I really have been quite undisciplined about writing and that needs to change. In the meantime, here are a couple of random observations on how not to lead one’s life.
Observation 1. There are those storytelling shows that are en vogue these days and a thought occurred in my head that it would be fun to do something like that. Except, as I came to realise, the way Yours Truly has led his life is by not participating in it. So something would be happening and instead of living it up I would just scamper away sideways, like a frightened crab, and be all “Oh, no! That seems like fun. I’ll be over there. By myself.” Not a proper way to experience life, is all I’m saying.
Let me preface this by saying that this one is being done quite a lot by all kinds of people. There is a large number of individuals who believe that they need to be true to themselves and being true to themselves basically boils down to being an annoying prick. Personally, I would be in a state of preemptive warfare against the society at large and my attitude towards others would be to behave like a sarcastic arsehole, spewing my verbal shit on everyone and everything. I know: a pretty picture it is not. And my thought process would be: “Hey, I’m just going to piss you off before we get close and you hurt me. And also, if you still stick around then you really see me for who I am and that means you are a really special person worth my time if you can see through all the shit I will be pouring down on you for a while.” Again, terribly sorry for the image. But the important thing here is: who in their right mind does this? We certainly do not consider doing this in other situations but when it comes to human relationships that can be a norm. Can you imagine a chef making an exquisite dish with some spectacular ingredients like saffron and other stuff I cannot begin to imagine and then spreading some mixing in some shit (yeah, I might as well stay with that metaphor and ride it all the way), thinking that only the true foodies will appreciate this gem of the dish being able to taste this delight through all the crap. That too is also a horrible way to go through life.
I guess what this post is attempting to convey is do not be afraid to live your life and do not be an arse. Which might sound like a way of saying “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” but while it is important “to thine own self [to] be true” one needs to engage in life and not stay detached from others. Kurt Vonnegut was right about Polonius giving bad advice. Yours Truly, on the other hand, is a fount of encouragement.
P. S. You probably thought it was going to be all poop references but instead I looped it up to Shakespeare. You’re welcome!
It is hard to remember sometimes (most of the time) that there are people in this world that like me and that are happy to see me. There are not a great many of them due to my natural propensity to be a miserable prick but I am working on learning to like myself. (That is something that came up in therapy a couple of sessions ago.) The idea being that being able to like myself will show others that I am a person worth their friendship.
In the meantime, I am practicing being that person, meaning that I am faking it. Regardless of how far I have come, Yours Truly is still mainly the same person. So until I can “know” that I am better than I think I am (that is a lot of “I’s”!), there is this practice period of pretending to know that I am a person I actually am. It is complicated. My mind technician assures me that it makes sense.
That noise – you know the one – the general din of a group of people in a bar, the sound of billiards balls hitting each other, the white noise of a sport event on the big screen. And over it all the inner voice reminding of all the reasons why I should leave and go home. So here I am – procrastinating – instead of going to the birthday party for my friends because social occasions still cause me tremendous anxiety and feeling of pointlessness because the future old me does not believe to be the person worth anyone’s company.
Oh, well. “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.”
I am at a Christmas party of a local climbing and mountaneering group that I have recently joined. There are exactly zero familiar faces here. One senses this is going to be a rather anxiety filled evening since I am still not drinking.
Today I’m feeling inspired by a post of a fellow sufferer who also decided to start blogging. She wrote about the feelings of social anxiety and why we sometimes go to these ridiculous lengths of trying to be liked.
Ooof. Been there, done that. That post sure did kick off all kinds of memories and I ended up realising something new about my current situation. We humans are social creatures whether we like it or not. We need to be a part of a social group even if we are thoroughly mortified by the idea of finding ourselves in the middle of any social occasion. When as a teenager I first found myself in this new unfamiliar environment known as the Western society, I went so far overboard trying to fit in that I quite literally lost sight of who I was as a person. I wore clothes that I did not like and listened to music that I hated and it still was not enough to feel accepted. That continued for longer that one would care to admit; and then the pendulum swung so far the other way… Eventually I went through a bit of a meltdown and I just stopped caring what anyone thought of me to the point of becoming antisocial. It was not quite an attitude of a sociopath but it was far from being healthy either. I started to feel that social conventions were somehow beneath me and that it was far more important to be myself. And apparently the self I have found was a dick when it came to social conventions.
That self importance was the beginning of my current downfall. Or rather not so much the attitude itself but more the fact that I have been using it the same way I’ve been using my
hobbies obsessions: an excuse not to do the things I don’t feel like doing. Pair that avoidance technique with an unhealthy contempt for complying with social conventions. I thought of it as being my own man, an non-conformist. That attitude has cost me dearly. It cost me an interest of the woman I have fallen in love with. When she looked at me she saw all kinds of things she couldn’t stand instead of a man she could love. She tried to hint at things but I was too proud, too full of myself. So now all that is left is to try to pick up the pieces and try to move on. It is important to keep in mind what the social conventions are if we are to be a part of society. Because like it or not, we do need the society more than the society need us. Now it is easy to say that we should be ourselves and not care too much what others think of us. To that I respond: depends on who is doing the judging. Beware of the fact that if you only surround yourself with people like you, you may not enjoy the result.
I am lucky for knowing so many wonderful people who have been so generous with their time, and advice, and general support. (Who knew there would be so many damaged people in the arts community?) I am also lucky for being able to understand a lot of these things before I could have damaged myself much more or completely disintegrated. There definitely are some people I see in my life that could have used some of this enlightenment. It is my sincere hope that some of these blog posts will be of value not only to myself but to others as well.