The window in the background.
Saturday, 01.14.2017 - 11:25 am.

I feel I've neglected this diary for a while. It's been a little less than two weeks since I last wrote in it, which thankfully isn't that much, but that speaks of my habit of coming in here and ranting.

In my last entry I was still in Houston. I miss it sometimes, the place, the family, and the overall feeling of having time just for me and for whatever I wanted to do (when I wasn't hanging out with members of my family, that is not a bad option at all). Opposed to coming here and having to chase participants and failing tremendously at it, I mean. This trip reinforced my good memories of old trips: it's the best place to be, due to the circumstances in which I visit, and I'm longing to go back.

I cannot go back, not for almost a year, so it's time to deal with reality. Returning to it was dreadful, if the turbulent, sleepless, stomach-swollen, kidney-hurting flight back home is any indication. Andrew was waiting for me at the airport, though, right at the terminal as I came out dragging my luggage. I'd left room for the possibility that he'd be there. He could have waited for me at the train station, like we'd agreed, and I'd been fine with it, but it was really sweet that he came for me, it still surprised me. We caught up on our lives on the train back to our city.

I didn't have much trouble getting back to my normal UK routine and all is well now. Except for the lack of participants for my studies. I'm against the clock with the study with transgender participants and in online audiences of thousands I can't find 45 people to commit 45 minutes over the course of a week. I'll have the same problem with the non-transgender sample, not looking forward to that. I've thought of scheduling a meeting with my supervisor to cry about that and look for alternatives, but the crying part I'm trying to withhold, and the alternatives part I'm trying to work out on my own. Supervisors, seasoned researchers themselves, don't deal with petty stuff. So I haven't scheduled a meeting.

My Simeon cartoon strip was published in Austin, Texas, and my first column was published in the UK newspaper. I haven't heard any feedback about either but you can bet I don't want to know. I'm always scared of getting complaints or having people trying to correct me. The column's title was cut off as the editor didn't tell me the number of words allowed in it; the name and tagline of the column are frankly not my own. That's the thing I hate about writing, as much as I love getting my words out there: once it's out there, it's out of my control.

I'm grateful for the opportunity though, I hope both publications go well and are well received by the readers. I don't think I'll be able to keep up with the column for long, though I may be getting ahead of myself. It's just that I hate having to come up with a subject and write 1200 words about it. I have no trouble coming up with subjects but the word limit sometimes breaks my back, it's too much. This is where I get bitchy and say that I don't have to constrain myself to these things if I'm not getting paid. But it's still a good chance to showcase my writing and pretend it's good. In print! And I didn't have to ask for that!

One last thing before I go do some cleaning around the house: today Facebook showed me a picture of nine years ago. It's two sleepy, adorable kittens. I took that picture in Joseph's house, those are his cat Waffles' kids. In the background of the photo there's a bit of that huge window against which I lost my virginity (and possibly got vaginismus? It felt like torture).

Christ, nine years. Almost ten years since he broke up with me and here I am, talking about the guy still. He had quite the effect in me, that goes without saying, in good and in awful ways. When I saw the picture of the kittens, I just felt a mix of nostalgia and sadness for the way things ended between us. Most of the latter was out of my control, at least during the months in which I had no idea what was really going on with him (should have known, but I trusted him a lot). Still, what a shame.

His face popped up yesterday in my FB friend request reminder. His and his wife's, and hers I like looking at. I can say that now, I understand it now, I wouldn't just stare at her to compare myself to her. I can overlook the fact that she was horribly mean to me those few times we spoke. I'd still go for it, like when I thought I should steal her from Joseph and date her to hurt him back*. I know very little about her, but with what I know, she's the kind of person that I could be fine being with as long as she shuts up.

* I know you don't "steal" people from other people in a romantic relationship, this is my bitterness and vengefulness talking still. I never dared, wouldn't dare, to do such thing in real life, but I had a lot of fun with the thought. And now I'm finally in that stage in which the memories are not for grieving but for laughing.

Jeez. One last-last thing: I dreamed about Joseph shortly after I came back home. The progression of my dreams with him over the course of nine years has left me dreaming that we're back together. It was weird, as I kissed him in his old bedroom (I suppose he doesn't live there anymore), I asked myself if I wasn't married to Andrew and where was he. I ask myself those questions in all dreams in which I am flirting or having a crush or hooking up with someone. Huh.

Ok, enough. Now I will go do some cleaning around the house and get some writing done today. My birthday is coming up next week, a worrying sign that the end of January is approaching and I haven't made any significant advances with my PhD. On that heartwarming note, goodbye.

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