Day 348: The Man and the Blinders; ‘Loop’

For  those of you not mathematically inclined, 365-348 is 17. That’s three weeks. Now that might not mean much to you, but for me, it’s a milestone so incredible not because I didn’t think I’d make it, but because a year ago I never even knew I’d be setting it for myself to begin with. I was honestly floundering after the breakup. I was making do, doing the same thing I always did, piecing things back together the only way I knew how.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

Forty-nine weeks ago, I didn’t know what to do or how to go about it, but I did know that the usual way wasn’t going to work for me anymore and I had to break out of this heartbreak loop. I’m not entirely convinced I’ve figured out what does, but I think I’ve got a better idea of what doesn’t, aside from just ‘everything I did before’. So a lot of readers, when they first come across my blog, ask about the numbers or what I’m counting up to or down from. When they find out, the usual question, and one that has popped up the most often, is ‘what happens after day  365’.

Over the course of the past year, the purpose of this blog has changed and shifted. A very Countdown.gifearly question was ‘can I be happy alone and not looking vs alone and always looking’. And I think I answered that really early on as I discovered new interests and hobbies and delved back into old ones. I’ve picked up archery, switched martial arts schools to one that is more satisfying, and started going out to more social events to meet new people. But I also spent a lot of time by myself allowing myself to live the life I thought I would reserve to share with someone else. I took the dream vacation to Canada I’d been planning in my head since I first went to Toronto. Started a new career, knocked off a lot of firsts, and made damn sure that when I did finally meet the woman I would be with, whoever and wherever she may be, I’d have plenty of  stories to tell, because I have to think during all this time, she’s been doing the same.

I thought a lot of this was supposed to be about answering questions.  ‘Can I be alone’, ‘can I be happy’, ‘what am I looking for’. I’ve done a lot of thinking and reflection, and I’ve learned a lot also not just from my own thoughts, but from the conversations and dialogues I’ve had with people as well. Whether here as Man, or in real life as Me, I’ve wanted to learn from and talk to as many people as possible. I’ve realized though, answers can’t come when the questions aren’t clear.

So while I’m not entirely sure the whole world is going to change in three weeks, I do know three things will.

  1. My friends and family will be made aware of the existence of this blog and what I’ve been up to this past year. I made the decision when I started all this a long time ago that I didn’t want to involve anyone who knew me personally. At least, not until the end. Part of it was the appeal of having this blank state and presenting myself and my thoughts and problems in a completely unbiased way. I didn’t want people automatically on my side or echoing my own thoughts. Who knows, maybe a forum of strangers were going to reveal to me that I’m actually a jackass and really need to change. I don’t see this being a big deal, except for maybe a few people who will be surprised that I write. But I’m hoping it’ll spark new conversation also, and for that I’m excited.
  2. Part of this melding of the two worlds, Man and Me, is while my friends and family discover Man, my blogging world will get to know more about Me. I don’t entirely know what that means yet, but I do know it means whenever relevant I will show my face and stories will be much more personal. I won’t be including names or whatnot of others obviously out of respect, but what I’m hoping it does mean is that personal stories or reflections etc might be shared more often. Different kinds of posts, and maybe some new projects. So yeah. Face pics.
  3. The blinders will be lifted.

And that’s the big one. The one that’s really got me thinking and gets me all excited and anxious like a giddy little schoolboy all over again. You know there was that whole ‘noRejected.gif dating for a year’ thing and I was realistic, I knew this didn’t mean I’d be batting away and rejecting proposals left and right. Really what it meant is that I couldn’t be doing anything to try and date. So after 365 it doesn’t mean the flood gates will be open and suddenly I’ll be fielding requests in waves. It means I’m not going to have this blog, this purpose, as a buffer against dating anymore. So far, when I’ve met women I might be interested in or been tempted to go back to some online dating sites or go out with friends to bars or parties and see these crowds of women, I’ve barred myself not for lack of interest, but because I just…couldn’t. Had the blog to think about. Had the journey and the experiment. Now it’s going to be all over.

It’s not that I’m in any great rush to start dating again. I haven’t been itching and scratching at the door just waiting for it to finally open. I think that’s one of the big changes. I’m not so ‘feeling incomplete’ anymore. Really it’s that now, if an opportunity comes up, if a person comes my way, I’m not going to have an arbitrary reason to say no, Belly Flop.gifbut I’m going to have to really think more about if, and when, and how, and why, to say yes. See I’m hoping that after all this time, I’ve learned not to look for answers, or to think of any relationship or person as one. I’m hoping the questions have gotten better, clearer, more purposeful. I’m hoping that as I now meet people and reconsider relationships and romance, I’m going to ask better questions of myself and of her than I used to. I think, in the past, the only question I’ve ever asked is ‘is she into me’. Hahah. A previous reader commented in my last post that there’s this certain point where being single goes from ‘by choice’ to ‘by fear’. And I think that point is right around where how good a person is at being able to discern for themselves an opportunity when it presents itself. Herself. Himself. Whatever. I’m not so single and content to not remember or realize how much I still want to be with someone. I’m not so much wanting to be with someone that I’ve forgotten the value of solitude and contentment. I’m not yet so suspicious or paranoid to ask too many questions, but not so naive as to ask none (but I certainly used to be). But I mean talk is cheap. Actions speak louder. I’ve got no excuses anymore, and so the big change isn’t that I’m jumping back in, because for the most part I always knew how to swim. It’s that now I know to check the water first.

Day 348

Man: 315  Loneliness: 33

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16 thoughts on “Day 348: The Man and the Blinders; ‘Loop’

  1. Ever since I saw your post on the daily prompt ‘obvious’, I’ve been curious. Man vs Loneliness, huh? What’s his problem? How big is it? It sounded interesting so I read every post of yours from the very beginning and I gotta say, I’m really awed by your honesty. I don’t know if it’s because we, your readers, know you only as Man or that’s just how you are. But I do understand that you want to share. There have been times I am amazed at your incredible honesty when you tell your story. There are a lot of blogs that have the same pattern like yours, in a way, but your concept is a really intriguing one. Every time I tell friends on Twitter who you are (sorry for always tagging you on cool posts by the way. Hahah), they immediately ask me if I know your name. And though, I know it now, I didn’t then. And honestly, I didn’t mind. I was content calling you as Man because I saw great honesty and sincerity in your posts as you told the world your story. It’s cool that now, the blinders will be gone and the following posts will be even more personal. I watched you grow from the struggle and observed your “committedly single” life for a year. Ooooh~ time flies. I don’t really know the feeling you’re going through right now, you know why, but watching and reading your journey was a really fun ride. Hahah. NaNoWriMo must have hurt like hell to write but on the days that Man won, I feel happy for you and seriously proud. Is it weird I’m proud of you? LoL. Martial arts posts more, please! And deeeeym that post on your playlist is what I will never forget. So proud of you, Man. And like I always keep on repeating, loneliness can just suck up his butt. I have a lot of things to say but… this for now. #feelingclosemuch Hahah. Have a good one, Man! I’m counting down with you until the big reveal. Cheers to you and this achievement you will soon unlock.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The biggest surprise doing all this isn’t what I’ve been able to do, it’s how much others have done and given to me. Like loyal readers, commenters, and people who share their own stories with me. I didn’t even imagine how involved others would be in all this and I love the idea of having met so many people in such a scope, starting with the nitty gritty. Thanks for always being there!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well. I think you seem like a pretty great guy. Obviously I only see what you choose to present to the world but still, for whatever it’s worth, you seem intelligent and thoughtful and funny and like you know how to have a good time.

    So.

    Looking forward to the new life three weeks from now!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve shared many a breakfast with you, you have made me laugh and also infuriated me with some of posts. In the early days I even had doubts about who you said you were thinking you were older . 😉 Either way I’ve enjoyed reading your posts everyday and look forward to many more. I have no great expectations about your reveal to me you are just J a lovely person with a good heart, who deserves to find someone who is the same. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the best would be the times my posts have infuriated you. I think that’s hilarious. You’ve always reacted and shared on a deeply insightful and personal and emotional level with me and I always appreciate that and am grateful. And I’ll still be J just J with a face. Hahah.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Opening WordPress for the first time in a week thinking that your year was already over. Glad it still isn’t! Don’t wanna miss out on it. You are very close to your finish line and that’s pretty awesome! Like I’ve said before, I really like your blog. Congrats, dude!
    Or, Man, as you go by on your blog. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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