Montreal

Montreal

Just got back from Montreal. Was there on a very aspirational sort of trip. I attended an international conference sponsored by a Canadian science organization. It’s an area of science I aspired to work in. I loved it in my undergrad. I was almost publishable.

On the flight over, I sat next to a postdoc who was going to a different conference. When I overheard him talking of their research topic, I assumed it was my conference, because it uses similar technology. Had quite a nice conversation with him on the plane, and he encouraged me and go back and finish my undergrad research. I stopped because my prof left to another university, but also because I didn’t really believe in either myself or what I was doing, not sure which. Maybe both.

Sadly, on the way back I sat next to some wanker who though twig-skinny had to hog the armrest and the foot-area divider. He repeatedly put his foot on top of mine and elbowed me in the side. Eventually I put a thick airline magazine between my side and the armrest and the jabbing ceased. This person sat and watched lame movies and as far as I know was a complete waste of space. Or at least I felt like killing him 2/3 way into the flight. Why the fuck did he need to keep elbowing me and brushing my skin with his hairy arm? I hate people touching me. I really, really hate people touching me.

So I wasted over $1000 to find out that yet again I don’t belong and to get numerous WTF-looks from people who know damn well I don’t belong. But  I don’t want to retire into a world of shinyhappy lunches, trips, outings, and classes. On the way home I sat and read a python textbook on my laptop for several hours. Those are the classes, method and tools I’m interested in. I want a real job, not an easy wind-down. I’m not finished! I haven’t even started. I never had a life. I want a real life, not delusion. I’d rather not kill myself right now, logical as that direction may seem.

I was also sick the whole time, hacking into my kleenex and taking antihistamines, pseudoephedrine and cough syrup day and night, bolstered by cough drops as needed. Yet another detail to make my old, grey, undereducated and overweight ass yet more unappealing to anyone there.

And I didn’t even make it to Schwartz’ Deli for the ultimate Montreal smoked meat sandwich. I was just too sick and tired. Instead I grabbed a beef shawarma pita thing that was nasty because it tasted like mustard. Is mustard an Arabic thing? I doubt it. So much for getting it with “everything” when you dk what “everything” is.

Older dance card

Older dance card

I see the eyes of older males lingering on me, briefly. I’m 55. I’m strong. I move gracefully.

I don’t take any medications. Many times I’ve had the experience of a quizzical look on the doctor’s face, a re-ask of the question if I take any regular medications, and then a re-order on whatever blood tests or other tests I took. “Maybe there was some fuckup,” I guess they’re thinking, “since this fat person shows no bloodwork problems.” No, the test was fine. I’m healthy. Possibly because of eating home-grown veggies for many years and generally not eating industrial crap food of various kinds. I’ve never smoked, and I exercise because I know the rule: Use it or lose it. These self-repairing machines need exercise in order to repair. We’re not generally meant to live this long, i.e. in most of human history we didn’t live past 40 or 50.

Feels good to be noticed, to be lingered upon; however, I’ll never have another partner.  Recently, my crazy ex told me about his love-at-first-sight with some totally unavailable person. I told him I didn’t need to hear about that. “I’d be glad to know you had someone on your dance card.” Yeah, well, you dumped me. I didn’t dump you. If I have someone on my dance card, you don’t have to feel so bad for ditching the marriage that I meant to be for life, for ever. My sacrifices that I made beyond reason, hoping for a forever connection. No matter how hard it was, I didn’t want to end it. I wanted to fix it. Make it do or do without.

There will never be anyone on my dance card. No one could possibly accept me, given the crazy relationship that I was in. I weep, but I move forward alone. I took a chance and failed. Gotta try something different in future. Not cut out for romance or deep connection with other people. No one ever loved me and no one will. I accept that; I was not meant to be born. I’m a freak. That’s okay. Someone has to be on the end of the normal curve. C’est moi.

 

Swim-giggle

Swim-giggle

I woke up terrified, as usual, because of the networking events I’m committed to. I paid good money to attend these, sometimes without great certainty. I mean two of them, I am going to learn something useful, and they aren’t that expensive. Two of them are more expensive, more time, and I’m not sure I’ll fit in. I’m looking for my peeps and a world I can really connect with. Somewhere I can belong, and find a career. So it’s big, time-consuming, expensive, and emotionally challenging. Once I’ve figured out how I’m going to approach it, what I want, my networking agenda and followup plans, I can do those. While figuring them out, I’m terrified with doubt about myself. Am I doing the right thing? I donno, but I wanted the early bird discounts, so I went for it. If I wait till I’m certain, nothing will ever happen. At some point you have to jump or you’re gonna hit the ground anyway.

But I have some good self-management habits, like regular exercise. Swimming is one of my regular things. I go and swim lengths for 30-60 minutes. And the hot tub is my soothing reward. If I don’t have to share lanes too much, the swim is pretty soothing, too. And I love that I look 5-10 years younger after as my facial complexion looks so much better.

So today I swam. Took the new-to-me swimsuit from Value Village. I’d gone shopping for an expensive proper sports-style one to replace the one that’s over two years old, but for almost $100 didn’t find anything I liked. I don’t want to have to reach over my head and undo a plastic clip that looks like I’m gonna break it somehow. The clerk said she’s never had one returned broken, but then she looks to be barely out of high school. And most people aren’t as rough on things as I am. If I don’t rip that clip apart with my bare hands, I’ll probably step on it or slam it in a door at some point.

So, I got a $5 swimsuit at Value Village. It even had a cute little skirt to hide some upper thigh flab. I liked the colours, too. The skirt caught on my arm when I was swimming, so I had to tie it up on one side. When I got out, I noticed the skirt was pretty much down to my knees. Felt weird.

Best of all, as you can see, the suit has an impressive bustline, hills like white elephants, major uplift. This gave each side of my chest a room of its own. In other words, I didn’t need these capacious carapaces. However, when I got in the pool, it seemed these hollow handfuls contained magnets for male eyes. I felt them on me in a strange way, lingering like never before. I’ve never had a bust that stood out, particularly. But now I did. And it made me laugh. I had a couple of good giggles at the end of some of my laps.

Iron gut

I always had a cast iron gut. Eat a heavy meal right before bed, no problem. Pickles and licorice? Yum. Habanero sauce, plenty of it? Curry, be it rich northern style or even spicier but less rich southern style, bring it to me. Buffets with 300 different items, oh, yes. Kimchi by the bowlful? And coleslaw wrapped in a kale leaf, oh, yeah, bring on the raw veggies, a full plate of them, please.

But stress, I assume, has taken its toll. Now I’m burping all the time, and farting, and worse. Not even a shart, but just, “Oh, did something happen there? It feels wet.” WTF mucus? Diarrhea 10 or even more times a day. Google, google, well, this is called IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. Me, really?

So, the last time my former sweetheart came over here, about a month ago, we were looking at some stuff on his laptop, and I got up and a fart escaped. He got a foul look on his face. Whoops, sorry, I farted. He expressed his disgust, very different from how we used to laugh about how farts weren’t a big deal. He would often say something about in Japan, farting with someone means true love. Well, we aren’t in love and he got nasty.

“It is disgusting that you did that, when it is perfectly controllable.” Okay, well, I’m actually a lot older than him and I’m not shit-phobic like him. Like I do actually look in the toilet for health reasons, to see how it’s going. He craps once a week and would never look at it.

“Maybe in your culture it’s okay to just fart around other people.” Well, actually, in OUR culture, in the past, it was no big deal. I felt hurt by his harsh words, tones, and facial expressions, but the thought running through my mind was, “Just be glad it wasn’t a shart.” I didn’t tell him I know what those are from personal experience, though.  He doesn’t have any compassion for me, anyway, from what I can tell.

Today I chewed my food very carefully and lengthily, because I learned it can help with IBS type symptoms. I also made a point of sipping drinks more slowly – I’ve always been a gulper – so as not to swallow air. This is supposed to help with the dyspepsia. If you have a lot of burps, supposedly it’s most likely from swallowing air. I noticed after my three big cups of coffee this morning, about one litre, I felt very gassy and bloated. Will have to slow down with the coffee tomorrow, too! At least now I’m connected to my body, not like the first 50 years of my life.

Lately, I feel imprisoned in my body, but at least I’m aware of that, instead of just being numb. My life has been mostly oscillation between numbness and turmoil. I need more joy, peace, and satisfaction. At least today my guts functioned much better.

And a PS from yesterday, with all that sun my garden seeds finally came up. Planted them two weeks ago, and the radish and arugula are finally up in bunches. The other veggies should be straggling along any day now.