not unpleasant, but it did result in 2 hours of sleep. I honestly don’t know how she’s functioning today, because I’m near useless. It’s almost 2pm and I’m only just starting to write.

I can count the number of women I’ve allowed to spend the night over the last ten years on two fingers. She’s one. As the evening progressed we both lost track of time and when we finally looked at the clock it was 4am. It was at that point that she essentially invited herself to stay because going home at that late hour was a waste of time. I actually agree with that strategy, better to get a few hours sleep and then start the day from my place, but still, that was very well played on her part.

Very. Well. Played.

All joking aside, I’m honestly okay with it. I feel really comfortable around her, and it was pleasant experiencing that closeness from someone who is starting to, uh, imprint themselves onto me? Ummm, yeah that sounds way too clinical. Let’s try that again: it was pleasant experiencing that closeness from someone I’m starting to like. That’s better.

I’d like to dive into this in more detail, because we spent the evening and night deep in conversation about things which are important to us. And that uncovered way more than I expected; it seems like we have way more in common than our Mothers. So much so that I’m now not suprised that we get along as well as we do.

But, that will have to wait until later. Right now lack of sleep is kicking me in the ass a little, and I don’t have the mental acuity to do it proper justice. Beside, I’m much more of a reflective thinker and could use a little bit of time to process it.

Next up: an outing with G this evening. Not sure I really have the energy for this, but it will be a low maintenance affair, so off we go…..

 

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Drama Kings and Queens

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But I have infinite tenderness for you. I always will.

Status: good. I’m at that part of the week where hangovers are a distant memory and things are starting to normalise. Anxiety is building. Forced out of the unit and am sitting in a coffee shop attempting to write, which is the worst place to do that. There’s too much going on around me, not to mention the noise, so I can’t get into the flow. It’s a much better place for photo editing.

In any case, let’s make an attempt at it.

Photography.

Time is growing short and I’m encroaching on the spot in the schedule where I should be disposing of the photography equipment in anticipation of travelling. I really don’t want to take this stuff back with me. Toying with the idea of leveraging either M or G to hold onto or dispose of it if I end up cutting it too close to the travel date. Appreciate that this is not optimal, but something to consider as we get closer. I still have a few items on my shot list and I’d like to take advantage of the last remaining moments to shoot the city. I won’t be picking up the new gear until later in the year, perhaps the end of summer, so will be without the means to shoot for a few months.

Writing.

Good, not great. G gave me some feedback on the Weaver story, and I basically learned two things. Providing an overview of the story and letting the reader know what was intended before getting their feedback is not the best way to go. I did that with G and it prevented her from being objective. I need to see the story through her eyes, and not through the lens of what I intended. The second thing is this: it’s not as bad as I though it was. She really liked it, especially the dialogue, and picked up on the intended personality traits without my prompting. So, that’s promising. Now I just need the courage to tackle the feedback from the editor and finish what I started. It’s time to put this to rest.

Photography.

Haven’t shot in about ten days, but have been spending all of that time editing. G tells me that my photos are better than I think. There’s room for improvement and I’m not yet where I want to be, but I’ll take the compliment. Another local photographer reached out to me recently on IG wanting to join me for a session. Seemed to really like my stuff. Happy that I’m getting the positive feedback, but need to keep pushing so that I can continue to improve.

Date.

Meeting M this evening for dinner and drinks, and then tomorrow I’ll be hanging out with G at a pop-up market or some such. I’m going to try not to turn this evening into a drunken orgy like the last two dates with M – she’s all too willing a participant for debaucherous evenings, unlike G who doesn’t drink. Added to the meeting with M are the STI test results which came back negative for both of us. Seems that the little drama which the previous boyfriend created is over for me, but probably not for her.

I’m also mildly confused about the timeline and why M feels the need to stay in contact. I mean: it ended in March, she was tested on March 31st and everything was clear (she showed me the test results), we were together the first week of April, ex-boyfriend popped back up a few days later with news about a Chlamydia infection, we both got tested (this is now twice for her), we’re both clean. That should be the end of it, no? From the ex’s perspective, his obligation ended with advising M of the STI. Post that I don’t see the need for any further correspondence. Apparently, the ex was chasing M all weekend for the test results, acting like a crazy person, but this seems like a redundant step to me. Whether M had it or not, the ex still had to get treatment. So, chasing M for the test results is irrelevant, it doesn’t change the outcome. Perhaps I’m missing a piece of information?

Whatever it is, I’m not going to press the issue with M because then it’ll make me look insecure and perhaps a little needy. If I start with the 20 questions then she’ll get the impression that I don’t trust her. Probably rightfully so, although she has been pretty upfront so far (given the timeline she didn’t really need to tell me about the drama cooked up by the ex – she was clean and couldn’t pass along anything to me).

I think it’s best just to note the way that she handles drama and a break up, because I may find myself on the opposite end of that at some point in the future. I’d prefer to be with someone who can handle it in a mature way.

Nikon D3400
1/30 sec
f/8
23mm
ISO 100

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Perception

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Everything you see or hear or experience in any way at all is specific to you. You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you.

Status: good, although I was up way too early this morning. sitting here now fussing over photos for IG and then staring at a blank page trying to decide what to write. Anxiety levels: moderate. I may just bin it and go to the gym.

Nikon D3400
1/500 sec
f/9
18mm
ISO 100

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Dating

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Are you scared? Or are you not ready? There is a difference. 

Status: good. slept straight through without getting up once last night. don’t feel too groggy this morning, that despite a big night out on Saturday night. Three weeks to go and I’m starting to feel a bit of anxiety. Need to stay super chill, relax and accept the impermanence of things. That’s the only way I’m going to be able to stay focused and enjoy the time that I have left. Besides, who knows what adventure lies in wait for me on the other side?

Date.

Had dinner with The Tardy One last night, who I am now going to rename G. She told me last night that her name is not The Tardy One and it is actually G, prefacing this news with, “promise you won’t get mad”. Ok, I thought, that’s not exactly a fair request and you’re removing accountability from yourself which is not a show-stopper, but it is a red flag. I mean if she won’t take responsibility for that, then what else won’t she take responsibility for? Uh, how else will that lack of accountability manifest itself going forward? (ok, that’s better). That said, I’m actually not surprised and given the context, I’m not really annoyed. I mean she’s scared of her own shadow and safety is paramount for her, so while I’m not overly impressed, I’m not going to make a meal out of it. I don’t gain any value from conflating the issue into something bigger than it really is.

Besides, I enjoyed her company. She’s easy to talk to, we never have any quiet or uncomfortable silence type moments, and (ironically) she’s a safe bet for me. So, while she doesn’t light my world on fire, she does give me enjoyable, stress-free companionship (which sounds much more clinical than I intended). She’s smart and engaging, and more importantly her personality doesn’t dove-tail with my dysfunction (which is why there is no “connection”), so there’s a good chance that the interaction won’t veer into unhealthy territory.

That’s not the same with M. She lights me up. Our dysfunctions are super compatible and she also shares some of my personality traits, my more negative personality traits, which we both get from our Mothers. Based upon what she has told me about her Mom, our Mothers are very similar and that’s why we connect. We’re recognising personality traits from our primary caregiving Mother in each other. So, she instinctively knows how to press my buttons, how to either pull me in or push me away, and that also means she knows how to really hurt me. I’m calling it now: this one is going to end in tears. My tears.

In any case, best to enjoy the ride while it lasts…..

Nikon D3400
1/60 sec
f/3.5
18mm
ISO 100

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Hangovers and Dating

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It hurts when you have someone in your heart, but you can’t have them in your arms.

Status: kinda hungover, actually. due to the date last night and all. can’t feel the cold, so I’m sure I’m feeling better despite the hangover. I’m actually in reasonable shape, all things considered. I drank about as much as I did on Sunday night, but the consequences weren’t as severe for some reason. Could have been the food, or the fact I didn’t mix drinks like I did on Sunday, but whatever it was, I feel somewhat human today.

So, let’s just get right into it:

Date.

I think I’m in trouble.

Not sure exactly what is going on with M, her background is fairly normal from what I can see, but it is dovetailing with my dysfunction perfectly. I woke up this morning after our date last night and immediately thought, “oh wait, really?”; three dates and I’m feeling the pull. The need to start intensely feeding the relationship with everything it needs, and more.

That scares me a little.

I’ve seen this before, I’ve done this before, and nothing good will come from it. I’ll just end up overwhelming her with kindness; doing my best to take of her needs, placing them as a priority over mine, which will make me look needy and maybe even clingy as I feed the relationship, and feed it and feed it and feed it…….because that’s how I show affection.

I think I have a few choices here: cut and run, or step back and be patient. I think being patient is the right call here; whenever I feel the pull to intensely focus on the relationship I’ll direct the energy towards one of my creative projects instead. Lord knows the writing could use it.

Photography.

I still have a bunch of photos to edit, which I’ll focus on this afternoon. This week has been a bit of a write-off. Between the Monday and Friday hangovers, and the cold which pushed me out of my normal routine, I wasn’t as productive as I could have been. I’m not going to beat myself up over it though; I was still able to post photos to IG almost every day this week, and I received good feedback, so I’ll call that Good Enough.

Ok, let’s get on with it…..

Nikon D3400
1/60 sec
f/5.6
18mm
ISO 100

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Being Human

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I learned that people can easily forget that others are human.

Status: grotty. still. propping myself up with Aspirin and such again this morning. could barely get through the meditation ritual this morning, and I now I’m sitting here in a cold, clammy sweat trying to eek out a few words for this blog. Because, you know, OCD and such.

Date.

Getting together with M this evening. Entertaining the thought of bailing on the date because, you know, I’m finally admitting that I’m sick. Which is probably the responsible thing to do, but given time is growing short I don’t want to waste any opportunities.

Honestly indifferent about the whole thing right now, I just want to get a good night’s sleep because I’ve slept very poorly over the last few nights, which is par for the course.

M is adventurous, which is why I like her. But, maybe she’s a little too adventurous. It’s obvious to me that she’s trying to fill a hole inside of her with these little adventures, but it’s not apparent what created the hole. Based upon what she told me about her home life, it seems pretty normal to me. But it’s clear that our dysfunctions are compatible, it’s just a dysfunction I’ve not seen before. Maybe all will reveal itself in due course.

On that note, she hit me up with a chlamydia scare yesterday. Apparently a fella she had been seeing recently and then kicked to the curb before we met called her yesterday morning and told her that he had chlamydia and that she needed to get tested. I received a very panicked text from her explaining the situation and also that she’d been tested between seeing the two of us and that the results were negative. She also said that I was the only person she’d been with since having the test, so chances were good that I was clean.

I mean, she honestly didn’t really need to tell me. She opted to get retested, just in case, and she could have waited until the results were completed before taking the next step which would be based upon whether or not it was positive or negative. From the timeline she gave me, the chances of me being infected were low, maybe zero.

In any case, I sat on the news for few hours so I could process it. I mean, I was a willing participant in sleeping with her and therefore bear some responsibility. Added to that is the speed with which she advised me, knowing that it could potentially damage our budding relationship and that I may opt to not see her again, and the timeline meant I wasn’t really at risk. So, there was no reason to be a dick about it and add more stress to an already stressful situation.

If the circumstances were different, I might have made a different choice, but in this instance I decided to lead with forgiveness. That’s something I don’t do very often, and I it’s something I should do more going forward.

In any case, I got tested for STIs this afternoon, which I needed to do anyway, so there really wasn’t any skin off my nose.

And that’s how we roll today….tomorrow may be a different story.

Nikon D3400
1/100 sec
f/4
18mm
ISO 100

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Street Photography

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My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.

Status: grotty. awake at 3:30am. couldn’t get back to sleep, so got up around 4:30am. sitting here in a pool of fever induced clammy sweat agonising over photos and accompanying captions. Should I just take the day off so I can rest up and get better? Yes. Am I actually going to do that? Nope. I have stuff to do; actually I have a full day and want to squeeze in some writing and photo editing on top of that. I have zero interest in sitting around feeling ill; I’d rather just prop myself up with some aspirin and then get on with It.

Photography.

I’ve had a few good days; actually I was able to take pictures every day over the weekend – Friday to Sunday. Now spending time on the pictures from the 31st, with the 5th, 6th and 7th to follow. Cognisant that time is growing short and I need to consider timing around disposing of the entry level kit before I leave; prefer not to take it back with me, but will keep that option open as a last resort.

The models that I booked for this week have flaked on me, and I think I’ve lost interest in ticking that box. May work on organising that for next week, but I think I’ll be okay with it if I can’t get it done before I leave. I’ll have another bite at that particular apple at some point in the future, but right now I’m enjoying the street photography, so maybe it’s best to stick with that, especially since the weather is getting better.

Date.

M and I are getting together again tomorrow evening for dinner and festivities (or is it me and M? Remember being taught the former in school, but I’ve been seeing people use the latter?). Looking forward to seeing her, but not interested in the partying that will ensue. Don’t get me wrong, I love a debaucherous evening, but not all the time and I’m at that stage of the week when I’m mostly interested in working on my creative projects. Plus I’m clearly sick, so there’s that…….

Writing.

Not much to say on this front other than the photography has taken over. I don’t even have enough energy at the moment to self-flagellate over the lack of writing, which is not a bad thing. As long as I’m being productive with the photography and am not wasting my free time with YT videos and other such time wasters, I’m okay. Will need to revisit this goal because clearly it’s not holding my attention…….

Ok, let’s get on with it.

Nikon D3400
1/200 sec
f/9
55mm
ISO 100

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