Dr. W's Space Travels
Space Cadet Knows Nothing About the World
Dr. Wood LXVIII
Usually I write these at night, but I decided to do this one right in the middle of the day. It’s Labor Day – American Labor Day, that is – and I have off from work. Nothin’ like a longer weekend and a shorter workweek! Anyway, my brother did not end up coming to the lake this weekend. I was very foolish to think that testing negative meant being COVID-free. He did test negative, but my aunts strongly advised him not to come with for the fear of developing symptoms later. So he and I were bummed about it. I understood that they didn’t wanna take any risks, though. And, well, just a couple of days later, my brother experienced symptoms, so he tested again. Positive. Everyone made the right call to not have him come with. I think that he, as well as my aunt who had tested positive in the first place, are doing just fine (from what I’m told, the vaccine helps to alleviate symptoms and not necessarily negate transmissibility – and they are both vaccinated). But jeez, I feel like I need to be on edge again. I think I let my status as a vaccinated motherflooper get to my head and I therefore closed my eyes to the remaining dangers of the lingering pandemic. I do feel a bit idiotic for that. If it wasn’t for the clearheaded decisions my aunts made, Eric would’ve come with us, and we’d all be likely infected. I guess I should count my blessings, but it does make me pretty crestfallen to know that we are definitely not out of the pandemic yet.
There’s some other family drama going on too regarding COVID stuff, but I won’t get into that right now. I’m just half-tempted to go back into shut-in mode and never socialize again. I’m so glad I have it easy and only have myself to take care of. I don’t know how families do it. But I mean, that applies to many facets of family-raising. I don’t know how parents parent, or how spouses spouse (if I can use “spouse” as a verb). I don’t even know how pet owners pet-own. So much responsibility, and I can’t even do something as simple as work out regularly. Maybe when you’ve resigned yourself to a constant level of duty and obligation, it becomes normal, and I just can’t fathom it at my current state because my normal is simply to sustain myself. I also know that my stress tolerance has plummeted since leaving the army. I’m not necessarily displeased by that, because it’s a result of me finding a low-stress lifestyle that works for me. But it makes resilience and flexibility tough, and I get easily aggravated when stressful situations come up.
The mountains trip was overall very fun. It was my two aunts and two second cousins (whom I call aunt and uncle) that were at the cabin, and a few other family members who were staying in neighboring cabins. We spent most of our day in and around the cabin, with a trip to Grotto Pizza on Friday. I was originally planning to stay until Monday, but I decided to head back home on Sunday. I very much enjoy hanging out with family, but this was one of the first times in a long while that I stayed multiple nights away from home. I can’t even think of the last time I did that… I think it was Christmas of last year. Okay, that’s not actually that long ago, but that was only one night anyway. It’s extremely infrequently that I spend an entire day away from home, and I’d venture to say my last time doing that was when I was in Hong Kong visiting my girlfriend at the time. Wait, no – it was the breast cancer walk in South Carolina from two years ago. I’m pretty sure that was the last time. And since then, the pandemic happened, and I became even more attached to my home. This is practically a life support system for me – if I’m away from it for too long, I get anxious and wanna return. Being around people – no matter how great they are or how much I love them – wears me down after a while. That might be one reason why my common sense is skewed, or why I know so much less than the people around me. On Saturday I was listening to my aunts and cousins talk, and the things they conversed made me realize how conversationally inept I am. When put in such social situations, I try my best to give sincere input and respond with questions and such, but sometimes it feels really unnatural. I’m pretty oblivious to current events, as I mentioned in my previous entry, as well as to things that adults generally should know things about, like road/town names, simple automobile specs, politics, finances, and nutrition. And yeah, anything to do with COVID, too. I kinda feel like I can’t contribute well to a conversation unless it’s about video games, anime, group insurance or philosophy – everything else I risk hitting conversational dead ends because of my lack of knowledge or inability to think of what to talk about next. I’m kind of exaggerating on that note, but it does hold a lot of truth in my eyes.
I get that I have myself to blame for this. And that’s fine – I’m not even accepting that notion out of a desire for pity. I like the thought of being wholly to blame for my inadequacies, because that means that change can come from within. That being said, it’s a big challenge for me to reverse those inadequacies. And I don’t even know that it’s worth it to “master life” when life isn’t even that long. I know most people will say that they haven’t even come close to “mastering life”. It’s a pretty common sentiment that even though adults look like they have their lives in order, they really have no true idea how to “adult”. I get that, and I do like the down-to-earth notion that all of us adults are just kinda flying by the seats of our pants in the journey of life. Still, I think I’m in the lower percentile on the maturity scale, and on the upper end of the one for naivete. And yet, I don’t have a humongous desire to change that. I’d rather put in effort to accept that about myself than turn it around. I’ll probably live through this entire pandemic without really knowing what COVID is. When someone in 2025 asks me “so what are your thoughts about that whole coronavirus thing from a few years ago?” (Or “last year”, depending on how long this drags out…) And I’m gonna be like “uhh… it sucked?” “Yeah, but what are your thoughts on it? Do you think it was manmade? Do you think it was as bad as it was cracked up to be? Don’t you know many deaths reported as COVID deaths were really from other reasons like heart attacks and the flu? Do you think the vaccine was just a placebo? Do you think it’ll happen again?” “Bro, I… I have no clue. I really don’t know. I’m too dumb and inattentive for this conversation. But here’s a canned answer for you that I don’t 100% genuinely believe in nor care about: <insert canned answer for them that I don’t 100% genuinely believe in nor care about>.”
I’m so screwed when my high school reunion comes around. I wonder if they’re still gonna do it this year. I actually don’t really wanna go, and I’m just now willing to admit as much. I think I kinda “should” go, but only because I think my parents will be disappointed in me for not going. Not that I have any obligation to appease them, but I’d like for them to think I’m at least kind of normal and kind of socially inclined. I’m just picturing the day that I go, and I’m scared poopless of getting out of my baby Chevy Spark to subject myself to the masses of former classmates, all of who are chattering, laughing and drinking with one another. I think they would accept me openly – I got along pretty well with my peers in high school – but I’m more so worried about not wanting to talk with anyone because in the back of my mind I’ll have regretted not just staying home due to feeling anxious. That felt like a run-on sentence just now. Anyway, I’m probably catastrophizing a bit. I should at least give it a shot. It won’t kill me, and it won’t hurt me. Worst case scenario is that I just feel awkward for a few hours, which isn’t a new occurrence when it comes to large social gatherings.
It looks like I’ve spent an hour writing this, which is par for the course now that I think about it. I’m getting really hungry, so I’ll have to figure out what I want for lunch. I regret not taking some pizza with me from Grotto, but that’s all right. I can make myself a sandwich or pasta with store-bought vodka sauce, and then have some Cincy chili for dinner. Cereal’s also an option, too, but I don’t really want something super sweet considering I had a donut for breakfast (Boston cream, yummmm). The rest of this day will probably be me just relaxing. I did a post for my FB page and I’m more or less good for the number of posts I have scheduled out. I have a few bits of email correspondence to complete, and then I think I’ll be good to just derp around for the rest of the day. I’d like to take it easy, after all. I started watching Kamisama Kiss, which was recommended by a friend of mine from The Friends Club months ago, and I’m really digging it so far. Oh yeah, I almost forgot – I was told in the last hour of work on Friday that I’m gonna have two more friggin’ interview panels for the underwriting position. That’ll be a total of four interviews for this internal position – I’m gonna be mad as fudge if I don’t get it. I didn’t realize there were so many hoops to jump through to go from being an associate underwriter to a regular underwriter. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do, I guess. All right, my stomach’s beckoning me, and I’ve written a fudge ton. Let’s make some lunch and watch more Kamisama!