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Welcome to Zazen Town
The fear of God
The internet's a funny thing. I've been writing in this journal for years, and I've been doing so in a very candid and truthful manner. Although I haven't always kept it up to date, I have tried to include all major events in my life, negative and positive. I understand why I like to write here, and why people keep journals in general: to get sh*t off one's chest. But why in such a public and exposed format? I couldn't say myself; maybe it's a cry for help. But what's important is that "bloggers" are sharing themselves all over the internet, and they feel comfortable doing so because of the anonymity that the internet allows them. "Trolling" is a common occurrence no matter where you travel on the internet but random verbal harassment is relatively scarce in the real world because on the internet there's no fear of repercussions. Similarly, people who wouldn't normally divulge the details of their personal lives to a stranger on the street let it all flow out in their online journals. The point I'm trying to make is that I post everything here without fear because nobody I know personally reads this journal. Well, except for Rob, but he's an exception to the rule: we met on Gaia and he read my journal before meeting me. But other than that I keep Gaia and real life separate.

Or at least that's what I thought. I recently realized there's another side to it: up to now, most of my trials and tribulations have been fairly trivial. The kind of fare one would expect from any of the millions of journals kept by teenagers across the internet. But now I've got something big. Something I'm not proud of. Something worth keeping a secret. I know I don't want my family to find out. I don't think I'd like my friends finding out. And the anonymous internet masses? I'm not so sure. I did tell one person who helped me through the ordeal. But now that it's behind me, I'm not quite sure how to handle it. The significance of the event is hard to ignore, but I'm tempted to just skip over it. It would be my first major omission since starting this journal.

But it's been almost a year since my last update, and what I really wanted to do, now that my mind is freed up, is to bring this thing up to speed. I'll try to stick to the essentials. I'll even do this in bullets. biggrin

- Already covered, but late October, Katherine leaves for Utah and our 4 month relationship comes to an abrupt halt. Grieving is intermittent through the next couple months. Katherine leaves her bed behind, and since it's somewhat larger than the one I had, I move it from the apartment to my room.

- The day after Katherine leaves I meet up with some of my D&D buddies from high school. What we did wasn't really "live action role-playing" as much as it was just beating the snot out of each other with foam replicas of medieval weapons. As difficult as the day of Katherine's leaving was, I was worried about being an emotional wreck, but I was actually able to take my mind off it and have some fun, and I think that helped.

- Halloween is largely uneventful. I stay home and hand out candy. I don't wear a costume, but one person asked me if I was supposed to be a Beatle. xd I'm not going to shave off my sideburns anytime soon.

- About a week after Halloween I attend a Halloween party (delayed due to scheduling conflicts of some key attendees) thrown by some of Katherine's friend's family. Michelle and Paul invited me to the shindig back when me and Katherine were together and the four of us were going on "double dates" and such. Even though I hadn't gotten to know them very well, they said I was still invited, so I show up and we all sort of sit around and make small talk and comment on how strange it is that Katherine isn't here.

- Sometime in early November I meet a friend from myspace named Boris. He's probably only the second openly homosexual person I had ever met, and my very first gay friend (which seems weird to me for how long I've spent in southern California...). At the time he lived in a cheap apartment near my house, and after hanging out a couple times we discover that we graduated the same year from the same high school, but neither of us remembers the other. Also during one of our early hang outs I smoked pot for the first time. I coughed a lot and didn't get high. xp

- Thanksgiving is pretty straightforward. Some family members, a lot of food.

- From Thanksgiving to Christmas I'm working pretty much non stop. I work a couple 50+ hour weeks, work a lot of graveyard shifts to make sure everybody gets their engraved gifts on time, and start sleeping some really weird hours. After Christmas I quit and take a much-deserved vacation. I intended to take one month off and find a new job in February. I'm still looking. gonk

- New Years was kind of depressing. I really wanted to get out of the house, but didn't have anywhere to go. So I spent it all alone. Well, except for the last half hour, when my parents came home from their dinner. So I rung in the new year with my mom and a glass of cheap champagne. confused

- Not much happened in January, except that at the end of it I started taking classes at Orange Coast College. This campus is a bit further away, but I ended up liking it more than Fullerton College. I can't really say that the two are drastically different; maybe I actually have changed... Funny side note: I got admitted and everything so late that I actually didn't get a chance to register for any classes. On the first day of school I ran around desperately trying to petition classes, but I ended up getting two that worked out quite well.

- At the very end of February I met a girl named Ashley. We had been myspace buddies for quite some time (even though we rarely talked), but once we realized we both went to the same school and had some free time around the same time we decided to meet up for lunch. She brought her boyfriend, which I understood and didn't mind at all- the more the merrier. After our first meeting, we ended up having lunch together every week for the rest of the semester.

- Sometime early March-ish Boris had his 21st birthday. He had moved out of his apartment and back in with his folks, so the party was at their house. There's not much to say about it besides it was great. It may not mean much seeing as I haven't attended very many parties, but it was the best I'd ever been to. I drank, I danced, I met some new faces. With my 21st coming up the next month, I hoped that I could have something similar.

- March 20th I see the Bravery live with Ashley and her boyfriend Scott. Great fun to see one of my favorite bands live.

- Sometime between the 26th and the 27th of March Ashley and Scott break up after a year and a half relationship (and four months seemed long to me...). The 27th is Edwin's 21st birthday (Edwin is a friend I met through Boris) and he has decided to have it at a club, so I invite Ashley hoping it will take her mind off it. While at the club she tells me she has a crush on me. I kind of liked her too, but I decided not to capitalize on the situation. Scott was mostly friendly, but Ashley told me that when I wasn't around he seemed jealous and kind of threatened by me. And even though Ashley assured me to the contrary, I felt like I played a role in their break-up. So things remain platonic, even though we don't really talk about it after the club (we're both the shy type).

- At the end of my spring break (late March/early April) I drive to Utah to visit Katherine for a 4 day weekend. It's a trip we'd both intended since she first moved, but only then had been able to make. It was of course great to see her again after over 5 months, but the trip included some strange revelations. Apparently she had converted to Christianity and attended church regularly. This was practically a 180 from the Katherine I knew before who had held largely cynical opinions of Christianity and organized religion. This change made me realize something. In the back of my mind I had entertained the idea of me and Katherine getting back together. It wasn't something I expected or was hoping for, but I thought that, in the event that after a couple of years we looked back and decided breaking up was a mistake, we could go back. It was sort of a "just in case" thing. But seeing how she had changed (and it wasn't just that she had found religion) made me realize there was no going back. The apartment we shared was gone, the relationship we had was gone, the old Katherine was gone. This thought wasn't depressing so much as it was sobering, because the thing that really stuck in my head was that she had changed and I hadn't. She was moving forward with her life, she was progressing. In the 5 months since she had left I hadn't done anything. So I resolved myself to change. I wasn't going to just move with the currents and hope that I wound up somewhere favorable; I was going to take a more active role in my life and become something I wanted to be. And for whatever reason, I decided I wanted to be Buddhist. This revelation brought tears of joy to my eyes. I laughed out loud. It was really almost ridiculous. I'm not really sure how important it was that I become a Buddhist, but the feeling of knowing something that I wanted, of having some direction elated me. Other than this, the trip was about as pleasant as I expected.

And that's where I leave off. After the Utah trip things became complicated. I'm still making up my mind in regards to what and how much to write here about it, but until my next post you'll just have to hang in suspense. Also, it's getting late and I didn't get much sleep last night and as a result I can feel myself kind of loosing a grip on my writing. It's one of my biggest fears/greatest frustrations that I end up writing these journal entries late at night when I'm tired and can't coherently get my ideas across. I'll re-read this tomorrow when I have full command of my brain and see if I have to clarify anything... In the mean time here are some teaser bullets of other things that have happened since my last post:

- I turn 21. How drunk do I get?

- I finish the semester. How do I fare grade-wise?

- What band do I see live in concert at the El Rey in Hollywood?

- How do I handle the situation with Ashley?

These questions and more answered in the thrilling conclusion!

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