signals

let me start off by saying using a video of a railroad semaphore signal seems a bit counter-intuitive, but i assure you this video is relevant as far as this awkward subject. it’s all about whether or not someone is giving you the go-ahead signal. trains run the same way either you got to wait & let a train pass before proceeding or you got the all clear and the train can continue to move forward.

do you remember nicole? while barely mentioned on this blog or at least her story she featured in one story i wrote regarding my cousin natalie. my cousin took a greater interest in the story at the time than i wanted and simply shut down any attempt at a convo based upon this by offering nothing but silence. natalie who does like chatting kind of got the hint and left it & me alone…

as far as nicole, well it’s a cautionary tale with a variety of tactical errors. and to be fair it was a case of jumping a gun and the signs were in front of me that she was giving me a stop signal. with regards to if i was looking for signals from nicole, i wanted to see a proceed signal and sought to interpret and overthink them to the point where it was favorable. well it never happened and i hung around with her for far longer than i should have…

this was the biggest ouch of my life. i wanted to believe nicole was going to be my girlfriend and my belief proved to be wrong. as it turned out i made a mistake and as a result nicole probably still doesn’t want to speak to me to this day. it’s possible from my obsessive attempts i only served not to cultivate a relationship, but only cultivated avoidance. who knows if she’s ever moved from her negative feelings towards me, i know i still have my negative feelings about her.

a typical post where i talk about the women and describe them physically. this time i won’t, overtime i had to convince myself that although i thought nicole was attractive my view of her has changed and that includes her attractiveness. over the years i have thought her attitude when she wanted nothing to do with me made her very ugly to me. though these days i accept my role in how things simply went due south at the time.

having met her through my first room mate at “mission college” one mistake i had made was assuming her niceness/friendliness was a signal of interest. it was when i decided to express interest and the reasoning that she described it as a misunderstanding which wasn’t what i wanted to hear. these days i try to pay attention when a girl seems interested only to just pull back when i try to reciprocate. my goal is to try to avoid making assumptions in some cases i can be too cautious and a girl with a wandering eye can go with who’ll give her the attention.

another error was situational as i attempted to ascertain whether or not she was going to my campus to play pool i asked her if she was coming over. she was like you know maybe i don’t know we’ll see, then i felt dejected and walked away. someone touched my back & shoulders when i left. i was in a courtyard during a weekly student block party and there was a stairway into a yard with students standing around.

now i figure it was someone else who probably did the touching. probably steadying herself or perhaps himself coming down that hill and i was the only stable object nearby. problem is i wanted it to be nicole and made the mistake of asking her which began to cause other problems as it was an excuse to express interest. she couldn’t say whether she did or she didn’t and i never looked back when it happened so it’s possible she didn’t thus it wasn’t a proceed signal. unfortunately i didn’t want to believe that and held onto it for a long time until fairly recently.

another error was waiting for a signal of any sort and making assumptions based upon it. like one time i was singing to myself leaving “hillman” and nicole was horrified when she saw me. except i took that as a signal of interest because she had a horrified look on her face on that occasion. well now that it’s been interpreted by me as a proceed signal although almost a week before she gave me the signal i should’ve heeded – she wasn’t interested. regardless interpreting these signals as “interest” it caused me to further awkwardly make my presence known.

eventually it was all for naught and someone i didn’t know finally came around and told me to leave her alone. too bad this was before the iPhone and quality mobile photography. it got really scary and reality was it was entirely my fault because i failed to pay attention and heed her signals. i wanted proceed signals, but she actually sent stop signals.

for all that happened then i feel bad because if she knows my room mate whom we’re still somewhat in touch although only friends on fb at this point. he’s never said anything and when sh*t hit the fan i learned my lesson. he’s never mentioned anything about that whole episode with me even though i know there had been opportunity to do so.

nicole as a student at “hillman college” was a freshmen when i first met her as a transfer student. i was gone for a year and a half returned to establish relations which incidentally i had done so seeing her at “misson’s” recreational hall playing pool. when i greeted her and after we closed our convo, she greeted me with a flirtatious look but only after she indicated that there was someone who didn’t like her hanging out with men. i can safely consider this a mixed signal, though certainly for me i saw it as proceed when it should’ve been a stop because she wouldn’t give a clear answer as to whether or not she’s spoken for.

with this said since she was a year or so older at this point and certainly had a direction for her life being a junior when i returned to “mission” perhaps it was a bad time to approach her for dating. who’s to say she already had other things that stressed her out it could be her studies, other men, family life, etc. meanwhile i was just returning and although i was older probably did lack a direction. it’s possible whenever she saw me i lacked a direction and she could probably tell “there was no there, there”. i literally came in with not a whole lot to show for myself at least not at that point in time and that could include the idea of “no potential”.

so a few conclusions. i could relate this to what happened with candice years later. i missed candice’s signals because i chose not to pay them much attention. and she’d directly let me know it was a problem for her when i continued to blow off her signals. basically candice was looking for something with me and i for whatever reason chose to not heed her “go-ahead” signals. i’m a long way from saying this was a matter of caution – to avoid misinterpreting her signals – or just a matter of avoidance from a rambunctious young woman.

with nicole i was looking for her proceed signals and she got pissed because i wasn’t heeding them. the signals essentially was a no-go and i was again oblivious. even had some dear friends at college told me i should leave her alone and even that advice wasn’t enough for me to end my own semblance of a chase. and once again i wanted the signals i wanted which basically was, “come here big boy”. the actual signal was, “get lost big boy”.

candice – i can’t say what my problem was with her. perhaps it didn’t take long for me to realize there was nothing there from me with her. what i say later seems more like an excuse now, regardless at the time she insisted on my attention it seemed a little too much too soon at the time. i don’t know whether or not i can call this a missed opportunity or a dodged bullet.

nicole – only she knows why she wasn’t interested in me. perhaps i wasn’t showing that “mission-man mystique” which is believable. perhaps my awkward attempts to give her attention at one point was a little too much too soon also. could certainly be a botched opportunity or more accurately a non-starting opportunity. sometimes i wonder if this also had been a dodged bullet.

 

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no-go

going back to my stream of thoughts that began late last month allow me to give a timeline. during the month of july, there was a family reunion in georgia which came on the heels of my attempt to go away to school at "mission college". the liberal arts school that "mission" represents is in georgia.

that experience was cool but academically and financially it didn't do me a whole lot of good. had more freedom but little experience in dealing with it. even met a young lady – nicole – whom i wanted to meet again even if there was uncertainty if she actually did like me like that. though that story came to a very hostile end much later.

before going back home in a state of uncertainty about whether or not i'd be able to return i went to a family reunion meeting picked up by an aunt from campus. then was sent back to campus via cousin natalie and her husband who attempted to talk my head off the whole way back. then on to the reunion where i still had uncertainty about my eventual return.

not long after the reunion my mother went on a cruise so i was at home for a whole week as she sailed around the Caribbean with her sisters. even still have a t-shirt from that period of time. then eventually my mother came back and not long after that one quick question, "are you going to register for classes at the community college?" well my answer was negative basically and she mumbled under her breath that i needed to finish those last few credit. before saying very clearly "it's your life".

little did i know, this was a warning sign. she was setting her expectation without just coming out and saying that this is what she wanted. she already hinted at it before i left for "mission" i was a few credit shy of an associate's degree and had little interest essentially in attaining it. perhaps this was me being 21-22 years old and trying to have it my way.

then because i hadn't yet found a job right away she started sitting me down convinced that i needed help strategizing. she starts putting on the pressure, though sadly finding a job takes time. bottom line this would ultimately help me return to "mission" although it was decided at this point it wasn't going to happen that particular year.

one thing that came up during those "strategizing" sessions was i needed to have this sense of completion and finish the associate's degree. my inclination was to reject that to my mother's disappointment. and i came up with excuses to not go back and clearly this is something that was just on her mind no matter what i said. it really bothered her that i could get a degree just like that and i wouldn't do it! unfortunately trying to convince me didn't work.

when it came closer to registration it was less of a discussion than simply a command – "go and get registered". ultimately i did, however, it was only for just enough classes where i'd still be short of the degree. when it was time to pay for the classes i went to the college that afternoon just to wander because i hope that at the end of the deadline it would be too late to pay. so i came home and not long after arriving my mother shows up from work unannounced. she wants the phone number and when they close which i complied quickly, however, she expected more from me and in a huff told me that "i wasn't even trying". she went back to work to get those two classes paid for.

during my time at community college, she was never in a huge rush to pay for me classes. she was giving me everything and i offered very little in return, taking it for granted. however, i showed little enthusiasm and she wanted this more than anything.

sometimes i wonder if her family put a "bug" in her ear. two of her sisters called the house and outright asked me if i was getting my associate's, and for the most part i only offered a bullsh*t answer. put without proving it my first thought was she was telling them that i would return to finish my associate's and they decided to make it part of the conversation.

as my mother just made it clear i needed to finish the associate's degree she advertised this as a way to really help me find a job. she also used her future demise as an argument. and of course as my reticence to really have this as part of any job application – perhaps in light of my naive belief that an undergrad degree would solve everything it didn't – she merely suggested just leaving it off my resume which was a direct contradiction to this would help me find a job.

all the same at least i never had to answer for my response to this attempt at parental coercion. i was very tempted to tear up this degree in her face to show how i'm not proud of it at all. she probably wouldn't have been entirely moved by it as she got what she paid for. it was what she wanted and for my young mind that wasn't enough for me. thankfully this never happened.

to continue my stream of thoughts what happened when i returned to my community college in spite of myself. what was the difference between spending one term at "mission college" vs. starting my undergrad career and a community college.

june 2009

hat & tasselpng

as a counterpoint to how i started the month of may, i will start june with a triumph. may 2009 i finally graduated from “mission college”. not a very high performing GPA but in spite of myself i made it. the next task paying off my student loans.

it almost felt like a repeat of summer 2002 as it took time to finally find a job – although a temp job around the holidays of that year. now i had more time on my hands than i did while at school. though i was going to experience the pressure again that my mother wanted to place on me. she wanted me to get out there and go to work, however, finding a job takes time. no matter how often i pound the pavement.

when you think about it, at that point in time i had no anthony figure to guide me on a path towards finding a good job. he often imagined me going the posh law school route or perhaps banking. law school fine and go into law banking took more than what i thought i had during the course of summer 2009.

regardless, i received countless e-mail congrats from my mother’s coworkers and family. though i never responded to any of them. while i basked in my triumph, honestly i never wanted to be bothered with the communiques. many of those same people (i.e. family) were wondering how long was it going to take for me to finish.

one of those emails came from cousin natalie who called the house looking for mom. of course when that happened she had been at work and the next subject involved congratulating me. i was like “ok” not even trying to say thank you and then she turned around and asked “did you get my e-mail?”

wanting to cut this attempt at reaching out off quick i simply said that i got a lot of emails. that killed this right there and she didn’t know what else to do or say other than “ok, bye”. even worse she and her husband visited the house the next month after graduation to visit my mother i didn’t bother coming upstairs. my mother suggested i was scared of my family had an opinion and went with it.mcg

either way reality was beginning to set in. no more admiration of the women at “hillman college”. yeah there was always fb, but i won’t be able to check out the new batch. it’ll also be harder to connect with them if i no longer go to school down there. besides it took me a while to learn women like connections if you’re in no way connected to them even second had you have no chance at all.

in the meanwhile by the end of the year i would be employed. my mother had her opinion that i would’ve been better off finding a job through the alumni network whom i had little interest in joining. besides alumni organizations costs money and i had little. sadly i had to depend on my own experience at the time.

i didn’t start getting interviews until that fall – especially an early one with “fresh foods”. that was a bad one that i’ll admit today but thankfully it wasn’t the only one.

also found out about a theater about to open near downtown chicago that became “the show”. sent an e-mail to corporate and eventually got info on a job fair they held. also relied on the old temp college bookstore standby job at a community college on the west side. that kept me employed until “the show” was ready to open.

other than that i had some optimism regarding my college degree. hopefully this could open some doors as far as jobs. well i never realized i’d have some far more trying times…

may 2007

so i go way back for this one 10 years ago. so the actions set in motion from this period would likely set the tone for the next 7 years at least. i will begin to explain.

i was at “mission college” still plodding and largely floundering. i was actually a senior and it turns out i won’t be graduating that spring. i had my ass handed to me in several of my courses during the course of that year. mostly Fs with a splash of D’s and D+’s. and by the end of this summer i would be kicked out of school again and had to fight my way back.

yeah remember that brief blurb i wrote about a girl named nicole (yeah the post involving my cousin) well during that period i had also been kicked out of mission and appealed for re-instatement. i chase after some woman and got nothing for my troubles and almost lost my opportunity to get a degree from this prestigious college.

all the same i made quite a few key mistakes and paid for it with bad grades. i was lucky to come back out alive the next semester when i fought my way back in with an appeal armed with a spreadsheet determining which grades should count. if only i was that much of a genius so that this didn’t happen in the first place.

now why this sets the time tone for the next seven years – from 2007 to 2014 – because this would be the one time i just said fuck it. i was finally alright with letting this go. no more designs on getting a prestigious degree from “mission college” and i could jump start my life during what was left of my 20s. just come home and start job hunting and get my life in order.

while this life wasn’t exciting it was unconventional. this also would mean no more looking at those “hillman college” women as a college student. no more student loan debt, studying, expensive books or even courses made difficult.

i can only imagine what i would’ve done if i never got reinstated. i know i’d be looking for another job and i’d have to explain what happened with my school. why i never finished my degree and better yet where have i been since i really hadn’t held down employment. i’d have been a very risky hire surely.

then i wonder if i’d have found myself at “the show” and perhaps i’d be in a better situation in my early 30s if i had never finished at “mission”. to be honest i have little idea today. if graduating from “mission” was my goal i reached it to my surprise…