#476: The Mojo

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When I spoke with my dad today, the day that I’m writing this, I didn’t expect to receive heartfelt advice about dealing with breakups. Ironies of the situation aside, and there are plenty of ironies in this situation, I found his advice to be helpful and useful. I appreciated the words of advice he gave me and it didn’t seem unnatural for once.

Among other things, he spoke about how he felt like he lost his mojo when one of his first girlfriends broke up with him. He described a time when he was engaged to another person, this person not being my mom, and how after one argument they broke up and didn’t see each other again. He saw her occasionally leaving her house, which was only a few houses down the street, with new boyfriends, and how that made him feel. It’s completely natural to see something like that and feel downtrodden, like you’re being forgotten and thrown aside. After a breakup, you have to reclaim that part of yourself you maybe forgot existed, the self-motivated, self-confident part of yourself you lost inside the comfortable folds of your relationship. You didn’t expect anyone to ever leave your side in the first place, nevertheless to betray you, but that’s a whole other story entirely. Again, like I said about ironies. I’m trying not to dwell on them that much, even though they’re pretty obvious in this circumstance.

Now, all of this needs to be taken at a grain of salt, unfortunately. I don’t completely trust every word that comes out of this person’s mouth. There are times when he says one thing but actually means the other, or there are times when he’s so oblivious to what he’s saying that he doesn’t realize he’s lying at all. I know I’m painting a pretty bleak picture of this person, but…

#475: The Alchemy

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So, MBMBAM was advertising their upcoming show in Mashantucket on Facebook when I realized that they generally advertise with the tagline: “We’re taking your questions and turning them, alchemy-like, into wisdom.”

When I visited Brooklyn with Alex last October, we went to see MBMBAM live and I wrote about it on here a couple times. It was hilarious and worth it, though we only stayed for the full show for MBMBAM. In retrospect, my decision to have us return early, during the halftime intermission of The Adventure Zone, probably soured things between us more than I realized at the time. I just wanted to be home early to get to work on time the next day, but maybe for the long-term it would’ve been better to stay. Who knows now, the past is in the past and I shouldn’t even be dwelling on it now. Sometimes I can’t help it.

What I originally wanted to write this blog post about though is the use of the word “alchemy” and what it denotes. In World of Warcraft, I sometimes learn Alchemy as a profession, which means that I craft potions or elixirs that are useful in and out of battle. Some speed up the production of items, others increase the rate at which you gather materials in the outdoors. Alchemy is an invaluable profession and has been pretty much the best to use since the inception of the game, and it’s useful regardless of the expansion.

This all being said, I really should listen to more MBMBAM. I think that’s where I wanted this post to go from the beginning, that I’ve kinda left my podcast-listening side go away after the breakup. It’d be smart to restore some of my general well-being and happiness with the assistance of some comedic brothers.

#455: The Exile

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In Magic: the Gathering, the exile zone is the zone in which you are placed when you are unable to return, unable to come back from. I mean, there are a few ways to get cards out of exile, to be honest, but they’re very very limited and infrequent. They don’t show up in the limited format and you’d have to run them in your sideboard in any sort of constructed format. That’s pretty much how it goes.

So when I was exiled away back home, I originally convinced myself that I deserved it. That I needed this time away to fix myself, to make myself better and help rebuild what I lost over the years of being too comfortable and secure in the apartment, in the dog, in our relationship as a whole. I felt like everything was going well, like my future had been decided already and I could comfortably relax without worrying about what life would be like in five years’ time. Turns out, I was wrong, of course. There’s more to life than we ever expect, and the second we become comfortable in the way things are, they start to show signs of deteriorating. Like all things, this too shall pass. I just need to accept where I am now, in exile, wherever that is, and live and let live. I need to move forward with my life and not waste time thinking endlessly about past mistakes. There were many mistakes that I made, but in retrospect, I didn’t deserve what happened to me.

So much of what I’ve written on here was a lie. I need to eclipse it with truth. That’s my new goal for this blog, to override everything I wrote on here that was false or misleading, to take it all out and not erase it, necessarily, but to make it better.

#452: The Amazon

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No, this won’t be about the rainforest, even though I know it’s falling apart and needs rescuing. Instead, this is about the website Amazon, a remarkable resource for finding items you need and getting them delivered quickly to your doorstep. Whatever it is you’re after, there’s a way of getting it cheap and easy on Amazon. It’s literally one of the few capitalist inventions I’m willing to splurge on, even though I know it’s probably a bad idea to endorse the processes that Jeff Bezos and his friends represent and also endorse. Labor exploitation isn’t fun, and it’s definitely one of the issues I care most about, considering I work as a teacher and being contracted under a union is deeply important to me.

But today I’ll be talking about Amazon. I didn’t have Amazon Prime for awhile, but I split the cost of it with Alex, who has since changed her password. I realized this after I tried logging in to watch something on her account. Not that she’s wrong for doing that; it’s just it reminds me of the realization that we’re no longer together, that our lives have separated completely. Every inch of our relationship that once was is no more, severed in some way, sometimes quickly and smoothly and other times with a bit of challenge and difficulty. It’s so hard to move on without feeling like you’ve lost something that was once a huge part of you, a person you built your life around. Like being lost in the Amazon.

There’s nothing wrong with changing your password, and I don’t hold that against her. It’s the right and fair thing for a person to do after a break up. It’s just one of those small actions that surprises me and keeps me on my toes, I guess.

#442: The Goodbye, Part 2

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This blog post is a continuation from the previous one, which was about going through a breakup. I’m going to talk today about another part that stung and has continued to make me feel worse and worse about things. Not having a dog around has made me lonely, and it’s made things difficult to adjust to life by myself. Usually when I’m sitting on the futon playing Destiny 2 or Monster Hunter: World, I wonder what it would be like if I had Angus beside me, playing with me. He’s my companion in all of those games, and even in Final Fantasy XIV I named my Chocobo after him. In Monster Hunter, he’s my palico. It’s always the same no matter what happens. And the thing is, I can’t change his name in either game. He’s stuck as that, so no matter what I’m doing, I’ll always be reminded of the distance between us when I play those games. In some ways, it’s ruined those games for me, because I can’t bear to see them when I know that I don’t have the actual dog around me anymore. And even if I were to replace Angus with another pet sometime in the near future, which I’m thinking about doing, it wouldn’t let me switch the name.

Saying goodbye is so difficult, and I know that I can’t expect things to be easy but it’s still so hard. I wish I could go back in time and fix whatever it is I could fix, and I wish I didn’t leave my job back when I did two years ago. Maybe things would be different if things stayed the same all this time. I do sometimes wonder about that, and I think the chain of events really started with that decision. It sucks to think about.

#441: The Goodbye, Part 1

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It’s so hard to say goodbye after spending so much time with someone or something. You grow attached to certain places, certain people, and even just small changes in scenery trigger an emotional response from you. When I went into the apartment the other day and saw that the picture frames were adjusted, that made me realize how much was really changing in the apartment. It made me realize that I was no longer a part of it. I know I wasn’t really a part of it anyway, because I was being replaced and pushed aside, but to see everything I ever had be replaced with something else made me sad. The pillow with our faces on it is probably in the trash somewhere, never to be seen again. The mugs with our anniversaries on it, the mug with all of Alex’s nicknames, those are probably going to go away as soon as Alex realizes that they’re still there. It’s not easy enough just to replace things, you have to erase them entirely from existence first and foremost. You have to completely rid those things from your life.

I guess I shouldn’t really be talking, considering I archived a bunch of pictures of us from my Instagram, too. But I guess it feels different when you’re the person all of this is being done to, the receiver of all these actions, versus the person who instigated them in the first place. It feels different because I still feel like I’m being pushed away. This is what a goodbye feels like, and saying goodbye after three years of being best friends is so incredibly difficult. All I want is for that to return, even though I know how difficult it would be to go back in time. I guess some things are meant to be this way.

#436: The Empty Room, Part 3

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Even looking back at this blog makes me nostalgic. I mention her everywhere. It’s impossible not to know who I’m talking about, or what this is about, if you have read this blog before. I used to think that love was impervious, invincible, that we were destined to be together. That there was nothing that could divide us or stand between what we had. I felt like our life was perfect, and that we had everything good going for us, but I guess that was wrong. I feel so cynical now, like I need to just give up on ever being that lucky again. I got so lucky with her. I feel like I didn’t deserve her or her kindness.

What’s going to happen to this blog? Where will things go from here?

I considered stopping this entirely, just giving up and saying that this was enough. That #436 is the last one, and from here on out I’m just reverting this blog back to a sporadic place for my various attempts at poetry and creative writing. I’ve thought about that a lot, and I guess I’m still considering it. So many of these blog entries are just memories of a forgotten time. I know I have to keep my head up, and I know I need to make an effort to make new memories with the things we used to do together, but this blog feels tainted, corrupted in a way. Like my attempts at making this work without her will always feel half-hearted at best.

Was this all just an accident that lasted too long? Was this all just a mistake? Do I really deserve this? I mean, I know I do, and I know it’s my fault, and I know I did wrong even though she won’t agree to that.

#338: The Crossword

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Back in the day, when Alex and I first started dating, one of our best routines was hanging out on a Wednesday night and completing the Hamden newspaper’s weekly crossword puzzle together. I remember buying her a book of crossword puzzles back then, probably for a special occasion as one of our series of gifts, and we still have that book and plan on using it again tonight, hopefully. Being in touch with our former selves is a good way of rekindling past memories, and it brings character and nostalgia to our lives. I strongly support doing as many joint activities like that as you can with your partner as a way of building your relationship and making sure it has special attachments to certain things. Our mug collection, for example, has a lot attached to it and each individual mug could be its own blog post on this. Maybe one day I’ll do something like that… As a way of preserving their origins before we inevitably forget them.

Regardless, completing crosswords is romantic to us. I know that sounds super nerdy, and it is, but it’s the kind of activity we can do together that keeps our attention and uses our brains. It’s perfect for the two of us, and it allows us to collaborate and cooperate on an end goal: that is, completing the objective that is the crossword puzzle in front of us. Some puzzles are notoriously difficult and come down to the wire, where we end up having to look up a clue because we simply wouldn’t be able to figure it out with all the available hints and letters. In those moments, we don’t feel too much shame in completing the puzzle; it’s a matter of our knowledge being limited for the time being. That’s all.

#287: The Next Birthday

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Happy birthday, Alex! This is my message to you in celebration of you reaching the wonderful age of 25. You are officially a quarter of a century old, which means you are halfway to 50. Remember what it was like when you were born? Well imagine all that but again. That’s what it’ll be like to reach 50. There are so many wonderful years ahead of you, and I’m so lucky to be able to spend them with you. I hope you continue to have fantastic birthdays from here on out, and I will make sure to give you as many presents as are necessary in order to fulfill my side of the deal.

Even though you are a dingus from time to time, and sometimes lurch into dimbus territory when you feel so inclined, you are the smartest, most capable person I know, and I would trust no one else with so much of my life. There’s a reason I believe in you so whole-heartedly when you call about police reports, car maintenance, dentist appointments, and more. It’s because you’re not just my partner in crime, you’re my amazing professional and personal support system, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you. That’s for a fact.

Now, this also happens to be the day that I go back to work, which is a bit of a bummer. It kind of puts a damper on the excitement going into this day, but on a positive note, at least it’s the weekend officially. I’ll be back to cherishing the weekends with you fairly soon, and I look forward to waking up and driving you to the train station whenever the next time arises.

Thank you for being a marvelous person both inside and out, and thank you for being so consistently patient and nice through hard times and simple times.

#243: The Group Chat, Part 2

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This one is coming in two parts!

Two of my friends on the chat are huge anime fans, for example, so I feel like I know a decent amount about Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure just from them, even though I’ve only ever watched the pilot episode with Alex in Boston one night.

The group chat started back in 2016 or 2017, when I was still on Twitter under a different account name. I had an account I used to follow people from hobbies I was a fan of, and I found a bunch of wrestling fans who shared similar interests online. We bonded over the wrestlers we liked, but most of all, we bonded over our shared connections and long-winded discussions about heated topics, such as booking, match results, and video games. There were lots of things to be angry about back when we watched the shows regularly, but also lots of great, memorable conversations involving people I’ve never met in person. These people are some of my greatest friends, and yet I don’t know when I’ll ever get the chance to see them. Does that really matter? Aren’t online interactions just as genuine and worthwhile as interactions in person? I’m not sure, but I’d like to think they are. A person you communicate with, by whatever means of communication are available, can still be a friend of yours. A pen pal from across the country is still a friend regardless of the fact that you may never meet them, either.

When I was in high school, I had a difficult time making friends, so to be able to have access to the internet meant having access to a world of online friendships, too. I knew people on the internet from World of Warcraft, the Rock Band forums, Last.fm, and more, and all of those people I owe so much to. I don’t know where I would be without them, so they definitely mean as much to me as any of my other friends do.