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Really Good Weekend.

Man, i could type for a while... there was so much that went on. There's the details in particular.. and there's my shifts in perspective... Spiffles was curious, so yah, i guess i'll write it out.

First, the scatterings of topics...

Andrea An-Li Huang!!!!
Hanging With My Clan
10 year renewal of vows... celebrating love and companionship and couplehood in my clan...
Alanon Area Conference!
My Neighborhood as my home
Stu'ed Kale and Cat Houses
LJ Random Friending

Is that about it? yep.. that's the top things. Oh yeah.. BitTorrent. But that's an experiment not yet completed.

So, now the detail:

I spent time with my Clan. I didn't have the right words to express the relationship before... i have a bunch of friends with whom I'm really close.. or something. I've known them for a long long time. They've known me for a long long time. We used to play DND and Mud together like, 14 years ago!

Well, one of the first marriages in the clan.. Chris and Colleen.. has come to the 10th year. We had a renewal of vows thing.. very small, informal. I played hooky to go there..

backtrack the storyline

I went to Cedar Rapids this weekend to go to the Al-Anon area business conference, as I'm a GR for an AFG group, and, well, that's what GR's do. I got to see friends again.. the kinds of friends who REALLY want to know what's going on with you, and who give the most wonderful hugs. But, there was something that was bothering me.. i also had some friends having their 10th anniversary renewal of vows, in the same town. This is like WAY important to me.. these friends are very important. They are more than friends, they're like family, somehow. What could I do? the renewal ceremony was at 4pm, and the Area business conference was from 3-5.

Normally, i'd be afraid of "what would people think?" .. on both sides, if I missed either one.

I let it go.. searched inside myself.. and found my answer:
I'll always be involved in Al-Anon. that's my life decision.
Other people can take notes for me.
One of my defects of character is running away from meaningful relationships because I don't know how to have them, its too scary to let people in sometimes.

It felt right to go to the renewal.

So, I attended what I could of the business conference ... i possibly need to return some $ to my group, will disclose to them my costs and we shall see.. and at 2pm, after the lunch speaker was done, i headed back to the hotel room, took a micronap, and then went to my friend's home.

switch storyline

I showed up as the last minute preparations were being made. I jumped in.. even though i've known these folks for like 14 years, i still need something to *do*, to be of service, before I feel like I belong. That's one of my other defects of character: My default is to feel that I do NOT belong. Regardless if I do or not, point is, the "feeling" is stuck on "ick", pretty much by default. I have to take actions to prove *TO MYSELF* that I belong. And so, I helped with cutting fruit, arranging meats, wiping up spills, and stuff.

We had the ceremony -- it was beautiful and simple. No silly ministers involved.. just us friends.. Chris addressed us.. Colleen addressed us.. they addressed each other. All the words were spoken from the heart. I started crying but you couldn't tell unless you looked closely. I love my friends so much.. they are all angels, with beautiful big shining lights glowing through them.

And then we ate. And Jeff and Laura showed up.. Jeff is the constant life of the party, whichever party he goes to. Not in a stupid way, but in an engaging conversational way. I get annoyed at him sometimes, he hogs the conversation and keeps it at a level that, for me, is getting pretty old sometimes... i find when I'm around him, i tend to not talk, and when I do talk, i feel like whatever I say sounds stupid. But.. i love the big galoot. And I know that one on one, we *can* talk about pretty deep stuff. He hadn't had a chance to exercise his party skills in a long time, and why begrudge him his breath of fresh aire? So i switched gears, and sent him and the whole situation my love, and hey, i was okay! I did NOT need to let my voice be heard...

Now, back to An-Li. Andrea An-Li Huang, aka "Li Li", is a ... what does precocious mean exactly? well, i say she's cute.. spoiled.. bright, very bright... very loving.. her intelligence is so close to the surface.. and she's the 1st daughter of two more of my friends, Michael and Kathy. Michael and I used to be REALLY close way back when.. and I always thought to myself, when they got married, that somehow, i could be involved in the lives of their kids.. "Uncle Sunny", as it were. I totally see love in their relationship.. heck, I wanted to adopt 'em as family. I think i even said so, once upon a time..

But.. i ended up moving away. And the kids, they didn't know me. Sure, i'd see them, but .. to them, i was an outsider. The locals .. were Uncle Jim and Auntie Colleen, etc.

S'Okay. What to expect? and its not like you can just go up to a kid and say "here. i want to be friends with you". I know patience though.. and if my knowledge of the workings of the universe is true, then, all i need to do is wait, and light is attracted to light.

Well, last night, universe arranged it.. nothing I even intended.. but An-Li and I watched Disney's Fantasia 2000 together. Said one of the other adults in the living room: "Hey, you' really liking this!". Said I: "I have somebody my own age to share it with!" .. which is true. There are so many children of so many ages inside me.. and I've learned that for me to be a responsible adult, I need to take care of adult business and then Get the Heck Out of the way, and let my creativity and enthusiasm out. Maturity is NOT about being serious all the time, folks. Quite the opposite.. its about letting the light shine. for me, anyway, you're welcome to your opinion.

And man, what a bond was started! An-Li doesn't leave me alone now.. ... which is annoying a little bit, i have to know my boundaries as to when i'm too tired to fully be there for her, but yet very very welcome.. why? because, its like a reflection of my ties to the people, the family, that I love. Its a reaffirmment for me, as to what is truly beautiful in life. Its a reaffirmment to me, as to my purpose in life. She is a child of my clan.. she is a part of my clan .. and I love her, and I want to be there for her. Is this what Unclehood is about? If so, I accept.

Brings to mind a treatise on Unclehood vs Parenthood... which I will not go into here.

switch subjects slightly

Brings me to my clan. I remember when Gina had her 30th.. and she talked about her "tribe", and it was good... I felt sad. I wanted a tribe, i felt like I had none. Plus, every time I visited my friends in Cedar Rapids, i would think: "Hey, maybe i should move here!". Yet, then i'd be severing all the relationships i've started here in this community.. plus there's the job thing.. and the "turning my will over" thing.. If HP wants me to move, then HP will provide the impetus. So.. i've waited, to see what happens.

And then, this time visiting.. i started to see a view of my identity that I had been missing...

I am Sunjeev / Sunny "Sunnywiz" Gulati, of the Clan Vincent's Hollow. (doesn't sound as good as Conner McLoud of the Clan McCloud, but hey, you get the picture). They are my peers, they are my friends, they are people whom I love. I do not live with them; i live 2 hrs away from them, and that's okay! I still BELONG to the clan -- by my choice and my actions. My actions are to visit them when I can, to maintain the relationships, to spend the time to listen, and share the parts of my life that are fit for sharing. Luckily, we have an email circle and a bulletin board which we use to keep track of each other.. makes it easier on me to keep up my ties.

Yep. Good. And whilst I continue to live here in Ames.. I am creating a community for myself as well. Its not like my clan, it will never be like my clan. And that's okay. My clan *wants* me to to be happy and thrive. Its not like the family i grew up with... closed off and isolated. No Sir. And people who choose to be with my clan.. like Belinda.. are definitely accepted. Yep. The only requirement for membership is the true desire to be a member.

... I look forward to being around, being there, as their children.. the clan's children.. grow up.

Hmm. I'm starting to run a little low on writing juice. Hang on.. getting some slurpy milk...

Yumm. Hey, cool, the EE kid from 3 houses down just returned my bike.. I gifted him the electrical motor and battery set, since I wasn't taking very good care of it nor using it. My bike is so much lighter now!!!! 60 lbs->30llbs -> 20 lbs.

The other big thing this weekend is related to the above storyline. It is, that I did not "hide" my involvement in Alanon from my Clan. I didn't make a big deal of it either. That ability to truly be myself ... with my clan, and with my AFG... really took a load off my heart. Yep yep.

So, what else... *scrolls back up* .. hmm, lots of little stuff, but its all hohum life detail and very little feelings stuff.. my tummy is making cute noises..

minor stuff

Stu gave me same Kale for a veggie stew that I have planned... My cats really liked it, i had to give 'em a piece. Met Stu's neighbor, who made a cat cage thing in his back yard, talked for a while. Visited with my neighbor Pat, who introduced me to her neighbor Helen's grandson, who'se in EE, to whom I gave some stuff I wasn't using anymore. Eric? Erin? Enron? something like that, must re-ask Pat. Heheh. (hey! that's a spiffism!)

Yah, Stu's volvo crapped out in Iowa City, where he hangs with his gf Erin. (yes, another one). It has like 240,000 miles on it.. beautiful old stationwagon. He's very proud of it. But its getting to that age where things are crapping out left and right. The engine is still great.. no oil leaks at all. I stopped by Best Buy and picked up NWN:Gold on the way to pick him up.. NWN game scheduled for tomorrow night..

And i got a Anime think from Kathy which.. i forget the name.. sugary sweet, really cute. I am reinspired to reinvestigate bittorrent, which is appparently where they get this stuff.. not too sure where to start downloading the stuff from, though.

Area Conference was interesting too. Came up with the idea of an Area Inventory, to help fine tune the conference, to match the needs of the GR's.. keeping in mind the concepts (2+5). It was a wonderful example of conflict as a GOOD thing, and how to drill down to what's really important. The importance of being heard. Several people were in tears as they shared, it was very intense for them. We even had two folks from WSO here for a service project.. like, the chairperson of the Board of Directors. Talking about the dilution of the delegate's report as it filters down, etc. Some icky stuff going on with Alateen and permission slips, which irks me, but that's a different rant. Not that I really rant about anything, call it more like a treatise. Perhaps for another forum. Hahah. Forum. Get It? (inside joke)

OH YEAH! I FINALLY ate at Biaggi's. It was good. It was more important in that, Biaggi's is a common shared experience amongst my clan-members, and i felt left out, and now I don't. Heh. All I had to do was show up and STAY for the frickin' weekend rather than "running home" because I was afraid I didn't belong.

In Summary

So, yes, it was a wonderful weekend.. full of new perspectives and growths within me. I feel energized and positive.. looking forward to my life here.. and I can proudly say:

I am Sunny Gulati of the Clan Vincent's Hollow.
You killed my Father
Prepare To Die!


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I had to inquire, didn't I?!? lol ;)

Sounds like you learned a lot, made new friends, and took care of business all in one. Not a bad weekend at all! I'm impressed. hehe

Keep up the hard work! *hugs*


Thank you dearie.

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