the animal's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Mister Imperceptible
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Jack London combined experience in AK with his experience in the Pacific and in the Bay Area to weave a rich tapestry.

I vote yes.

7Wannabe5
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Then he died at age 40 of dysentery and late-stage alcoholism. I vote no.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible »


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C40
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by C40 »

Would you leave Alaska entirely? Or do the winers working in CA and AK the rest?

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

No, it would not be a permanent move. I think at most something like a 6 month stint, more likely 4-5 months. I really like the winters up here, especially the second half from late February to late April. At the moment I can't imagine doing this for more than 1 season.

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Ego
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Ego »

Is timber cruising a skill you were looking to cultivate? This is a step up from what you were doing before, right? Would you keep your place in AK? The pay seems good but how much will you have to shell out for lodging. I'd imagine that living in a car in northern CA could get mighty cold. Do other employees with the same job typically have an RV?

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

The forestry work I have been doing for the past couple summers contained timber cruising as one component of what we did. With this being the sole focus, it'd likely be much easier because of that. There may be a few minor differences but I think the biggest thing would just be learning the different tree species, which wouldn't be too challenging. It would be a step up in pay. The work I did for the govt did not sit well with the crew I was part of for both seasons as we were able to work quickly and efficiently, finishing before other crews and getting paid less for it. Since this is paid per each unit completed, the incentives are now in my favor. I do enjoy this work and would prefer to do it within AK but the equivalent company up here doesn't have work for more people until the spring.

The housing is something I've been trying to think through. If I were to go, it seems like it would be stupid to keep renting the place I'm at. I think I could either get a storage unit or stash stuff at a friends.

I'm not entirely sure what people do for housing. In the summer, I believe most camp but in winter I think motels and the like become more attractive options. I could pick up a trailer here for cheap now since the seasons over and likely sell it for a small profit in the spring. Otherwise camping would be fine. I think we might have a significantly different frame of reference for what constitutes as mighty cold. ;)

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Ego
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Ego »

Hah! Truer words were never spoken.

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

I turned down the job. I have a hard time being on my own for extended periods as it is and that situation wouldn't do anything to help that. Maybe some other time.

I've been going through another lonely/down stretch lately. I've gone from experiencing loneliness due to almost never being around humans (when I lived in the Arctic) to experiencing loneliness due to being surrounded by humans but lacking meaningful connections. Once again, much of it is due to the area I'm living in. I came to the realization last week that not only are there very few single women here but there are very few single men. I tried to think of the number of single men I know counting all friends and acquaintances and came up with 2... Everywhere else I've lived, I've had no issue establishing a group of close male friends. Here I've found that to be very hard to do. I think a lot of it has to do with the couple centric culture and the home based social scene. Unlike most other urban areas, Fairbanks nightlife and social experiences outside the home (in some other building) is essentially non existent. BBQs, potlucks, game nights and outdoor activities/trips are the most common options here.

As I've mentioned previously, I currently work from home. This means that unless I make an effort, I won't be seeing people during the day or if I do my interactions are transactional/basic (library interactions, grocery checkout etc). I can do fine with a few days of this but for extended periods I do NOT do well and get VERY down. Since living here, I've tried to establish a lot of friendships and set up things to do during the week with others. Big ones are running, swimming, skiing and dinners. On really good weeks I'll have 4+ days of these types of interactions. On average it's probably more like 2. This is still too few for me. It's hard to increase as my friends are either too maxed out from their daily commitments or have something going on with their boyfriend/girlfriend. So far I've tried to mitigate this by getting into other activities and trying to make more friends. I've been taking a salsa class once a week and recently started doing brazilian jiu jitsu every day. They help, but I haven't found them to be the solution. Part of me is very frustrated that I have to try all this stuff out and learn (which I do truly want to anyways) just to meet my social needs while friends (at least those that are in a relationship) seemingly carry on without this issue. But the alternative sucks and is not something I want to embrace.

So ideas I'm left with is volunteering and/or taking a part time job. I've only started looking into this recently, so nothing really here yet.

Of course an easy answer would be to move. I really love Alaska though and can't see myself anywhere else at the moment. There is such a large difference between cultures here and the rest of the United States.

So for now, I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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Ego
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Ego »

Would a coworking space help? There would be a cost, but you might meet people in the same boat.

TopHatFox
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by TopHatFox »

Maybe an extended travel trip where you practice day approaches, and then bring the lovely lass to live with you in Alaska? :D

You can only do so much with a poor dating location, no matter your resolve. The meal is as good as the chef and the ingredients, but the chef can only do so much with poor ingredients. What about moving a bit south to Canada, western Montana, or CO?

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

@Ego- I didn't think there were any around but it does appear that there is one on the other side of town. They have flexible pricing options so it might be worthwhile for at least part of each month. Otherwise I guess I could consider coffee shops, I have seen people working there. I tried the library for a while last winter, but I didn't find it to be the greatest spot for interacting with others. Anyways, thanks for the suggestion.

@THF- Canada is almost impossible to live in long term if you aren't a resident and I have no interest in living permanently outside the US. I like Montana, but it is still too civilized for my tastes.

It comes down to what I've talked about on this board for the past few years in searching for a tribe. I had a tribe in high school, college and right after. For the past 3.5 years I haven't found a tribe and have no practical idea of establishing one outside of joining the military. The summer forestry work I've done comes close in that I'm with the same group of people for an extended period with a shared, specific mission but its temporary.

classical_Liberal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

@theanimal
Just playing a bit of devils advocate here, but how old are you now? Late 20’s?

I’m 43 and been single (ie no serious gf) for probably 15 of the last 20 years. Of that time I lived with a roommate maybe another 1.5 yrs. so for the majority I was alone. I noticed a huge shift from about 27-8 onward. “Tribes” for males really started to evaporate as we reached the age of traditional marriage/family. Sure, maybe a weekly card game or softball league, but mostly people went their own ways. People just become overwhelmed with career and family. This was true for urban, small college city, and rural. Admittedly it was all in the Midwest USA. In some circumstance, with a ton of effort, I had community feeling, but not that sense of a tribe I had earlier in life.

I guess I’m just trying to say that the grass always seems greener. Obviously if it’s a relationship with a female significant other, Fairbanks is about the worst geographic choice. However, I’m not sure a geographic change is gonna help you with “tribe”. Maybe that’s just a natural for men in 30-40s? Maybe that’s a contribution to the overall life satisfaction dip men see in those age ranges as well? IDK? I do know the best friendship relationships I’ve had over the past decade have been as either a mentor or mentee(is that a word?). Those have tended to be deep and last the test of time/geographic distance. But they were mostly individuals not a group of friends or the like.

If you figure this out, let me know!

Ps I totally “grok” what you mean about needing a certain amount of human interaction without depression, so it’s not like I’m an introvert and have purposely avoided people the past 10-15 years.

TopHatFox
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by TopHatFox »

I do want to point out also that having a 10,000 lumen lamp helped A TON with depression. Best $200 ever spent. You still need people in your life though. Not necessarily a community, but gfs and affection sound nice. Not having one for 15 years sounds...awful, frankly. But some people have the magic gift of not feeling lonely/needing meaningful social interaction. Lucky sons a b's

classical_Liberal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

@tophatfox
What I consider a serious relationship is living with a SO. This definition is also colored with age. At this point anything less than that was just dating or hanging out, or whatever the term is these days. I had a ton of those. The reason I want to clarify is because finding a run-of-the-mill romantic relationship was waaay easier from late 20,s to present than finding a great group of male friends (or non romantic female friends) to call a “tribe”. Which is why I think geographic change will help dating, but probably not tribe.

theanimal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by theanimal »

@Bigato- I agree with what you're saying. I don't think I can achieve long lasting contentment from other people and have continued to work on developing myself so that I'm satisfied without depending on others. But I have also found that to be true only to a certain extent, at least for me. For example, there was a stretch recently where over the course of ~12 days I had ~3 hrs interaction with people. This includes being around people, talking to others etc etc. The other 280 some hours I was completely by myself. I know there are a lot of introverts on this board but at least for me this behavior is nowhere near desirable or mentally healthy. That's why I struggle to see increasing my social interaction as a reliance on others for happiness. I think it is more of fulfilling my fundamental human need for social interaction rather than a dependence on others. Hence why solitary confinement is in the upper echelons of punishment for most humans. Maybe you can show me where I'm wrong.

Yes, I realize I am blocking myself by limiting myself at the moment to this one geographic area. It's something I'll have to continue to explore going forward. I appreciate the advice.

@CL- I'm 26 soon to be 27. Yes, to a great extent I agree with your viewpoint. I have heard from some friends back in Chicago who have the same difficulty, but then again there are others who have a group of guys they regularly hang out with. Nothing's certain. I'm at the age where most of my friends are married or are in the process of getting married and am experiencing similar things to what you've described. For whatever reason, it sure seems that most men are content to stop being as social outside their household once married or in a serious relationship. I would have a hard time believing that this didn't cause a dip in life satisfaction but as you said who knows? I was talking to a friend about this issue recently and was told that I had it all figured out, that I structured my life in order to maximize for quality of life rather than quantity of possessions/status etc. But I found it doesn't matter if I figure it out if (seemingly) everybody else is pursuing normal life of busyness leaving me on a social island. It's like I have a commune styled life without the commune haha.

Have your mentor/mentee relationships been career related? If not, what was the source?

@THF- I haven't had a girlfriend in almost 10 yrs. AMA

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

+1 for what CL said about tribes evaporating. At some point people just don't seem to want to hang out anymore unless it is something for the kids. I think this is more for men than women.

I don't mean to be discouraging but it sounds like there is a trade off happening. Your job has things going for it but doesn't bring any contact with people. Your location has things going for is but is isolated. You may have to give up some things to get others.

Cheepnis
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by Cheepnis »

Social interaction is an odd need. I find that for myself being in the presence of another person even if we're not directly interacting is often enough to quench the need. Having a live-in GF is helpful that way. I also find that dissatisfying social interaction will still satisfy the need. Though I suppose that could be as much from relief for freedom as fulfillment of need.

I have had the same experience with the evaporation of tribes and I don't know what the solution is. I try to keep some amount of connection together with people I'd like to have connection with and am generally met with, at best, unwillingness to make time. The only foolproof solution is to continue working on oneself in an attempt to loosen the coupling between the availability of people who both find me interesting and who I find interesting and my general life experience. @bigato's comment above was somewhat reassuring to that end.

TopHatFox
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by TopHatFox »

theanimal wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 4:36 pm

@CL- I'm 26 soon to be 27. Yes, to a great extent I agree with your viewpoint. I have heard from some friends back in Chicago who have the same difficulty, but then again there are others who have a group of guys they regularly hang out with. Nothing's certain. I'm at the age where most of my friends are married or are in the process of getting married and am experiencing similar things to what you've described. For whatever reason, it sure seems that most men are content to stop being as social outside their household once married or in a serious relationship. I would have a hard time believing that this didn't cause a dip in life satisfaction but as you said who knows? I was talking to a friend about this issue recently and was told that I had it all figured out, that I structured my life in order to maximize for quality of life rather than quantity of possessions/status etc. But I found it doesn't matter if I figure it out if (seemingly) everybody else is pursuing normal life of busyness leaving me on a social island. It's like I have a commune styled life without the commune haha.

@THF- I haven't had a girlfriend in almost 10 yrs. AMA
Yeah, 25-30 does seem to be the time when people start shacking up. I'm starting to see the theme come up more & more. I think I read somewhere that if they don't but wanted to, the people available after 30 are "damaged goods" in some way, so that's an interesting generalization lol. At the very least, you'll have to decide on whether you want to raise someone else's kid, which sounds pretty bad considering I (we?) don't even want our own kids. Still, it also seems like the age to shack up is increasing, maybe to 30-35, 'cause Millennials in part tend to focus on their education/careers, so I dunno.

@the animal, 10 yrs, dang dude, I struggled with 1 year during braces-land. How'd you cope with lack of physical intimacy? Or even emotional intimacy; it seems a lot harder to open up to dudes than it does to women? Maybe having access to breath-taking hikes helps? I've noticed that relationships almost seem required to be happy long-term as a cube-dweller in some shitty atomized metropolitan area.

On the idea of tribes, it seems like more and more of our interactions are now online? For instance, more and more people talking about whatever on Reddit, FB, Instagram, and so on, rather than going down to the pub or to a restaurant to talk? I guess it's a lot easier: you just have to type stuff, rather than get the car going, driving, finding parking, paying for the meal/alcohol, etc.

Maybe virtual reality will help make the feeling of tribes return, but the lack of ability to give someone a hug or even a handshake is still an important part of social interaction.

classical_Liberal
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Re: the animal's journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

@theanimal
A couple of professional, but mostly in personal sphere. People love to share personal skills and knowledge, if you are willing to learn. Willingness/openness to learn is rare these days, so generally people are excited to have someone that really listens to what they know. Great way for relationships to form.

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