The Act of Socializing From the Perspective of a Hermit

Last night, I experienced a moment where I realized I had peaked in social awkwardness.  I felt the walls of my inability to understand the act of socializing close in on me and squeeze away any confidence I carried with me into the evening.   I tunneled as quickly as I could through years of reading philosophy and psychology books to take charge of the situation and make the best of it, but found myself pressed in to the background of a group of people I had nothing in common with.   I grabbed my bag, sneaked out the back like a rat and left concluding that I was boring, mature and rather friendless.  All of which carried no self-pity, but a rather harsh self-examination of how I ended up alone and crying on park bench across the street from a good friend’s graduation party.

Had I been this way my entire life, my hide would have been thick enough to protect the teeth of bitter self-loathing from sinking in, but the truth is, I haven’t always been this way.  I’ve always been a loner, always in my own mind, developing my own opinions and practicing my own philosophies.  However, I haven’t always been so withdrawn from other people.   Yet, after spending the rest of my evening reflecting my past, I realized that 95% of any social life I’ve ever maintained has been strictly for appearances and hardly ever for genuine interest.

What bothered me even more was the fact that in order to press myself in to a social situation without raising any eyebrows is to drink.  Get as much liquor inside of me as possible and ride passenger to my liquid courage.
Every angle of that particular “solution” strikes me as pathetic and insincere.  Which begs the question “Am I a hermit by choice or because I have no choice?”  Have I been so psychologically damaged by my past that I fear closeness with others, or am I genuinely uninterested in what people who share no common interest have to say?

In no way could I ever be considered arrogant, judgmental – absolutely, but not arrogant.    I am simply a firm believer in my own opinions and would prefer discussing human nature rather than human interests.  I prefer “naked conversation” where all parties are stripped of self-lies and false-confidence.  For me, a conversation doesn’t have to have depth, just honesty.

I suppose the point I’m (sloppily) trying to make here is that nothing is truly wrong with me.   There is something more wrong with drinking to “fit in” than there is staying home and enjoying my time privately.  It used to make me feel guilty and ashamed, but now, I realize it’s just what I enjoy.  And that’s not to say I never want to go out and drink again, we’re social creatures, too much time alone is unhealthy for one’s mind; we need stimulation and challenges, but not to the point where it becomes self-destructive.

While I believe it’s necessary to push ourselves out of our comfort zones, the result should be rewarding, never damaging.  And, although I know last night wasn’t the last time I will ever feel uncomfortable or suffer an anxiety attack, I will never have to feel guilty about it again.


I am that I am

I am filled with fiery emotions, all spilling over the cusp of my sanity and driving my heart in to the ground.  I feel broken among every jagged piece of my heart that fell to the ground and “cushioned” my fall from the great heights I once occupied.
I am nothing more than another statistic, another failed relationship swept under a rug of bitter, lonely, angry women.  The only ones that understand my frustration and my continued efforts in the face of defeat.  I left a warm world of comfort and love and assurance that I would always have support. I left it all for an unknown world that gave me nothing but discomfort, insecurity and the complete absence of support.  I have dragged myself across the coals of every decision I’ve made the past two years and let them burn the flesh of hope right from my bones.  I have cried on the bathroom floor countless times, prayed to any god willing to take pity on me and created a fantasy world to lay my head in before I sleep. But my bad decisions and misery callously invade my dreams and paint bold letters before me “MISTAKE, MISTAKE, MISTAKE!!!” and I find myself waking up to the fear of living a lonely, loveless, miserable life with the same words flashing across my waking eyes.
I used to be filled with optimism and hope and wonderful things but a bad relationship can turn any woman in to the very thing she’s always despised.  I still manage to pull myself up and remind myself that yes, it’s all temporary and yes, I will find the warm place I so desperately covet.  I pinch myself and tell the inner-cynicism of lost battle that I’m still young and my future is still attainable and bright and that I’m nothing like those who ride passenger to their setbacks and failures.  I’m not that person and I never have been.
In truth, I’m a self-loathing, depressed thinker who constantly dissects every situation and because of it, I put myself in the position of the victim.  But rarely, do I ever let anyone in to this world, it’s my world and my secret and it’s no one else’s problem to fix.
When I was younger, I never dreamed of telling my mother any of my problems but now, it seems I’m living a life she’s already lived.  She has guided my like the lost puppy I am and reminded me that pride is overrated in the face of love.  Without my mother and her infinite wisdom of experience and growing up as an independent woman, I wouldn’t even be able to hold my head up.
But because of her, these boiling emotions that constantly bubble beneath the surface are no longer the center of my life.  Sure, they find ways to overwhelm me but all I have to do is sit and think reeeaaaal hard and remind myself that I’m smart, beautiful, genuine, kind and most of all, young.  I have a full life ahead of me to redeem the mistakes of my early adulthood and I plan on using the rest of those years living the life that I want and because of the wonderful qualities that are naturally embedded in being, I will never be alone.
Maybe I’m not where I want to be or should be in life, but I’m tired of letting this relationship take charge of how I feel about myself.  It may last another month, another year, hell, it might last forever, but as of right now, I am wiping my hands clean of the damage it has done and instead of focusing on the problems of this strained relationship, I’m going to do some damage-control and hopefully, one day walk away from it with my head high and my heart healed.  I deserve to be happy.