I don’t usually do this, but….I’d like to send a shout out to Terri at Chasing Simple Dreams. Of all the people who have commented on my blog, she’s been one of my biggest supporters at 29 comments! The first one was back in December of 2013! Terri if you’re reading this, thank you so much!!!! It means a lot to me that a stranger would continue to leave words of support for all this time.
The second part of this post is about friendships. I’m 32 now and have gone through a couple phases of my life where I felt alone. Why? Here’s a list:
- Religion – See that mostly here in Texas, a lot of people network through church. Mention that I used to be a Jehovah’s Witness and the conversation and don’t go to church at all usually ends pretty quickly.
- Sexual Orientation – Called the f word by some jerk in high school close to 5 years before I came out to anyone. Even then there are straight couples who probably see me as a sinner. Or family members that would stop talking to me if they knew I was gay.
- Ethnicity – Not black or white enough, the two main groups of people in the school I went to. This extends to society in general.
- Socioeconomic class – Disabled father and mother who worked a difficult job without a fancy title or pay
- Car I drive – You drive a slow FWD car? What the heck man?? Sidenote – I bought the new car for me, not to impress others.
- Conversationally – Being shy or not feeling like I have anything to discuss
- College – Dude, what college did you go to? One you’ve never heard of. Did you play sports? Nope. What fraternity were you in? None, I went to a commuter school.
- Drinking – As I get older I realize my tolerance for alcohol is on the low-ish side. I get a buzz after 1 drink and drunk on the 2nd one. Frozen margaritas are a bit offender..
- Sports – See the college / professional league game last night? Nope I don’t follow sports. Ohh well that sucks.
- Hobbies – What do you like to do for fun man? Listen to Personal Finance podcasts, read car forums and workout. Ohhh that’s lame.
- Family – Seeing guys profiles on dating apps where they mention their friends and family are their life. Also a shit ton of instagram pictures with them looking super photogenic and on fancy trips every week practically. My family is 1500 miles away and I can go 5 days without socializing with a single human being.
Some slight exaggeration here, but you get the idea. At the root I never felt good enough for people to like me. My self-esteem was low, my POV was always me vs them.
How do I deal with it?
- I’ve accepted the past is the past. My efforts are best spent on things I do have control over.
- Having good people around. This has made my life more rich and fulfilling. I want to experience that more and grow in the process.
- Bouncing back – Sometimes I have bad days, but I still put myself out there. If people don’t want to talk to me because of the color of my skin, where I’m from or any of the other ridiculous reasons they can come up with that’s on them, not on me.
- Being assertive – Focusing on what I want in life and using my time and energy toward that.
- Seeing my progress – Some people stay in the same town and never leave. Great if that’s how you roll but if you’re miserable like I was, that doesn’t really fly.
- Modeling – YouTube videos on people who dealt with this are priceless. Helps to break the pattern pretty darn easily.
Last but not least….Get the *fuck* off social media unless you’re marketing something or that’s your career. Don’t let it run or ruin your life. A good portion of the people on there are pretentious, narcissistic or funding their lifestyles on debt. The others work their asses off (a few of my friends work 60-80 hrs a week), sacrifice in other areas (say 6 roommates in a NYC apartment, or no car), or have help either from their spouse or parents. Focus on deep, meaningful relationships with a small number of people. I’m working on that number, but a total of 10 feels about right.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
This is a famous quote by Eleanor Roosevelt I often thing about. In a few years many events that pop up in the current day won’t matter. I’m talking about things a celebrity said or did to drum up publicity. Aside from the mindless entertainment component, who really cares what happened on <insert reality show here>. I have a habit of writing these late at night so I apologize for any typos or ramblings. I like living the good life and aside from money and health, quality connections are critical. 🙂