A Valentine’s Day Retrospective

 

 

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Photo by jdunham @ Morguefile.com

EDIT: My girlfriend came down with something and we have shifted our date to either this weekend or later next week. Nonetheless, we are both very enthusiastic!

 

Valentine’s Day holds special significance for me, even if the turn of events that brought my good fortune had not occurred. These are for reasons that I am not yet quite comfortable sharing, though perhaps that may change over time.

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Where Do They All Belong?

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Photo by Routine @ Morguefile.com

Many days ago, I remember praising SunkenThought’s article in which she described the relationship she had with her husband. That was for a very specific reason, because I was at the end of a long string of lousy dates that never seemed to go anywhere. I was consumed by the cynicism that modern dating, online dating especially, engendered.

My peers have become worn out, and many of them remain single. But not just single, they’re lonely too. Many of them yearn for affection and love, but things just don’t seem to be working out for them. It is not just my male friends who feel this way, as my female friends also feel this crushing sense of loneliness. If there was a theme to the 21st century millennial dating experience, it would be the Beatles’ classic “Eleanor Rigby”.

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The Stroke of Midnight

2016-04-23-14-04-20Today is officially the first day of 2017. It is, by luck of the draw, the first birthday of Memory of the Star. As with most of us, it is a time to reflect on the year behind me but also a way to plan the year ahead.

My therapist has instructed me not to take up New Year’s resolutions and I understand her reasoning. Instead of performing a resolution, I am going to do what I like doing the most: taking a snapshot of where I am and where I was the year before.

Unfortunately, my inaugural post has since been trashed. Not because I particularly regretted it, but because Memory of the Star began as a directionless blog. During that time, I was at the start of a long process of recovery from depression, a process that continues to this day. My thoughtful posts were mostly forgotten by both me and whatever audience I had at the time.

In their place were daily prompts, which I often answered with little enthusiasm or vigor. Not that they weren’t helpful with bringing in fresh faces, but the bump in traffic that I received was not really that significant. Nor did it help build any semblance of community. Bringing eyeballs means one thing, getting them to stay is another. Yet, I’m glad that I let it remain dormant until my journalism classes completed.

Memory of the Star, like the New Year itself, represented a fresh start. As I had grown dissatisfied with the direction that Eyes Through The Glass had taken. Fortunately for me, a fresh start is not needed this year. Just a look back to the year before and a look forward to the year ahead.

Despite the deletion of my first post, I have an excellent recollection of what had happened. At the time, I was in a state of limbo, having been out of school for some time and in preparation for my triumphant return during the following spring.

My social group had formed over Dungeons & Dragons. I had focused on getting my social life and academics back in order before anything else.

Now, those aspects of my life have been pretty much fulfilled. So, I figured I’d spend the time this year focusing on some more subtle aspects. Some of these are things I’ve already started doing, others are things I started and fell off the wagon with.

Dating is an ongoing journey, and given that my post “Curse of the Lonely Heart” was the post that received the most likes I will likely make more references to it. For a while, it was a tie with my decent but personally uninteresting topic of weight loss. However, a few days ago someone pushed it over the edge.

For the purposes of this snapshot, I am currently single. Some things hint at a possible direction, and I am still trying, but we’ll have to see where this goes.

Speaking of weight…My NaNoWriMo adventures did my weight loss program no favors, having gained all of the weight I took the time to lose. Fortunately for me, weight loss was a simpler process than I anticipated and the most it will take is a bit of discipline.

There are other aspects that I could highlight, but for the sake of brevity and focus, I will use these. We’ll see where this is in 2018.

The Problem With Synthetic Relationships

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Photo by marinapriest @ Morguefile.com

Well, if there were anything better to come back from hiatus for, I can’t think of it. It is a topic that I have wanted to write about for some time but never felt the impetus to write an article. But, after exploring the topic further and hearing some things floating about the cultural ether, I believe this needs to be addressed.

Let’s talk about virtual girlfriends, or perhaps more appropriately “synthetic relationships”. ¬†It’s a phenomenon most associated with Japanese culture, but has global implications, given that we now have more access to Japanese culture than ever before thanks to the internet.

Due to my status as outside of that culture, I can only speculate on the cultural factors that resulted in this rising trend. But what we can discuss is their impact.

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The Curse of the Lonely Heart

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Photo by pef at Morguefile.com

I had originally wanted to describe this story after I came back from my speed dating outing not too long ago. Yet, I found it was far more productive to let it sit for a while so that the emotional tinge would fade and cooler heads would prevail.

It was a good move, as the draft contained a load of things that I am glad I didn’t act upon. But as I have given it further thought I believe it is time to put this on the table. It is a story that reveals a little bit of my vulnerability, one that exposes a bit of my own humanity.

One of the aspects that I find surprising is that my Best Blogging Buddies are more often than not women. Since my initial outings in Eyes Through the Glass, it has been women that have been the biggest contributors to the conversations I was having. So perhaps it’s a bit of an oddity that my biggest struggle is dealing with relationships with the opposite sex. Or maybe it’s completely expected, I can’t tell. Yet, there it is, and what exactly does this mean?

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