The Aftertaste of Social Interaction

I’m so tired of doing this thing, where like – I don’t know if it’s like. Social anxiety or something maybe?

Where like. I don’t know if I quite have the energy to go out and deal with people, but I’m a bit on the fence about it, and I usually sort of feel like I *should* go deal with people, because apparently social interaction is good for you or something.

And I go out – and I think the weird thing is like. It’s never a bad time.

It’s not like it’s awful, or terrible, or like. Some kind of burning pain or anything.

It’s just. This slow seeping sour taste, that always seems to settle in just as I’m walking out the door. The slow shivers like when you don’t quite realize you’re cold until you notice that your teeth are chattering.

Then I’m home and I just get to pick at it, or let it sit in my joints.

Sometimes I can pick out the moment, but most of the time I can’t.

It’s just sort of this… looming, ominous shade that I can’t shake off.

I think maybe that’s the worst part of it. I feel like I should probably just stay in my corner, and keep to my own space. Because I never really feel like I’ve done that poorly?

I always seem to feel sort of like… I managed to not fuck up everything. I didn’t say anything horrifically wrong (…probably). I feel like I’ve done reasonably well, but… in the wrong direction.

I just hit a few too many missed steps and wound up in the wrong spot. It doesn’t matter if I’m still moving, because I’m not where everyone else is, and I don’t know how to *get* to where everyone else is.

So instead I kind of mostly just…coast along. I’m pretty good at smiling and nodding and pretending at the right beats (at least, I think I am?) but it’s just on the surface. It’s just skating, and there’s nothing underneath it.

Then the evening ends, and I get to go home, sit in my corner, and spend the entire night wishing than I had any kind of skill for shaking things off.

 

I think the worst part is that I can feel it whittling down at my social life. I have dinner with someone, and it doesn’t even go poorly, but I end up at home, tasting bitter and stuck in a cycle of obsessing and the absolute surety that I’ve somehow managed to make an utter fool of myself, and that really it would just be for the best if I don’t choose to make the same mistake again.

It builds up, and then I have this huge circle of people in my life that I feel like I probably should just never interact with, because it isn’t like it goes well, and maybe I used to be better at faking it? Or maybe I never noticed?

As it stands, I wish I could learn to just. *stop. talking*.

because it always seems clever and relevant at the time, until I realize that…it really isn’t. At all.

I’ve never been particularly good at not talking, but maybe if I could get better I wouldn’t have so many evenings, at home, in my corner, wishing that I never had to see any these people ever again.

It’s my own fault. I keep saying yes to things that I ought not be saying yes to.

I just keep thinking that I remember it not feeling like this. I used to be better at this shit.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe it’s this town.

It’s probably most definitely a symptom of my ongoing adventures with shitty brain chemistry.

 

I think maybe what I really miss is being alone.

Life Goals

I live in a strange town with really unique demographics, – which, is honestly really pretty fine for me, because I’m a weird kid and so oddities have a tendency to suit me fairly well.

I live in a Snowbird town, so most of the people who live here, are here for maybe about six months of the year, and most of them are solidly over the age of 60.

This is awesome for me, because it means that I’m meeting all of these incredible people who keep reminding me that like. – Everyone who ever says to a university student “These are the best years of your life” – like. They’re wrong.

About a million years ago, I wrote to my Wondertwin that I finally thought I understood what that meant. “These are the best years of your life” and she wrote back to me that no. It only stops being the best times of your life when you let it.

–  Now, to be sure, there are extenuating circumstances. This past year for me has…absolutely, most indefinitely not been the best times of my life. At all, by any definition. It sucked for many reasons, most stemming from troubles coping with brain chemistry.

And that happens. And that’s fine.

Because life isn’t always going to be wonderful. Sometimes it’s going to royally suck.

Even if you’re doing everything in your power to make your life better, sometimes it’s still going to suck.

The thing is…

I guess it’s really about hope?

One of my best friends in this town, she’s seventy-four, and last week, we made a plan to go to the cinema and sneak into a film. Because she hadn’t done it for decades, and I’ve never done it in my life.

I think on some level…that’s it, really. It’s just a constant process, reminding myself that I don’t need to be defined by nebulous limits somehow put in place by ****society at large*** or whatever.

I think… maybe it’s to do with the idea that…whoever you are, as a person, you can continue to be, no matter how old you are.

It’s not that desires and abilities don’t change – they do, and they *should*, but perhaps it’s just… living with people who embody the fact that you don’t ever have to outgrow anything.

It’s good to have that in my life. I deeply appreciate it.

Stay Afraid, But Do It Anyway

It’s a quote from Carrie Fisher.

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway.”

Last night I put in my two-weeks notice at my place of work.

I have plans – I *always* have plans – endless options, nebulous clouds of possibilities of things that I could do. Whether or not I actually manage to make any of them happen is always the issue though.

It’s not like I’ve ever been known for being particularly decisive in my life.

I remember a conversation that I had with my Driftpartner, when I first got back from Australia. I kept talking about things that I wanted to do, but I was using language like I didn’t think I could actually do it. I don’t remember what I said, but I remember that he looked at me and he asked ‘What happened? You used to be so foolhardy.’

I think perhaps it’s the nature of regret to be wistful.

It’s a pre-emptive decision to stop trying. It’s letting go of of hopes before ever attempting to bring them to fruition.

I think that I’ve spent a lot of time trying to reclaim something, and I think I’m learning to start looking forward more.

I can’t ever be what I was. Nothing can ever not change. That isn’t how the world works.

I think… for me it’s a matter of framing. It’s not about trying to be who I used to be, but it’s taking the things that I like about who I’ve been, it’s about figuring out what things have brought me to the places I want to go. It’s seeing those facets of my life, and bringing those forward.

Things will look different – as they should, because the only other option is pretending to be able to stay stagnant in a changing world – but it’s about remembering. I already have these tools. They might be a bit rusted or buried under layers of junk. It might take me a bit to remember how to use them properly.

That’s all okay.

The thing about “Stay afraid”… is that there are some things that don’t go away. Fear is one of them.

I have already lost things to fear.

I’m sure I will lose more.

That isn’t what matters. What matters is to do it anyway.

 

After all, there is no try.

Lack of Balance

I think that one thing I have never been accused of in my life would anything remotely in the direction of being particularly well-balanced in my lifestyle. I have very strong tendencies towards ‘all-or-nothing’ (Or perhaps, more like ‘EVERYTHING-UNTIL-YOU-BURN-OUT’ as I feel is probably a little bit more personally accurate.)

A lot of what I’ve been trying to do lately is seek balance.

(Obligatory Dinotopia reference: Breathe deep. Seek peace.)

I’ve gotten a new job, which is good.

Sort of.

sort of….hypothetically.

Really what’s happened is I feel like I’ve traded everything I was doing for an entirely new lifestyle, and that… was very much not my intention.

I need to figure out how to care for myself, and that involves having a job, and having that structure; that place in society, and filling that need of ‘being useful’.

I can’t do that at the expense of every other need though, and I feel like that’s most of what the work culture is in the U.S.A.

Just. Put the ‘work’ need in front of EVERY OTHER NEED, or even better, pretend those other needs don’t even exist!!!

I think it’s another one of those ‘life things’ that a person does forever, maybe. Because needs change, so balancing them changes too.

 

Right now, though, I definitely feel as though my pendulum has swung, and I am far, far away from where I was less than a fortnight ago.