New chapter

I gave my three weeks notice last Friday.

God I feel so liberated. The old boss was absolutely terrible and abusive. If I were any less self-confident, I would’ve internalized everything she’s said. She’s fucking psycho. She’s demeaning, rude, inconsiderate, and makes personal attacks. There’s no room for growth with her.

So I’m excited (but terrified) to start this new chapter. The end goal is to find a job as a data analyst in an urban-oriented company. This time (as opposed to 2016), there’s no going backwards into a solely-urban planning company.

The long term goal is to bridge big data and urban planning/city-building, but first I need to hone my coding skills, build a portfolio, and network. That’ll take time.

In the meantime, I’m going to do what I’ve always wanted to do: I’m going to learn to become a bike mechanic.

I mean, I’m already gay, I might as well be a bike mechanic.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Premonition

It’s only been three weeks with the new boss and already I’m seriously considering quitting. I’ve been on a glow-up these past couple of weeks and this really puts a wrinkle in things.

The idea of being unemployed again, a la 2016 is certainly very tempting…

I calculated that I’d spent roughly $16,000 that year, including rent and all. So I could easily do it again from where I am right now.

 

I don’t want to do market studies. I fucking hate them. I’m more interested in urban planning… Looking ahead to where my shit boss is at, as head of market studies, all her knowledge comes from knowing what has happened in the past. It’s not forward-looking at all – it’s not visionary. Just because something happened in the past doesn’t mean it’s bound to happen again. Planning is about the future. Her skills aren’t really transferrable. If anything, dilligence in looking at data is all that can be taken away.

As an aside, the pain/tension in my upper back has returned. It’s been gone for the last little while and I strongly suspect it’s the stress from working under this new boss. If I do quit, I’d better milk all my physio benefits while I can.

I don’t know how realistic it is for me to retry pursuing a career in big data.

Anyway, I’ve been talking to a few people and they’re feeling the same kind of “stuck” as I am. It’s somewhat comforting to know this.

 

It was a great weekend with the planners on our second annual ski/board getaway, but this has been on the back of my mind. I’ve needed to get away from work/the city.

 

I don’t know. I guess the point of this post is probably a premonition that something big is going to change in the next little while in my life. Most likely career-wise.

I’m getting back on my networking game and being more cognisant of that. I’m meeting a planner I’d met at a Civic Tech event a while ago. We’ll be chatting and brainstorming things together. Also I think she’s queer? That’s always a plus. No romantic interest here though.

Types

We all have different “types”, obviously. But it never truly hit me until recently how strikingly different our types can be.

Seeing my brother shrug with a sheer and honest plain-ness on my brother’s face when I showed him a picture of her initially blew my mind. I was honestly flabberghasted that he didn’t think she was attractive… but I came to conclude that he was heavily biased. As my brother, he already resented her for the effect she was having on me (e.g. me coming off distracted and down in the past few family gatherings).

“You can do better”.

I shook him off for not even knowing her.


It was eye-opening when another one of my friends didn’t find her attractive. JC told me her “edginess” (e.g. tattoos, red hair, and spacers) was not appealing. Interestingly, for her, it signaled instability and resistance to commitment. In my experience with people… she wasn’t wrong.


F felt the same in that she did not find her attractive at all. Though, F is not into SJW-types.


Last night, I was out with B at a bar and this came up. Curious, I asked her what she thought of her. She didn’t find her attractive, rating her a solid 7 out of 10 (before bumping it down to 6.5 – harsh). I was this meme. I found her objectively attractive – but B rated her “6.5 across the board, regardless of type”.

I had to pick myself back up from that one.


Read More…

Ego vs. Heart

After almost a week without talking to her – not necessarily deliberately, I just simply was not compelled to expend energy on her, particularly with work taking up so much concentration – I received a text.

Hey I know we said we’d take a break from seeing each other and come back. But I’ve been thinking about t and I do like you as a person and as a friend but I don’t think the relationship we were pursuing is right for me. I really value and enjoyed all the time we spent together but I don’t think we should date. Hopefully you understand.

I was a little taken aback. Not by the fact that she wanted to end it, but by the fact that she didn’t think it had already ended. I had already begun walking away after she sent that last message, calling for a break. It showed me her true colours – and that drove me away. Her unwillingness to try was very unattractive.

I told her I was on the same page. And, taking the high road, thanked her for taking the initiative to bring it up. I said I’d be okay with just staying friends.

I don’t regret the shit we went through because I learned a lot about myself, primarily the fact that I have needs. I had been neglecting this, but many thanks to my friends, I will need to be highly cognizant of this moving forward.

Per the last post, I’m going to glow the fuck up in 2018. Don’t waste my time. Be present, or be gone.


 

Of note, speaking with my gay male friend, Royce, he’s brought up a very interesting take on ending relationships: It’s important to tell the difference between heartbreak, and when your ego is hurt. He explained, saying that heartbreak means you were in love with the person, which takes time to build depth and breadth. Short term relationships that have ended, which may have inflicted hurt, are not heartbreaks – they are hits to the ego.

Reflecting on this experience, I feel like he’s right in differentiating between the two – while I was close to saying I loved her and that the pain was heartbreak… it truly wasn’t. It was my ego that was hurt. But more so, it was just disappointment that this person was not the shape I had envisioned, and we would not fit.


 

Another quote: “the real person comes out after a relationship”.

Self explanatory. She was petty when I sent her a meme today (as part of a mass-send). In doing a 2017 year in review with my friends, I asked her how her 2017 was. She said it’s been amazing and sets a high bar for 2018. She also added that “it’s been great so far and I feel very happy”.

Given that she sent the text to officially end us just yesterday and not seeing me since 2017…. that’s hella petty and unnecessary.

Don’t waste my time with your bad vibes. I’m good.

Don’t Waste My Time 2k18.

After being told that communication is the key to successful (poly) relationships, I bit the bullet and voiced my needs to her. All I wanted was for her to try harder.

Within minutes, she responded, calling for a break.

She did not even try with a response. She’d been waiting this entire time – these past few weeks – to call it quits with me. She could’ve done this so much earlier, but instead, she decided to wait til I snapped and couldn’t take the hurt and neglect anymore. She did not even ask if I wanted a break.

But the strange thing is it didn’t hurt as much as I had anticipated. It barely scathed my skin. It brought out a side of her that was there all along – a selfish side that I made excuses for.

I gave her so much.

She was selfish in wanting to get as much as she could from me, and giving as little back as possible. I don’t need material goods, but if you’re going to spend time with me, you’d better be fucking present. I hold nothing on a higher pedestal than I do with time; we have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Two-thirds of that go to work and sleep.  What little remaining time you have, you’d better make damn sure it’s being spent worthwhile with the right people.

I left my family early that night to be with her. She was barely there. She was not present, she was tired.

Do not fucking waste my time.

I could be spending it on other people.

The day after, I noticed later that morning that I hadn’t thought about her – I anticipated mourning the loss of this person from my life (despite her calling for a break, implying temporariness). I anticipated a shadow with weight looming above me for the following weeks. But if anything, I felt like a weight had been lifted from me.

I felt like I could focus on things I wanted to focus on. I felt like I could accomplish things now.

I updated my friends:

I’m going to glow the fuck up. She wasted my time – not all of it, but definitely at least two weeks.

I’m going to get fit as fuck; I’m going to learn new skills; and, I’m going to build community.

I’m motivated. I’m back.

I have needs?

I don’t want to see other people. But I know I need to.

It doesn’t mean I have to stop seeing her. It just means I can see other people. If she wants to be “consensually non-monogamous”, then that’s the perfect opportunity for me to try it out too.

Not only that, but I’m driving myself up the wall when I’m waiting for her to text back and she’s actually on a date with someone else.

I overthink a lot of things. I think about her a lot. It’s a recipe for an anxious disaster.

I’m not too sure why I’m overthinking it now. I didn’t overthink it when she told me she was leaving for Vancouver eventually. That would’ve thrown me off the second I heard it, and initiated a “detach!” response, that’s always waiting just under the surface.

 

I’d found solace in S and her words of comfort. After hearing about this several times, she put her foot down and said “I’m hearing a lot about what she wants. But nothing about what you need. What do you need?”

She’s completely right. I’ve been giving myself to her and addressing her wants. Bending over backwards to meet her desires, because it made me happy – so happy – to see her happy. I’ve been on the pursuit of her happiness. And I’ve been neglecting myself in the process.

It’s not her fault. It makes me happy to give. But I guess I’m realizing it’s not healthy that I’ve been neglecting myself and turning a blind eye to my own needs.

 

She spent New Year’s Eve with the other girl. It was a kick in the stomach to find out, but I guess I didn’t have any solid plans until the last minute.

But that’s the nature of a non-monogamous relationship huh? Everything is up for grabs and gone in a second. Unless if we talk about a structure. But she’s terrible at communicating. As bad as I am at it, she absolutely avoids hard conversations. But she’s the one who wants to be non-mono. She’s making it really hard for me and for the sustainability of this relationship.

I just don’t know how to voice how I feel.

Maybe sometime this weekend we’ll talk about it. I just gotta figure out what I want before then.

2018

  1. Be okay with being unoccupied.
  2. Acknowledge the limits of your own emotional labour.
  3. Communicate more openly; Do not make assumptions about people’s needs/wants; Ask questions without fear of the answer.
  4. Be better with presents and gift-giving.
  5. Do something for Toronto.
  6. Finish five good books.
  7. Run 15km.
  8. Love without expectations, but remember you have needs.

110%.

I can’t honestly say I give 110% in everything I do – anybody who makes this bold declaration is a liar. But I can say that with someone I’m enamored by, I give them 110%. Maybe 210%.

Nothing encapsulates this better than what happened a few weeks ago. The time leading up to November 24th to be exact. It carries on from where this post left off:


After she left for Japan in mid-October, I recalled her love for this band, Pup, and how much she wanted to see them. It came up early in our conversations, I don’t recall how or why. But they did play in Toronto earlier this year so it wasn’t likely that they’d be back for a while. I googled their next show anyway.

Guelph. November 24th.

It’s a suburb of Toronto, about an hour or so away. … Rent a car and it’s totally doable.

So I asked her if she was free on November 24th. Her work schedule wouldn’t be out til a later time, but when it was out, she’d get back to me.

It came out in early November. She was free. And so I proposed to take her officially on a surprise date. She happily agreed.

With a rush of enthusiasm, I checked the Facebook event page to link me to the tickets page. I scrolled to the discussion board… and found out that on that very same day, people had started posting “Looking for two Pup tickets!”.

My heart sank. Are you fucking kidding me.

After checking secondary sales outlets like record stores Rotate This and Soundscapes, I quickly accepted that there was nothing I could do until the day before or day of the event, since people realizing they can’t make would only sell then. I was in limbo for the next 2.5 weeks.

I let her know that there was a wrinkle in Plan A – but quickly added that I love a good challenge and I’d work to make it work. I enlisted the help of F, asking her to post asking for tickets on the Facebook event page – so that She wouldn’t see on Her newsfeed. A week later, I was stressing to FL about this, and she suggested I post on Kijiji. I scoffed through my phone – who still posts on Kijiji when the heat’s all on Facebook?? Do you see these ticket-request posts piling up??? Regardless, there was nothing to lose, so I put up a Wanted post.

November 24th was a Friday and I decided to use up a vacation day for this date. The days leading up to it were hella stressful.

Casually talking to Her on the Wednesday, we organically came up with a Plan B. We would go to the AGO to catch the Guillermo del Toro exhibit, then hit up a few galleries afterwards, including her friend’s exhibit at the Mod Club*.

* This was actually another point of stress in my plans – I didn’t want to take her away from her friends important night. But the exhibit came up way after I proposed the date. In addition to trying to get these damn tickets, I was trying my best to make both their Toronto exhibit as well as the Guelph concert. @_@

The day of November 24th, I still had no tickets, despite enlisting the help of two others to post on the Facebook event page.

Oh, and two days before our date, I fell deathly sick. Everything was fucking perfect.

I met up with her regardless, letting her know I wouldn’t be able to kiss her since I was sick. Right before we met, I got a response from Kijiji, asking me if I still wanted tickets and he had two that may become available. I immediately responded yes. No reply.

She always looks gorgeous, but she put in extra effort that day. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have her hand in mine.

Right off the bat, I let her know I would try to be as present as possible, but that I was also trying to make Plan A work. If I’m on my phone, it’s to make Plan A work. And by 3pm, if it wasn’t going to, I’d let her in on what it was, and we’d follow through with Plan B.

I had an amazing time with her at the AGO, but as 3:30pm rolled around, and I was making last minute ditches on Facebook to attain tickets while also trying to keep an email thread going with Kijij guy Connor, it was getting pretty stressful. I had already told her to avoid checking Facebook as I try to make this work on my own (on the event page). I pushed the reveal-time to 4pm.

Ummmm make that 5pm.

One by one these Facebook posts were falling thru. Someone who listed 2 tickets for sale ended up selling one of them and only ended up having one to offer. This happened twice.

We were getting hungry round 5pm, so we decided to go. I had gotten to the point in the conversation where Connor was telling me “don’t worry, it’s not a scam. Not that me telling you it’s not would make it not a scam”. Appealing to what humanity this maybe-scammer might have had, I told him my plan: “to surprise a date to a Pup concert in Guelph, which would require me to rent a car, drive an hour, and locate this place. So it would suck if it was a scam lol”. So if it was a scam, I’d hope that piece of personal info would persuade him to seek another victim.

He told me to e-transfer him the $75, which I had no problem doing (despite this psycho using kijiji and not facebook (!!!!!!)). I was hesitant. It wasn’t just the $75 – I might have to start a personal zipcar account (~$30), find a zipcar location, rent said zipcar (~$70), drive an hour out to Guelph, find the place, PERHAPS FACE THE HUMILITY OF OUR TICKETS NOT WORKING, then drive back. After a visibly stressful decision-making period, wherein She could tell how lowkey stressed out I was, I decided taking the risk from this anonymous Kijiji man was too big. I sadly emailed him telling him the hassle was too big and I’m sorry for wasting his time. The sad part comes from the thought of not getting to see her face light up when she saw who I was planning on surprising her with.

We were in line at the sushi place and I was still sniffly. Sniffly and bummed. She held me and went in for a kiss. I backed off slightly, reminding her I was sick, and that I didn’t want to get her sick. She said “I don’t care. I want to kiss you”. And so she did. And it was the sweetest thing.

I was about to tell her what Plan A was going to be, but decided to tell her when we sat down with our food.

As we sat down, I pulled out my phone.

A Facebook Friend request from Kijiji Connor. Along with a message.

Hey, I was hoping you seeing my Facebook profile would provide some sense of comfort to know I’m a real human being! I have 6 people in line for the tickets…. but you messaged me first, and I’ll honour that. As well, I know that if a girl surprised me with a Pup concert, I’d be over the fucking moon. So I wanna make your guy’s night. Do you still want the tickets?

He was right – it did provide me some comfort since his profile went back to 2012 or so. I was torn. I looked up at Her. Back at my phone. Should I? I looked at Her… and the answer was so clearly, obviously, yes.

“Fuck it, you’re gonna have to wait another few hours. We’re going with Plan A.”

Almost equally ecstatic was Connor. “If he’s not over the fucking moon, ditch him! Take me to a concert instead.” I wasn’t going to correct his pronouns then and there.

So I e-Transferred him the money, booked a zipcar under my company account (I’d make up the excuse on Monday that I’d “accidentally” used the business account instead of my personal one, and pay them back). We went back to her place to change out of her shoes and jacket, which she’d bought in Japan and would not want to get dirty if there was a mosh pit.

The car ride there was also amazing – we bonded over Rob Zombie and other music from my highschool years that she unknowingly put on. She was a huge fan of Die Mannequin too. It was pretty surreal. I love that the car ride gave us time to bond, over music.

And all of this was worth it when I saw her face light up when we got to the line, and she saw people wearing Pup shirts. That was the sweetest embrace.

I asked her “is this the best surprise you’ve ever gotten?”. She excitedly nodded. But I wasn’t sure if it was because she was in the moment.

So I asked her again the morning after. And without hesitation she affirmed yes.

The last thing to wrap up this date, was to correct Connor’s pronouns. For visibility’s sake.

connor


 

So that’s what I mean by 110%.

It’s not sustainable or an “always, 24/7” thing, but that’s the amount of effort I am willing to put in.

I’m willing to put in the focus, attention, and affection.

I don’t know if I can fit that in a non-monogamous relationship.

But the debate about how a non-mono rel is more sustainable/satisfactory than a mono one is a debate for another day.

Consensually non-monogamous

That’s a term I’ve been grappling with.

It’s what she currently is, and she’s not looking for a serious monogamous relationship right now. I can’t go in looking to change that – it wouldn’t be fair for her or for me.

Isn’t that just a fancy term for dating?” a friend of mine echoed my questions.
I guess if you’re just dating around, it’s a phase. But if you’re consensually non-monogamous, it technically implies this is not a phase – it’s permanent.

I’ve been reading up a lot about non-monogamy. It requires a lot of communication from both sides – much more honesty and checking in and self awareness than traditionally monogamous arrangements. One of the things people in or getting into monogamous relationships struggle with is jealousy, which comes hand in hand with insecurity. And the question “why am I not enough?” – which I have been struggling with.

I also learned about compersion – the ability to be happy for your partner when they sleep with or date someone else. I don’t know if it’s innate or if it can be learned, but if I’m to be with this girl, I’ll need to at least try to… “compert”.

She’s still seeing at least one other girl. And it eats me up inside. But that’s my own fault. It’ll take a while to adjust these expectations. She’s been very clear from the start.

We’ll just be cute together until then.

It’s her.

This is intensely new for me.

The first time I met her, I had my eyes set on someone else. Naturally I paid little attention to her, attractive as she was. I must embarrassingly confess, what attention I did give to her was initiated out of spite for the other girl.

I didn’t see her again for three months after.

In between, I did end up following her on Instagram, but alas, no followback. This alone was a notable detail, not for its ability to prod at the biggest of egos, but for what happened in September. When we did meet again, it was in a non-queer setting – I was with my planners at Hanlan’s Point, celebrating a birthday. I spotted her friend, whom I met her through, and went over to say hi / chat. I kept it brief.

But a few days later, she followed me back on Instagram. Maybe it’s a petty, millennial-minded thing to even think, but… the petty millennial-minded side of me tells me that I even crossed her mind following that interaction. I was grasping at straws here.

I still didn’t pursue her. I don’t know why.

When I did message her, it was completely innocent and from a genuine place:

“Where’d you get your hair done? It looks amazing!” And I meant it. And I meant it in a non-flirtatious way.

We talked a bit but it died down after a few days. I don’t recall how, but we started talking again.

After a few weeks of daily texting, the topic of art came up and I found out more about her – she works as a social worker but that was after she dropped out of OCAD for illustration. She’s been getting back into art with doodles at her neighbourhood cafe. I told her I’ve fallen off my art-gallery game and that we should go art gallery hopping.

And so we did. I had so much fun the entire day, from when we met and her bike lock was fucked up; to discovering that we actually knew a lot of the same things, like local artists; to dropping into vintage stores and learning more about her what she likes through casual conversation; to stumbling into the infamous Harry Potter store; to learning that she loved candles, skulls, and taxidermy, and that there was a Rosemary+Salt scented candle that she really loved; to spontaneous Grand Electric Tacos; to stumbling into a bike repair and coffee shop tucked into a residential neighbourhood and getting her a temporary lock from the goodness of the mechanic’s heart; to her lingering hand when we hugged goodbye.

I had such a good, cute time, I texted her almost immediately, before I even got home. We were already planning out our next “hang”. But it definitely felt more like a date than anything.


 

I went to New York the weekend after and stumbled onto a farmer’s market. At the essential oils stall, I was fixated on an oil burner. Deliberated it for a good 15 minutes (“am I moving too fast? Will she even like it? Should I spend this money on her? Does she even like me??”) before committing to buying it.

I gave it to her the next weekend I saw her, along with my mom’s chocolates. “She gave me too many and I can’t finish them all” was my half-excuse. She loved it.

We walked around Kensington and I decided to bring her to Fika. Despite having been in this cafe three or four times, I had no idea there was a patio in the back….

And to our delight, a hammock.

So of course we lay there for a while. And we talked. Then, for a bit, lay side by side in silence. Looking up at the clouds and blue sky. And it was comfortable silence.

We hung around a bit more, went into different stores. Then we went to Poetry Jazz Cafe where her cousin works, and she bought me a ginger beer – made in house. It was absolutely delicious and packed a punch.

We parted ways. And I texted her as soon as I got home.

I told her the hammock was my favourite part.

She told me it was hers too.


 

Our mutual friend had a movie screening that she invited me to. Her best friend and their partner were also attending. It would’ve definitely been a double date. But both of them ended up cancelling, gradually. I wasn’t going to bail on her.

A few hours before meeting up, she texted me “Hey I know you have to work tomorrow, but do you wanna grab a drink after the movie?”

It was especially endearing since I knew she was very introverted. It was a deliberate move.

We met up, took two seats in the back of the theatre. I told her “I don’t remember the last time I went to a theatre and watched a movie”.

“What did you do the last time you went to a theatre?” she smiled.

I smiled and shied away.

It was her last night in Toronto, before going to Japan. For two weeks.


 

She almost walked into a wall. It was really cute.

She almost walked into the elevator handrails. It was really cute.

 


 

She walked me to the bottom of my condo. We were both abuzz with the alcohol in our systems. It was two hours later than I anticipated leaving – we were swayed by our new friend, who offered to buy us drinks.

“Well, this is me,” my drunk ass fell back on cheesy lines from even cheesier TV dramas. I looked at her sadly. She was going to Japan two days later.

“What?” She asked softly. But the smile I saw for a split second told me she knew.

It’s a little blurry what happened here but I told her I was sad she was leaving.

“What are you gonna do about it?” She hushed her voice, the smile showing more.

In a tipsy stupor, I shot from the heart: “… I’m just gonna kiss you”. And I went for it.

And we made out for half an hour at the bottom of my condo.


 

“I’ve been wanting to kiss you for a really long time, you have no idea”

Being on the receiving end of that text put me on cloud ten for the next 48 hours.

🙂


 

We texted every day for the next two weeks.

I’d wake up to photos she’d send me. I’d reply with Good morning. We’d chat for a few hours until it was her bedtime, on the other side of the world. We’d say Good night.

She’d wake up to a photo or message from me. She’s reply with Good morning. We’d chat for a few hours until it was my bedtime. We’d say Good night.


 

I delayed publishing this post for over a week. But, she came back on Saturday. What happened next is for the next post.

This is the first time I haven’t overthought someone. I’m keeping a proper and intentional lid on the overthinking. It got me this far. If I overthought like before, I’d have fixated on the fact that she’s probably leaving for Vancouver in a year. And I would’ve detached.

But she’s far too special. I’d be a fucking idiot not to take this chance… Love is not a balloon or elastic band. There’s no breaking point. Love is a muscle that you flex and grow. And if you hurt yourself, you heal, and you grow and persist.


 

We’re so different, but our core values and humour are the same. I learn so much from her, and I just want to make her happy. I was walking down the street for the first time last week, and it hit me: I finally truly understand on an emotional level what that lyric means “I was made for loving you”.

It’s too early to be using such strong words, but it’s how I feel.

I plan on surprising her. Next weekend, I’m going to rent a car and drive her out to see one of her favourite bands. I’m so excited. I just hope I can get tickets to this sold out show.