Talked to T, an ex-girlfriend last night. I feel better about how I'm doing than I have at any time since we stopped dating. It's nice that that really does translate into... Less wishing that I was still with her, I guess. More confidence in where I am. Being happier without her.
I wouldn't date her again. That's been true for awhile. And I'm getting to watch her go through something similar to what she put me through. Different, but there are some obvious common points. I've had worse times than watching it happen, and I feel bad about that. Mostly.
And I'm helping her. I mean, I'm giving her good advice, specifically about another guy. It's... odd. And I still don't know what to think of the way she acts around me. I don't know if it's specific to me. Basically I can't tell if she's weird around me because I don't know so much about how she acts any more.
Talking to her, I still learn new things, useful ones. If I can keep this up, I'll be a right bastard to cross by the time I'm a geezer of thirty. Practicing mind games for other people's benefit is okay, but the temptation to misuse them... Well, it's whole point of learning, generally.
I used to envy people that were skilled or talented. Then I (briefly) envied disabled folks, who learned to excel because they had to learn how to get better. Now there's a specific kind of mediocrity that, rather than envying, I cultivate. Acquiring skill is definitely an art, and I've gained a lot of awareness of how it's practiced. Now I'll just hope that I can keep up my pattern of always being able to look at where I was a year or two ago and say, "that idiot!"