Tuesday, December 22, 2015

One year

I can't believe its been a whole year since I last posted. I've been meaning to write something quick, but just never got around to it. I'm not sure most of the people who followed my blog even will see this, since a lot of their blogs dried up over the last couple years. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Blogger was a great way for me to work through my thoughts and meet people going through similar things as me. I'll probably still try and write things on here once in a while, but I wouldn't think it'll be more than once a year. And don't be super surprised if there's never anything after this.
This is super long, so don't feel like you have to read the whole thing. Gay stuff is mostly the first part, and one bolded phrase.

So first things first: I'm still with my bf. We celebrated our 2 year anniversary almost 3 months ago. I started typing 2 months, and realized it had been even longer. This year is just flying. He had been applying to Peace Corps, and would have gone overseas with that last summer, but he was wait-listed and decided he wanted to move to grad school with me instead. More on grad school in a bit. I had mentioned in my last post that we were starting to do a little more with other guys. We really opened up our relationship, and for a while we were both using it. There were some threesomes, but also just guys each of us would sleep with. One guy I slept with a few times, plus a threesome together, got a little crazy on me. He was an international student and had a boyfriend back home he was cheating on (a lot. I was not the first guy he slept with in the US). He got really clingy really fast and started calling me his American boyfriend. So I had to shut him down. Which is a pity since he was pretty hot. The Asian guy I mentioned in my last post that we'd been sleeping with a lot continued over the summer when he was in town. I feel bad since he still hasn't slept with anyone so we're the only ones he's slept with in a year and a half or so. I think he fell for me/us and I'll admit I fell a little for him too. But he's back in the Midwest, a 15 hour drive away. He's a really sweet guy, and if he lived closer, I'd probably get a polyamory thing going. But I don't think its fair to try and encourage him to have feelings for me. Its a little cliche, but I'll be happy if he's happy. I hope he does find a nice guy closer to him that can be what he deserves. He was the main person my bf and I hooked up with all summer. Since we've moved for grad school in mid-August, I've hooked up with one person. It wasn't a great hookup, and I regret doing it. I still get on Grindr and Scruff a lot. I enjoy chatting with other guys and exchanging pics. But for the most part, I don't want to meet up with them. Even if they're attractive, its too much of a bother. I'd rather just be with my boyfriend. We don't have sex super often so I jack off a lot, but I actually don't mind. I would like to just delete the apps but part of what keeps me tied to them is the couple friends/people I have actual conversations with. I go on to talk to them and end up checking what other guys are around. I wish I could stop, but it's not causing an issue with the relationship, so I guess its OK.

Its not very different living together either. I usually spent a few nights a week at his place or him at mine anyway, and our last couple months, I was at his place 5 or 6 nights a week. I think that helped our move in. One of my friends also moved in with his (very attractive) boyfriend at the beginning of August and they only made it a month or two. But they also hardly ever stayed over with each other. I'm really not sure why they thought they were a good match. But oh well. They opened their relationship right before they broke up, and my bf and I have made it beyond that point haha. We didn't open our relationship to fulfill something that wasn't getting met in the relationship. I think that helps. Living together, we've kept our routine of often just doing our own things in the evening. Now that we have our own place we're not always in the same room, which I miss a little. I liked being on my computer while he was on his. I still feel a little neglected sometimes, but I also know if I really need someone, like my anxiety is acting up or whatever, he'll be there as soon as his game is done (he mostly plays team games, so he can't just drop them.) I do more of the paying for things and he takes care of more of the cleaning, though we split cooking pretty well. The reason for this is that I work full time with class/lab, while he is only working part time at a non-profit. We also got 2 cats (one was from my parents and moved with us, and the other was a stray his coworkers found at work), which he mostly takes care of. His current plan is to try to go to law school next fall or the year after, so he's been working on studying for the LSAT some. He took it once and got an average score, with honestly not too much studying, so I'm sure he can do better if he can avoid playing computer games. If he does go to law school, after he would want to continue working for non-profits, helping people. He find that sort of work very rewarding. I'm really glad he moved with me. I lot of drama was going on this year in his family, with his mom breaking her hip, his dad divorcing his step mom, his sister having anxiety/depression so bad it was interfering with her work, his grandparents getting ill. I think he feels kind of guilty that he's not there to help out, but I don't think its fair for them to dump all their problems on him. I think its better for him to just offer his support through phone calls and they can also rely on each other, not just him. His family really makes me appreciate my own. Mine is so normal.

So last winter I went on 4 interviews for grad school (I got rejected from 1 place straight up). Two were in the Midwest and were only three hours away or so from where I was. The other two were on the East Coast. I got into three of the schools I interviewed at. One, the people were super nice, but there weren't that many professors I was interested in working with (except one super nice one who studied interesting things) (there was also a cute gay grad student at that interview, but he was already taken haha. I didn't hook up on any of my interviews). One I liked the school, but it was in a major city on the East Coast. I hated it. It wasn't as bad as NYC, which pisses me off in a few hours, but after two days there for interviews, I was in a bad mood. I also got stuck in Chicago flying back due to snow. My third interview I actually roomed with another guy from my school, which was a crazy coincidence (they assign rooms, so maybe not a coincidence haha). This was also on the East Coast where I ended up going. It is a pretty good school, interesting research, though maybe not as interesting as the second, and a much more laid back feel. People here consider it part of the South, but since its on the ocean I call it East Coast (the state is on the ocean, not the school). The last place was OK, but I was mildly sick during the interview, so I'm sure I didn't shine very much, and I didn't get an offer there (though they are also notorious for filling up all their slots before they've even interviewed everyone). I drove to that one with the guy I roomed with at the third one and we were assigned as roommates again! He's a nice guy, but very nerdy. I actually don't like talking about science or math all the time like some people. So yeah that's how I chose my school. My supervisor for my year long internship had a connection with the area so she was super excited. She's such a sweet lady, I wish I had enjoyed her project more. It was good experience though. I got to see the interview process from the other side. The boss boss was being kind of weird about my supervisors choices for candidates. He didn't talk to them himself for the most part. I really think he should give her more autonomy. They have kind of a fucked up relationship. But she can't mind it too much if she keeps working there. They had a very nice going away party for me, and I really did like my  coworkers. I had a month off from work before I had to move, two of which were spent at my parent's since my lease was up. I told both my parents (separately) that I was dating a guy by waiting for them to ask me how I was getting to my new place. They both took it calmly though a little awkwardly, and have just ignored it for the most part. Which is ok, not a bad reaction overall. My mom has asked me a few questions. I think she's more bothered by the fact that I'm not religious, honestly. My bf also came out to his dad late spring/early summer, so I got to meet him and my bf's step mom right before they divorced.

Grad school is going OK. I hate having to take classes again, I much prefer just being in lab. Luckily my program isn't too focused on classes, As long as you put in a moderate effort, you'll pass. They're much more concerned with lab work, which is good. I think it's safe to say that if you make it to a PhD program, you can go out and learn things from your field on your own instead of in class format. The first year of grad school, some science programs have you work choose a few labs that you may be interested in working in and spend a few weeks to months in them. In the end, you hope you've found a lab you can be happy working in for 4+ more years. It also depends on whether the professor has funding to support a grad student, and lots of other things, so it can be a little nerve-wracking. I'm currently in my second rotation, and I like it a whole helluva lot more than my first lab. I think I could be happy here. I'm back to working with zebrafish, like I did my senior year of college, which I enjoy. I also just like the atmosphere and people in the lab more. I sometimes feel like I'm not spending as much time in lab as a lot of my cohort (kids in my program in my year), and that was definitely true in my first lab. But this lab, I feel like I have more to do and a lot more certainty of how to go about things.

My cohort is pretty good. We're pretty small, only 6 total. Some of the upper years (started off) 2 or 3 times that size. Three of them live together, and they're ok. I usually enjoy my conversations with them, and we all hang out every few weeks. One of the guys is foreign and is really hard to understand sometimes. I think he stays quieter than he would back home because of that. He's an OK guy, but is very absorbed in his work and doesn't socialize as much. The last guy hangs out at our apartment multiple times a week. He's fun to do stuff with, like go to movies (along with one of our neighbors who is a second year in another program and gets along with the bf well), go out to eat, or just stay in and watch stuff. The weird thing is, he has a bunch of gay friends (he's been to the LGBT group on campus, I haven't), was in a gay frat in college (he claimed not to know it was gay til after he joined), and has 2 gay brothers, one older one younger. I believe he is attracted to women and has said explicitly before that he's straight, but every once in a while (like kind of often) he says something that really makes you question his sexuality. I try not to read into it, and I don't want to do anything to ruin our friendship. But its also a little frustrating to have a straight boy almost teasing you or something. There are a few gay guys in my program in the upper years. Two of them are copresidents of the LGBT group, and one of those two is my next door neighbor by a crazy coincidence. I don't intend to do anything with him though cuz it seems incestuous to mess around with people inside the program (though that's not stopping some pining on a second year I hang out with some for a girl in my cohort and the "straight" guy for another girl in my cohort).

I stopped antidepressants over a year ago. My depression hasn't been very bad, but my anxiety has been pretty bad. I try not to diagnose myself, but no one form of anxiety quite describes what I have. The categories are probably pretty artificial anyway though. I was thinking about starting some therapy, and talked to the university's counseling center. They only offer short term counseling so the guy was going to give me a list of people he thought would be good for me off campus, but I never heard back from him. I could try and find someone on my own, but I really don't know how to tell if someone would be a good fit, and also it's pretty expensive. I could find someone that works with my insurance, but even then. I should work on doing more mindfulness exercises, which help with my anxiety pretty reliably, but I never remember and it's hard to do sometimes when you're really anxious. But overall, I'm in a pretty good place right now, enjoying lab, enjoying living with my bf, and enjoying the people I know (though I do miss my friends in the Midwest. And our Asian definitely-strings-attached fuck buddy).

So yeah, like I said, that was long. I actually started this yesterday, but finished it today. I'm flying back home this afternoon for a week for the holiday. My boyfriend is staying here by himself, but so is our "straight" friend, so they're planning on spending Christmas together (me and my boyfriend celebrated Thanksgiving here also instead of home. We went to one of the girls in my cohort's place). I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. Any questions about stuff I mentioned (or didn't) feel free to ask. Happy winter solstice (the 22nd).