There are times when I get around people and forget that I am a part of the group. I become self-aware and start clowning. Older and more mature friends of mine see through this and love the real me, hurting and skeptical, hiding beneath the clown mask. I have put many friends through awkward and embarrassing times.
I still manage to make myself look terrible in social settings, overly eager to get attention. I don’t mean to blame everything on my parents or homeschooling, but if I ever hope to change and be more humble–I have to be realistic about who I am at this time of my life.
I am a lonely person. I had friends in Lynchburg and even in North Carolina I made some great friends right before moving. I will be making contact with the Think Atheist crowd in Maryland this week and I hope to meet some people there with whom I can get along.
Twitter and Facebook are a blast but can be toxic for attention seeking people like myself. This is why I don’t do much on Twitter. Twitter has a way of making me believe that strangers are sitting around waiting for me to enlighten them or show them new truths. Facebook is almost as bad. I hardly have a life outside of it though, and I go months without seeing acquaintances let alone friends. I go through normal routines of work, eat, work, watch TV, sleep, stress about finances, repeat.
I am hoping to bust out of this rut and enjoy spending quality family time with my wife and son, getting my priorities straight and living more confidently in my own skin.
In the last month I have finished editing Preacher Boy and I believe this version will be more readable and more effective than its previous incarnation. I have no right to ask for positive reviews on Amazon when the typos are so distracting. I know that my creative powers come out of my heart, which has been in a bad place recently. When I get my life together, my comedy and writing gets better, my whole family seems better off. I guess the message is, don’t worry so much about getting attention and validation! You know what you can do to make your life better, even if it has to be broken up into small steps. Maybe you get a vasectomy, take a vacation, paint a picture, buy a mountain bike, go skinnydipping–just take an action and let the pieces fall where they may.
The new me is a much less inhibited person because I am exhausted from trying to please everyone. My misery and loneliness is the greatest common denominator and the one constant in all the equations. If I am made to feel like a bad person for perceived attitudes, I will express the attitudes directly. The world will have to do a little bit less digging to find out where I am coming from.
Lastly, my “spiritual” journey I am on right now has everything to do with boundaries and fairness. For twenty years, my response to compliments has been, “all glory to God. Praise God!” I was just the means to God’s end. I knew that in my own body nothing good existed. Now an atheist, it is hard to take compliments or accept affection. The shame issues are deeply rooted. I tend to doubt people’s kindness. My goal of being level headed about success and positive feedback is mired and mucked up in my innate self loathing and bitterness. But are they really innate? No. They were put there. By parents and religion and the culture I grew up in. A girl told me I looked cute the other day and I couldn’t even say thanks. Now I want to walk up and say thanks and give her a big hug. She was being nice. Now I just have to learn to be nice to myself without accusing myself of being an attention-whore (see above pic). I deserve attention. I deserve love. I deserve these things because I am a kind and loving person. I am not perfect but I am not a filthy wretch deserving of eternity in hell, like I believed until 4 years ago. I am something much better. And so are you.