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  • Missing people
  • Rant

Missing people

Part of being more social, I guess, is that I begin to miss people. I grow accustomed to their presence. I start looking forward to the next meeting, the next phone call, the next get-together with friends. Anticipation keeps me excited about the weekend.

But it also makes the weekdays harder to bear. Hours pass less quickly. I find myself passing the time with activities that do not engage me fully. Passing the time! How terrible an idea. To live sub-optimally for a number of days, just waiting for a few hours of fun… Whatever happened to the fun I used to find in hacking on some obscure bit of Emacs code or browsing through online documentation? My hours are spoiled by hope.

And when the weekend comes, what then? Hope can so easily turn into expectations, even though I know it is foolish to expect anything. I begin to wonder if things might not be better a different way. I begin to wish I was having a nice, deep conversation – or even a silly one – instead of just passively watching television. I begin to expect, to measure, and once I begin doing so I allow myself to become disappointed.

It does not have to be that way, does it? I should just remind myself that all of this is a nice extra; not essential, not expected, but appreciated whenever it’s there. Still, it is difficult.

True, there is much about this ‘being social’ that I enjoy. I like the conversations and the surprising insights other people have.

I do not need to pretend to be social in order to enjoy my life.

Perhaps I should end the social experiment and return to my normal routines. I miss those Saturdays of learning or coding or simply lazing around; days that were mostly under my control, that did not wait on anyone or anything in order

Rant

I’m here in Legaspi, so far from Makati and from everyone else I know. Got dragged off by my parents.

Looks like we’re not very sure about what date we’ll actually make it back.

I have a hard time dealing with that sort of thing. I would really, really, really like to go home today. In fact, I would really have liked to go home yesterday, or even not gone anywhere at all.

It’s just that I have a hard time dealing with unanticipated plans. This whole thing was an unplanned excursion. We were supposed to attend a wedding in Tagaytay – accepted, planned for, and scheduled around. We were supposed to stay there overnight – again, I had fair warning, so I was prepared for that. Then my crazy dad thought it a good idea to go south to Bicol.

I want to go home. I want to go home.

Now they’re talking of staying until Wednesday.

My family is quick to reassure me that we will find an Internet cafe sometime. As if that’s what’s bugging me. What would I do on the Internet? Check Slashdot? Earn good karma on #linuxhelp?

It’s not about that at all.

I am just not an adventure person. My idea of a good social activity is a quiet conversation over good food, and a nice game afterwards perhaps. I do not like substituting activities for conversation. I do not like going on great adventures.

One of the things I do not feel comfortable with on this trip is that I have no choice but to be here. I have no control. Even if I really wanted to go home – which I do! – I can’t do anything about it. In fact, my family seems to have acquired the idea that this adventure is a Good Thing for me.

I hate it.

I want to go home.

My parents think I have some previous appointments that I want to keep.

I’m used to having plans. I’m used to knowing where I’ll be in the next few days. I’m used to knowing what will happen.

And even if something unexpected happens, I’m used to being able to decide what to do about it. I do not like not having control.

And I just get the feeling that they don’t really care, which makes perfect sense of course because they finally have my two sisters together in one place, and that my parents have taken time out from their ultrabusy schedules. I’d rather that we _didn’t_ have these adventures and that we just regularly got together instead. I’d rather we didn’t have to treat it with such fuss. I’d rather that we didn’t have to make it such a big thing.

Yes, I know my sister will be married next year, and will henceforth probably have little time for our family. How is that any different from now? And yes, we so rarely go out as a family, and that I should value the time we all have together. Why have to guilt-trip me?

I want to be home.

What would I do if I were home, anyway? Nothing much, probably. Play Nethack. Talk to friends. Read the assigned work. Continue with life as usual. It’s not much, I know, but I can choose, and so I am fully present. Here… well… My sisters want to be off surfing and kayaking. My dad is going around taking pictures.

I suppose I resent being uprooted and my plans being changed. I do not like this uncertainty at all. I do not like not knowing where I’ll be the next day, or how long it will be until I get back. I do not like having to buy clothes one day at a time. I do not like it at all.

This is one of the things I will have to learn how to deal with eventually. But it will be hard to counter the effects of an upbringing that has always emphasized planning. You know what it’s like to show talent at an early age. People will have great expectations, and all your life is part of a plan. How unfortunate it would be if you were distracted, if you deviated from the course that had been set! True, the plan may change slightly, but in general you are not supposed to do anything that does not directly contribute to your plan.

Do only that which furthers your goal.

This is something I must change.

Okay, I feel better now.