Man, this is kind of a bummer. Unfortunately, I had figured that I would get some downtime tonight, after the past two days I was able to stay pretty busy. So I figured I’d stamp some more words down. I had wanted to talk about some stuff I had thought a lot about this past semester, which relates to various things arts and entertainment; most likely TV, film or music related. Instead, I find that I can’t really focus on a thought long enough to reach the end of its trail.
So while it really pisses me off that I have to, it looks like I need to address these other things once and get it out of the way. I don’t like writing so introspectively all the time, especially when it is more down. I don’t even like carrying the portrayal as someone being down or anything. I’m not going to lie, I’ve had a lot of times in my personal life the last year to year and a half that adequately called for feeling down as a response. At the same time, I don’t think I ever lost my ability to be ‘up’ during most of my worst moments. I mean, who wants to be around someone who is down all the time? Granted, I think that, hopefully, we all have a high level of compassion that is going to draw us to people during those times, but it usually isn’t fun.
I think my dad summed it up best one night durign a conversation we had over the Internet. I can’t remember the details on this, but he was about go to sleep and was just checking in on me and I made some remark that made him crack up and he said something along the lines, “at least you never lost your sense of humor through everything.” First off, to be honest, I’m thrilled that I talk to my dad via the Internet probably over every othr mode of communication (unless I’m home), because there is nothing weird about it. My parents on facebook and what not crack me up, and it is easy to mess with their heads on there. Second, I think that only reaffirms what I was saying a second ago, and if I am going to be writing, I don’t want my writing to reflect that. Overall, I still love to laugh and have a good time probably above all other things, even if I’m feeling below plankton on the food chain, I’d like to think that at least for moments I can shake things off and enjoy things.. well, worth enjoying.
As of right now though, I can’t deny my introspective nature, nor the fact that I often feel down lately. But what else could be expected? This is probably the point where I end up writing things that get me into some sort of trouble, but that’s ok, not that I’m intending to get into any trouble, but who wants to live without any risks anyway?– we all know TV is better without the FCC.
My girlfriend of about two years, the very lovely Kara Seale, and I decided to take a break recently, colliding perfectly with winter break starting. I think when I put it that way it probably sounds more mutual than it is, because it is probably 99% me on that and the 1% which consists of her being supportive and loving as opposed to my irrationality, stupidity, insensitivity and selfishness. Nothing associated with this decision is easy, I am starting to become more affirmed as each day hits that it really was necessary though– not that I wanted it to be or ever would have.
In summation, it has really sucked. I’m not used to being this lonely. I’m not used to having this much free time. I’m not used to doing whatever and not having to being guaranteed to have to consider the impact my decision making has on another person. So what do we have? This odd mix of extreme liberation and sadness. It probably couldn’t have happened at a worse time though!
Let’s just pick up with some truths that have developed for me over the past 1 1/2 years. For one– and I really realize and accept this now more than ever– I have undergone a complete social minimalization. As with most relationships, I think some shrinking is expected in that regard, but I’m saying minimalization here because it has come that far. Let me preface real quick and say that this effect was never intentional on anyone’s part, I know that the course of life ultimately dictated it. It kind of reminds me of the spine. I saw this thing on TV a few months ago about tall people. There was this English guy who was 7 feet and some change. His whole life he was self-conscious about how tall he was and hunched over a lot to compensate for it in terms of how he saw himself. After spending a lifetime hunched over, he pretty much screwed his whole back over and shrunk some. It also turns out that even without the messed up spine, he wasn’t 7’5 like he thought, but only 6’11 if you round up– how you are so far off on your measurements is beyond me (and one of the funniest moments I’ve ever seen on TV HAHAHA..). Spines are just like that, if it is twisted, contorted and scrunched up for so long, it is so difficult to reverse it, the only chance is really to take drastic measures.
I guess that is where I ended up. As of right now, I am pretty much beginning to conclude that the structure of the relationship was strained because of lot of weight put on it for so long that it is really a lot to expect to be able to fix things from the inside. I’m not saying that can’t or couldn’t be done, I’m sure it could, but at the same time, to do it that way– surely over a long period of time puts a strain on both people. It could definitely do a lot more damage than just the structure.
Anyway, those are only some thoughts I’m beginning to really muddle through so far, but that’s not even what I’m wanting to get at right now. I was mentioning the collusion with this break– or whatever in the world it could be labeled– with the semester ending. For me, taking out school also took out one of the largest social aspects I had going for me, and it makes me sad. Granted, school and especially classes isn’t really a big social outing for me, nor would I expect it to be, but it was a forced social entry along with just carrying a lot of atmospheric social elements.
Let me expand on that real quick.
Right now, its 10:30 at night and I’m sitting on a futon with a laptop and a dog that needs a bath in complete solitude and silence. There is nobody around at all– not proportionately speaking. Most people have already gone home. Then you have people who are around.. they are all busy. For instance, my roommate is hanging out with his frat buddies right now, and I’m sure that most people I have had any sort of interaction with the last few weeks have something going on. Though there is a small voluntary aspect to where I am tonight, it really highlights that while I have been undergoing a social minimization for a long time, most people have been establishing and/or building on top of previous friendships that entire time. So I am now injected into a situation where to get any social interaction requires a direct effort and also the resources in terms of connections. I’m definitely very thin on the resources. This makes the effort even harder. It doesn’t make much difference how well I know the person or people, to extend myself and express any sort of sociality causes me to feel somewhat insecure about it. I guess I’m just not used to it anymore.
Let’s backtrack real quick. When I first entered college, my first roommate was Josh ‘Big Cheese’ Homer. This is a man who I’m fortunate enough to regard as a brother, and one thing about Cheese is he is an extremely social guy. On campus he was always a legendary social figure, I mean, I don’t think that in the history of Belmont you could really choose anyone who exceeds him in this aspect. My following two roommates really aren’t slouches socially either. Biddle is highly involved and Horse gets the respect of everyone he meets pretty much (except me). Just in this regard, it would have been impossible to go through school so far without a strong link to a very active social life– or at least a broad one. For two years it was certainly like that.
I would never regard myself as a social giant, but I think I usually peak around to a point where I have at least strong acquaintance status with more people than I can keep tabs on. Anytime I go back to my high school in some sort of function (ie to see how the basketball team is looking in any given year or graduation), I always spend a ton of my time getting a little bit of face time with most people I run into (of course it is hard to not know everyone when you go to a small school). I never had any sort of social minimalization in high school. Granted, my senior year I had some tendencies to try and disconnect myself from most everyone, but it didn’t have any drastic effects. Just from mid-point sophomore year to mid-point junior year I had a drastic difference. Even the difference from the present to the beginning of junior year is not unlike the difference between a millionaire to some high school punk working for minimum wage at McDonalds when it comes to friends– whether the inner circle or the loosest use of the term ‘friends’ (most loose?). I think that I am seeking a reboot of sorts in this regard, but it is harder than ever.
If I had to try and make an objective assessment on myself, which is impossible, I’d say that at my social peak I can be a pretty entertaining and funny person. On a side note, it always usually depends on how well I know who I’m around, I think subconsciously I spend a lot of time gauging people and probing around to figure out what their personalities respond to, which is why it can take a long time for me to warm up to people I don’t know that well. I mean, I just think a lot of really good times I had over the years– in big crowds or in smaller and varied groups of people. I have faint memories of this person who once existed.
It is hard for me to speak these days, even with people who have remained closer friends to me through all my losses. I know why this is better than I ever have. It doesn’t matter the context, whenever there is some sort of interaction between me and at least one other person I am always questioning myself.
“What would I have said or done in the past in this case?”
I never come up with anything satisfying.
Instead, I just get locked up in my thought. I remain pretty quiet. I often throw out ‘white flag’ responses that act as a form of self-surrender. It is really frustrating. I know who I was, but I don’t know where he ran off to. There is a large part of me missing and I’m longing for that, yet there is little I can do to put myself out there right now and try and rediscover my sorely missed self. So I get stuck wallowing, feeling bad for what I’ve done, missing what I’ve, for now, given up, and facebooking too much, ha.
I have always had a weird rift of being my mom and dad’s son. It has worked out real well for me, especially once I started to understand how to take advantage of it. My dad is more prone to be quiet (he isn’t a quiet guy by any means though). He gets sucked into his passions, for him that is music mainly. He has to recharge or build up to go and be overly social. My mom feeds off of what sucks the life out of my dad. She loves to enjoy life with other people, and she loves being entertaining. This is over simplifying it, but these are two ideas that apply to me directly. I haven’t gotten in touch with my “inner mom” for a long time. I think a lot of it is not being limited either. Socially, I know I need variables of uncertainty or at least inconsistency to really have something to feed off of; something to drive me, yet at the same time I need to be able to rely on that tight circle I’ve always had. Working on that inner circle is a lot easier, which leaves me longing for the uncertainty a lot more. I’ve no way to connect with it though.
I’ll probably start summing it up here, because honestly, nobody is really going to read it anyway, and the couple friends and one random person per century who do deserve the courtesy to not have to drag their eyes through miles of word hiking. I don’t want to give off the impression that I’m starting to be affirmed that this break is something that at least I needed for purely social aspects because it is so much more.
What I need to affirm is that this social aspect is the one that is clearly taking the largest toll on me right now, making progress on many of the other aspects has been quick and fulfilling (though they still have a good ways to go too).
This stuff is definitely hard, but I have always welcomed a challenge.
I have realized, or rather remembered, that socially, I am about as welcoming as it comes. Even if it takes me a long time to get in sync with new people, I am always looking for that opportunity just to get to know somebody at least a little bit.
Welcome, friends. My name is James, it is good to meet you.