For my 39th Birthday today; and because I have very few friends to celebrate it locally; I decided to do something a little different. Instead of honoring ourselves, how about we honor our parents?
It has been quite a while since I had any inclination, inspiration, or energy to write. Today, I have some of that, but more so, a desire to express something that is bugging me today. This is a long post, so consider yourself advised. :-)
Today, I woke up to the morning sun filtering through a hanging crystal, shooting prismatic light all over me; and I realized; I don't have a social life, and very few friends. Over the course of about 5 months, I have become a hermit again.
Sigh, and so in the ever present push / pull that is my struggles with the idea and feeling of friendship, kinship; I am on the "pull" phase. You would think that by now I would have made up my mind and picked a stable place in this particular continuum between hermit and social butterfly...
At the moment, I am being hit pretty hard emotionally - a hermit that desires to hang out with friends on a regular basis that is deeper than what you would get at a party. Yet, I see several channels of thoughts followed by action that have led me here; meaning it is my own damn fault and intent, haha!
A week or so ago, I was also in my "I hate humanity!" phase which is one of those channels. The core frustration that begets this phase is my continued frustration with not being in the flow with others in a group setting.
Let me explain: When I am in a group conversation, there is a certain flow or momentum going on, people are having a dynamic conversation, no interruptions, something is building up and everyone is going towards it organically. Oftentimes, I end up interrupting this flow because I am out of sync with this, either in thought, expression, or the others are saying their pieces and there is no gap whatsoever for me to chime in so I often then say past stuff WAY after the conversation moves on; or I chime in but accidentally interrupt somebody else (this happens very often) as they chimed in half a word prior to me. Other times after I share something, there is this awkward silence, and either the conversation moves on as if I said nothing; or it lingers and basically someone else has to restart the flow. It is not just present in conversations; it is also present in activities, such as dancing, or even helping out in an event, or even in a meeting. I don't get how this human dynamic works, how to get into it, how to go with it, none of it. A serious source of frustration. It also does not help that I also have hearing problems, which amplifies this issue.
As a result, I have a lot less desire to be around others in a group setting. The only group at the moment that I am less frustrated with in this regard is a cuddling group that happens once a week where there is no focus on talking, and the dynamics and flow aren't as intense. There was another group that is similar where we gathered to simply color and/or socialize; but at the moment I have not been participating in that group.
Another factor in all this is that lately, my longstanding trigger I have has been happening all over the place. Whenever I start to care about someone else past a certain level; I will start to have the emotions of intense hurt, jealousy, anger, and sometimes resentment whenever I am near that person. Another situation that brings up the same trigger is when I see people being loving towards each other. It used to happen with certain people; but lately, it has been happening everywhere. I am actually Grateful for this development because it helped me realize that it is NOT because of my relationship with certain people; rather, it is something in me that wants to be addressed and it is now affecting all relationships with anybody I care about past a certain point. I disfavor feeling this way, and have fears that it is transparent or perceivable by others, so I tend to avoid that situation - with obvious results towards being a hermit.
The third factor or channel, is that I grew up moving around very often, so I had to uproot - terminate friendships, start new ones, over and over again, and it had two results. One of which was that I came to love travel and value discovery, wonder, and getting to know a new environment. The other result is that "friends" became a disposable thing to me. The uprooting thing has continued to persist into my adult life, long after I stopped being raised by my mother; so unconsciously, whenever I meet new people, I tend to accelerate how much I share, or get to know them, but then stop at a certain point because if I develop it, it is just that much more painful whenever I leave that place; they move on; or they drop out of my life or we become de-synchronized. There were a few times when I have attempted to develop things past that "acquaintance" point, with people in a professional environment; or an actual friendship, only to find out later on that they are suddenly not friends, or non-responsive to me when I reach out. There have been a few friends that I also forcibly disconnect from, thinking that "oh crap, this is going to hurt later on, may as well get it overwith now!".
A fourth channel is, oftentimes I will perceive that I am not a friend's priority, or first on their list of people they would like to greet, or talk to. This is rather painful, so what ends up happening is that as a defense mechanism, I will not greet people first, and let them greet me first. There have been times when I greet someone, only to get a response that the greeting was not in kind, or an afterthought - I never know when somebody REALLY wants to talk to me as a friend. By letting others' greet me first, there is no question on whether or not they really want to talk to me.
Finally, a fifth channel that results when the other four are in play and I am well on my way to hermit mode is I start to get anxious again, and conversations with others become awkward. Then, I just do not want to talk to others, even when they want to talk to me, and I will keep the interaction short.
It looks like a pretty exhaustive list that makes me want to be a hermit doesn't it? Yet.. illogically, and just as annoying, I *want* to be social, have friends, to not be a hermit, and it is intense enough that I can't just be a hermit and shun humanity. There are times when I do love humanity, and see all the wonderful benefits and growth that happens when I am around others.
What I have done in the past was that I would become a work-a-holic; and that was my second thought this morning - that I have been immersing myself in various forms of work lately. Back then, the result of doing that for several years was that I became a miserable person, and it was one of many factors that forced me to change up my life, and hence the pilgrimage.
Pah, I say!
So, anybody doing anything fun tonight, or want to hang out?
This morning I saw something by a friend who expressed her feelings about today, and I felt for her. There were many years that I felt the same, though it was not as intense. During those years, I had never had a relationship, and so my sadness was that I could not connect with people. At that time too, I have grown up with what I see now as cultural distortions, and witnessed as year after year, the "hype" surrounding love, romance, sex built up. Part of that hype also included pornography, which would give a vague implication of what intimacy might be in very scant bits and pieces, even more scant than your average can of totally processed soups that promote big pieces or X amount of some ingredient, mostly meat. So, this hype, along with not being able to connect with people framed the sadness and loneliness I felt around Valentine's day - in my perception, love was scarce. I wonder how different things would turn out to be if I knew back then, what I know now... After a special encounter with a very special woman nearly three years ago; an intense relationship that lasted a short time; an interesting journey in a dating skills group that resulted in a series of self discoveries; and a couple of brief encounters; I have learned that all that stuff I grew up with was indeed hype, distortion, and a lot of my own doing because I bought into those things; and that love is sorely overrated in many ways; and also very underrated in other ways that I have found to be far more important. I am betting that that said friend is feeling the way she feels because she has experienced love in those important ways before, or at least some aspect of true intimacy and connection; and is missing it on this day. If that is true, man, that must really hurt, and it is intense enough that ANY way to cope with it would be preferrable to suffering that hurt. What have I found? Love is truly abundant and surrounds us in many ways, contrary to what people, mainstream culture, and society would have us believe. Love exists in friendships, with animals, with the everyday beauty of life, and within each of us. I found that WE are the only ones capable of blocking it off, restricting it, and otherwise making love scarce. I found that all the stuff I grew up with was indeed hugely overrated - the vague innuendos of how intimacy is supposed to work; the sensations that supposedly brings out certain noises and certain tones from people; and the quality and nature of "happily ever after" were all illusions, lies, fantasies that only caused suffering of separation; and divisions between people. I also found that at the same time, love was actually much richer, and more abundant in other ways. I found that what I really want is intimacy in connecting with others, a kind of intimacy that one can experience in a single but not ultra short kiss on the lips. The hundreds of points of connection between two people that is so vast that there is plenty of room and time to explore. An intimacy where one discovers mirrors of themselves in each other and are able to unconditionally accept and love and grow from, no matter how long, or how short that connection exists and feel that one has truly benefitted from. I've experienced the above and I am Grateful for those experiences because I no longer suffer the way I did back then when Valentine's day rolls around. Instead, I have a barometer of where I am at whenever I think about this desire for intimacy; and the realization that Valentine's Day need not to be a vehicle to further separate, divide, and isolate people because of a prevalent narrative that surrounds it. Really, how much do you want to bet that so many women out there have turned themselves away from romantic love because of the legions of men who, in seeking a certain brand of love, bombard them with messages, requests, and other social interactions that are heavily dripping with this desire and intent that none of them can ever hope to fulfill or enjoy? Really, how much do you want to bet that as a result of these interactions with women, those very same men only have a moe intensifying experience in their desires, hunger, and increased hype of whatever they are looking for, which only worsens the underlying symptoms and root causes in the first place, which only results in more separation between people and between themselves. What a vicious cycle, really! I still quickly look away, sometimes walk away and do something else, or talk about something else whenever I witness others engaged in various acts of connection or intimacy; but this is a huge improvement over where I was before. I also no longer use various coping skills when Valentine's Day rolls around, for which I am glad - my separation from others is less, at least. So, the quest to increase what little self love I have continues, and I know that the only place and person I can do this with, is myself. How I feel about witnessing others, and how I feel about Valentine's Day is my own doing as my own choice, which means that in the future, there is a real possibility that I will join the legions of people that celebrate their love for each other EVERYDAY. Like other holidays, it is a reminder of what we could do on an everyday basis, and even at every moment: to cherish each other, to cherish the love we have for one another, and that the most important thing we have that makes every story, every circumstances, every travesty we witness in this existence rather irrelevant. Happy Valentine's Day, Everyone. No matter where you are at today, physically, spiritually, emotionally, or as a person - I love you all.
Life is so interesting right now! After two years and three months into this pilgrimage, I have come through full circle; when I did not know I was going in a circle in the first place. The beginning of this loop happened nearly three decades ago when I first found myself emotionally isolated. What I mean by emotionally isolated was that I could not relate or connect to anybody at a satisfactory level due to my limited eyesight and hearing. I would feel like I was left out of the loop, and not know what was going on at a given moment; which led to frustration, loneliness, abandonment, and being relegated to a sub-class of a group. At some point, I found ways to simultaneously numb myself of these feeling, and finding other ways to connect with other people. Now, 29 years later, I have come around again to observing the exact same issue; the exact same feelings; and another opportunity of making a choice once again. The only difference is, I am aware of more possibilities, my feelings, my story, and of myself.
Today, I got an e-mail correspondence from a client of mine that detailed a purchase via eBay of a laptop with some high end specifications for a great price, only to have the unit become very hot to the touch only after using it for half an hour or so. My client and the seller communicated over this concern, and wanted a second opinion on the correspondence.
The seller will take laptops that end up being available on the used or refurbished market, fix them up, improve them, and otherwise make it a fresh fit to re-sell. There are a lot of organizations that do that, given that so many laptops are out there as a result of planned obsolescence and/or a more “disposable” society. I think it is a wonderful idea that helps to mitigate the concepts above; but at the same time, the correspondence felt less than satisfactory.
I originally wrote this on August 28, 2014 and posted it on my Facebook account.
This is a great article that talks about monogamy and polyamory, and that certain aspects of it hit rather close to home for me. When I read this article, there was a prolonged emotional release I experienced while sitting at this air conditioned coffee & doughnut shop using their free WiFi. It hits home because there is a story I have been keeping to myself for a long time now, and have only told to one person, but not really knowing how I wanted to tell the final and highest version of the story. The article blessed me with it tonight, and I can finally share it.
Albuquerque for the past 10 months has served as a self-paced training and practice ground for me - a gossamer mistress who in an instant places people, situations, venues, words, pictures, music, and love in one's path with the ultimate intent of helping one grow. This mistress knows for all time one's capabilities, tendencies, likely responses, quirks, strengths, and constitution; and everything happens right on cue; while being at utmost patient, loving, and accomodating to our free will. What has the gossamer mistress been showing me so far? Getting in touch with my emotions - she was eager to bring them forth as I had much potential of development in this area, and have shut them out very strongly for a long time.
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