i had an interesting session, last weekend, with the shrink. he started off by asking me about jennifer (a girl i asked out before going home for the wedding) he asked if anything had happened in regards to her since my return. my answer was obviously ‘no’ (yeah, umm, i’ll have to leave that bit for another entry) and i did my best to change the topic.

i told him that i had recently had motivation problems and that i had been having a hard time being productive. well, that did the trick. the topic quickly changed to how i should be taking advantage of my time here in hawaii. and while the subject of my job came up, it was a minor point. the main point was how i wasn’t basking in the hawaiian sun, so to speak. for the most part, my days have been spent doing the types of things i could do anywhere, my job being a prime example.

the thing is, these are all things i’ve been telling myself for the last year. i came to hawaii for a change: to change myself, my life style, and my outlook. i came here to life a ‘hawaiian life’ for a few years while i could. and with the exception of the occasional beach trip, i haven’t. i have an office job and i spend most of my free time in front of the television. this is NOT how i wanted to spend my time here.
somehow, though, hearing the shrink say these things to me evoked a different response. i feel like a bit of a failure. i mean, he’s right; i have completely squandered my time here thus far. well, that’s not entirely true. i mean, i am seeing a doctor, which was a primary goal for my time here.

still, i haven’t been living life to the fullest so far. that needs to change. it needs to change now. i’m clearly in some sort of crazy rut. how am i going to change?

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i’m preparing to return home for the first time in over a year and a half. while that may not seem like a big deal to some, it is a very big deal for me for a number of reasons. for one, i feel like a different person than the one who first moved here. without blabbering on for pages, there are two main reasons for the change: my roommate and my shrink. for the first time in what seems like forever, the darkness that i used to walk around it is beginning to withdraw. i see more and more glimpses of light, more and more reasons for optimism….

as i prepare to return home, i wonder (and worry a bit) whether or not the people who matter most to me will notice the difference. i want so much to hear things like, “you seem so different” or, “you seem happier”, things of the sort. while the happiness this trip will bring me doesn’t rely solely on such things, i can’t help but think that no one will notice. it somehow leaves me with some apprehension and some doubt. i know they’ll all be happy and excited to see me, but will they notice what all my hard work has wrought?

and there are other things…. for the last week i’ve been increasingly fidgety, just waiting for the day i’d take the plane home. in the last few days, however, my brain has become increasingly preoccupied with other matters; a girl. after the julie debacle, i honestly thought i had seen my chance for a girlfriend in hawaii come and go. then, just over a week ago, i met another girl that changed my mind. last weekend i committed myself to calling her before i left… and asking her out on a date. well, i did. i can say with a fair amount of certainty that that’s something i’ve never done before….

and you think that alone would have me bouncing off the walls with joy and excitement…. well, i’m not. instead, i’m sitting here writing these words. i really wanted to take her out. i really wanted… well i’m not sure, but i definitely would have liked to see her again before leaving. alas, i waited too long. and while i did get it out, “i’d like to take you out on a date”, (something i honestly never thought i’d be able to do), i waited too long to do it. and now i’ve got to “give her a call when i get back”. i guess that’s better than nothing…. still, i can’t help but dwell on two facts, regardless of my return home: i waited too long and she’s “sorta seeing some one, but it’s not serious.”

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i saw her move across the room.
i nearly jumped out of my seat, ran across the room and hugged her.
her face changed.
she grew taller and i was alone and remorseful again

wait for it

and frustration abounds. of course, the reasons are all too clear. are all the good ones taken? how would i really know?
my prospects are scarce. i spot a girl of seeming value, only to find her taken, spoken for. pick your phrase. i don’t know how to respond to such a situation; rise to the challenge, so to speak?
am i speaking in jibberish? am i making sense at all? i can’t even begin to guess…..

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how do you tell the difference between flirting and being nice? you may laugh, but i’m asking as a serious question. i haven’t the faintest fucking clue.

there’s a line in “sunshine of the spotless mind” that emphasises just how much i’m not kidding, “who do i fall in love with every girl who’s nice to me?” again i stress the seriousness of my question. when i meet a girl and she is nice to me (engaged, seems interested in talking to me, laughs at my jokes, etc) i think she’s flirting.

the other night’s festivities set the scene for a perfect example. it was cinco de mayo and a bunch of people got together to celebrate. don’t ask me why they felt the need to, i don’t quite understand it myself, other than maybe it was simply an excuse to drink a little. anyway, most of the people i had never met before, but more specificly there was a particular girl i’d never met before.

i’m not quite sure who she was friends with, or why i’d never seen her before, but it doesn’t much matter. after dinner, the whole group decided to go to some bar a few blocks from the restaurant. as we were walking through waikiki, the girl in question appeared next to me and struck up a conversation. i was in an unusually good and funny mood, so i didn’t mind (aside from a little confusion).

we joked around for a little bit. i was funny, she was funny. we talked about our jobs and it seemed to me she was flirting. she offered to let me drink from the shot glass that was dangling from her neck. (the restaruant had given us party favors as part of the may 5th festivities. amongst the gifts were plastic shot glasses on a string).

i thought she was flirting with me and by the time she wondered ahead of me i thought i might have found another girl to ‘practice date’ with. this is, of course, until i noticed she was wondering off to the pretty boy further up in the pack. they were holding hands and had their arms around each other. clearly i had been mistaken in my analysis.

and so i ask again; how can one tell the difference between flirting and being nice? how come i take an interest in any girl that is nice to me? how am i supposed to tell? anyway, i don’t really expect an answer, but felt the need to ask the question just the same.

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