AMA 6

Theme: Fudge? How I like structure and how I maybe I could be a little more flexible.

I was just thinking about how many things we talk about that I forget and these brain dumps are really narrowly focused.

First thought. I like who I am. I like my structure. After our talk I realized that I structure most of my important things. Saturday at 7 is game night with friends. The last week in July is my get together with the guys I grew up with. Wednesday night is the night the wife and I schedule to make love. Tuesday at 6PM, we go over finances. Every night at 8:30 is time for the kids. Friday's at 11:30 is AMA. Like I said, I believe if I schedule the important things I can be flexible when other things come up.

Second thought. Here is hypothetical situation. What if your spouse died and mine died, this is starting to feel weird, all I am suggesting is what if our lives changed in such a way that we decided to be more than friends. If I keep our friendship from my spouse now, would knowing that I behaved that way now always be in the back of your mind? I want honesty for everyone. So, I don't think I am going to find a platform for us to have a safe place to explore discuss feelings and thoughts. But then I think how interesting it is to have feelings you don't experience everyday and be able to sit with them.

You like to hang out in this messy space of my head, my wife does not.

I had started a few other thoughts but could not remember them. I am looking forward to the next AMA. I have this thought that I am wearing you down. You are going to call them off. Maybe I am wrong. You have not cancelled AMA this week but I don't know when you get back from your trip.

On a different note, you are in Hawaii this week. I could not sleep so I got up to write (this is unusual for me). The thought I have been having the last couple days is knowing what I want. I want to be more sure about the things that I want. Typically I want what makes other people happy. I think you are funny and I want to be around you. But, I have to be okay if you don't want to be around me.

Moth Story

Draft:1
Topic: Religion, Love and how Mormon's use god in love (as soon as I write that I think of how the Greek gods would mess with love)
Life is messy.

I grew up in an orthodox Latter Day Saint Home in the more normal part of Idaho. My parents were convinced that Christ would come back from his lunch break before long and clean up his world. His return would be preceded by all the apocalyptic doom that you would expect from the guy who allegedly said "love one another" Wanting to be the best of their nine children I followed the path of salvation as they paved it. Scripture study, daily prayer, church service three hours every Sunday, plus the leadership meetings, two year mission. I loved it, except for the mission, that was two years of hard work. Religion gave me the absolutes I needed to frame the experiences in life. We had the answers for why I have the life if have, what I have was based on how I behaved before I came to earth. When death came we had the answers, multiple heavens to sort us out based on how good we followed the rules. Death is just a part of the "Plan of Happiness." We would all see each other again, but only if we were good enough. We had the answers for love, when you get married, you get married for eternity. Joined as a family in this life and the next, sealed is the official term. Families are a part of the "plan of happiness."

So, off to college, I go armed with my absolutes. I go,I meet a cute cowgirl in my statistic class and we share a religious class together too. We share the same absolutes, or so I thought. We become acquaintances and I invite her to a group hang out and she says she can't (later I learn that she did not come because she was dating a guy and thought I was asking her out on a date). A month or so later I get a call from this cute little cowgirl asking me to go on a date. Over the winter our acquaintance grows to a friendship and then it gets to that weird part where you don't know if it is your turn to call, or if you have waited long enough to reach out. It is a Friday afternoon and I don't have anything going on, there is a Rodeo at the school that night and thought it would be a perfect date with a cowgirl. and I wanted to call but I am too scared to do it. After hours of arguing back and forth I finally make the call and before I can say anything she says, "you got my message about going to the rodeo." The crazy thing is I never got the message. But we were totally on the same page, this is god's hand. The date goes well, the friendship grows into a romantic relationship. We come from backgrounds of bridled passion. The only base I got to in our courtship was first base and I was call out trying to get there. Keep in mind, for those who believe that marriage is forever, we take our questions to the lord. I asked god for his stamp of approval to spend eternity with this hardworking, cute, cowgirl. I got nothing. I tried and I tried. Still nothing. I think my last prayer was "if this is wrong, let me know." I am pretty sure I got that idea from a Sunday School lesson. If you don't get an answer from god, just pick your best path and if god does not like it, he will let you know. My mom approved and she is pretty close to god so I went with it. I asked the little cowgirl to if she wanted to get married, actually what I said was, we are both finishing up college, do you want to go to university together? She said, have you asked my dad? To which I said would his response effect your answer and when she said "no", I said I would talk to him. So we finished college, got married, and headed off to the university. It was a busy summer.

Life moved on and kids came and life is good and normal. But, things in my soul start to crack. I love absolutes. I like data that can be reproduced exactly the same way every time. As moved through life and met people across the state and across the country, across the world. I start to feel a cognitive dissonance between the absoluteness of orthodox of my parents and facts I observe in the world. I don't see gods hand anymore, I see coincidences. The probability of me getting struck by lighting right now is almost 0 but the probability of someone getting struck by lighting right now is almost %100. It is purely math. I keep trying to patch up the cracks on my soul. I keep up the expected behaviors for a high demand religion. The pressure builds. I am trying to raise children. I am trying to pave a pathway for them but I don't know the equipment anymore.

The mess is only going to get messier.

I am invited to be on a committee at work. The committee head is a woman about my age. We become acquaintances. Our acquaintance grows to a friendship and then it gets to that weird part where you don't know if it is your turn to call, or if you have waited long enough to reach out. I work hard to make sure our friendship is open. The cute little cowgirl is not okay with the friendship and the new friend and I stop talking. But, the friendship lead to some deep self reflection and I decided it was time to let the path my parents had given me go. I started being honest with myself and those closest to me that I was choosing a different path for my spirituality. I still live in a predominately Mormon neighborhood and still worship with them on a regular basis even though I turn down the opportunity to lead them in prayer. I have heard it said "you can pray a lie." I am much happier now not trying to force a mystical narrative into a scientific world.

A few months later, I was getting the nagging thought to text but I am too scared to do it. After days of arguing back and forth with myself, I finally send the text on a Friday(people don't call anymore, times have changed). I say hi, I hope things are well. Monday, I get a message from her on my work computer asking me to stop thinking about her (we joke that when you are thinking of someone it is because they are thinking of you). I mention my message from Friday started it. She did not know what I was talking about. The crazy thing is she never got the message. She had blocked my number. But we were totally on the same page, this is god's hand... I guess, I cannot say that this time around. But, it does not help the nagging feeling that there might be some invisible hand guiding our lives.

AMA #5

Theme: Service and gratitude

I asked you what your moth story would be. You could not think of one. I think I found mine, but I don't know how to tell it yet.

You reminded me that we were going to talk about service and why we do it. You taught me that giving service will get us out of our selfishness.

I asked you about the managing attraction with coworkers paper for your master's program, you could not remember what happened to it.

I threw softball questions, and then as I was leaving you throw the hardball. I think we are both there for the hardball questions but I am not man enough pitch them. I hope you are okay with the baseball metaphor.

We had an okay chat and as I was leaving you asked, I don't remember the exact way you asked it, something like "how do you feel after our AMA chats". I immediately sent it off on a tangent of saying "I need to learn to answer the question before asking it?"

I need to remind me of why we have the AMA meetings:
[3/10 9:30 AM] you
FYI, I love chatting with you. It makes me smile every time, no compliments necessary. Thank you for giving me a few minutes of your day.
​[3/10 9:31 AM] me
Firefox is going to get fired.
​[3/10 9:32 AM] me
It is my pleasure as well.
Edited​[3/10 9:35 AM] me
I really enjoy our chats as well. Which brings me to my experiment. On a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being "Remind me how I know you" and 10 being "It is like Christmas eve when you are 8". What is the anticipation you experience wondering when our next chat will be?
​[3/10 9:39 AM] You
Definitely a 10, but I really enjoy our "get to know you" conversations when we first started chatting. Just seeing a message pop up from you brings a smile to my face even before I read it. It could be asking me to bring you a roll of toilet paper, who knows. What about you?
​[3/10 9:40 AM] you
Was that really your experiment idea? Does this mean the experiment is over or I have to go out and ask other people that question?
​[3/10 9:41 AM] me
Hahaha. I like that idea. Then we could graph how excited people are to talk to us. It could be enlightening.
​[3/10 9:42 AM] me
10 as well.
​[3/10 9:42 AM] You
It could also be damaging to the self esteem. haha
​[3/10 9:42 AM] me
For me yes, you no.
[3/10 9:42 AM] me
But here is the experiment.
​[3/10 9:43 AM] You
I think you'd be surprised how many people enjoy chatting with you. You're kind funny
​[3/10 9:43 AM] You
and wicked smart
​[3/10 9:43 AM] me
Thank you.
​[3/10 9:48 AM] me

What if we schedule time once a week to have our chats. We make it a time when we know we are not taking away from each other's responsibilities. I know you worry about it, and I know you have a million things that demand your attention and don't want to distract you from them. We could see if our scheduled chat minimized the anxiety of knowing if we are interrupting, the anxiety of trying to remember if it is my turn to message first. The experiment is to see if a scheduled time add to or takes away from the enjoyment of the chats.
​[3/10 9:49 AM] You
I like it

Also, for me, the experiment was also to see if I could get those pesky fives to go away. The only time the fives started to go away was when you told me that you would leave it too me to reach out to you (it feel like I have written this before). I could never figure out a way to reach out to you and ask time went on I knew it was on me, but I also felt a little abandoned. It seemed a little one sided to leave that one me. Then I rolled my ankle really bad and you brought me some ice. Then the fives where back.

I don't know if I want to know what you are thinking because I would feel it was on me deal with. It is hard enough to deal with me. But, I like to experience the feelings our friendship provides. It makes me feel alive.

I am so scared that I am going to hurt you and that you will be mad at me.

I am a skeptic because I am not confident. I have to protect my fragile ego.

I pleased both of you. I let you give the gift and I did not fully disclose where the gift came from. But, I did not optimize the happiness where I could have.

You mentioned Dave from the gym. Dave said that he does not know how to take you. Why did you tell me the Dave story?

AMA 4

Theme: Casual Chat

This week's AMA was on Wednesday. I was off on Friday for a funeral, so we had it early. I was not in the mood to do a lot of talking and it seems like you were not either so we just chatted. The hour went by fast. During the chat you let a casual "he was such a jerk" out about your past boss. The way you said it made we feel like you were actually about to just talk, you were not trying to accomplish anything in the conversation. It was just a chat where friends talk about what is going on. For me that is the experiment of our AMA meetings, to see of we get to a place where our friendship feel natural. But, as of right now, I am looking forward to our next AMA.

You brought me a drink and I asked if it was another re-gift. You said it was. You said you got it from another male co-worker. I said it would be funny to take a picture of it and message the other co-worker and say "thanks for the drink". You told me I better not.

It makes me wonder how many relationships there is for you where the "keep this between us" feeling is going on? To add to that, you gave my wife a flower on Wednesday because her mom passed away. When I delivered the flower, she asked who it was from, I said it was from "my coworkers." It makes me contemplate how we perceive the world. If my wife knew the full story she would be angry and hurt, but since she only knows part of the story it is okay. But, I feel like I am carrying a burden of knowing a truth and protecting others from it. It is possible to live a way of sharing all the truth and not hurting people. Or is it not my responsibility to worry about hurting others. I was just having a really good conversation with you in my head. I said to myself I should bring this up at the next AMA, but now I am thinking I should write it here. I was just writing about I am not sharing a full truth with those around me and wanted to share how that made me feel and then I knew you would feel bad for thinking you caused the struggle but then I had the thought "I don't need to worry about you, you chose to be a part of this story, we are adults, you get to hear it all and you can choose how your respond." That sounded so much better in my head.

AMA3

I forgot I made a post after AMA 1. I came to make a post about AMA 3 because there are so many thoughts.

Theme: Regrets. What do you do now and what do you put off until later in life.

I don't think this AMA is a good example. We did not have an AMA last Friday. The one before that was on a chat. This AMA lasted three hours. I could see your watch and remember being wore out after an hour and then at hour two I was surprised that it had been two hours. You finally called it quits at three hours. It makes me wonder why you let it last that long. After AMA 1 you messaged that it seemed like I could not get out of there fast enough. You are right that at hour 1 one of the first AMA I felt like I had filled my welcome and needed to leave. I hold you on a pedestal, maybe more like a socles, of being pretty mature. Because I have had very strong mature women around me my whole life I wonder if I am erroneously putting you in the same category with them. No body wants to spend three hours with me at a time so the behavior confuses me.

The thing that sticks about about this AMA is that as you rotated on your chair your foot would inadvertently hit my shin and foot. I don't know if it was intentional or if you knew you were doing it. Neither of us acknowledged it. I think about the time I was behind you at a work thing and you were standing there moving on your feet and had the thought that it is hard for you to sit still. As I write that, I know I fidgeted with a pen the whole time.

Topics:
How do you tell your children about your lack of belief?
What is your best self?
Are we completely unguarded with anyone?
Boundaries
Judging others

AMA 1

The theme of AMA 1 seemed to be our neuroticism. You mentioned that your main neuroticism is talking to people in your head and the conversation does not go the way you want it to and then you get frustrated. I hope I am summing that up okay. I have conversation with you in my head all the time. I fall asleep thinking about you. I wake up thinking about you. I have felt that is why I do these post because it is like talking to you and the conversations don't stay in my head because I feel I have parked they thoughts somewhere. Now that I am thinking about it. People have written letter all through out time, and there are plenty of stories of people not sending the letters. I guess my behavior is kind of normal.

I started this post with the intent to sympathizing with you neuroticism, but ended up feeling better about my behavior.

I left thinking about how you are still guarded with me and I will admit that I am still guarded with you.

The AMA was fun. It is hard to stop talking. I am excited to see how long it will last. If we are going to make each other mad after a couple of weeks. If we are going to get bored talking to each other.

I note down things I want to talk about and delete them once we talk about them. I am going to list them here as a reminder:
My notes:
Neurosis
I mentioned our feelings wheel experiment to the professional development meeting.
Other Topics:
You asked: what do I like most about being a dad.
You asked: What I learned about myself myself from my solo trip.
We talked about facts and truth.

I feel so foolish

Then there are the moments that I read the last post and read our last conversation and feel like I am an immature adolescent. Then I hear you say in my head "so, why can't you be immature". Because I want to have all the answers and be right all the time, and immature people don't have all the answers.

Side note, I have not reached out because I don't want to interrupt from your work.

Ridiculous Observation

I just realized that I was telling myself that this blog was me letting my thoughts out in a safe place, but I have been writing this to you. Confusing I know, but it is a place that we both put our selves in. I think I am writing these thoughts to you because you want to hear them. I think you are genuinely interested in them. Also, I want to be able to prove I am more neurotic than you.

Next Observation:
We schedule Wednesday as the day we make love (yes, the schedule works really well). Hahaha. I recognize the confusion of we in that last sentence, but I am going to leave it because this is me just letting my thoughts out in a safe place (and as mentioned above for one other person). If someone else is reading this by chance and don't know who we is, they were never meant to read this. On this last Wednesday there was a heated discussion about parenting and neither of us made any advancement to make love so it did not happen. The observation, I did not feel like I needed love because you and I had a good chat that day and Monday evening. I think it scares me that much of my behavior is built around making sure I get the love I need/want. But, why is that any different than making sure I protect my sources of shelter, food, and other necessities.

Just thoughts

Most of the time, I don't want to reach out to you because I know you have people pulling you every which way, kids, siblings, parents, spouse, work (at least there is no master's program this year). I don't want to be the thing that pulls you away from any of those important things. But, then I have this thought, but what if me reaching out gives you happiness like you reaching out to me give me happiness, then I would be taking a potential happiness from you. One of my favorite things in life is to help others be happy. Actually, I think there is an ulterior motive, I like to know that I help make people happy. There happiness is secondary to my need to know that they need/want me. Sad, I know.

That's enough about me, let's talk about you...

Why is it so hard for us?

I sent you a message today because I had a nagging feeling that it was my turn. I asked you about your interest in Bald dark skin men. Finally you asked me if I had ghosted you. I did not, we were just chatting and then I got busy with work. This has been a conversation we have had before. Is the really frustration thing not knowing when we will chat again? I want to ask you if we should schedule a time to chat each week so we know when we get to chat and we know when the conversation will end. I am afraid that puts too much force on the friendship. I like structure. I am not sure you like as much structure as I do.

The last conversation was a 9 out of 10

Thanks for the chat. You are good about asking questions that bring a smile and make everything fun. I don't have that skill. My skill is saying dumb things that make everyone laugh.

After our chat I was not able to fall asleep until after midnight. I remind myself to just sit with the feelings to enjoy being a human and experiencing the many emotions.

The conversation was about the wink being the new smile.

Burn the Books

Yesterday we had the rare chance of actually visiting. You said that you last request would be to burn your journals. I said that I write mine to be read some day when I am gone. It makes me wonder if you are able to let stuff out and I don't. Then I remembered this blog. I felt I had so much stuff in my head that I needed to let out and my journal was not a safe place to do it.

Oh, the sweet release

What a day yesterday was. It is like the feeling I get after a good sneeze, nap, or orgasm. I just feel so relieved.

I was getting anxious yesterday and felt that need to reach out to you. I don't have to tell you how the day went. Thanks for listening thanks for

But there is one thing that bothers me. There was a miscommunication where I had said that I wanted you to get more serious. After you clarified that I had missed a "not". I had asked what would you do if I had said that. You answered "we would have to reevaluate our friendship". At the time I took that as "our relationship is over". You threw the question back to me and I said I would respond with the way I did in the past. I would tell you that I am not looking for that type of relationship at the moment. I am comparing your response (and the uncertainty in your voice) to my response and now I think I am not sure what you meant by "reevaluate our friendship". Now I am asking what if you want more from me and I start to worry about that burden. But, I was just asking myself "so what", that is on you. I think it is cute that you want more and if I was honest I would say I want more. I also want more candy to eat and to watch more movies. But we all evaluate our lives and decide what is best in our lives. It is okay to acknowledge a want and a desire. As a matter of fact I think it is freeing to acknowledge those things. I have acknowledged that I am agnostic, I acknowledge that I am sensitive to criticism, I acknowledge that I enjoy the tension we have. I acknowledge that I don't enjoy the uncertainty of when we will get the opportunity to chat next, but as I say that I know I control when we chat next.

I almost gave you the URL to these thoughts today but decided to hold off a little longer.

The message was not received... or was it?

Tuesday I got a message, on my work messaging service, from you that was deleted before I could read it. But, you sent it back and said "stop thinking about me", you mentioned wondering if people think of other people if they are thinking about them. I first thought was to reply "is this a plea of desperation, or an attempt to make me smile". I ended up telling you that I sent a message on Friday. You said that you had blocked my phone number. I thought it was funny that you had blocked my number. If you would not had sent the message on Tuesday I would have just said "I guess she has finally moved on". But, the fact that you messaged me for the first time in months three says after I sent a message to you that you never got. Is it coincidence or is it some deeper connection? You are saying design and I am saying it was coincidence. Either way, it does not make life any easier.

Our in person visit was fun until I talked too long.

I really think I need to note the survey that I want us to take to see if there is any correlation between when two people think about each other. I don't want to do it because it makes us both vulnerable, but I want to see that there is no correlation.

I sent a message...

I had been wanting to send you a message for a week or so. People talk about the "spirit" pushing you to do something. That is what it felt like. I was trying to figure out a way to do it anonymously. Friday the stress got so bad I said "I am just going to send a text and get it over with". I sent the text and the anxiety went away.

I have not gotten response back and I am okay with that. I sent my message out. That is all I had to do.

I really hope you are doing well.

I also hope that you were having a really terrible time and my message came as some beacon on hope that helped you get through the day and gave you the strength to brighten someone else's day.

I really wish that there was some kind of mystical connection between people. Like a Luke and Leia connection.

In passing

I knew our paths would cross. I had a couple of stories to share to be able to engage with you lightheartedly but when our paths crossed I was not able to work either one of them into a conversation. I am frustrated about that.

In the past you had mentioned that it seems like I run away from you and don't want to be on your team. I think that is partially true. I hate standing around wondering who should go where and to what team so I will be the first to volunteer to step out. I also get bothered when good players refuse to mix it up. The other half of it is, there are others that love you on their team. I am not going to compete with them.

Maybe that is part of my problem in life. I won't compete for the things I want. I won't stand in line at Costco for a free sample because I am not going to follow the crowds.

The other part of the problem is that I don't know what I want in life. I think I am ruled by FOMO. That reminds me of the Adam Grant podcast where he suggests that we need to re-frame FOMO to being grateful for missing out. Easier said than done.

It is funny how I get to this point and feel like I have said something worth saying and then when I reread what I wrote it does not get anywhere near describing the emotions I am really feeling. I almost feel like I have Locked-in syndrome.