I've always been weird. I never "got" people, and I still don't. They all flit about, delighting in one another's company. And I'm just like, "what are they even talking about? Football, shopping, yard work?" Are those things?
I was home-schooled until the 5th grade, so I missed the entire window when most kids learn to socialize. We moved around quite a bit too, so I made approximately zero friends. Towards the end of high school, I had about half a dozen dudes that I would roleplay with: Dungeons and Dragons, Rifts, Vampire: The Masquerade, that sort of thing. Usually those devolved into putting soda cans into socks and hitting each other until we got tired (but, like, in a fun way?).
You're thinking, "weird kids always grow up to be the coolest! I bet you blossomed in college!"
I did not.
I made exactly zero friends in college. I would go home on the weekends and hang out with my friends who threw dice and books at me, and hid pepperoni under the cheese of my "totally meat-free pizza." And we would pee in each other's bottles of Mountain Dew.
Truly, we were enlightened.
|Like this, but with yellow soda instead of booze.|
When I was 23 I did a google search for how to be normal. I don't know why I'm lying. I did a Google search for how to meet women, because I was tired of being sad and antisocial. About the same time I started drinking.
It took me about 6 months to turn into a party animal. But whatever romantic comedy starring Vince Vaughn or Dane Cook is dancing through your head right now, throw it out. I had a ton of hilarious adventures, but it didn't end in me living happily ever after, having learned a valuable lesson.
Oh I definitely learned some lessons. Like, driving drunk and hitting things is not ideal. Throwing an epic party and then being hung over for several days is super great for one day and super not great for several days after. Selfishly using people for your own enjoyment is fun but also leaves you feeling totally awful inside forever. That sort of thing.
When I was in middle school, before I learned the "3 second rule" or how to "spot IOI's" or any of that crap, I went to the school dances. Do schools still have dances? Did social media ruin that too? Anyway, I'd go because there was pizza, and my family was poor. I loved pirogis with sour cream as much as the next kid, but sometimes I just wanted some flippin' pizza.
I would loiter mostly. Sit on the bleachers. And make frequent trips for more soda and pizza. I can't really remember, but I suspect I was pretty bloated at these things. It's probably a good thing I wasn't more popular. Or any amount of popular. I couldn't imagine holding in that much gas for that long. I still can't!
I had a crush on a girl. I think it was the 8th grade, or 9th, or some number. I'd look at her and feel warm and fuzzy. That was about the extent of it. I didn't know what to say or do beyond that.
|"Do I talk to her? What do I say?! What if she doesn't like me!"|
At one of the dances, terrified, I asked her to dance. She said no. I'm not sure if I was heartbroken, but one thing I'm sure of, I was relieved! I'm always relieved when someone I like says no, even to this day. But then she felt bad and approached me later that evening. Aaaah crap, I knew my bravery was going to bite me in the a$$.
Nope, noooo romatic comedy here either. It was awkward. Really very painfully awkward. This is the first time I'm mentioning it at all. I've kept it bottled up.... what, almost 25 years now? Hahahaha, that's how awkward it was. But writing it... it's like taking this thing that's been wadded up inside of me, pulling it out, and blowing it out of my hands and having it sprinkle into the wind like dandelion seeds.
Because really, who cares. To literally everyone it's just a funny story. It only holds power over me if I give it any.
Back to the now. I got tired of hurting people. Really tired. It's all I was doing. Hurting myself - and more importantly - hurting others. The fun times I had were ephemeral. They didn't stick around forever. I liked staying up late and drinking half naked with ridiculous people, but that's not something that made me proud. I wasn't looking at myself and thinking, "man, I really accomplished something last night, with that whiskey and broken furniture. Suuuure did."
So I've come around full circle. Back to not getting people. Back to a totally solitary existence. Back to the awkward kid at the high school dance. I just run. Partly it's an escape. An escape from others and an escape from myself. Partly it's to punish myself for all the idiotic mistakes I made and all the people I hurt. Actually, this part is a big part: It's why I enjoy pain and punishment so much. And then part of it is to shape myself into somebody better. Because I can't hold on to that anguish forever.
|"I'm sure this is somehow good for me."|
It's stupid. I know it is. I'm very conscious of that. Beating myself up all the time is not sustainable. But I feel like I'm on a track now. A track that's going.... somewhere. I'm not sure where to yet, and it's a bit bumpy, but I'm definitely moving. And that's exciting, and it makes me feel good about my future.
A future of fitness. A future of pride in myself. A future of love with people who support me that I support right back. People who are all on the same track, spiraling upwards towards ever billowing joy and success. I've had tastes of it, and unlike those long ago nights of 40's of malt liquor and passing out in parks, these moments linger. I still remember the party with the amazing LUNARs I had after the Wineglass marathon.
Shared passion, shared craziness, shared love. I think I'm finally starting to get it.
|"Life isn't as complicated as you think.|
Just be majestic, like me."