Lost Arts

If you have known me long enough, or read this a few times, you probably have a basic idea of some of the phases I’ve been through in the last few years of my life. One of the dominant themes of the past 2 and a half was intense isolation, and the loss of myself. I often noted that I feel like a stranger in my own skin, and high doses of isolation with no respite will atrophy a person’s ability to interact with people. It isn’t so much that you necessarily become socially awkward, but more like you become socially uncomfortable, because you’ve atrophied.

I’m no extrovert by any means, I can sometimes carry the facade that I am moderately extroverted, and I can also ramble and talk a lot if you get me going, or if I let myself lose track of everything (I either keep track of Every. Single. Thing. or absolutelynothing), but I think that when I am in shape– have the average person’s level of social fitness, I do pretty well. For what felt like most of my lifetime (2 1/2 years), I felt clueless with people. If you could transmute the amount of thought I put into trying to rediscover the simple art of basic conversation into matter and energy, I could have spawned an entire galaxy. For the life of me and my future children, I could not make any ground at all.

When I was alone, I pondered it.

When I was with my best friend, I tried to glean.

When I was in an unfamiliar crowd, I observed under a microscope.

When I was with a close group, I tried to catalog how I felt when I hit a natural state of interaction with them.

On and on and on I went, and never did I feel like I learned anything. If you don’t learn anything, you certainly can’t apply it.

Arrive at today, and now I am back in a normal routine, a frequent environment surrounded by people with the necessity of immediate interaction, and I’ve pretty much gotten it all back within a month. A simple month. Like riding a bike, right? I am far from the best, but I can stay afloat without much effort, or having stress or anxiety about it (like normal people), which was totally an alien concept to me for a good while. At times, I even excel.

And today I found myself circling back to when I was trying to consciously understand it, and fit shapes into their outline cutouts, and take myself from a state of being able to do what I am trying to understand (so that I can do it), and I realized that I still have no idea or understanding. Instead, it just happens. That’s normal, but the understanding will always be a lost part of what was a lost art.

I need to introspector gadget.

I tried to write tonight. Then I accidentally refreshed the browser 3 paragraphs in. I am exhausted, and can’t spare more energy to start over, or try to write anything else.

What a disappointment.

I’ll tell you something scary, though. When you think you are encountering yourself. You meet someone, and you see reflections of your own behavior patterns, but they only pertain to one thing. What really makes it scary is at that point, you don’t know if that person is mirroring the behavior that you’d be exhibiting in the specific instances you think you’re encountering, or if that person just doesn’t like you, or, well, who knows at that point, because if it isn’t a reflection on yourself, then you have no idea what you are dealing with.

It looks like you.

It moves like you.

It acts like you.

But on the inside, you could get anything.

I’m Tired..

I haven’t written a single thing in the vicinity of a month. Most of what I’ve wanted to write has been excessively positive. I feel more like myself than I have in years, seriously, years. Plural. My confidence in all things is starting to beam, and I enjoy everyday.

But then I have a today. Today is that day where something in my body is just kind of off, and whatever it is that makes my brain tick and allows me to feel normal, just isn’t fully there.  This is the first, maybe second time that I’ve had this kind of day in that same time frame (~month). That’s very positive.

But now I’m faced with the choice. Go to sleep right now. Chug about 30 pages of this book I read and go to sleep. Or churn out something as fast as I can and go to sleep– each one of those garnering about 7 hours, which I haven’t had in a while. I like odd number hours of sleep, and 7 is a lot better than 6 (my average). So I am churning.

I am tired. I am just, tired, all the time now. It is like last year around this time, being out in the world again, waking up at around 6, long days of driving 45 minutes here and there, always in traffic, leaving the house at 7, getting home at 11. Naturally, I am tired, but in many other ways I am tired.

I had a few strands of thought fall at my feet today. I’m tired of playing away games– socially. For the past year, maybe two at this point, I’m always in what I’d call a road game with friends. For a lot of them, it is almost always on their turf, or in their comfort zone, or with their primary inner circle of friends, or so on. I don’t have a problem with it, and I often enjoy it, but as a staunch introvert, bejeezles, it sure takes it’s toll on me. After all this time accumulating, I just realized how much it is contributing to my fatigue.

I can think of numerous friends of whom I have only, exclusively seen on their turf, and not but maybe once seen them outside of that. I like balance. I like neutrality a lot. I think neutrality is fair, at least sometimes. I don’t ask people to come onto my turf too much, unless they are used to suiting up in home jerseys in that instance, too. It is taxing, it is kind of alienating, and you can’t really (re)connect with the friend like you’d like to before getting into these other situations.

Now, I realize I don’t consciously think through these things, but under that conscious layer, I am. And even more subtext is that it has led to me being pretty fickle with a lot of people. I realize how many people I’ve chosen to become disinterested with because I never really got to see that person, the best they always seemed to offer me was seeing who they are when they are with the people they want to be with. In that case, I am basically one of those synthetic sweeteners for them; lost in the rest of the mix. Splendid Splenda.

The thing is, I try not to be so fickle, and I try to take what I can get, but maybe I am not being selfish enough, or maybe I am still being too selfish. I know I do plenty of similarly petty things to friends, and I try really hard to be self-aware of it, but…

I’m just so tired.

I’m tired, and I want people to make things easier on me, just for a little while, or at least just occasionally.

Then I can feel tired about other things.

Here’s to the next morning, folks.

Let’s Clear Some Things Up + Thoughts on Anger

Looks like I need to clear some things up. The thing is, I feel like no matter what I say, there will be a segment of people (likely the direct objects) who just won’t believe me. I can’t let that matter, though.

Let me start with a few broad things. Anger is an mal-intented stranger. Now, I consider myself a pretty laid back guy. Most things, I take with total stride. I like to think of it like Spike Siegel’s fighting philosophy, just be like water. And that’s how I typically take everything, just like water. Occasionally, some things hit me as if I am ice block and I shatter all over the place.

Ironically, another thing about me, and I don’t think people realize this, but I have an anger problem. I for sure do. I have my entire life, but I also have this thing people call self-control. I have a lot of it. For the most part, I dominate my anger, which is why I am just laid back and usually don’t care. If you ever see me lose control of something like my competitiveness, you can see the anger control issues seep out, but other than that, you just gotta be around me long enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Regardless, anger is something I can’t stand. The thing that really gets me about it is, personally, anger usually starts out totally justified, but it always seems to erupt into some wildfire that removes any grounds for anger I had and makes me look like an ass because of it. It almost always escalates, and that just leaves huge disaster zones riddled with debris and wreckage. But that is the incendiary nature of anger.

I usually only have significant blowups 1-4 times a year.

I will not blow up without what I consider to be just cause.

Here is the thing about anger and how it works with me. Go back to my nature; for the most part laid back, like water. I let go of things and move on from them pretty well.

But.

But, like some involuntary muscle gripping onto something, there is always this 5-10% of something that seems to linger. And no matter what I do to pry it out, I just can’t scrape it off. But since we are talking about something small, and something I’ve successfully made a concerted effort to move past, I usually end up giving up and let that small percentage be, because as long as nothing aggravates it, then it will just sit dormant; almost non-existent.

The problem comes when I have flare ups, or some anger triggers, and if that fire is able to spread, then everything that has that 5-10% left that I involuntarily hold on to, then it comes back up, and because I am already mad about something else, I become mad about things that I only used to be mad about.

And that just makes everything worse.

So let’s clear some things up. You can either be smart and believe me, because it is the truth, and I am not defending myself over it again, or you can think I’m full of it, and not letting it go, to which I’ll say; get the hell over yourself– or if you’re a third party/outsider, I say, you have no grounds to judge me. I work as hard on these things, as well as personal, spiritual, and emotional improvement as much as anyone I know. I’m not an idiot.

I am over that whole thing. You either know what I am referencing, or you don’t. I am over the people. I am over the events. I am over the past. If anyone who I feel has wronged me would want to make a sincere effort to be a significant part of my life again, I, maybe foolishly, would accept that and let it be whatever it is.

But I do have a 5% that I involuntarily grip. I have a small small piece that I never think I’ll be able to let go (it is just self doubt, I’ll never stop trying).

Another thing about my character, I am very caring. I take my time warming up to people, and a large part of why is because I care and value those who I choose to let in to my personal ring like family, or something greater. To my own fault, I think that my own slow cooking screening process, I think that everyone I let into that circle values others to the same degree I do. Now, I fail at this all the time, but I lose a lot of sleep making sure I know when I fail at valuing these people more than myself, and if I have done them wrong or not, and if I ever do, I spend as much energy and care as I can spare to make things up.

Circling back, that is my 5% in this case. I’ll say it one less time. If this is how things remain, I could give a damn about any of you, or any of that at this point, I surely have no intentions of going out of my way to rebuild anything, that’d be on any of you, but what I might always care about, which means get angry about if my anger flares up, is that any of you made the decisions you made, decisions of which overtly and directly impacted me, but further and much more importantly than that, what those choices reflected about yourselves.

I learned that your values of caring for others of pennies compared to mine. I learned that one of you has sociopathic tendencies (ok, that’s a bit beyond hyperbole), or is at least a fan of saying one thing, and being the opposite in your actions. But it isn’t these things I learned or think I learned about any of you people, it is more than that, and what I am about to get into it the genuine core truth about this small piece that my subconscious won’t let go of.

Think of our brains, and how, on the most watered down, basic level of how they work. We know that different sections of the brain do different things. So say you take out whatever portion of your brain that affects your ability to communicate with verbal language and form words. You have the part that and move your tongue, mouth, and all that stuff related to vocals, and interpret language, but you just can’t form the words. You try and you try, but your thoughts only come out as random sounds from a struggling tongue. You feel this void in your brain as you are doing this, and you just are incapable of properly processing it. Flat out incapable.

That’s what my hangup is like. It isn’t any of the specifics. It isn’t the interpretations, accurate or not, of who these people actually are.. it is the fact that I thought I knew people, and it turned out that I apparently didn’t know them at all. Not in any remote vicinity to actual knowing. I presented myself as genuinely as possible, what they knew was what they would get from me, but at the end of the day, if something fires up that rage in me, as soon as it processes all these filed away episodes in my life, with this one, my brains ability to process will always falter at that on point.

I thought I knew you, and now I feel like I never really did, and for that, I might always feel cheated, or just lied to, and I will always wonder why my care was so mistreated.

That– that is what I don’t understand, and thus it is still capable of upsetting me. I just almost never think about it.

Boiling it down to this base level, I am arriving to the conclusion that I am really just mad at myself.

At some point, somewhere, I failed myself and others, and I can’t figure it out.

If anyone tells me to get over it or let it go again, I am going to smack them. (and then, of course because I will be in rage mode, that anger will later boil into me getting mad about this small percentage again)

The anger cycle.

I will end it at some point.

 

and now I can go back and write about what I’ve meant to for the past 2 weeks, but lacked the time.