The old outlook didn't work for the first 30 years of my life, so I am attempting from this point forward to enjoy myself more, do what I want to do, quit offering my heart and soul to women and begging them to love me, and do everything from now on with a sense of personal pride and purpose. We'll see how long this lasts, but the recent events of my dating life have made me realize that unless I commit myself to someone mentally and spiritually, a) she cannot hurt me with her actions, which are hers alone and cannot result in rage and disappointment from me because it's her life and I don't own her, and b) I am free to do what I want, whether that's be alone and doing something that I enjoy or pursuing companionship with someone else. And since I have been committing myself mentally and spiritually to women who either did not commit themselves to me or were lying, I clearly see that I have to stop doing that. I'm sure I've said this in many different ways verbally and on this blog, but this is it. I looked at myself in the mirror and spoke out loud to myself for an hour last Saturday before I left my apartment to spend Christmas with my family. I had never done that before. But after spending two hours with a friend earlier that day pouring out my emotions and feelings about my situation, I finally arrived at the point where I am sick and tired of pouring out my emotions and feelings to innocent bystanders. Basically all of my heartbreak in my life stems from my emptiness from not being loved and my desire to make someone love me. And it just has not worked out for me doing things my way. So, I'm doing things a different way. I will do what I feel is best for Dre from now on, and if that doesn't work for someone else, that's too bad. I spent the last 2 years doing what the woman or women in my life wanted me to do, hoping that they would see my sacrifices as a sign that they have to sacrifice and give all of themselves to me, and they simply were not ready or willing to do that. And that's fine. I am in control of my destiny. My great love may be a female executive ten years from now at whatever company I wind up working for once I earn my degree. But if not, oh well. I cannot keep missing out on happiness and enjoying life just because no one loves me. And I cannot keep committing myself to women before they commit to me. I've bitched and moaned about the women in my past not being fair to me. But by giving my love to them for no reason than I wanted to take their love to make myself feel better, I've been being unfair to myself, and of course to those women by expecting them to faint with joy when I treat them well.
I received some more perspective today. My football buddy, the guy who duels me in a $500 wager every season, didn't have his picks ready for me when I called him last Saturday, and he called me today to explain why--he was dealing with something just a tad more important. Last Thursday, on my birthday, December 22, he lost his youngest son to a rapid-spreading disease. So the little one never even had a chance to waste years of his life wallowing in self-pity. Just like with the football coach whose teenager killed himself apparently the morning of my birthday, it's like God placed these tragedies on the day that I turned 30 in order to give me a compass to follow...to allow me to take the last 30 years and the way I handled them and separate them from the way that I have to live from this point forward. Life means too much to bury myself in sadness for the way it has turned out so far, not to mention how it could have turned out worse. "Your birthday was December 22?" he said when I told him. "Boy, I'll never forget that day." I can't even imagine.
I have been cleaning my apartment all day, and I have a lot more to go. I read on the instructions of the video game "The Sims" that the player must keep his Sim's place clean, because a messy apartment is a sign of someone who doesn't care much about himself. And I read that months ago, before "Shelley" made a date to come here and hasn't been back since because the apartment is disgusting. But I'm sure not doing this for Shelley; I'm doing this because I'm wallowing in this mess of newspaper and plastic bags, and I don't like it. And soon, I will get up and prepare to go downtown and work a 3-day temp assignment in which I will be standing up and scanning documents for a law firm all night on 3rd shift from 11P-7A. I was offered this gig over a 2-day weekend a few weeks ago, and I turned it down because I thought it was beneath me. But I now see that no one is going to come along and offer me work, no one give a fuck that I will drain my bank account paying rent this month, and that I have to do what's best for Dre because no one else will, and taking this job is best for Dre because that's $200 in cash in my hand next Tuesday that I wouldn't have if I sat here and kept looking for specific data entry jobs that don't appear to have too many requirements or responsibilities. And that's the next step, to apply for jobs that I believe I can do regardless of the prerequisites. I've been so fucking afraid of being rejected that I have passed up applying for many jobs that I've never done because I assumed that my lack of education and experience in the field would result in me not getting the job. DUH--I won't get the job anyway if I don't apply for it. But if I do, I might get it. Such a simple equation. And yes, that applies to dating as well. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't approach women and ask them out because I look around at all of the eligible guys out there and I wonder why anyone would decide to date me. And I figured out why--because I'm strong, handsome, intelligent, and moving forward in life, and I have a nice smile. I discovered the smile while talking to myself in the mirror last Saturday. I still have to work on displaying it because I'm so used to not smiling, but at least I realized that I'm not ugly and unworthy of dating a good woman. So it's like I have a mental checklist now of how to handle myself around women. As Kool Moe Dee would say, "May not always work, but what the hell." I just have to remember that I'm allowed to show interest in a woman, I'm allowed to ask her out if we talk and I like what I hear, and I'm allowed to repeat the process if I come across another woman who interests me. What I am not allowed to do is serve up my heart, my baggage, and my soul on a platter for a woman to have to burden. It's not her life to straighten out. It's mine.