My wanderlust is back, and in pondering some of the specific ways it makes itself felt, I realise that I was lying to myself about the whole Qatar thing and why I didn't go. Yes, the three reasons I gave everyone who asked in person were minuses, but they were minuses that I went looking for to make up for the real reason I didn't go that I couldn't admit to myself, and they all were things I could've dealt with. The reason I didn't go is the same reason the idea of leaving Pittsburgh for any reason would be very hard for me right now, and it's a strange mix of optimism and weakness. The weakness part is that I don't have the strength of personality to do that kind of thing alone -- I would need a close friend or a significant other to rely on in order to really be able to cut the stability in my life I need to feel emotionally safe. The optimism part is the idea that a new significant other will show up if I am patient, either someone I know will become free or I'll randomly meet someone new. It's sadly more the first than the second -- if a good friend (or more than one) were to have gone with me, I would've gone and dealt with all the little issues that came up. It feels odd to be able to admit the real reason, and to see that I was lying to myself. I wonder if any of this ties into my early childhood and all the emotional ugliness of moving every few years until we finally settled. .. Interesting theory, but maybe I was too young for it to really sink in (I dimly remember being very upset though). I think now that I've recognised this weakness, I can probably force it to change. I think that unless I am in a relationship this time next year, I'll start to make arrangements to leave Pittsburgh for someplace new.
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Looking at other ways to deal with wanderlust, I found that it's easy to get to Columbus and New York City without driving. A roundtrip to cowtown (Greyhound only) is $50 (which is probably less than gas both ways), taking 3.5 hours each way. What a deal! A roundtrip to New York City is about $100 for either Greyhound or Amtrak, and takes about 8 hours, again roughly how long it'd take to drive and probably on par or cheaper than gas.
I have some friends who I like to hang out with, and we usually hang out at one of our places to watch a film or similar. It's sometimes frustrating how we tend not to like to leave our places, and so we don't see each other as often as we might, despite open invitations, because we don't like schlepping across town to visit. It's kind of a silent and peaceful battle... And thinking about it, it's interesting how friendships that grow up in one kind of environment tend to stay in that kind of environment or something similar. I've had friends where I've never seen where they lived, and others where I almost never seen them anywhere apart from one of our homes. Perhaps a venue is often a kind of situational memory for a friendship.
I have been almost devoid of motivation to do anything recently. I don't know if this is due to the wanderlust or something else. I've been organising my apartment to fill the time, as it doesn't take much motivation, and it's shaping up. Apart from the bedroom (which is partly re-packed because of the carpet/ceiling problem), it's mostly unpacked and feels like home. Because I'm not willing to run long ethernet cables from the bedroom to the living room, I haven't set up a desktop computer yet (I would like to do so though). At one point I had a USB wireless ethernet card, but I think I gave it to someone who needed it more. Perhaps I should get another. Alternatively, I could see if there's a place in the living room to plug in the DSLBox and the bridge. This would have the benefit that my neighbours would be more likely to be able to get good reception on my network (I believe free internet is a public good). I'm glad my old landlord raised the rent -- this place, despite having some problems, is much more suited to me than the old place was.
Tonight's dinner was an unqualified success. I mixed rice with lentils, cooked them, and then added sliced tomatoes and celery.
Tonight, the interested should read and try to understand the perspective of the British National Party, a right-wing party in Britain. I recently pointed out, and had a discussion with some people from other generations in society, on the topic of morality -- that they came from a time of good versus evil, black and white. I feel that this attitude is a functional blindness in support of a pacticular colour, and that instead of a black and white world, we live in a world without black, white, or any grays. Instead, there are countless colours, each a worldview with a set of perspectives, values, and sometimes some factual claims that might or might not be fought over. Fundamentally, people make sense, from the fundamentalists of Persia or Al Qaeda, the multiculturalists and the liberals, the Theocrats in the White House, and the largely apolitical Industrialists. Calling any of these perspectives insane or evil is simple propogandic childishness, and should disqualify anyone from being considered an aware watcher or participant in world affairs. Understanding this does not preclude one from holding a strong position or even killing for it, it simply means that one should be honest and not dehumanising.