Niall’s virtual diary archives – January 2005

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14th January 2005

Women troubles (yet again!)

24th January 2005

Birthday review

Friday 14th January 2005: 10.48am. I have an exam at 2pm so I'm not sure if I'll have time to do my usual birthday entry's yearly review but as it isn't my birthday quite just yet, I'm in no rush. What I did want to do though is write a little about what's been happening in the last month.

However, before I start, I wanted to say something about the entries in the guestbook above. They've been overwhelmingly negative since the whole Contractor UK debacle and from google, I know those same people still laugh and joke about me ever since on various chatboards and forums. What I find most interesting is that they keep coming back which means that for some reason, I have become something of a curiosity to them, though they will probably define it as pity at best and outright hatred at worst.

And well, that's okay by me. I know that I've got under their skin, there's something about me which pisses them off too much because they would have forgotten about me by now normally. And yet they still feel the need to keep bringing me up in their conversation threads - almost certainly, within days this entry will be linked to and posted all over the place as yet another example of how awful I am. And yet, they still keep coming back. I take the view that if I can get under the skin of people that badly, I must surely be doing something right - and I'm getting my message out there, making people think if only it causes more venom from a minority.

Which brings me onto the style of my writing which I mentioned in my own guestbook. It sounds arrogant to some people - I know it does, though it's not my intention to sound arrogant. It's a byproduct of what I'm trying to do in the style of how I write - to force the reader to think, to question. In doing this I deliberately overegg what I'm saying, remove caveats and just jump straight to the point. The idea is that most readers will go "well that's a bit excessive" or "that's a bit of a jump", but then they've just critically analysed what I was saying and thus have had the opportunity to internalise it. This, in theory, causes the reader to incorporate the ideas so that they may come up with new ideas of their own. I'll rarely get the credit for it as it's usually a subconscious process in human beings, but I'm okay with that - I'm achieving what I set out to do. And despite that causing a whole pile of people to hate me and constantly vent bile about me, they inadvertently cause more people to read my stuff and thus actually aid that process. So basically, keep at it guys - you're helping me more than you hurt me!

Back to more mundane matters, christmas was quiet this year - on the two nights I'd tend to go out heavily upon, on the first my sister had a car crash (she's fine but the car was a write-off) and for new year's I came down with the flu just beforehand so I saw in 2005 lying miserably on a sofa all alone as everyone else was out. I got back here on the 5th January and it's been study and attending to various matters since.

The various matters I allude to are difficult to go into detail about. Over the christmas break I obviously had more time than usual to think about things, and I came to lots of very definite decisions. Indeed I wanted to write all these things down here during that time, but I knew that if read by people at St. Andrews before now it could cause problems which otherwise would have been avoided, so I had to wait until at least now.

Within days of breaking up with the girl I mentioned last entry, I knew I had made a mistake - I let my insecurities cause me to overreact by breaking it off when in fact I should have told her what I did without breaking it off. However, I also knew that now I had done so, I couldn't toy with her emotions by immediately coming back, saying I was wrong and let's get back together again. A suitable period of time would have to elapse, say after christmas.

However, events overtook me. On the day before I made the last entry, she started going out with a friend of mine. I knew that it was a likely response of hers to me ending it if she actually liked me a lot which was confirmed by my sister the day after I broke it off. So I expected it, and when it happened it still hurt but he's a good fellow and friend and I knew he'd treat her well, so I resolved to get over it. And indeed, on the last day when we were all getting kicked out of halls, I found him somewhere to live as he was also staying on and we went drinking on that saturday night. A further event was that I got involved with another girl who was the second one I mentioned last entry.

So over christmas I knew things were quickly turning into a mess, and I knew definite action was required to put humpty dumpty back together again before he properly became an egg omelette. Every single day I'd lie in bed for at least an hour thinking about what I really want and what the moral constraints were upon my actions. I ran through all the scenarios, from worst-possible to best-possible from not only my own viewpoint, but also from the viewpoint of each of the actors involved in order to minimise the risk of situational collapse. I came to the realisation that some of these scenarios would require me to take a substantial amount of risk with my own sanity, to revisit parts of my past which I had thoroughly repressed and to go places I was very uneasy about going into.

And then I played back all those scenarios in the light of attempting to maximise the benefit to all parties concerned, not just in the short-term but in the long-term and from the point of view of not causing any bridges to get burned. I believe that if you create bad karma, you create future problems for yourself so often you must act against your own short-term interests. People, especially younger ones, can often interpret that as meaning that you want something that is actually contrary to what you do want.

Now I've been deliberately far too vague in all of the above as it's best not to go into detail about the specifics of the situations I envisaged and the plans I made, especially as writing down each variation of each plan would take hours and would give the impression that they are more static than fluid which would be untrue (they are constantly being reevaluated according to events). I did however want to talk about the principles which guided the formation of those plans which I am sure that if anyone from St. Andrews were to compare my actions with what I've just said, they will find them perfectly in accord as it's the truth.

But to get back to specifics, my friend dating my ex leaves permanently tomorrow as it was always known he would. I couldn't risk writing any of the above before now in case it was misconstrued but now that everyone has seen my actions since we came back, I think it's now safe for me to write all of the above and not have it misconstrued. Obviously with his departure it opens the door to a reestablishment of the relationship between me and her and I'm not saying anything here which everyone doesn't already know - everyone knew I broke up with her because I liked her too much and everyone knows that I still like her - indeed, I had a conversation with him this morning about whether I was going to get back with her once he's gone.

And therein lies the crux of the matter. When I returned from christmas break, I would have said I was definitely going to get back with her in the fullness of time. But once here, one is reminded that my mental model of her is disaccordant with reality and that I cannot expect her to change her ability to send the positive reinforcement messages a relationship requires - after all, she has not done so with her new boyfriend so why should it be any different in another relationship with me? Furthermore, while she has shown great strength of will, commitment and a dedication to doing what is required when things go pear shaped during the last nine days, she has also shown that she does not know what she wants yet and what's she's prepared to proactively do to get and keep it, and indeed nor should she at her age. She should be getting out there trying out different men for size, but not me - I'm too delicate - while I thought I had steeled myself for such an eventuality during christmas, doubt quickly returns when back on the coalface.

The trouble is the unpredictability of it all. I know she's not ready for what it would have to be and I don't know how she and indeed I would react when we are both faced by things we neither understand nor can control. Well, I at least do have some idea of how I'd react - by freaking out and doing all sorts of stupid things subconsciously designed to wreck the relationship. And that's a manifestation of fear - yet avoiding all this, trying to rationalise not getting back with her is also a manifestation of fear.

There is one thing I haven't yet acknowledged so far - while me breaking it off was for the correct reason, it was wrong because I never gave her the chance to decide for herself. And here I am again making decisions for her. The trouble with trying to act morally is that one tries to not do things to others that one would not like done to oneself, but then I'm not her - I can't make this call for her, and I mustn't make this call for her. Ideally, I should be supportive of her while she learns the relationship ropes but I know myself too well, I'd just totally freak out. But then I'd also freak out if she was totally experienced and like twenty-two years old so whatever the case, the problem is actually me, not her. God, poor girl!

Anyway, it's now nearly 12pm so I better get to study. Be happy!

Monday 24th January 2005: 9.41pm. I've installed a new guestbook above which uses this site's facilities instead of Lycos' which makes it cleaner (no adverts) plus gives me back the ability to read private entries. We'll see if they remain nasty rather than nice!

Well still no movement on the possible relationship I mentioned last entry, nor do I think anymore that there will be. If she was going to, she would have done so by now. It's a shame as I have sacrificed a lot during the whole business which leaves me feeling a bit sour, but I always knew it was a possibility - and it's better this way than something one of us doesn't really want.

So, it's time for the birthday review! Yep, I'm now twenty-seven and these are the major points of the year:

  • Started Tn
    And have written 16,850 lines of it! I need not write much more about it, its own homepage has a project diary.
  • Returned to my studies at St. Andrews University
    And well, it's going pretty well. It's certainly an adjustment, and interesting to see that there is already a culture gap between me and these eighteen year olds - small, but noticeable. I'll be a cranky old fart sooner than I realise!

Hmm, only two points? That's probably a record low. But as I said in the birthday annual review last year, I really haven't done very much ie; I'm not doing very much. Looking at earlier annual reviews, I had more issues to sort out within myself and since I've got them sorted, it's been basically plain sailing ever since (more or less).

Ok, I guess that's it! Be happy!

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