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Journal SarahAnnAlien's Journal: D-things, and Gardening

I'm sorry I haven't been able to keep up with my journalling lately; the main reason is that so much is going on in my life right now, I'm having a hard time keeping up with all the changes. Things are happening so fast that I just don't have time to write it all down!

The last thing I wrote about was my d-thing.

My date. My date. My date. My first date ever. Ever.

It, um... well... er... I think I'd have to say it went pretty well.

He's very quiet and shy, so our dinner on Friday was a little awkward since he didn't say much, and then we went to a movie, which was good. Saturday we went to the zoo, and given a shared activity, we were able to talk about what we were looking at, and talk with each other a lot more, and then we had dinner again. On Sunday we saw another movie, and then he went home. He lives about three hours drive from me, which is why we sort of went out three different days in a row; he was in town.

Let's see, that was... only a month ago? Wow.

The weekend before Thanksgiving was our second date. Or would that be fourth, fifth, and sixth dates? I don't know the proper way to count these things when they happen in groups.

We saw a movie... the new Harry Potter one. I didn't think it was as good as the other ones, but I have to admit, I wasn't really paying attention to the movie. And we went out for breakfast twice, and by some quirk of fate, got the same table both times.

And we watched some DVDs at my place... and I made lasagna. First candlelight dinner...

And that's pretty much all I'm willing to say... (blush)

And... he's coming for another visit over the New Year's holiday.

How... odd. And wonderful!

See, I remember when the other kids started doing this sort of thing... where and when I grew up, it started happening in the fifth grade. Whispered conversations. So-and-so likes you-know-who. He likes her? Why? Does she like him? They *held* *hands* at the movies; didn't you hear? Shh, don't tell... and whatever you do, don't tell her that I told you what he said...

It wasn't just that I *didn't* do that. I *couldn't* do it. In fact, I couldn't even really figure out that there was something going on... other than the fact that the other kids were acting weird. I struggled to understand, I asked endless questions, endured inexplicable explanations, and even read books and took notes, desperately trying to understand what it was everyone *else* seemed to be up to. As I got older, I understood intellectually what was happening... but my brain just couldn't *do* that.

Often people think, or assume, that I've somehow always known I was an alien, and that I've spent most of my life carrying a horrible secret, a terrible burden. This simply isn't true. I wasn't hiding anything... except perhaps the absence of something... I could see that something had clearly gone very wrong in my life, but I didn't have the foggiest idea what it was!

And then, about four months after we started to seriously fix my brain chemistry... bing! The little light bulb went off over my head. Hmm... he's kind of cute. Huh? Hey, wait a minute, he *is* kind of cute; what's up with that? Hey, look, mostly naked guys jogging... no, I am *not* going to chase after them. No. NO! And stop staring. Gee, she gives really nice hugs, doesn't she? Um, why am I flirting with this random stranger? Should I be doing this? Why am I having such a hard time NOT flirting with this person... hey, wait a minute, where did I learn how to flirt? Eeek! You... um... you want to have dinner with me? Well... ok?

I'm actually fairly proud of myself for being able to restrain my expectations given what's going on; I'm fully aware that I now have roughly the same social skills as any other fifth grader! Well, maybe a little better than that, but not much. I'm just trying to enjoy what's happening, and take it all as it comes, and wait and see what happens as I grow up. I don't think I can do anything else at this point, actually.

It's a bit terrifying, but oh so exciting! And just plain fun, too.

And it makes me a little sad that my brain developed twenty-five years behind schedule... sigh. So many wasted years.

But I don't entirely mind; I wasn't completely idle during those years, and other parts of me were able to grow, and those parts are part of who I am now. I still grieve for those lost years, and that lost childhood, and yes, if I could, I would have done it differently, but there isn't anything I can do about it now. So I cry a little about that, sometimes, but mostly I enjoy the present whenever I can, and accept whatever it has to offer.

The past was painful, the future is, right now, very uncertain and unpredictable... but right now, life is... pretty good.

I'm going to enjoy right now as long as I can.

I also feel... I'm not sure... something like a cross between relief and gratitude?

After so many years, I had just sort of assumed that I would never have this kind of experience, given that I had missed out at the "proper" time, and now, being an alien and all, there aren't that many people who want to spend time with me, and most of the ones who do... well, they'd expect me to be *much* more grown up than I really am, and I just sort of avoid those kinds of people because I'm just too vulnerable to be exposed to that kind of person. But somehow, I still managed to stumble upon someone who wants to go to the movies with me.

Oh, and that thing where you get to hold hands at the movies? As it turns out, that's really nice.

So, let's see, what else is going on?

I think I forgot to write about my little vegetable garden... I think I'm growing twenty-one kinds of vegetables by now. I think. I kind of lost track. Oh, and there's a drip irrigation system, too. Except that, out on my balcony, which is where the garden is, there's no water, and no electricity. There is, however, a water tank (a.k.a. "the bucket"), a sophisticated pumping system (a.k.a. "wal-mart bilge pump"), 1/2 inch pipe running to an 8-port manifold, and 1/4 inch drip lines going to four 15 inch round pots and two 30 inch window boxes of strawberries. Which covers just about half the plants, at this point. The other six window boxes still need some plumbing. And I don't think I'm going to be able to water the hanging pots; I don't think the pump is strong enough to get the water up that high.

I planted the garden entirely out of season, or in fact, with reckless disregard to season. The important thing to me wasn't doing it "right"; the point was simply to do it. I've always wanted a house with a vegetable garden. There isn't currently a plausible scenario by which I'll *ever* come to have a house of my own. But, once I moved, I had a spacious apartment balcony with a good amount of sun during the day... and I really couldn't think of a good reason I should wait until spring to start planting. I've already spent my whole life waiting for things. So nothing grows. So nothing sprouts. So what? At least I have a garden! Armed with this attitude, I bought a pot, some dirt, some seeds, threw the dirt and seeds into the pot, added some water and a brief pep talk ("ok, if any of you grow, you get your own pot!"... ha, ha, plants will believe *anything* you tell them), and then simply declared that I had a vegetable garden, which I had always wanted.

And I mostly forgot about it... but went out to water my dirt garden a couple of times.

Then one morning, a couple weeks later: "oh my gosh... there are little *green* things poking out of the dirt! ... get the camera, quick, get the camera! Oooh, this is so exciting!" And within another weekend or two there were six window boxes, four big round pots, four hanging pots, a half dozen house plants... and, after another month or so, the compulsory geek irrigation system is starting to take shape. It's only a little bit overboard, honest!

The tomatoes don't seem to be doing anything much at all, which is pretty much what I expected given that I think I planted them at the worst possible time of the season. But the strawberries are actually blooming, and the beans are starting to crawl up their poles. And the swiss chard appears to be preparing to take over the universe... and I don't even know if I *like* swiss chard!

I really never expected anything to grow at all, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Isn't that what plants do? Isn't that what we all do? Even at the wrong time, even in horribly adverse circumstances? As long as the conditions are at least good enough... we grow as best we can, and life goes on.

Sigh... well, that covers two of the gazillion things that are happening right now. I guess it will have to do.

Money isn't everything -- but it's a long way ahead of what comes next. -- Sir Edmond Stockdale