Friday, October 19, 2012

Drunken Philosophy

About four weeks ago I came home drunk.  The sort of drunk that makes the recollection of details near impossible.  I had recently been rejected by my long time crush (another story), and I was talking with a friend about a mutual friend and his hookups.  My self esteem was low, my defenses were token, and it came out that the mutual friend had hooked up with one of the Korean teachers at my school.  My crush is a Korean teacher.  My liquor sodden brain came to the sudden realization that however unlikely it is that she is the one, it was possible that this mutual friend had hooked up with my crush - who had recently rejected me. I pressed my friend for information.  Who was it?  Not that it matters at all, and the mutual friend isn't here anymore, but, really.  Who?  It's OK to tell me.

He wouldn't, and I managed to keep my composure long enough to say goodbye.

In my apartment I collapsed into jealous rage, just controlled enough to keep me from screaming.  After pacing and talking out loud for a few minutes, trying desperately to throw the drunkenness off so I could manage my emotions comfortably, I turned to my previously most successful therapist.  Writing.  I decided not to limit myself, not to worry about punctuation or clarity, just to get my thoughts out and see what came out.

While most of it was just rehashing of things I had already said to myself in the past or descriptions of sexuality designed to incite me, while simultaneously chastising myself for permitting myself the weakness of jealousy, (Sidenote: Jealousy to me is a feeling of ownership and right.  You cannot have ownership of a human being or their time, you cannot by right expect a behavior or action from another person, and that is jealousy.) there was one particularly insightful section that I wrote.

Here it is, errors preserved with names altered:

And the thing that kills me is that it’s entirely possibl that it’s (my crush).  I don’t give a shit if it’s any other teacher, but(my crush) would destroy me.  If I accept it as truth, which I can’t at this moment because there is no evidence, it would mean admitting that there is no excuse for me to hide behind in (my crush) not wanting to kiss me.  None whatsoever.  It isn’t because she’s Korean and prudish, because she fucked one of the other foreigners (so even if she is prudish, she made an exception which was not me which is also insulting).  It means that she wasn’t just delaying a possibility... 

If I accept as truth that this woman who rejected me hooked up with somebody else, somebody close to me socially (or not), then I have nothing to hide behind.

How profound a realization.  I had thought of a hundred reasons why she may have said no.  I had analyzed it from a dozen different angles, I had tried to think of it only as a factual interaction (I asked, she said no), but the truth was staring me in the face.  If she had hooked up with another person (any other person, ever), then I had no excuse to hide behind for her rejection of me.

Every thought regarding the interaction was a barrier I threw up between myself and reality.  The reality that she just doesn't want me the way I want her. The reality that I would feel a serious decline in self worth if it were true that there were no extenuating circumstance to her rejection of my advances.  That it wasn't the method of the advances she was rejecting, their timing, or even the situation they came during.  But that she was rejecting me.  The reality that I as a person was either incompatible with her, and she could see it and acted accordingly, or that I as a person was not enough for her to consider worthy.  The reality that the choice and reasoning are hers, and no amount of tears or shaken fists gives me a right to demand an alternative.

In order to avoid all of this I put up every conceivable barrier.  I asked advice from male and female friends.  I searched for every available escape from reality and eventually chalked it up to my inability to know the truth.  Where this brought me was proper, considering my actions and thoughts.  Drunk, needy, alone, wallowing in self pity.

She rejected me.  The proper response is action, not rationalization and analysis.  If I still want her, I can invest in myself and work my hardest to become worthy both in my own eyes and hers.  If I decide I do not want her, then I can move on.  These are the only proper actions I can take.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Achieving life is not the same as avoiding death.

The title above is quoted from Ayn Rand.

Something about the way that woman thinks and writes just speaks to me on an entirely different level. I get upset every time I find something regarding philosophy that lists any number of philosophers from Aristotle to Kant and they don't even leave a mention of Ayn Rand.  It's a crime.  I feel about her writing how some Christians must feel about the bible - I've read this, there is no need to go further.  Truth has a certain flavor and I find it so much to my liking that the taste of anything else is bitter and forgettable.

I am in the midst of a dry spell.  It's been approximately four months in the making and I'm suffering for it, and this weekend was the most obvious sign of that.  I went out with a group of friends to a "classy" party in downtown Seoul.  A strictly black tie event at a swanky resort.  It was great going into it, I was enjoying my group and having fun.  But when they herded us all into a nightclubish area, I found my social vibe just disappeared.  All around me there were beautiful women who I would have enjoyed talking to (one adorable Korean creature in particular) and I could not muster the state to approach anybody.

The night even seemed to tip me small favors and I still couldn't commit to even a weak interaction (I had been walking around, going to the bathroom again and again, doing whatever I could think of to try and break my mood short of actually talking to somebody).  I went outside at one point and the exact girl I'd been eyeing all night was sitting alone having a cigarette with her shoes off, alone and bored looking.  She clearly wasn't having the best night either (probably because her high heels were making enjoying dancing a serious challenge).  And all I could must was to sit next to her, pretend to check my phone, then ask if she minded if I left my jacket next to her (only implying that it was her job to keep it safe).  Then walked off to have a three minute fake conversation on my cell phone, hoping the time away would give me the state needed to actually speak to her, and also have a more natural approach after I sat next to her in silence for the first couple minutes.  Of course it didn't.  I walked back, picked up my jacket, thanked her, and went back inside.  Later there were more opportunities, perfect approach openings, and I just left it.

I'd realized I had hit rock bottom when the unnattractive female in my group was talking to me about how she felt about how this had turned into a "typical club experience" and how she wasn't into that.  Clearly rationalizing her discomfort with the situation.  Knowing I felt the same, and knowing how I felt about her value, I saw little reason to stick around.  So I said my goodbyes and got out of there.

Today I felt low-self-esteemy almost all day, but managed to quit Skyrim long enough to go for a bike ride and find some food.  It ended up being a good idea, I enjoy biking through the city and I had a good meal.  Then, a girl who is decent looking and I wouldn't have minded banging called me up.  She does that now and then.  I've texted her like once per week, and she never responds, then she'll call me out of the blue and invite me out.  Anyway she asked me to meet her, so I did and she was with another dude.  He ended up being really cool so we all had a good vibe going, but he had to leave around 11.  She gave him a hug and kept saying how he should stay because he could stay with her (clearly wanted to bang him, but I was thinking "yeah but why did she call me then") and it wouldn't be a problem.  But he left.  So I figured, "We've all been talking about sex all night, she knows what I'm about and she's having drinks with me alone on."  So I decided not to waste any time.  About 5 minutes after he left I tried a late game version of the apocolypse opener and asked her what she was doing later.  Then followed with, "want to come home with me instead?"  And she made me clarify that I was talking about hooking up and not just hanging out.  Long story short, she said no.  I felt bummed.  Walked her to the train station then headed home.

I was feeling bad about myself, then something just snapped.  I picked up a pen and a stack of sticky notes and wrote in giant letters, one on each note, "BECOME WORTHY OF A SELF.  EARN IT." And posted it above my door in my apartment.  I debated on my use of the article "a" instead of saying "your".  But I think I made the right choice.  The idea of saying "your" presupposes that I have a self, and that it is worthy and I'm not living up to it.  But the fact of the matter is, the way I've been feeling and behaving is more in line with a person who is lacking in a self.  A firm one, at least.  And so I made my grammar choice.

I remembered a blogger/musician/artist I had discovered some time ago and was inspired enough to look her up.  Sarah Saturday.  On her archive of short posts I ran across one from Ayn Rand, "Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises.  You will find that one of them is wrong."  It wasn't so much that quote that brought me around to feeling good, but the fact that somewhere out there is a mind that appreciates something I appreciate.  Somebody who sees the value in something I value.  And knowing that that person exists, and that that person also believes in taking care of herself and in EARNING IT HERSELF, gives me the strength I need to stop being such a bitch.

I bitch and moan that I haven't been with a woman for awhile, and I realize that it's becoming a self esteem issue - I need somebody, not just to fuck, but to appreciate me (and this is easiest to find after sex).  But what have I done in the last four months that's worthy of appreciation, apart from being?  Pussies and shit philosophers say that's enough, but Ayn rand tells it true.  Achieving life is NOT the equivalent of avoiding death, and all I've been doing is avoiding death.  Living day to day, decently but not well and certainly not doing anything worthy of being called achieving life.

I dearly hope that this feeling will stay with me.  I know it won't. I'll have to go after it, grab it by the hair and drag it back to my man cave.  But the most insidious thing about this challenge, this enemy, is that it isn't an enemy.  Fighting an enemy who wants to destroy me is the easiest thing in the world.  Even in losing, I feel pleasure and pride in having fought.  But fighting one, that wants nothing of me, that desires nothing bigger of me than that I make it to work on time.  That is a hard enemy to take issue with, to summon the courage to destroy this day and every day.

I promise I shall do what I must.