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A hangup.

Maybe this will help me if I put this down here so that I have a written reminder of it, and do more than think it:

I'm not just looking for work to be able to support myself, or to be more useful, though both will be nice. Plenty of people want to help and to know they're being helpful. Work is one way to do that.

But at some point during my layoff, I made myself a goal: after I am working again, I would let myself ask women out again. I'd let myself date. Not working? No dating.

I haven't dated for a while. I don't want to say how long I've gone without a date in any more detail than "a while." I realized at one point that often I'd avoided asking anyone out due to silly personal hangup reasons; I also realized that I'd feel weird if I were trying to date when I wasn't working. If I did, would I be asking someone out for the wrong reasons? Not because we'd (I hope) be good people to each other and make each other feel better and more wanted, but because that someone could pay for stuff?

So it's a hangup, but maybe in this case a reasonable hangup.

I even think I know the reason for this. Here's an "almost" from my life (my life has plenty of "almosts"): one day a few years ago I came very close to asking out someone I know. I decided not to. This was on a day off from my job at the time. The very next day, that job laid me off. Along with my frustration at being let go, I felt embarrassed: what if I'd asked her out then gotten back to her and said "Funny news, I have more time to hang out now!"? I suddenly felt, shall we say, much less attractive.

I've been frustrated with how paused my life has been because I haven't been working. I feel that the best way to start, shall I say, un-pausing my life is working and earning again. And then...maybe someone interesting will be interested...

I have been productive before. I've been a partner before. I can be both again.