Missing Love
Joe Clark ~ Nov 8, 2003

As I sit here writing this, a work project deadline looms in a little over a week, and a schoolwork homework deadline looms even larger for me early next week. Why, then, am I taking up precious more time to sit here and write this? Because I'm stupid? Maybe. Because I'm lonely? Maybe. Because I'm fed up? Maybe. Because of all 3? Probably.

It seems as though the last several months have just flown by. Okay, okay, almost everybody says that, because we're all too busy. But I for one don't like it, and I try to avoid over-busy-ness when possible. But I haven't escaped it this summer and especially this fall. As always, it is a combination of external pressures to get stuff done and internal pressures to waste time and do what I want to do. Put together, it makes for a big mess, and procrastination, and deadlines met "by the skin of my teeth", etc. It also leaves little time for anything else, when I spend my time either wasting it because I am being reactionary to the demands placed on me, or because I spend my time working what seems like crazy-hard trying to get stuff done and make stuff work.

I have done a fair amount of travelling lately as well. I don't mind travelling -- it's kind of fun actually -- but it's stressful. It's not just stressful because it's out of my normal lifestyle, but it's stressful because it's a different group of (mostly nice) people, and much moreso because it's a separation from my local group of (also mostly nice) people. Spending weekends away on travel especially bothers me typically because the weekend is supposed to be a respite from the usual daily demands of "produce...make it so...you can do it...just a few more minutes...respect...just a few more keystrokes...perseverance."

Well, I think it's in my personality to enjoy a hard day's work. If my day's work pays off with better functionality in a system or a better understanding of a problem or a better understanding of a concept, then I'll feel like the day was a productive one. But if I feel like that's *all* I've done, it bothers me. Over the past months, I feel like my life and especially the focus that people have on me has been one of respect, not of love. I think that people tend to respect me (if not, oh well). And I like respect. I like to have people think I know what I'm talking about sometimes. But I also like to think in terms of cherishing and camaraderie and "hanging out" and socialization and (laugh) romance. But I have had little of any of that lately, except perhaps of the geek engineer camaraderie.

Now, to make matters more confusing, as you know I have for years and years whined and complained about the lack of certain types of love in my life. And I still complain about them, because the situations don't really change. What I have been missing out on lately, though, is the periodic considerations for things like love and romance and all that. Granted it is all either hypothetical or vicarious, but it is still nice to contemplate. But I have not had time or opportunity to think even of that very much. That might be a good thing, but it feels like it drains something from my life. Maybe it is me getting "over the hill" at 25 and not being an immature idealistic youthy kid or something. Or maybe I'm just busy. But I miss the time to enjoy the sunsets and ponder love "among the fields of barley", as well as the mindset and time to contemplate the deeper meaning of sunsets and barley, and of God's love, and of love for and from those around me.

While I've been busy, I feel like the world has changed. Well, not the whole world, but my world. Well, not my whole world, but a fair share of it. Lots of friends and acquaintances have drifted further away or left the area physically. A few new people have shown up, but I have not had the time (and perhaps they have not had the desire) to turn an acquaintanceship into anything else. A few old friends have returned, but they have their own agendas to attend to. A few friends have remained present through the busy-ness, but I can't help but think they think I'm out there being "much much too busy" for them, since I don't email or talk to people as much as I used to.

So, in other words, in the midst of my busyness and engineerness and search for respectability, I have this faint but present cry still within me, that faint memory that once if not now I longed for love more than anything, and now, though I may not have that longing, sometimes I long for the longing itself. Other times, I am consumed by the passion of Linux or the passion of working code or the passion of being right or something and I forget to long for the love longing. But someday, when I am even further over the hill, I have a feeling I will wish I would have pursued that love longing more fully and pursued the respectability, knowledgeable, make-it-work personality a little less. I am at a crossroads, I am at a tension point, I am trying to balance my life in moderation between work and school and "life", between tests and simulations and sunsets and eclipses. I will find the balance, but when the scale tips one way or the other, the result is discontentment like you've read about here.