Jerel Says, ‘What’s in a name’; Willy-Nilly

What's In a Name

When I started ManVsLoneliness, I wasn’t really thinking too much or too far into the future. I had this massive, intimidatingly wide and deep rift of heartbreak left in the wake of my last destructive relationship. This blog was my attempt to bridge the chasm, one dangling piece of wood at a time. I didn’t know if I would be able to follow through for the entire year, or what reflections and experiences it may bring. I never thought to expect any sort of readership, let alone the much appreciated and loved level of engagement and communication I ended up having with some incredible people through WordPress.

Day 1

Having never blogged before this, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the experience. Before this I couldn’t even remember the last time I wrote for pleasure or leisure. Now I can’t wait to share my thoughts on love or movies or music, food, relationships, events, or travel. I can’t always say they’re good thoughts, but I can’t deny my compulsion to share nowadays. I have crossed the rift stronger, wiser, and happier. A little worse for wear, but overall, overwhelmingly and satisfyingly intact.

Jerel Says

I’ve built my bridge and walked across it, and now in new and unchartered lands I find I want to continue building something. I can’t keep looking backwards and adding to the bridge, as important and essential as it has been to me. It was always meant to help get across and find something new and worth finding. A lot of people have asked me, ‘what happens after the year’, ‘what happens after ManVsLoneliness‘. And I always said that I’ve learned to love blogging and want to continue on with it, but I didn’t really know to what capacity or to what purpose.

In a way it’s kind of strange to look at my newer posts, with its new outlook and perspective, and still see ManVsLoneliness. It reminds me lot of the heartbreak and the insecurity of the beginning, and it doesn’t give me the opportunity to reflect and portray the growth of the past year. I just figured I couldn’t continue on with the same name, when I’m no longer just a man trying to fight back loneliness.

Single Guy Says

But now I think I’ve figured out what I want to do, and it requires a new look, new identity, and new focus. So I’ve started a new blog, titled SingleGuySays. A lot of the posts will look very much like how they’ve been looking recently, starting with a quote that captures the theme, experience, or thought of the post. Those are the Single Guy Says posts. But I will also be adding other kinds of posts that are kind of the main inspiration for what it is I’m looking to do now. Those will be the Single Guy Tries posts.

Frisbee Alone

Spending a year on your own means that eventually you’ll have to venture further than your own home and continue to experience your own life. That means a lot of solo activity.  Eating out by yourself, watching movies, going to events like concerts or festivals, and a whole lot of solo travel too. It’s been my experience that often times doing these things alone change kind of how people act or behave around you. Servers and bartenders are really good examples but so are locals when you’re traveling or strangers at a festival. So I think there’s a lot of interesting insight and reflection to be had about viewing these experiences from the single person’s perspective.

And at the same time a comment I get a lot from friends and family is how much they’re  usually surprised by how comfortable and secure I am doing these things on my own. And I’ve written in the past about that feeling of insecurity or self-consciousness or just lack of self-interested self-motivation that prevents a lot of people from doing things Eating Alonesimply because they don’t want to do it alone. And I want to explore that, live in that, breathe life into that for a lot of people and to also see it from both sides and understand that feeling. So I want to do things that I’ve always wanted to do and maybe have held back because I thought it would be better or only reserved for when I was with someone. I don’t want to restrict myself or the things I do. And I want to tackle some ‘couple things’ that I’ve just always wanted to try. Like dance lessons. I don’t want to wait until I have someone who wants to dance and then start trying to learn so I can dance with her. I want to be the guy who can dance already. Or what happens when a single guy wants to do a paint and sip class? I want to have this  conversation with people, ask them either about the things they’ve always wanted to do on their own or the things they never got to do because they couldn’t find someone else to do it with them and were too afraid to do by themselves. And there’s a great opportunity there for communication and collaboration and feedback from the community on ideas and requests and places to go and things to do.

Single Guy Tries

So yes, I’ve changed my blog identity and name. And I know this is not something to be taken lightly and I don’t change willy-nilly. It’s going to mean a lot of starting from scratch. I won’t have the same subscribers, the same exposure, but I can always work to build it up again, and I can’t ever forget that the first person I write for in anything is myself anyways. When I first started I was happy to throw my thoughts into the void, and while now there is a part of me that takes some pride and accomplishment in the thought that I can share my writing with people who are interested and care, I can keep writing for myself and trust and hope to find others along the way.

For the next couple days I will continue to mirror the posts on both blogs to give people as much time as possible to find my new blog and starting to go there  by default. Eventually I’ll simply have it redirect for a long period of time to keep getting as much notice as possible. But otherwise, having built one bridge already, now I’m excited and looking forward to building something else, something brand new. I really, sincerely, hope to see you all there to see what I end up making.

Day 280: The Man and the Metre of Spring; ‘Measure’

It is Good Friday for all you Christians out there, which means that Easter is only two days away. For me, Easter has always been the real herald of Spring. It’s when as a child I would spend my entire day running outside hunting for eggs and, as far back as I can remember, I’ve never had a rainy Easter Sunday. Now that we have the Rita’s Ice stores and we’ve grown, Easters are no longer the leisurely events of egg hunting and family gathering it used to be. Still though we go in our absolute Sunday best to mass, then go to our favorite diner for a nice big breakfast, before my parents go off to run the stores, my brother and I go separately to leech some free ice cream, and I make a simple dinner for when my parents get back. I still like to spend some time outside as honestly, Easters have really always been such beautiful days. This year with my new bow and with the range I built in the backyard maybe I’ll just spend some time shooting and enjoying the weather.

xkcd pentameter

Good Friday and Easter have me thinking of Spring, and today’s prompt, ‘measure‘, has me thinking of the most famous poetic measure of all, iambic pentameter. Best described as lines of ten syllables paired in unstressed and stressed syllables. Best exemplified by Shakespeare’s sonnets. (If you’re a lover of conspiracy theories, you should check out the Oxfordian authorship theory, which was the subject of a pretty cool movie, Anonymous. First time I ever heard of this theory was when I was in middle school and read Blue Avenger Cracks the Code. Ever since I’ve decided that this is what I will choose to believe.) It is said that the reason why iambic pentameter comes so naturally to us is that it is the form of metre that most closely resembles our natural breathing and speaking pattern, and that the rhythm mimics our heartbeat. I mean, that sounds like a hell of a lot of patting oneself on the back, so I really don’t buy it.

Anyways, so for today’s poem selection I present Sonnet XCVIII, in which the author continues to lament his long absence from his beloved.

Sonnet XCVIII

-William Shakespeare (supposedly)

From you I have been absent in the Spring,

when proud-pied April dress’d in all his trim

hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,

that heavy Saturn laugh’d and leap’d with him.

Yet nor the lays of birds nor the sweet smell

of different flowers in odour and in hue

could make me any summer’s story tell

or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew;

nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,

nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;

they were but sweet, but figures of delight,

drawn after you, you pattern of all those.

Yet seem’d it winter still, and you, away,

as with your shadow I with these did play.

For those of you celebrating, happy Easter, and for those of you not, I hope you have some fine weather to enjoy as well.

Day 280

Man: 247 Loneliness: 33