A friend of mine (hi Sophie!) challenged me to write something- anything, anything at all- after having a particularly down day. We all have our moments of inadequacy but today in particular, everything seemed to come together. Sections of life aren’t as fulfilling as they once were, progress is stagnate and it’s frustrating. In the past 11 months or so since my last post (about the man/myth/legend Ryan Davis- we miss ya, buddy), I’ve hit . I made it through a self-imposed challenge to not drink for the entirety of 2013, found interest in the world of fashion, put video games and music on the backburner, YOLO’d myself into the Mayweather/Canelo fight, moved out of my parents’ house and into an apartment with roommate, started drinking again (and my waistline has paid for it) and began dating. And dating, and dating, and dating, and dating.
Dating. Let’s talk about dating. I told myself that this was the year I’d give the online sites I’d trashed prior an honest-to-goodness shot. I’m going to date people, lots of people, people I might not be normally interested in otherwise. It’s illuminating to meet these people from different walks of life in an attempt to see whether chemistry exists between the both of us. Sometimes it does, most of the time it doesn’t. But hey, I’m getting outside, wearing some cool outfits, meeting some rad people and I couldn’t be happier. But it’s also a world that’s new to me, one that I’d still wouldn’t bother stepping foot in if technology hadn’t streamlined the process for me. I kind of hate that.
You see, I’m a socially awkward person. (“Aren’t we all?” you might say. To that, I reply “Yes, but please stop interrupting me, I’m trying to gather my thoughts. Anyway, where were we?”) Theoretically, it’s easy to strike up a conversation with the person next to you, across from you, nearby you, standing in front of you, but our culture made it such that we’re not very welcoming to someone who might want to start talking. As is, it’s hard for a reserved person like myself to start opening up to a stranger and I’m sure there are plenty of people who feel the same way. Throw in the creepers, the mouthbreathers, the racists, the weirdos, the pick-up-artists, the vulgar, the angry, etc into the mix and you can see why people would rather plug in Earpods and queue up a This American Life repeat. Try as I might, it’s a losing battle for me every single time. When I see my friends succeed at something that takes a theoretical Sisyphean effort, it makes me harshly critical of myself. I don’t deserve this, I’m not good at that- I deprive myself of human experiences (both good and bad) because I don’t believe I deserve them.
I think what I’m most frustrated in when it comes to human-on-human interaction is that I can’t quite nail being “genuine” about it, because nothing about interacting with another person out of the blue is genuine to me. I’m putting on this safe, interested, vaguely charming version of myself and people see through it immediately. It’s putting on a suit that doesn’t fit right- you might look the part but deep down, you’re uncomfortable and you’re letting everyone else know it. I know it’s wrong, I know what I’m doing is wrong but it’s the only way I know how to cope with these situations. I hate that these types of interactions don’t come naturally to me when I can type a self-aware blog post without breaking a sweat. I know the Vice City weapons code by heart, I can pick out my favorite pieces in the Givenchy summer collection but put me in front of a group of guys and girls I have no familiarity with and I will freeze up. Every. Single. Time.
Admitting what’s going on is the first step. I’ve accomplished that long ago. The second step is doing something about it. It frightens me immensely. I’ve come a long way since the start of college, let alone since the start of this WordPress site, but it’s not enough. It’s never going to be enough. I don’t want to keep living like this, but of course, I’m so afraid of the rejection and the effort that it takes to get me to the point of being comfortable around people that I’m going to be stuck in this position for an indefinite amount of time. Maybe writing this out makes spurs me to action. That’s OK. Maybe it doesn’t. That’s OK too. At the very least, writing about this does more for my psyche than wallowing in self-pity ever could. Maybe this can be my coping mechanism instead. And if not, that’s OK too.
All I know is that I can’t be content with life as it stands right now. I never was one to let things happen to me anyway.