Sunday, January 30, 2011

Social skills

I have never been a very social person. Wait I take that back. When I was a kid I was super social with people who I knew. My parent’s friends would probably all describe me as a goofy weird kid who never shut up.  But there was this flip side to it, where I would be horrified to have to ask people what the time was because I had to meet my mom in the mall by a certain time and I didn’t like to wear a watch.  When I turned into a teenager something happened that made me suddenly become this socially inept person I am today.

 I mean looking back I kinda get what happened. A year after my dad died I went to New Zealand as an exchange student, and subsequently had one of the worst experiences of my life, just due to the fact that my host family was atrocious.  Maybe it was partly my own fault but who knows because I was too damaged and immature to want to figure it out at the time.  When they finally kicked me out and the program sent me home I was left feeling quite worthless. Months after wards my brother went off to college and suddenly found his own life,  flourishing in this independent environment that I had earlier failed in. I was always quite envious of my brother growing up and this sure didn’t help that matter any. My mom also started to jump into the wide world of dating and hence pushed me to the back burner. It was the combo of all this and more that made it seem like I didn’t really matter all that much anyways, so I basically just stopped trying.  I mean “why would anyone want to talk to me” and “what would I bring to a conversation” were basically the mantras my unconscious said over and over inside my brain.

I suddenly became afraid to talk to people. Afraid to tell people about my life and found that if I moved around a lot I could pretty much be what I wanted when I wanted to. It was like playing a sick twisted imaginary game. I went to school, made friends on the surface with my classmates and co-workers, then left and never saw any of them again. I never tried too hard and never got seriously with anything. I told my self that I was independent, worldly, didn’t need other people around to make me complete. But really I’m terrified, lonely and still fighting with that  childhood feeling of worthlessness. I don’t talk to strangers, I become the goofy co-worker to avoid being deep, I hate going to parties because I have no clue what to talk about, I’m horrified of social situations and even more so of strangers.   It sucks because once you loose a part of yourself you never fully get it back. Well at least it sure doesn’t seem like you do.

I am bringing up all this back story for a reason besides just rambling. I went to a concert on Friday. I was supposed to meet up with my Stepsister and her friend but she wasn’t feeling well and canceled earlier in the day.  I seriously thought about not going… Last week was a rough one for me and I was pretty exhausted. But I felt like I should go because my sister went through all this trouble to get me in and I didn’t want to seem unappreciative of that fact. I figured I would have a drink or two and them leave an hour or two later.  I arrived about an hour before doors opened so I went to the bar, got a beer, and sat in a chair playing with the various apps on my phone being anti social like always. When the doors opened I went inside the venue and found a chair in the back side of the bar where I could see the stage but also have an easy way out when the place filled up because it was a sold out venue.  I expected that to be it for my night. I figured I would sit there for an hour or two nursing my beer and playing with my phone until I left early and went to bed. What happened instead shocked me.

There was a woman sitting in front of me also by herself. She seemed to be a few years older but seemed cool due to the fact that she had on awesome Gothic jewelry. She asked e a very basic question abut something simple. I answered and then something just hit me. Here was my chance to just try… I mean that’s all I want to do this year is to try to be this person that I have dreamed about being.  So I just talked to her. I asked if she was here alone? had ever seen the band before? and other various basic questions. I tried not to be terrified, I tried ever harder to not think I was wasting her time, I instead just tried to think of her as anyone other then a stranger, more like someone I have know a long time and just ran into. Eventually she asked me stuff back about myself, and before too long she told me to pull my chair over to her table while we waited for her friend and had conversation.  When her friend arrived she sat down on the other side of me so I was between the two of them. No body seemed to think it was weird.  I mean this stranger was sandwiched between too long time friends. We had normal conversation  about everything under the sun, and talked like we were old friends.  It was so out side of where my comfort zone is I was shocked that I felt so freaking comfortable.  I ended up staying for the entire show.

Taken from my phone from our far away seats. Bad quality I know
The opening act... not my favorite. Also not a great pic.

At the end of the show… We all parted ways with a nice to meet you. I never exchanged numbers or emails with them. I might never see them again actually I bet I wont. I almost said “thanks for letting me hang out with you guys” but I figured that was the wrong thing to say. See I need to stop thinking they did me this huge favor.  They probably don’t even realize what an impact they had on my life that night. Normally I would say that I bet to them I didn’t  even matter.   But this new non worthless person is going to say I did.  I made their night even more enjoyable then it would have been if we hadn’t talked. I need to just realize that all I did was go outside my comfort zone and it paid off. Maybe this will prompt me to do it again sometime or maybe not…See this year I really am trying to stop waiting for moments to just randomly happen. I am realizing that you have to put a little work into getting fate moving along in the right direction. 

The band and the sea of people watching them
man my phone has a shitty camera huh!

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