I have been doing very well these past few days. I’ve been feeling happy, getting things done, and meeting new people, several of whom are quickly becoming friends. (That’s saying a lot for me.) I’ve barely spent much time at home for the past few days and have been going out quite regularly.
All of these social events have begun thanks to the myriad social networks I’ve joined online lately. I don’t really frequent more than about half of them regularly, but the fact that I’m on them all has given me this sense of outreach, like I’m trying to find like-minded people and letting them find me. If nothing else, that’s very optimistic and it helps keep my head on my shoulders whenever I think about how much I dislike humanity at large.
Which reminds me, actually, that I’ve been wanting to do much more with all the RSS feeds that these networks publish. Specifically, I want to get my StumbleUpon site review blog aggregated on this site, as well as my list of goals at 43 Things, to name a few. (My del.icio.us links are another which comes to mind.)
Sunday Night’s Hypomania
So on Sunday night, I spoke with an acquaintance online and despite the largely superficial nature of our conversation (how much can you really say about computers and cereal?) I really enjoyed it. I had woken up that day in the late afternoon, around six o’clock or so, and was originally disappointed in myself because I expected the night to be fruitless. Usually, when I wake up that late and don’t feel very motivated, nothing gets done and I spend the night wishing I felt more productive.
Thankfully, that conversation started the night off on the right foot. Beginning in a proper state of mind has proven to be one of the most important factors for me to get things done. I ended up staying up all night working on Maymay Media‘s improved navigation bars and then, past the crack of dawn, started putting together my portfolio.
Obviously, I still have more to do. I’ve learned a long time ago that web sites are never finished, merely abandoned at some point, but I’ve also learned that this is a good thing. Leaving things unfinished gives me a reason, if not always the motivation, to return to them.
After staying up for all of Sunday night and most of Monday morning, I was sure I’d collapse sometime in the early afternoon on Monday. Instead, I glanced at my calendar and saw that one of the meetings I wanted to attend was going to be happening that night. The draw to this meeting wasn’t actually the meeting itself, however. It was a couple of gals I’d met the week before who said they’d be there that night.
It’s very rare for me to find anybody I feel is both intelligent and nice and also with whom I can feel instantly at ease and comfortable around. Miraculously, the meeting on the 28th of March, I met two of these people at the same time. Not surprisingly, the two are mutual friends.
Last week the three of us spoke at some length about various topics. I gave one of them, Melinda, my card (the critical networking tool of which I ran out that night!) and said good night. Throughout the week, Melinda and I exchanged emails in which we continued talking about geeky things such as the FPDF PHP library, CSS, economics and the like.
This week, after the meeting, we spoke about far more personal things (though there was some geekiness thrown into the mix), such as family and friends or the lack thereof. Melinda and Hannah invited me to come over to their place for the night (actually, Melinda’s roommate’s place where Hannah frequently crashes) to watch a movie and hang out. I happily accepted, glad to be able to continue the conversation and also thankful that I could avoid the subways that night. By then, it was already past midnight!
Sleeping Over at a New Friend’s Place
I learned several things at their place. First, the best shortcut to steamed milk is through some kind of kitchen doo-dad that looks way too much like a sex toy to my eyes to be kept in the kitchen. Second, and more importantly, there really are people I can relate to out there. I just have to find them.
The conversation lasted ’til about three in the morning (there was no movie-watching), when I was finally too tired to do much of anything and had to go to sleep. Melinda was kind enough to make my bed on their sofa and provided several blankets to sleep with. I fell asleep very easily and slept soundly until noon the next day.
I awoke feeling refreshed, rested, and relaxed. (Yes, relaxed. Don’t ask, that’s just what I felt.) I hopped out to the deli to grab some milk and a quick supplement to the breakfast I was provided (yummy bagels and lox spread), and then Melinda and I spoke for another couple of hours in the afternoon.
I knew I had things to do that day but found myself trying to find reasons to stay at her place and not come home to my empty apartment. I did come home, however, and spent much of the day listening to music I hadn’t heard in years and continuing to work on my personal projects. That night, I hopped on down to the Sci-Fi Meetup.
Tuesday’s Terrific Meetup
Though it was my first time at this particular meetup group, I enjoyed it immensely. There were at least eight others there, and most were rather talkative. All were welcoming and friendly.
The best part of the whole thing, however, was that I recognized a man whom I had first met months ago at a PHP Meetup. After the meetup was over, the two of us took the same train home since we live only blocks apart. The man is a business-owner and a long-time Linux user, which are only two reasons why I’m glad I got to talk to him so much.
All in all, a very productive day.
Penn’s Birthday Was on Wednesday
Today, (actually, yesterday by now) I spent the day with my father and with my younger brother, Penn. Penn was given the day off from school in celebration of his 8th birthday. I joined the two of them at 4:30 in the afternoon to go see Robots, the heart-warming animated movie made by the Ice Age people.
After that, we headed to Neutral Ground so Penn could get new Duelmasters cards and I could learn the game. (Don’t give me that look, it’s not so bad and it was for him.) I’ve heard a lot about this place from my father, who seems absolutely entranced by the whole concept of trading card games. One of the things he kept saying is something I noticed while I was there, too, and which gave the place an air of familiarity unlike anything else.
Respect and Equality; The Way It Should Have Been Naturally
People at Neutral Ground treated each other with the utmost respect. The thing that might seem strange to some people is that these are people with absolutely no common denominator; old people, young people, black people, white people, thugs, geeks. It didn’t matter who you were as long as you enjoyed playing games with others.
Several people came up to us as we were playing and asked questions about our decks. Penn answered them all smartly, and they listened to him (an eight-year-old, remember) as if he were their age. It was just so refreshing.
Why aren’t more people like this? Why is there this stupid notion that respect comes from age or some other status like money? The way things worked at Neutral Ground seemed to make far more sense to me than anything else I’ve encountered. Status was a non-issue, and thanks to that respect was mutual and sincere and permeated every square inch of the place. I’d go back just to watch people interact with each other and if you ever get the opportunity to do so, I highly recommend it.
Sleep Cycles Messed Up Again
All of this excitement and happiness has caused one not-so-great thing; my sleep is absolutely erratic. At this point, however, I’m beginning to think that this sort of behavior is more natural for me than anything else. Why fight the whole bipolar hypomania thing when it’s so productive?
Yes, yes, I know the arguments. I’ve also been on both sides of the fence; I’ve felt great when I had a routine in a different way from how wonderful I felt when I was hypomanic and productive. I just don’t think it’s helpful for me to make a choice for one over another at this point. And with that, I bid you (an early morning) “good night.”