On dating and honesty on an exotic continent

photo gallery.jpg
What ended up being a meet up for coffee ended up being a late night (on a work night) which included a photo gallery, coffee and cake, and deep and meaningful conversation in the plaza de armas. 

It has been at least 11 days since my last blog. My mind has been occupied with the good and the bad. It has thought of Tinder and dating and women and work and students at school, and of struggles and workaholism, and of what I should be doing in my life right now.

I had been on a lot of dates lately, and mostly with the same girl who makes me feel good. It caught me off guard because I certainly didn’t come to Peru for a relationship. It felt like I had finally figured out Tinder just as I met her, and suddenly not only did I have so many matches, but so many girls actually wanted to talk, and hey! Holy crap. Even meet me.

There was the date with the lawyer who invited me to her house where she fed me and tried to speak in broken English. Then there was the date at the shopping centre with the girl who knew next to no English. I don’t know how I thought that was going to work. I suppose it was because she was a really nice person who wanted to see me.

I went on one date (after the clowns date) which ended up in a nightclub. She knew English with difficulty, but as a travelling violinist in a symphony knew much more German. We went to an expensive hipster coffee bar where after the conversation slowly stopped she blushingly pulled out a piece of paper with questions in English to ask me.

I had arrived at that date wondering what the hell I was doing when I had just met another girl I liked and wanted to spend my time with. I thought about cancelling, but didn’t. And all through the coffee as I liked this girl more and more, with her awkward charm and piece of paper, I thought to myself, ‘you are scum.’

As we walked to eat dinner she asked me ‘so are you single?’ and technically I was. But I told her there was another girl I did like, over Google translator, and explained further I was not after a relationship. But I really wanted her in my life, so I begged that we be friends. The friendship continued eventually to the nightclub where everyone stared at me for being a gringo, and gradually we stole the centre of the floor dancing to regatone.

But late that night I felt whatever it was, wasn’t the same as the girl I met on the clown date. And as I took a taxi home that night I felt alone, and certainly didn’t want to push good people out of my life. When I arrived home at 4.30am I sent a tired message to the first girl and said I certainly wanted to keep seeing her.

I deliberately don’t think about the future because doing so only worries me unnecessarily, where I see problems when I am not equipped with the answers. I can adapt with solutions with time and experience that I cannot predict from the situations that have yet to happen. Mountains are much easier to see than the roads and the rope and the boots and the caves.

But something happened in the days after I sent the tired message. I realised that I couldn’t keep going on heaps of dates with different girls, especially if they ended up being really nice girls. It would only get confusing.

And so, when the girls I spoke to who I did care about wanted more detail on our future or our dating, I had to be honest and not worried about being liked by the most people.

The more honest I was the more powerful I felt. Girls appreciated it and to a degree admired it, having had enough lies and double-standards in their dating lives. I discovered that being honest was the fastest way to get what I really wanted. The obstacles or the confusion cleared, and for the first time in my life it felt like the people I knew moved around me and to what I wanted.

But of course, when girls found out that I was dating someone more regularly than once, they stopped talking to me, even if the conversation ended politely. And there is something really sad in that, that by being honest I lost the pleasure of their intelligence and conversations, but I understood that they had for a long time realised something I was only just discovering – you cannot waste time on the things that do not fit to what you want.

 

Finding myself (without trying to)

DSC_3844.JPG

Lately the days have remained the same. We wake gradually with hangovers, and in the afternoon we wander the beach, or sometimes nap. I go to the gym, and eventually go have dinner and very likely drink.

I feel my character is being tested much the same as it was when I lived in outback Queensland. Life becomes emotional, or doesn’t so much, and we must find a way to be able to express ourselves.

Character develops by how we express ourselves but in Peru, living overseas without anyone to judge us, well…doing so never seemed so unimportant. But it is. It’s never been so important.

I talk about how I spend my money, I talk about how I drink, I talk about how I treat my friends and family. I talk about sex, or my decisions regarding it. And let me begin there. In a blog post I wrote in late November, On Trying To Be That Foreign Gentleman, I wrote that I didn’t want to come here and use people. And in a way, I was thinking about one night stands.

(I was sick of easiness and compromise,” I wrote. “And I just wanted those fairytales I used to believe in (we all know the ones), and that’s why I chose Peru.”)

But as time goes on and I feel that familiar tension, almost a constant anger in my muscles, a current of adrenaline in my bones that never goes away, ever, and see people around me enjoying themselves, I wonder why I just bind myself to self imposed and self righteous rules. I’m young, I’m in a foreign country, I’m single and I’m surrounded by beautiful women. Why should I overthink this?

Pier.jpg

Because it hasn’t made me happier yet.

I explained this pressure to a friend, and she said that she felt that same pressure when she lived overseas, but she still had an unhappy time. And the more I thought about it, this confusion on my own part isn’t going to go away no matter what I do. I’m doing the right thing for me, not for anybody else, but because I am who I am. My character, who I am, what I do, is simply being tested. It’s easy to commit to some manifesto when it’s convenient, harder when it feels like you’re losing for it. And I’m glad I realised this on my own, because it’s such a relevant time. This confusion I feel won’t disappear with a quick fix or ego boost, I just have to ride it, feel it, let it sort out on its own now certain I have no agenda believing this.

There’s no ignoring that roar of sexual frustration, but given I was a very late starter anyway, I’m used to it, and it simply made me more creative. In a twisted way I enjoy it, or I harness it anyway. I jog a lot and listen to music. It requires the need within myself to drink less (and spend less because of it) because that just makes me feel more extreme.

I have spent money upgrading this blog (the link is now simply ‘awkwardconversationswithburnzy.com) meaning I can add videos soon. My justification was this blog has to become a hobby, and I would have spent that money drinking anyway. I want to go to the gym more, and work harder, and I certainly have that energy.

I realised about a year ago that because I’m such a passionate person, I have a need to be absolutely consumed by something if I don’t want to be driven mad by my mind or send the people around me crazy. This in the past had usually been video games, or Doctor Who, and as I grew older it became my work. I find myself in South America having a lot of time on my hands on a Christmas break, conscious that my money is running out, otherwise I would surf.

DSC_3930.JPG

It’s never been more important to keep myself occupied. It only makes me a stronger and better person. I left Mount Isa like this, in my own terms, but not realising that I would have to continue to do so when I moved to Peru. But here I am.

I want to set myself a few goals. First, I don’t want to post photos of myself on here or on Instagram for a month. I can use that time to focus on pictures of other people instead. And secondly, I don’t want to drink until Wednesday (that’s only three days). Don’t get me wrong, I know these goals are a crutch to help me self-improve, to trick myself into feeling better about myself, to concentrate on the illusion that I need to be better, but it’s better than drifting in my heart and in my mind.

I know it seems I make things hard for myself, but that’s who I am. And if you know me well you’ll see the benefits to having done that. You’d be amazed if you knew who I was once, to the man I am now.