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If I were to compare 2017 to anything, it'd be like eating rice with chopsticks. It's insanely difficult, but once you've done it you're sorta proud that you pulled it off, yet disappointed at all the time you wasted in the process. 2017 was ridiculous, and that's an underestimation. Personally, 2017 took the crown for worst year by taking 2016, shooting it 7 times in the head, bombing the hell out of it, and stabbing it a bit just to make sure it's dead. Yet here I was hoping that 2016 was the only year I would have to forget about to some degree. However, I would be lying if I didn't say that 2017 was also the best year of my life so far. It's very paradoxical that I've reached this conclusion of 2017 being my worst yet best year so far, but I'll go into detail why shortly.

This post and its series is dedicated to my late grandmother, Madeline June Pardee (11 November 1938 — 18 May 2017), one of the strongest women I've ever met. We miss you and we cannot wait to see you. Memory eternal.

2017 started off quite bumpy, and I don't feel that I may have emphasized that enough in my previous post relating to the chronology of my life since dropping out. I had started the year Buddhist, as I had took refuge in it after a major wave of depression hit in late 2016 (for the uninitiated, I converted to Christianity from Buddhism back in mid 2016). My life would be this small pit of despair up until February, when I rejoined a Christian Discord server that I co-founded, Christcord at the request of my good friend Jared (who I had worked on Retejo, a web hosting project, back in mid-to-late 2016). I joined reluctantly, only to talk to a user who had went by the alias NovaCrusade. I had explained why I left Christianity. While I did not receive a solution to the despair I was feeling, I was being listened to, I was being understood and empathized with. It turns out that was what I needed all along. I ended up reverting to Christianity either during that night or during that same week, rejoining it under the Anglican church (my former denomination), then becoming Confessional Lutheran (LCMS) a short time after. During all of this, from December of 2016 to this point, I had been talking to a lovely young girl named Amira, from Pennsylvania. Amira and I started our friendship slowly, just having small chats here and there about how we were doing or what had been going on in the hectic mess that is Discord servers. Eventually, we started getting more intense, I would come to her in times of trouble, when I needed a shoulder to cry on or someone to listen. She would do the same, albeit not as much by comparison. Overall, she was a pleasure to be around, and I was very thankful to have met her.

One day in early February, I did something that I haven't done in 6 years, I asked her out. If you've met me or have been my friend for sometime, you would know that I generally don't seek out relationships or try to go beyond more than a friendship. I'm quite introverted and take pleasure in solace. Regardless of this, something was on my heart for quite a bit, and eventually I just felt a push to do it. I had told my friend Jacob about this (even before I asked her), who was even surprised overall. I was being dodgy whilst asking her, these quotes will demonstrate that:

(note: this is not verbatim, this is just general recollection)
(v denotes me, m denotes Amira)

v: okay so
v: what is your perspective on dating (in general)?
v: don't infer anything, i'm just asking in a general manner
m: Well, I'm doing it now, but overall I think it can be worth the work and if it doesn't work out, then that's just how it is.
m: Why do you ask?
v: no reason

She wasn't taking that for an answer, so I had to come clean and explain that I had a crush on her. She was surprised and I could tell through the tone of her response (she had ended up replying, which said we should talk later). I ended up freaking out the whole night over whether or not I had completely messed up, but them's the breaks. The day later, she messaged me and she got into more detail about she felt terrible about being the one to reject someone, given the rejection that she's been through in her time. She told me that I would find someone who suited me precisely, and that I had a fantastic personality and heart. We ended up leaving that topic there, and just sorta continued on the rest of our lives like normal, albeit a tad shook up over what had just occurred. Unbeknownst to the both of us, this wouldn't be the end of it.


Amira broke up with her boyfriend during the month of February, which led to new behavior. She started messaging me more, being more friendlier and emotive in her messages. Being a person who spends their daytime reading chat messages, you learn to pick up on styles of writing and are able to tell deviations easier. This was not typical Amira behavior. I never told her that until after the fact, but just played passive observer in regards to this change.

A week into March, Amira asked me whether or not I still liked her. I responded that I had sorta repressed some of the feelings I had because of the rejection the month prior, but I still had a crush on her to a great degree, I just always ignored it. She had come clean and said that she might feel the same way (for her: not vague enough). We ended up leaving the topic there, I had sleep to get to and she was clearly hesitant about the topic, directing us to talk about it the day after.

On 14 March 2017, we went through a awkward, tense, but necessary conversation about what we wanted to do. It was definitely different from what I had started a romantic relationship on, but at the same time, it was absolutely vital we went through it. We established boundaries and (for lack of a better term) pre-requisites for how this relationship was to entail. Ultimately, we had decided that we wanted to be in a relationship with each other and, to quote the conversation, to share our lives with one another.

This is part 1 of an (estimated) 3-4 post long series on my life in 2017. Subscribe to my RSS feed to get new blog posts sent to you right when they come out. (Email subscription coming soon.)

Thank you for reading, may God's blessings and peace be upon you.

-EP

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Elliott Pardee

code // theology // life

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