STICKY: Happywashed

I made this blog to vent the good and the bad and the in-between.

I won’t be prevented from venting the bad.

I’m not writing this to gain followers or build up my writing cred. It’s to keep myself alive.

I’m sick of the notion that everything we put out on the internet must be sterile and appropriate. It drives me nuts that an entire part of the human psyche, what we call illness, must be corralled into dark corners and never shown the light of day. My illness isn’t dangerous to anyone. I will never hurt anyone. And I won’t pretend that my life is light and happiness even when it isn’t. That, to me, is toxic. More toxic than anything I might post here in a bad mood.

I’ll compromise though; I’ll leave the venting posts up for a day or two, then mark them private. Then I know someone might have read one. Someone might know about how I’m feeling, and that’ll be enough to keep going.

Echoes

I just got out of a meeting with my team lead and the project lead. The meeting was supposed to be an hour, ended up being near two hours. Project lead, known as PL from here on out, spent about an hour-ish telling us about the disaster of her son’s engagement with a woman that was like me in an unsettling way.

Even as I sympathized with PL about what the ex-fiancee put her, her son, and the rest of her family through, I thought to myself,”Ah, this is what I seem like from the outside. What I seem like to others.” I’m not entirely like this girl.. But there are echoes.

Ex-Fiancee came from a troubled family. For the first eight months of the relationship the girl seemed fine, but didn’t talk much about her family. The father was bipolar, very controlling and demanding, going so far as to monitor his wife’s car odometer and prevent her from the use of the car with a steering wheel lock. The girl’s brother was also bipolar. The mother? Probably Stockholm syndrome, very nice.

When PL’s son popped the question and the ring, everything changed. She became downright controlling and manipulative of the son. She became cold and standoffish to PL and PL’s daughter. She was even rude to PL’s 80-something mother. As PL put it, she was trying to put a wedge between PL’s son and PL’s family.

A few months ago, PL, her son, daughter and the Ex-Fiancee go on vacation together. From the family’s standpoint, this is Ex-Fiancee’s time to make amends. Ex-Fiancee is even explicit as to, this is your chance. But instead, Ex-Fiancee blew it. She blew small events wildly out of proportion, freaking out when the family placed their wet shoes on the opposite side of the deck from her wet shoes to dry. She thought it was a snub. Another event is when PL noted her son’s side looked blotchy while they were at the beach, and asked if he had applied sunscreen. Apparently, that was Ex-Fiancee’s job.

For the entirety of the trip, Ex-Fiancee barely spoke. She wouldn’t speak to PL or PL’s daughter when they entered the room, even when they greeted her. On the 13 hour trip back, Ex-Fiancee didn’t speak a word.

Needless to say, PL’s son told Ex-Fiancee,”Look, we need to put off the wedding. We need to work on these issues.” PL went hot and cold on this, saying at times “Yes, I’ll go to therapy with you” to straight up “No, the wedding is now or never.”

Rather than do the reasonable thing and go to couple’s therapy and put the wedding off, Ex-Fiancee refused. Refused to cancel anything. They had a bridal shower even while PL’s son was trying to get her to cool down and put off the wedding. Ex-Fiancee forced PL’s son to sit with her as she opened gifts, which was embarassing for PL’s son. And not a single picture of the bridal shower included PL or PL’s daughter. When PL’s son and Ex-Fiancee returned home, they found presents from people who couldn’t attend the bridal shower. Ex-Fiancee cursed and kicked the presents, saying she didn’t care about them. Then pretended, later on, that coming home to the presents was like Christmas.

Needless to say, the wedding is off. PL is dealing with the Ex-Fiancee demanding money for all the things they had to cancel and not get money back for. She refuses to return the ring as well. PL and PL’s son are out of a lot of money to get this girl out of their life.

What really struck me was Ex-Fiancee’s hot and cold disposition. Little things seem like huge insults, indicators of how people really feel about you. Being utterly silent, to a troubling degree, in the presence of others. Hiding her dysfunctional family. Being on best behavior for a long while, then slipping up, revealing the damage. These things, they are spot on between me and Ex-Fiancee.

What isn’t spot on is the outright selfishness. The attempts to wedge the Mother-in-law and family away from the son. Refusal to meet people in the middle on matters.

The difference between me and Ex-Fiancee seem to be self-awareness and a willingness to not hurt others. I do tend to discard relationships, however. I discarded my husband’s friends, based on the conflicted and flawed perspective of “I’ve made too many social blunders and can’t undo it” and also “knowing” they didn’t really like me and judged me negatively. I don’t think I’ve hurt them by doing this, as they never really cared about me. They care about Husband, and my presence at social events is not important to them. Now that I’m figuring out how to have casual acquaintances, I can start speaking to them again.

Husband’s friends might be one thing. But I would never discard Husband’s family, or force a wedge between him and them, because I care about Husband. I don’t want to hurt him, though I’m sure I have. Fourish-years in, we seem to still be working together.

Also, I’m self-aware enough to know that maybe these “slights” I perceive aren’t slights at all, or at the very least, not worth blowing up over.

The whole thing is quite eye-opening. As many chances as PL and PL’s family gave Ex-Fiancee to make up with them, she kept thinking that there was no resolving what she’d said and done. I am certain that Ex-Fiancee is like me in that social failure weighs heavily on the heart, and while maybe they’d forgive her, they wouldn’t forget. And it’s that they won’t ever forget that burns the most. But we don’t get a new, blank slate with other people, though. We have to live with the slate we have.

Need to remember this. That while maybe forgetting isn’t an option, forgiveness is worthwhile. Working to keep the slate from filling up more is worthwhile.

Another Year, Another Birthday

Tomorrow’s my birthday. Husband’s leaving town tonight, to go to Gencon. I’ll be all by my lonesome from Thursday to Sunday. Which is okay, I might get a little lonely. Or, I might have kickass fun, derping around the house playing music and movies as loud as I want and not having to control myself. Or both.

I don’t know. I just always feel.. freer when alone. I always have. Probably a consequence of childhood, where everything I did when other people were around was just always.. wrong and bad. Reading books? Why aren’t you out socializing? What are you doing, skulking around the house like you belong here? It didn’t matter what I did, it was just wrong and bad. And that feeling has persisted to adulthood- other people won’t just let you be. You have to put on a performance any time someone else is around. Be proper. Be gender-appropriate. It doesn’t enure me to human contact when all human contact seems to be horrible.

But I do get lonely. I suppose I want to have my cake and eat it too- be alone as I please but have human contact at the drop of a hat. It doesn’t quite work that way though. You have to keep and maintain relationships to be able to sate that need. There seems to be a conflict between my need to live judgement free and my need for human contact. It’s not like I do anything too nuts when alone- I might derp around the house spazzing out and giggling, I enjoy being able to go from room to room without having to stop and have conversations every single time. I focus better, knowing there will be no interruptions.

So, plans for alone time.
1. Run around the house mostly naked while making idiot noises.
2. DRAW AND WRITE!!! I got the tablet Husband bought working, finally, after four days. It turns out doing what the manual explicitly tells you not to do is the trick.
3. Maybe do some cleaning and sorting of stuff in the garage and closets.
4. Maybe deep-clean the carpet in my office. Husband dropped a plate of curry chicken on the floor in there. Curry doesn’t come up. It dyes everything a faint shade of orange. As much as I’ve applied oxy-clean and hot water, the stain is still there and the room probably smells faintly of old curry. This idea is labor intensive, and involves dragging furniture out of my office.
5. Set up workout room.

Plans for my birthday? Slothful self-indulgence. Broken up by maybe going out to dinner with my half-sister and mother.

The next couple of days are gonna be gud.

300 > 150

So my nurse-practitioner upped me to 300mg of WB. When I told her some things are better but some things are the same, she said,”Well, we want a complete remission of symptoms so let’s up your dose.” I took the first one yesterday.

The different between 150 and 300 is pretty dope. The first day I took it, I showered. WOAH, HOLY SHIZ RIGHT? I’m feeling far more level. Almost a little manic, but not really. I’d say I’m at my optimal derpiness right now. I actually talked to people today while I was out testing my non-legit solar eclipse glasses. My focus is a lot better as well, though I’m prone to tunnel vision.

Another contributor to my good mood is that my birthday is in a couple of days. Husband is going to be away on my birthday for GenCon, though, so that makes me sad. He bought me a present – a 22 inch drawing tablet. The kind that is essentially a monitor, so you draw directly on the screen. Sadly, the drivers for it suck reallllly bad. If I can’t get the problem resolved today, I’m going to splurge on a Wacom Cintiq. Ungodly expensive, frighteningly expensive, but quality software and hardware. Hopefully the drivers for the existing, non-Wacom tablet their tech support sent me today will work. Otherwise… It’s Wacom o’clock.

Work is going okay. I just replied to my manager about the leave I’m going to take. I can shave three days off the unpaid ten days I plan to take by using vacation, floating holidays, and a paid holiday (Labor day). Unnghhhhh I can’t wait for that leave. My body is ready.

 

 

 

Non-Religious Belief Systems

Yesterday, I confirmed with manager that I’ll be taking two weeks of unpaid leave. I think the relief at knowing I’ll have two blissful weeks with halved responsibilities has helped me relax a bit, and be more open.

I’ve been feeling extra lonely lately. Instead of repressing it though, last night I sought out Husband for cuddles. That doesn’t happen too much. Practically glued to him, even tried to fall asleep cuddling. Skin hunger is a thing. There’s been a shift in my thinking lately: Husband, though another person, is not the enemy. Husband has my back. Husband can be my protector, if I need him to be. That’s such a novel concept- someone protecting me. Someone keeping me from harm. I don’t think I’ve ever really had that in life before. I can count on him. That thought immediately draws me toward him, emotionally.

Someone reading this blog, especially earlier entries, could make the misapprehension that I don’t love Husband. That’s not right. The truth is a bit more complex. I think of romantic love as I think of gender: something somewhat artificial, kind of a belief system. You have to actively believe in these concepts, and aspire to them. Most women seem to be seeded with the notion of “true love” and romance early on in life, through media, through socialization. Coming from a broken home and not really relating to other women, that concept never took. My sister, who posts Harley Quinn memes and other dramatic romance memes on Facebook, is in love with the idea of being in love. I can’t say I’m the same.

My Husband isn’t my world. And I’m not his world. We go through life together, but we don’t have illusions about each other. Well, not to the degree that seems appropriate to True Love believers. Our relationship works because we communicate well. Mostly in dead, long-forgotten memes, but that’s just comfortable.

As for platonic loneliness, not much has changed in that aspect. I still find my thoughts vengeful and bitter at times, the flip side of the coin from the childishly optimistic side of me that still thinks Husband’s friends could be close to me. The realization from a few posts ago about my tendency to idealize kind people is still sinking in, but I think I will soon be able to treat my husband’s friends as they are: fair-weather acquaintances. I am learning to accept their limitations. They aren’t friends like the ones in books. I will never be as important to them as they were to me, and that’s just life.

Focusing on myself, on the things that I want to do, that’s what I need to do. Without being cruel to others, I need to develop a belief system with me as the core. Even if you’re not religious, you find something to believe in whether you realize it or not. I must believe in a better version of me, I must have faith despite the damage done to my self-worth.

I can believe in me.

ItsHappening.JPG

So, what I had long feared happened yesterday. I had a sit-down with my supervisor and manager about my work performance.

But I’m not sh1tcanned. In fact, at 4:30 today I’m going to be talking to said manager about taking unpaid leave.

::DANCE PARTY::

I’m going to push for two weeks leave. Two weeks to decompress, unfack my sleep and hygiene schedule, and maybe, just maybe, draw and write some.

I’d told Husband in the past I wanted to take unpaid leave. I researched it as well. But the meeting forced my hand, and everything went better than expected. The best part of the leave is that when I discussed it with my supervisor, he said that taking leave when I planned to might coincide with all members of the team being involuntarily, temporarily, out of work. This is a hazard that happens with the government giving out contracts; sometimes when a contract ends they don’t get the new one out in time. What a surprise, right? This is the government we’re talking about. This results in a “gap”- if there’s no new contract out yet to pay workers, they don’t work. Of course, when the new contract rolls out, the workers are back on payroll.

So, there’s a chance that while I’m out, so is everyone else on the team. Who knows what will happen – maybe no gap will happen at all. Even so, taking leave at the very beginning of a contract is better than taking it at the end.

::WIGGLES::

Two weeks. Two weeks to get my sh1t together with 100% dedication. I am excited. I need to plan what goals I want to accomplish over those two weeks, yet I need to be careful not to over-plan myself. I have a tendency to do that, then when presented with implementing the plan I get overwhelmed.

Let’s get going. Next post will be a debrief of 4:30 meeting with my manager, and a refined version of the following.

DRAFT 1 OF THE PEOPLE’S GLORIOUS TWO WEEK LIFE ENHANCEMENT PLAN:
From highest priority to lowest priority:
1. Sleep schedule overhaul. I’m going to start getting up earlier. Today, after the meeting with manager/supervisor, I got up at 9AM. But I’d really like to see how I do getting up nearer to sunrise. More time to get stuff done. As much as I love late nights, maybe it’s time to try being an early bird.
This means getting up at around 7AM. Hmmm. Dare I try waking at 6AM? The easiest way to rise early, for me, is to pull an all-nighter than go to sleep the next day at an early time. So, I’ll plan for an all-nighter around the time my leave starts. Sleepyti.me tells me after the all-nighter I should fall asleep at 9:00. After that, I think 10:30 is my bedtime. If I want to wake at 7AM, 11:30PM. I don’t know. I get so optimistic, but my habits are hard to change. I’ll try it out. I’ll happily settle on rising at 8AM. Consistency is the only thing that matters here.

2. Hygiene overhaul. I shower once or twice a week at best. Not good. Not good at all. I should aim for every day showers, washing my body every day but washing my hair every other day. It’s not good for hair like mine (thin, fine) to be washed every day. Other goals: Teeth brushed twice a day. I’m good at brushing at night, but mornings? Eh.

3. Exercise. With two weeks to spend at home, Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is not going to ruin my life. I’ve been wanting to start lifting again, but I keep putting it off since I know I’ll be physically destroyed for several days after the first time.

4. Draw and write. I am not going to spend those two weeks living on the internet, watching TV, and playing games.

5. Hoard overhaul. There’s stuff in my house that hasn’t seen the light of day in years. It needs to go out the door. I feel calmer with less stuff now, whereas before in the poor years I felt better with more stuff. Time to box stuff up and take it to the thrift store.

6. Short hair revelation. I’ve been considering returning from leave with short hair. This means saying goodbye to my wig. I love it, but it’s far too dark. I am very pale, and the wig is dark brown, whereas my natural hair is a gold-brown. The contrast of dark and glow-in-the-dark doesn’t look great. I’m considering also dying my natty hair a shade lighter. Boy, I’ll be unrecognizable when I return to work. But it’s time. Time to openly be myself.

 

Freedom From Femininity

I’ve always felt like being a woman is a massive chore.

If you’re raised in a conservative, traditionalist household, your father might feel that you are his property. What his property does reflects on him to others. My own father wasn’t exactly conservative, but neither was he liberal. He was religious when it suited him. He idolized Bill Clinton and JFK for being skirtchasers, but otherwise, women existed solely for his needs. That’s the way it was for me.

He and my stepmother weren’t one for positive reinforcement. They preferred heavy-handed authoritarian parenting. I needed to know they owned me, and that anything they gave me I had to be slavishly grateful over. Flat out told as a child I was just renting that room I slept in. My existence was a burden for them, and gosh, I wasn’t a likeable burden either. Didn’t I think about my father’s feelings? Didn’t I care about his reputation to people who didn’t matter? Why didn’t I adorn myself with skirts and makeup and high heels, become a cheerleader, and be popular at school? Why did I insist on being quiet, introverted, reading books, and showing no indicators of femininity? Why did I embarrass him that way?

I’ve always known I had low value in this world as a female. And a female who doesn’t make her life’s goal to please the eyes of others, that’s even worse. It’s easy to reject this world when you’ve been treated the way I’ve been. It’s easy to reject what others try to force upon you. Femininity has always been forced upon me; it doesn’t feel liberating or empowering to me. At all.

I’m steadily giving up on the notion anyone will understand. No one will understand. I need to pound this into my head, to get past the notion I’ve been struggling with since childhood, the falsehood taught to me by fiction: someone will understand some day. That fiction was meant for normal children, good little boys and girls who know what they’re supposed to be when they grow up. Not for people like me.

I’m finally opening my eyes. I thought for the longest time that if I was kind and nice, no matter how “odd” I was, people would still like and accept me. But now I know if I don’t wear makeup, have nice hair, and act appropriately feminine, I will never be accepted. I will never fit. I will always be strange, and people will forget my name.

I’m better prepared now. I took off my pair of rose-tinted glasses. It’s funny, how much I talked in this blog about the female half of The Couple wearing those, but I had a pair myself after all. I know now I need to conserve my energy, when it comes to other people, because they will never return that energy to a “strange” person. Other people are a bottomless pit, taking and never returning. If I was normal, if I was a proper woman, it would be different.

If I live a lie, other people will reward me. If I live my own truth, I am borderline shunned. And yet, I know what is still better, in the long run.

 

Home (Losing My Religion)

I had a dream last night that I started talking to my husband’s friends again. I felt that warm glow of perceived acceptance and reciprocity fall over me again.

Kind of painful. Will I ever leave this childish need for their approval behind?

I guess I need to finish growing up. The warmth and affection that was lacking as a child, I can never make up. Not unless I have a child of my own, and that’s not going to happen. No one will ever provide what I crave. Look forward. Leave the loneliness behind.

A constant in one of my non-canon, emotion-dump stories is the main character’s need for home. A place where one is wanted. A place with familiar faces, with no fear of what’s behind their smiles.

Is this concept truly fiction? Fantasy? I always hoped it wasn’t. More and more I think it’s possible, just not for me. You have to fit. You have to belong. If I was slight and slender, with beautiful hair and a made-up face, if I had gender-appropriate interests and behavior, would I belong at last? Part of me fears that’s the case. The other part of me knows about the coldness of social competition that happens when you become an adult. So it’s hard to say.

I wish I could meet people who were warm and open who valued friendship and camaraderie over social advantage. Many people seem to think,”Does this person make me look good in the eyes of others?” It doesn’t matter that this person would stick around far longer than anyone they were trying to impress. I’ve heard too many people gripe about not having any real friends.. Then I see the “friends” they were griping about, selected solely on perceived social status.

And here I am, wailing about the nature of the world yet again. Fiction is often about the ways the author wishes people could be, and I’ve spent too much time reading fiction. A cycle that I don’t know how to break; I read about people I’d want in my life and I think, I can find people like these. But the people in novels and comics, they don’t exist. They’re idealized. I idealized The Couple, who seemed warm and open but were just as judgemental and cold as anyone else.

I wonder how much longer I can keep believing in the concept of home and family. These concepts are ones I have to have faith in. I feel like the world is gradually chipping away at my beliefs. This must be what it’s like to be someone who follows a religion who gradually falls away from it. Only, I’ve never believed in a supreme being, just in the best of other people…

…that I’ve read about in books.

Well, I’ve come full circle.

So, what do I do? Do I stop believing in people, that they can be better than they are? Or do I accept reality, that people are complex and that I may never find who I am searching for?

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

I have to find a way to reconcile all of this.

Forward

I’ve been slipping up on Facebook lately. Posting things about my childhood, glimpses into my inner workings, that no one wants to see. Every day I’m on the verge of closing my FB account, except that it’s how I keep in touch with the few people I ever see or talk to.

I know what it’s coming from. My ever present need to be understood and accepted. I think, if I post this insight about myself, maybe the ones closest to me will get me. It’s the definition of madness, since I’ve done this over and over with no indication anything has changed other than people think I’m weirder than they did before.

I feel like I’m on a journey. Where I get more and more okay with the notion that others don’t understand or accept me. That the only person that needs to do that is me. People can think the worst of me, or make false assumptions, and maybe it will always hurt but I can’t change what they think. I can only be myself. Not the girly girl I’m supposed to be.

That thought is liberating, but putting it into practice is harder.

I had an insight yesterday. If other people disapprove of me for not doing things, then I make a mental transition to not doing the thing because of their disapproval. Am I unconsciously rebellious? Maybe. The things that I don’t do in general don’t harm other people. Not wearing makeup or not acting feminine doesn’t harm anyone. If people are angry at me for doing something not-harmful, that very anger makes them wrong. Gives me an impetus to keep not doing the thing. Only positive reinforcement works for me, and I’ve never received positive reinforcement, only punishment.

Today I thought that actually writing and drawing my graphic novel is one of the most seditious and rebellious things I could do. How I can spit in the face of people who think boy things are for boys and girl things are for girls. If the things that give me joy can’t be mine without discomfort and othering from people, then so be it. I will give you discomfort. I will be othered by you. But I won’t let your limitations affect me anymore.

I have to go forward. I can’t look backwards anymore, at the pain I felt as a child but could never verbalize. My life as a step-burden is over. It’s been over for years. I am free, I am strong, I have money, and I have power and control over my life. My ingrained terror at the negative emotions of others towards me is the remnants of a little girl who couldn’t understand why she was screamed at and unwanted. I own me. Not anyone else.

I am free. I don’t have to bow and scrape for the approval of others in order to survive. That’s the hardest thing to unlearn.

Meandering Life Update

Well, didn’t make it to Fellowship on Sunday. Saturday night ran a little long, and I was up until 3am. That’s okay. There’s always next week.

Housemate K moved out on Thursday of last week. It’s been kinda neat, him not being there. I don’t have to think about how much clothes I’m wearing before moving around in the common areas of the house. Given the heat, I prefer less clothing. I catch myself still thinking, is Housemate K home? Oh, Housemate K’s car isn’t parked outside. Housemate K might be in the bathroom. Etcetera. Those little pauses will go away with time. I also feel a little more free to be derpy and weird at home, as Husband seems to encourage me to do so. I still feel self-conscious at home. I need to have no filter sometimes. If I had to pretend to be proper and appropriate all the time I’d never get out of bed.

Saturday afternoon I finally summoned up the willpower to go outside and weedwhack our backyard, which was overgrown with milkweed vines, crabgrass, and plants I refer to as “spiny motherfackers.” Months had gone by needing this, and guilt built up day by day; I felt bad for our neighbors with their immaculately kept backyard, having to look at our eyesore backyard. Husband, of course, had fun projects to do and didn’t notice the state of the yard. Up to me, again. But I didn’t even take any moda to do the work either. Of course, it helped that Saturday was the mildest Saturday we’d had in a while. But now my arms are sore, so meh. Of course, there is still more to do.. Still more. ;_;

The last few weeks when I have been cleaning, I’ve focused on the bedroom, the kitchen, living room, hallways, etc, but not on my office. I tend to just collapse in my office when I’m done with housework. My office has, unfortunately, become my non-productivity center. Tons of stuff laying on my desk, not done, encouraging me to do a whole lot of nothing. I need to get the scanner out, scan all my old writings, then shred the fack out of them. A clear desk is an invitation for creativity.. Or productivity at least. Maybe I will fixate tonight on scanning documents and clearing my desk. I didn’t sleep well last night so.. Maybe. I might just come home and nap. Super groggy even now.

In other news.. I had the thought today that if social competition was a sport, I’d sit in the bleachers and go,”Whoo sports, go sports go” in the most monotone, sarcastic way. People spend so much time and energy making sure others don’t have stuff as nice as theirs. It may sound like a #edgelord kind of a thing but I’m kind of sick of it. #deep #sheeple #edgy
It’s not something I can ever escape though. It’s kind of built in to people. Guess I need aliens, or something. Take me on-board your beautiful ship, show me the world as I’d love to see it.

 

Fellowship

Okay, so I made a plan to show up to the local Unitarian Universalist place in the next town over on Sunday. Fifteen minute drive from home, informal dress code, nothing can go wrong.

I’ve been meaning to check this place out for a long while. Years. I just could never move my a5s to get there. But, as I told my husband, I need support. I’m not getting it from friends and family. I’ll check this place out. I need to check this place out.

I also advised him not to tell his friends if I start to go regularly. The female half of The Couple also expressed interest in checking out the UU. Not that I want to deny her something nice, but because I know if they showed up, any friends I made there would gravitate to her and her husband and their small child. And then The Couple would tell them how weird I was. Well, that’s a misplaced fear. What’s more likely is I’d show my own weirdness quite well without them having to say anything.

It would just suck to have something be mine, and then have it taken away. How awkward would it be to have to avoid them while at a place I came to to feel connection and fellowship. I guess what I mean is the experience would be tainted. Husband’s only response to what I told him (I’m checking this place out, you don’t have to go, don’t tell anyone) was “okay.” That’s all I need to hear, really.

Just the thought of being around kind, like-minded people buoys me a bit. Their principles are definitely in sync with mine – the belief that people all have inherent value. No fire and brimstone, just humanist principles. It’ll be a nice break from the conservative hell of my town and workplace. This might work out very, very well. I almost feel hopeful.

Hoorah, like-minded people! Emotional support! I’m excited.