Happy New Year, everyone! Hope everything is going either according to plan, or at the very least things are going pleasantly for those of you that continue to read. Spent an interesting New Year’s on the side of a frozen hilltop outside Hesperia, CA, shivering til I couldn’t feel anything anymore, sleep-deprived, and totally wishing I was at home rather than having driven 180 miles to a party where there was literally no-one I knew personally. Was kind of a let-down, all truth-be-told, but I suppose the experience is what counts. I also wasn’t quite in the right mindset, which helps a lot, too. Had a lot of left-over static in my head over various things, thoughts about friends and things that I can’t generally talk about to the open channels of the internet, but I can say this much: I’m definitely not living in the present moment and not at-peace or centered with myself (as evidenced by my constant need to change various aspects of my appearance, behavior, and outward perceptions).
My track-record isn’t exactly the greatest when it comes to a lot of my friends. I suppose my experiences with friendship are different than most others, and I cling to them as if they were my absolute only lifelines in my life in some instances. I did that without even being aware of it when I was a patron at Meridian in Orlando, and it has happened with a great deal of my friends that have since either left me or become far too busy. Using the phrase “I suppose” sounds like a cop-out, so I’ll just come out and say it: it’s a self-confidence issue, always has been. I’ve always been afraid of being alone and angry at myself for always ending-up that way without working to change any of it. It’s a story that’s probably way too familiar to people that have had to deal with people like me: Some poor schmuck that’s somewhat passable as a conversationalist, but otherwise pre-destined for mediocrity and loneliness outside of the interaction that the other party has mercifully bestowed upon them. Sadly, these interactions rarely last long, usually deteriorating to disgust or disappointment on one or both sides of the interaction.
Getting away from that doesn’t do much good, either, since usually that means retreating into various activities of loneliness or hiding oneself in the cacophony of modern life in this country. “Alone amongst a crowd” is the phrase that appears in my mind most often when I am retreating into one of these situations either through fear of having my kindness tread-upon or fear of alienating those who have reached-out. It’s irrational, I know, but it’s a real fear. Being “rewarded” for kindness with feelings of weakness, powerlessness, and rejection is among the worst things people in this modern day-and-age do to each other without even thinking about it. It’s that fear and the knowledge of what it takes to weather those kinds of situations that makes me angry at myself a lot of the time. It’s the lack of the “right stuff” that really digs at me.
While I was on the side of that mountain shivering my ass off, I thought about all of that, and thought about the people that I’ve done that to. I thought I was just doing what was normal for those “lone-wolves” and outcasts of society, cleaving to whatever support they can find, but I realized there that it’s cowardice, but a different kind than being valor-deficient. It’s being utterly terrified of changing the inner part of my being, the one that I’m so familiar with and that I know what to do with. I know what I want, and I want more than anything to feel and be as normal as the people next to me and to be able to socialize and relate with people normally, but I’m afraid of the awkwardness that comes with changing the fear around to courage and treading into new territory. I’m honestly afraid to relate to people openly with what I know and have experienced because I don’t want to be ostracized or give anyone reason to dislike me… which tries in futility to skirt a universal truth: You can’t please everyone all the time, but you can please some people some of the time. I’ve been trying to be the ambiguous guy for so long so that the situations that I am terrified to be in don’t come to pass, but I’m discovering (much to my chagrin) that doing so keeps me from forging truly deep relations with people. Ambiguity has its uses and they are few indeed. I specifically didn’t socialize with anyone at the gathering I was at on New Year’s Eve because of how anxious I felt, and how badly that would slant my speech and my reactions.
One more thing I’ve learned, and we’re only about 38 hours into the new year. Life sure comes at you fast.
Lesson learned: Stop being afraid to be myself and to speak my mind.