Last night, I went out to dinner with a guy I had been 'sort of' interested in. He's a good guy; a gamer, a tech geek, taller than me, etc. He has a lot of the qualities I look for in a guy except one: That sense of connection. You know, the one you get when you meet a truly kindred spirit.
Up until yesterday, I thought I wanted to date this guy. But, I just wasn't sure and I didn't know why not. The reason became obvious when I meet someone I did have that "click" with at Gen Con. It had been so long since I had had that sense of connection, that I had forgotten what it was like to have it. How good it felt. The memory of that connection held up in comparison to the relationship and feelings I had towards my friend made me feel silly for even thinking in that direction with him.
The truth was that I had been settling. Not that this guy was bad or not worthy. It is simply that he wasn't for me. I had picked out a number of qualities within him that I was looking for and by process of elimination had somehow come to the conclusion that, sure, this guy was someone I wanted to date. When, in reality, he was just a good friend.
The icing on the cake was the fact that I felt both genuine pleasure and genuine relief when he told me he had met someone a couple weeks back (while I was at Gen Con) and they were dating pretty heavily. I no longer had to worry about hurting his feelings.
Settling is an insidious thing. I did not realize that I had been sliding into that settling mode. I'm really thankful that I got this jolt of perspective at Gen Con. I know there are still people out there that will make me grin like a loon and play silly word games with me. I know there are people out there that I will have that sense of connection with and there is no need to settle for anything less.
***Thinking about settling and how we often treat ourselves so much worse than we do friends got me to thinking about the practice of breaking promises to oneself and why we feel that is acceptable. I stand by the creed "My word is my bond." Except - I don't always - if that word and bond is with me. I'm trying to figure out why.
I think, part of it is, that I look for outside approval. My own opinion of myself isn't as important and that's wrong. I have been doing much better lately. For the most part. Though, I have just recently broken an agreement with myself in the matter of silly bets with my psychic twin, Bill.
Every convention we (Team Volare) get together at we motivate each other to better health and fitness through silly bets that involve weight loss and/or fitness goals. If we lose that bet, we owe the other a service or booze or some such. Bill called for silly bets for Conquest. I responded. I wanted to motivate him. Turns out he wanted to motivate me. Now that I look back on it, I didn't want to be motivated. I didn't want to motivate myself. I wanted to help him out. That was it. My big 'silly bet' motivation convention is Dundracon. Looking back, I should have just cancelled the bet and left it at that. Instead, I made the agreement with him and myself.
I think it is pretty obvious now that I'm not going to win my side of the bet. I cannot lose 10 pounds in less than 10 days. As soon as Bill won his, I was under no obligation (in my mind) to win mine because I knew I would not have to worry about he and I both losing and thus becoming Tiki for a day each (and my concern was more for him than me) and because the bet was really with myself and it was OK to break that.
But, it's not OK. It's not right to make an agreement with yourself and then break it. It's even worse when it is a promise. Granted, this wasn't a promise but still. It is not something that I should allow to go unnoticed like I have so many times before.
My mind has been chasing its tail over this for a couple days now. I think I'm coming to the conclusion that:
1. I cannot be motivated to do something through agreements or promises to myself if I don't really want to be motivated AKA you cannot help someone who does not want to be helped.
2. I need to be a lot more conscious and thoughtful when it comes to making agreements or promises with me. They need to be meant. They cannot be tossed out there without thought, consideration and real consequences if I don't follow through. I am worth more that what I have been giving myself and I need to start that right now.
That all said and done, I find that I do want to be motivated again and I seem to have decided that September 15th is a good day to start something new in regards to health and fitness. I want to do a September 15th to December 1st span. Silly bets are a good motivation. I think I will be looking closer to home for motivational partners. People who have already expressed an interest in improving their health and fitness.
December 1st will be 2 years with the lap band. I need to think up a decent goal and a decent prize. I'll probably be pinging friends for both.
***The Firefly foster kittens are ready for adoption but I'm about to go on vacation. I'm going to have to call my case worker lead and ask her what she wants me to do. If I put them up on Petfinder, people will call for them and I won't be there to show them off. If I don't put them up, they won't be available for adoption. This sucks. I'm not sure what to do. These four beautiful kittens are in need of homes. I don't want them to become 'too grown up' for adoption.
***The writing front is looking really quite good. I almost couldn't be happier with it except to receive news that TOR and/or DAW want to pick up both Grants Pass and the Edge of Propinquity for hard copy.
Grants Pass - I had a late entry into the Grants Pass anthology. A writer pinged me, asking about the anthology, noting that it was marked closed on the Ralan list and still open on my website. I told him to send it in due to my mistake. I would look at it. I'm glad I did. It is a short-short story. Barely 1000 words but it has the same kind of punch that "Babycakes" by Neil Gaiman gave me. Needless to say, he is in.
The Edge of Propinquity - TEoP has been moving along great. I've drafted up the Call for Submissions that will go up in mid-to-late September with a little help from Brian. James Ward is writing for me for December. Ed said he would write for me after the new year. I'm really happy to hear that. I'm really looking forward to seeing what he's going to come up with for me.
Shadowrun a la FanPro - Just over three years ago, I received my first game writing contract for Sovereign Press. Back then, I was already doing RPG reviews. Shadowrun is one of the genres I got to review and I thought back then that I would love to write for Shadowrun. In fact, I would. It looks like my desire is going to come true. I have been added to Fan Pro's pool of freelance authors for Shadowrun. I'm just waiting for my first assignment from them. I'm just pleased as punch over this.
The THING Reborn - I have been squeaking and squee-ing about this for a couple of days now. I have my new project from Margaret Weis Productions. It is going to be a mass market paperback book with a cover by Stephen Youll. It is another co-authorship but one that I certainly don't mind and would, in fact, chose to do it over having a solo project. The THING will be officially announced sometime at the end of September or the beginning of October. The book is due out in March 2007.
Now, I have not seen the outline yet. Nor have I signed my contract. But both are coming within the next 2-3 weeks. Then, I will be spending a couple of months focused on it and my 9-5 job. I will, most likely, turn down a number of social engagements because this book is incredibly important to me.
I do not know how to express it except to say that this book is the manifestation of one of my main life goals. I have had this particular goal for over ten years: To have a paperback book in the fiction section of any bookstore that sells Sci-fi/Fantasy with my name on the cover of it. The fact that it is so close to reality for me makes me lose my breath. Yes, I have more goals in life than this one but this one has been my main focus for such a long time. It will be strange to not have this particular goal.
My Writing Year - I picked up a "Time Left" timer for my laptop. I have it set to count down until my Writing Year begins. That date is currently set for 1 January 2007. That is 130 days away. My Writing Year may start sooner or later than that, based on my MS contract. I am thinking probably sooner and I won't be upset at that. But, even if it is later, the countdown is there to remind me that this has been another goal of mine that I have worked towards for a long time - to take a year to write for me.
I was about to wax lyrical about being scared stupid over this Writing Year but I think I'll save it for next week when I go sign the loan papers.
Tarot Card for the Day: The Hierophant, Inverted