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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Merging, Marrying and Writer's Block

Right now, I'm in the midst of a writer's block. A nasty one, too. It's not the kind that completely kills my writing but rather the kind that lets me write other things, but not the thing I want to write. It's frustrating. It's annoying. But it's given me time to think.

The story I'm stuck on is a bit of a parallel to my life currently. Often times writer's write about their lives but I tend to write a story that then affects my life. It's backwards with me. I write and the fiction becomes reality. My first ever fanfic had the main character lose 50 pounds over the years, looking thinner than he had when he was younger. I did something similar.

That's the most prominent example, really. But little things have added up over the years to show me that my fiction has a decent chance at becoming reality for me. Right now, the story I'm working on reminds me a lot of my reality.

In the background of the story major work is being done. I'm setting up the story to merge more seamless into another story that, previously, had been unrelated. It was never supposed to be related but life is strange and now it is. And I'm so excited by it but it's a lot of work, merging two previously unrelated universes. Sure, they had some things in common, but nothing explicit.

Now, they're going to be one universe and I find that very much reminds me of my life.

Let me explain:

My life is fractured into two versions of me. Fat Me (in the past) and Thin Me (currently). They existed in, essentially, two different universes. Some rules are the same but a lot of the rules are different. The dynamics are different and it confuses me.

My old self, Fat Me, operated by a set of rules that no longer works, really. A few things carryover but a lot of it is outdated. Thin Me has few rules to operate by. The limits don't really exist for what I currently can do.

Fat Me was a baptist. A lifer. Born and raised, a black sheep but someone who tried to do right by what was before him. He went to church with his family on Sundays. He volunteered for VBS every year. He helped out in Sunday School classes, nursery and catering. He was an AV geek who operated all the equipment at some point. He had church friends but rarely saw them outside of church. For as surrounded by people as he was, he was very lonely. He eventually gave into that loneliness, drifted far away from the church and questioned the very existence of God. He did everything he could to piss the almighty off. At least if God was angry, that would show him something. Angry was better than being indifferent. He reached a point of no return. He became depressed. He did dark things. He hung on by a thread.

And then he was granted an olive branch out of left field.

And then he took it. He followed the example set forth. He set a goal, he lost weight and he achieved an impossibility.  He found a family he didn't deserve. He found a friend that he wouldn't live without.

Now, here I sit. As Thin Me, I still questioned God. I reached a point where losing weight wasn't really necessary or practical anymore. I was still spiritually dead. I couldn't just sit here and exist physically because I didn't know how. I talked to a priest for hours on end. I ruminated for months and tried to second guess myself out of a life-altering decision. I took the plunge into Catholicism. My church has a regular attendance of eight to ten people every week. I do as much as I can with the people there. I talk to them there, outside of there and though we are few in number, I feel like I'm in the best company, numbers be damned. I'm learning, slowly, about what it means to be Catholic. I'm taking a slow and steady approach. I'm trying to find things in the word and some days I do. Some days I don't. I pray more now than I have in years. I wonder if my prayers actually are heard. If they actually do anything. I know a good bit of the Rosary. I pray with other people, aloud, together. I'm part of a social committee and am generally know as random/zany.

Those are two pretty distinct universes and I don't know how to merge them. I don't know how anyone merges past selves into new ones. I don't think I've ever quite had a new self, not like this and I can't imagine how Doctor Who does it.

I'm worried it can't be done. More than anything, I wonder if I'm stuck existing in this in-between. Always aware of what a past version of me would do and aware of what the current version of me might be able to do, but too scared to try. Honestly, I don't know my limits now. Before they were set in stone. Now they seem to not exist.

I have limits. I have things I can't possibly do. I know this. But I don't know exactly what they are and that scares me. What if one of those limits is found at a critical moment? What if I fail when it counts the most because I didn't know I was unable to do something?

In the room I'm in now, I can see where the past version of me was. I can see how the room looked in the past, nearly three year ago. Things have changed. The carpeting, the mantle, the walls, the corner chair, the lamp and the order of the books. It's changed. It's accepted that change gracefully, with no reservations and no fight.

I don't accept change gracefully. Never have, likely never will. I feel like part of me is fighting this merging. Not all of me but part of me ... a part that fears that it'll get lost in the new dynamics. The new rules. The new limits. The new things in general.

New is scary and part of me sits there and refuses to talk. It won't listen. It's a fear that's not based on any fact because the new, the Thin Me, is an undefined mess. It's functioning on incomplete, half-baked routines, ideas and assumptions.

With my story, this might be the problem with my current writer's block. It's afraid of the new. The characters are aware of what's happening, at least in the background of the story and maybe they just don't want to get to the point where it's absolutely official. Maybe they want to keep what they had before.

But what they had before was worse. I can see that now. They can see that now, too. They acknowledged the new to a point, about 50k worth of a point but they're not giving me the rest. Not yet.

The Fat Me isn't giving me the rest either. It's hanging on. It's telling me this is all just a temporary victory, that it'll fall apart. That what made me Fat Me is still there, still waiting to pounce. It'll fail. All this will fail and I'll be back where I was when this started. Fat. Miserable. Tired of living and too chicken to die.

I won't let that happen. Rationally, I know that. I've built in safeguards. I have small clothes now that leave little room for error. I have people in my life who'll call me out if I slip back like that. I have accountability now.

Another thought has occurred to me about this. An alternate theory. What if this isn't merging universes but marrying them? In both respects, albeit the theory has more merit in the writing sense than my personal one.

The marrying idea has merit. The universes are being combined, yes, but the plots of both (the major events as it were) are being made co-dependent on one another. They're being made to rely on each other rather than overrule one another. That might be the problem here. I've never had to rely so heavily on another main set of characters in a story. There's always one set to rely on. But in this story there are two sets; the story necessitates that but I've never done it.

This might be the problem with my personal stuff, too. In the nearly three years since I began my weight loss and reshaping of my life, I've had to learn to rely on others here and there. But it's hard, so hard, because before I was so sure I could do it myself.

I still want to, badly. Not because I'm sure I can because I know I can't now. It's been proven that going it alone leads to disaster for me. I want to do it myself because whatever I'm in the process of -- finding myself, going through a phase, growing as a person or whatever you want to call it -- it's messy. It's very messy.

I'd love to sit here and tell the world everything. One day I may. The internet is a wonderful place to tell things to. But I don't want that. I want to tell a person. I want to tell someone I can rely on to save me. To pull me out of the fire when it threatens to consume me. To jump into the ocean after me as I try not to drown.

"You want a knight in shining armor?" you ask incredulously. I'm a guy so, by all accounts, I should be the knight coming to rescue someone else. And you know what? I can be that. I can be that knight and I can rescue someone from being consumed by fire or drowned by water. I can pull them to safety. I can do that.

But is it wrong to want someone to do that for me? Maybe. It certainly breaks the stereotype.

"But why not rely on your friends and family? They can do that," you say. Yes, they can but not in the way I feel that's right. Almost all my friends and my family have a significant other/spouse/children they have to be there for. People that rely on them. People that, in my mind, have the right to rely on them.

What right do I have? I'm just Zach. I'm one of many children and I'm the oldest. I'm the only one out of the home. I had my time and it's time for my siblings to get theirs.

I'm one of many family members. I don't have any medical issues. My health is fine. I don't have any issues with my spouse or my children. I have neither. I don't have issues with my finances. I don't have much and live very basically.

I'm one of many friends and most of my friends have SOs/spouses/children. I'm not a priority and I'm never going to advocate to be one. They're better served thinking about the people who are a priority in their lives and better served helping them. They can help them.

I'm not sure anyone can help me ... except my knight in shining armor. She's out there, somewhere. Sword bloodied from battle, armor dented and smeared, her eyes tired. She's wandering a cursed land, looking. Looking for someone to save her just as I'm looking for her to save me.

Marriage is the ultimate form of reliance. It's the ultimate form of merging universes.

In my time being heavily involved in Catholicism, preparing myself for the conversation and preparing to fully be one with the church, the sacrament of marriage has stood out to me. It's stood out to me since I was ten, when I knew I wanted to be married. But it's especially stood out to me through all this.

I look at the marriages around me and think to myself "Can I do better?" It's not about meeting an expectation, I realize that. There's not some sort of magical number you have to hit in order to make a good marriage. But I wonder if I can do better.

I've seen marriages between my friends and my family. I've seen divorces. I've seen separations. I've seen borderline negligence. I've seen one person in the marriage suffer while the other doesn't ... and I've seen that in every marriage.

Marriage is one part suffering, one part jubilation. At least from what I can see (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong). I know people have to suffer. I have, in small and insignificant ways. Not as much as others. Not as much as others will suffer in the future.

Am I wrong in relying on my wife (non-existent as she is) to help relieve pain? To help me cope with stress? To help me as a person? It doesn't seem like I am but I can't be sure. I'm operating on observation and not experience. I have virtually none in the realm of relationships and my ventures these past few months have been mostly unsuccessful.

I can accept not having her to help pick me up. I can understand it, honestly. I don't want to deal with me any day but I'm forced to. And as I look at marriage and look at the marriages around me, I wonder if others are as uncomfortable with asking for help being picked up as I am?  Everyone's a mess in their own way. Do they voluntarily choose to suffer so their spouse doesn't?

That makes sense to me in some ways. In others, I can't condone that course of action. I find the justification, in large part, to be be invalid.

If you're married, you've physically and emotionally bonded to your wife/husband through sex (based on my limited understanding of it). It's the most vulnerable position any human being can be in as people have told me. How can you give yourself to a person like that and not ask them to help pick you up? How can you not ask them to save you?

I don't know. But I do know I would ask and I would want her to ask. My own issues be damned, she's got to be the priority when weighed against anything else. "Till death do us part" is something I take very seriously. I can save her. I know I can. If she gets sick or stressed or worried or guilty or anything else, I can be there. I know that.

And I want that for myself.

Maybe that's an unreal expectation. It might not exist. Marriage is two individuals, two people ... maybe that kind of reliance is an impossibility. Maybe that's my limit ... that I can't be there for her like that. Would she even tell me?

Ultimately, it's all hypothetical. That's all it exists as right now. It may never exist as anything else.

I have a little more than seven months before I turn 26. The clock ticks for me to get my life together and I'm trying, I'm trying hard. It's an uphill battle and since the new year arrived, I've been losing it. Things are beginning to unravel, slowly but surely and the threads could reach a level of disaster I didn't predict back in December.

This was supposed to be a year of progress. Nearly two months in and I'm just keeping my head above water. There's only one common variable in it all and that's me ... perhaps things will go so disastrously wrong I'll finally have the right to rely on someone.

Or I'll be stuck in-between. Writing the wrong story.

Thanks for reading, folks. God Bless.  


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Internet Legacies

I like the internet. I don't a person currently in existence that doesn't like the internet (minus the people who still believe dial-up is the way to get on it). It's an extremely useful, entertaining and infinite thing. It's also the one place where you can put something and be assured that it'll never go away.

That's why so many people fear what they say on the internet will come back and haunt them. It's why people tell you to be careful what you say on your Facebook page or your Twitter feed or post to your Instagram account ... it's because once it hits the internet, it will remain. Forever. Longer than you or I will ever be a part of this planet.

And that's why I blog. That's why I write. It was pointed out to me some years ago, in my first attempt to edit my first work of fanfiction, that I what I had written before came from a unique viewpoint. A viewpoint of a 19-year-old punk who was cocky and a hopeless romantic. A viewpoint of a person who was dealing with things then that he had no idea how to process ... other than to write it out.

I was told by a friend that I shouldn't take a blow torch to it and completely rewrite it, as I wanted to do. As I still want to do, at least from a technical standpoint. I've learned a lot since I first wrote that story and I would love to rewrite it with all that knowledge at my fingertips ... I could definitely improve it.

But the viewpoint would be completely altered and skewed by that type of editing. There would be no way to preserve it because the way that Zach thought isn't the way I think. We share commonalities, yes, but I've changed a lot since I was that 19-year-old punk. My writing has changed. My perspective has changed.

Which is why I'm not going to take a blowtorch to it and why I blog about all the things I do. My fears. My hopes. My crazy thoughts, my fleeting moments of clarity, my big decisions and my guilt about past actions. All those things, all those thoughts, come from a unique perspective that I likely won't have access to years down the road.

It's my internet legacy and one I hope will help, in some way. Nothing I say here is entirely original and unique, but it's not about being original or unique; it's about telling those who have access to this what I'm feeling, thinking and doing. It's a legacy that's not going to garner any stellar reviews or make me any money.

But I hope it'll help my own kids, assuming I have any, understand what their old man was like.

I don't have an understanding of my parents before they were my parents. I can count maybe a dozen stories between my parents about their lives before they were parents. Before they were married. I know virtually nothing about their formative years in junior high/high school/college/early adulthood. I don't know their struggles. I don't know their successes. I don't know what they were like.

That's a huge blank spot and one I refuse to let my own kids experience. Those years (as I'm discovering in retrospect and at present) are extremely important ... and I have nothing for my parents. It wasn't a subject that every really came up.

It's not a criticism, let me be clear. I know it seems that way and it seems judgmental, but it's not. My parents didn't try their best or did the best they could. They did their best. They gave their best. Period. I don't doubt their intentions or their effort, not for a second.

Let's be honest, for those that know me well enough, I'm not exactly an easy person to get a handle on. I was a tough first child, it wasn't easy for them and the lessons they learned from me have benefited my younger siblings. As it should be.

But, knowing this, I can't in good conscience subject my kids to the same thing. Hence why, when the time arrives where they have questions about certain things, I can give them advice right there in the present. Then I can reach back in time and ask someone closer to their age, someone who was having similar thoughts/feelings/questions ... I can ask me. I can just pull up a blog post and that can be used as a starting off point.

I hold no delusions that my blog, past, present, or future, will have all the answers. Or any answers, but I'm confident that something will ring true for my kids, even if its just a phrase or a sentence. Let's be frank, assuming I'm not some genetic anomaly and a once every seven generations thing, my kids might inherit some of ... well, me.

This is always a tough thing to project when writing children of characters you've written. It's an even tougher thing to project when you're missing the other half of the equation (in this case, the girl for me ... cause at the moment there isn't one, at all). Not only is it tough to project, it's also scary as hell.

Scarier than hell, actually. At least hell is defined vaguely enough to where eternal damnation is a solid bet. My future, non-existent children? There's no solid bets there. I'm not even sure what I am right now, so trying to figure out which bits of me end up in them is ... mind-breaking. Horrifying. Strangely thrilling.

The thrilling thing only because having kids means having the ability to do what I'm good at. Which is be with kids. I'm good with kids, always have been, though I can't tell you why. They seem to like me. A lot. I suppose it's the innocence of youth but I'd like to believe that they're able to see something worth liking. I don't know for sure, it confuses me, but I tend to just roll with it.

My own kids and I would be inseparable I think. I'd get to introduce them to cool stuff (Star Trek, of course) and see if it stuck ... and they'd force me to experience things I otherwise wouldn't and I'd probably end up having a better time than I'd like to admit.

At some point, they'd reach the age where I'd see more of their door than their face in the day (ah, the teenage years) and at that point I'll hope we have enough of an understanding that they'd trust me to talk to me about a few things. I don't expect full disclosure. It'll never happen, it's a parental pipedream and that's okay; people have to grow on their own in some things and sometimes they have to do it the hard way (I'm an example of that, though at this point whether I'm better for it is unknown). But I'd like to be let in on a few things.

I never let my parents in. On anything. I kept it to myself because I felt like I had to ... why would anyone care? I had to change it myself. I had to fix it myself. I had to do it myself. The lie there was that I had to do it myself. I didn't. I had help. It was there and I just stubbornly, pridefully, stupidly ignored it.

That's probably my top fear, or at least in my top five, with my own kids. That they inherit this psychopathic stubbornness I have. I'm hoping it's not a nature thing, that this is just something that was nurtured into me, but I don't think that's the case. I think it's very much part of me and my family. My only hope is that they take after their mother ... maybe her genetics will be stronger than mine.

But I blog for them and for everyone else. For readers present and readers in the future. To help myself and provide some insight. To let let others know what this Zach, in the here and now, feels and thinks. I won't be able to really tell anyone at some point in the future.

But that's why I have the internet. Nothing leaves here.

Thanks for reading folks. God Bless.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hauntings From Past Lives

Thursday night was a long night for me. Not for the fact that work was particularly hard (it was busier than expected) but because I was in the midst of thinking of making a change in writing style. My friends and I were discussing the descriptive process in writing; description is my weakest area of writing, I get flustered with it because I don't know how to properly do it. I'm not a person who's very physically aware (as the multiple cuts/bruises will attest throughout my body). I run into things and don't notice them till well after, I cut myself and don't notice it until it bleeds on something I can see ... you get the idea.

So, the point was made that I am not a physical person. That physicality eludes me and that is a very true point, one which I agreed with. So, throughout work on Thursday night I was attempting to come up with a solution to this problem; I certainly can't evolve my writing style (which at this point does description modestly at best) if I can't describe things. I tried to describe what I was doing in my mind as I was doing it, but only came away frustrated because I was falling back on cliched writer phrases.

There wasn't anything unique there and there certainly wasn't anything worthy of even making the attempt. I got off work, got back to my bed and proceeded to try to sleep. But my mind was obsessing over this and my solution was an outright failure (which I hate) and sleep completely evaded me. I was stuck trying to figure this out.

Since I couldn't determine a solution for the problem, I needed to determine the root cause of the problem. My brain is capable of taking a trip in the wayback machine anytime it wants; my memory, oddly, is good at recalling the details of the past with pretty decent clarity. So, I was lost Thursday night/Friday morning in my past lives.

My past lives were not pretty. Now, people like to joke and think they were a king or a famous artist in a past life, but the fact is that everyone has multiple lives in their life. We are constantly evolving as human beings and we leave behind past selves -- past lives -- as we continue on our journey.

My mind reached way back as I lay in bed trying to sleep. Why was I so poor at describing physical things? My lack of physical awareness had to stem from something but what could it be?

Thinking back to my childhood, I couldn't really pin it on any one thing. There weren't any traumatic events that scarred me for life. I just operated very much the same way I do now up to a certain point in my childhood. As a child I was an intelligent thinker, but social enough -- I was on plenty of sports teams and I was still telling the same, lame, pun-type jokes I do today. Sarcasm was strong with me (my understanding of it was not as strong then), but I liked making people laugh. I was energetic. I was ready to have fun at a drop of a hat.

And then things changed. Now, I realize that I'm a broken record by this point, but I think I'm just failing to properly explain myself on this point ... or maybe I just don't know how to explain it and I have to keep trying till I do it right. Whatever the case, here's the bottom line: going from skinny kid to fat kid changes everything. Everything.

So, when I went from skinny kid to fat kid, I began another life in my life; the life of the fat kid. No one wants to hold hands with the fat kid. Or dance. Or do much of anything, really, that involves physicality. When you're the fat kid, you exist in a bubble. No one touches you. You touch no one. Everyone gets by fine.

It didn't take long for me to realize this. I wasn't exactly the most emotionally stable kid from 3rd grade to 5th or 6th. I had days where I freaked out over dumb things. Like lost pencils, misplaced handkerchiefs or forgotten things (jackets/books/lunch money). I forgot a lot of things when I became the fat kid. My mental clarity took a huge hit.

"Oh, that's easy to say in retrospect," you must be thinking but its true; I was known (not very fondly) as "The Absentminded Professor" (dating myself here, but this nickname was based on Flubber and the Robin Williams portrayal of the titular character) amongst my family for many, many years from this point on. Up till I graduated high school as a matter of fact.

I forgot things. I got frustrated. And I isolated myself. I threw myself into the realm of TV and video games (probably the least healthy thing I could have done) and my primary existence was that. Not just for those years, not just for junior high, not just for high school but for most of college, too.

That's a lot of years, about 13 or so, where my days after school boiled down to the following: get home from school, grab a snack, do homework, watch TV/play video games till dinner, eat dinner, watch more TV, bath and bed. Admittedly, this is where I did a lot of Star Trek watching (Voyager in particular as it was the family's show, we watched the entire thing from beginning to end when it originally broadcast) so it's not exactly all bad.

But as a dear friend of mine pointed out while we were drinking wine months back, exactly how that'd work out for me? The point was blunt then, it's blunt now and it was right both times. What good did it do? I lived in a bubble of isolation. My social skills became retarded as I grew older and here I sit, at the ripe old age of 25 and I'm doing guess work on things people younger than me by many years have a decent understanding of.

My problems stem from this period of my life, where I was the fat kid/guy. My social skills fell off a cliff, my activity level went with it and my sense of humor went from generally well balanced to just mean. I was a wannabe insult comic for most of high school/college and feasted off the weaknesses of others ... if I make fun of them, they can't make fun of me. Strike first, strike hard.

It was a self-defense mechanism in many respects but it was a dick thing to do to others and to be. I still fallback on that from time to time, though I generally just try to keep things humorous based off wordplay/situations/references/impressions.

The lack of physicality just didn't extend to those around me outside my home but very much in my home as well. I don't come from a hugging family. We just don't really hug but I pretty much eschewed any and all forms of physical contact from everyone, including my family. I suck at hugs now because of this.

As I was discussing earlier in the week, my experience level in life is low. Really low. I essentially took 13 years off from developing into a human being to be ... miserable, really. I don't know much about the things I write about. Sex. Drugs. Rock and Roll. All are beyond me, way beyond me.

Physicality and my lack of descriptive abilities in romantic settings is a direct result of being the isolationist I was in that past life. I somehow managed to kiss three girls in that 13 year timespan (mystery of life) and that's all I've ever done.

I've never made it past first base. And even that was an intentional walk, really, and it happened once many years ago.

(If at this point you're wondering why admit this at all to the internet, as anything that touches this place will forever remain, that's a post for another day. But there's a reason.)

How, exactly, do I manage to write scenes that go far beyond that? And have people praise me for it despite not knowing a damned thing about it personally? It's not as though that subject matter is one that's discussed in detail by those that have experienced it.

Observation. It's my best tool and one cultivated over that 13 year period where I existed and didn't live. I watched. I listened. Now, this translates well enough in writing but even those scenes are lacking a key element with the description.

Writers write based on experience in a lot of what they do and I am likely the most ill-equipped of the bunch due to my lack of experience. The idea of physicality with a girl freaks me the fuck out. Panic. Inducing. Freak out. The idea of it makes my chest tighten and my mind hit warp 9 (that's really, really fast). I was having a nightmare just last night about that.

I ended up at a travel center in the middle of a highway. I had just made out with a girl and was literally having a panic attack while pumping gas into my car. I stumbled into the travel center, called my closest friend on the phone and tried to get her to call me down. It was failing dramatically, then the attendant came over and asked if I needed an ambulance, which I absolutely refused (because I'm a stubborn SOB) and I wandered back out to my car, feeling like I was having a heart attack; the pain was there and it was a lot and I was struggling to breathe and talk, all the while trying to not to worry my friend. I ended up collapsing to the ground, passing out and waking up in an ambulance.

Apparently, I was dead for minutes and I didn't see a white light: I was at the Bruno Mars Super Bowl halftime show.

The ending is whack, but the rest of that? Likely stuff. I woke up from that at 6 something this morning sweating with a racing pulse.

It's the details that freak me out about that more than anything because I'd be hyper-analyzing everything I did, looking for ways to improve upon at least one stupid mistake I made in that situation. Hell, I can't even tell you where my hands are supposed to go (hips? back? arms?) or what exactly comes after ... or before, for that matter, because I've never initiated it.

Let me put it this way: We have this guy here ...

and then we have this guy here ...

Both are me, apparently. The first picture popped up on my news feed this morning and is likely from 08-09 if I were to guess. The second picture is from late this past December. The fat me is the guy who was always like that, for years on end, who was 180 lbs at 13-years-old and had pretty much given up on ever being anything other than what he was.

Fat me is about to tear into that burger with reckless abandon.

And then we have thin me ... who can't possibly exist. Yet does. This is what I am currently. I won't lie, I'm afraid I'll go back to fat me in a heartbeat. I have nightmares to that effect every so often. But fat me, I've known for a long time. We grew up together. That face was my face, period, never to be different.

I remember nights in the shower where I'd just stare down at my gut and wonder how it got so big. Sometimes I'd vainly try to suck it in in front of the mirror, just to see if it made any difference. It never did. But that gut? That was me and I accepted that.

And now I'm picture number two. No real gut to speak of (just a sad sack of loose skin) and a body that doesn't match anything. Let me be frank here, just to show I'm trying to really get this to be understood, there's NO WAY I should exist as I am. No scenario I ever ran in the 13 years I existed as a fat kid/guy ever included this. None.

I don't know what to do with what I am now. I'm bucking the trend ... statistically, someone who's lost 133 pounds in 11 months like I did should be gaining that weight back plus some at this point. I am not. I sit at 145 and have been that since the summer really. I do right most days of the week, I occasionally cheat but when I do cheat I never do it badly. Just a little.

My life as fat me was supposed to be my life, period. Nothing else. And now its not and I'm apparently stylish (so I'm told) and I jump into social situations as often as I can not knowing what to really do other than to just try. I'm falling back on skinny kid me tendencies and strategies, trying to adapt them for the 21st century.

My lives have been weirdly split up and that's why I suck at description. That's my problem. I took 13 years off and am just now learning things I should have learned in junior high/high school. I'm old. I look young. I have little experience in life and in most facets of life. I write about things I know little to nothing about.

I'm not the fat guy anymore. But the mindset is proving to be increasingly difficult to get through ... an absolute fact that I never considered possible to change is no longer an absolute. I'm haunted by those past lives.

Not sure how to reconcile that.

Thanks for reading, folks. God bless.