Thursday, October 28, 2010
Realizing I have something to crawl out of
Strangely enough, in the nearly 8 months of my unemployment, I’ve spent a lot of time in a kind of isolation. This is not an entire surprise, I’ve always been a very social person who needs to crawl into a tiny place to be alone for awhile.
I spent a lot of time, online and on the streets, looking for work early on. Applying for jobs, interviewing at agencies, updating my resume on monster.com and other such places. But I still had lots of time and in that time, I’ve seen only a handful of my friends.
That’s not like me. It’s not normal.
When I was married my wife marveled at how I navigated parties and got to talk to everyone I could and make new friends. It was a skillset that she envied. To me I just like parties. I like moments of being the center of attention (Hello, actor) I like listening and engaging.
But over the last few years, I’ve sought more comfort in being alone. I communicate through email or the phone. I watch movies or TV shows I love, but I don’t get out much. Social situations scare me now.
I use the financial situation, which has not been better than struggling for at least 10 years, as an excuse for not doing myriad things with my life. Not seeing people, not seeing shows or movies in theaters or trips. I sit here alone with my PC or laptop or DVD player or all three and live in my own world.
Lately I’ve become immensely aware of all this.
A few weeks ago I went to the launch party of the NYSexBlogger’s Calendar for 2011. This is a great party for those of us who support and want sexual freedom, the calendar is very cool and btw, if you support such things I would ask you to buy one for you or your friends. Check it out.
Anyway, big party and I was looking forward to seeing @MiaOnTop for the first time since before her move to Texas and maybe a couple of buddies of mine. But in the hours before the party, I had to really nudge myself to go. In fact the kicker was that I would get to say hello to Mia, who had even asked on Twitter if I was going. That was worthwhile to me. And so I went.
It was a pretty good night and I’d gotten there early enough to even get some swag. Swag mostly for women, but swag nonetheless. (Seriously, since I'm not dating at the moment what am I supposed to do with 3 vibrators.)
I even got to meet @GrayDancer who’s kinda big in the poly/kink/podcast world and the quite sexy @sexiesadie. Nice thrills for first 40 minutes that I was there…and then…I became a meandering wallflower. I stuck around to listen to some speakers, and enjoy the raffle, but all I did was wander through the crowd, and literally stand against a wall while GrayDancer drew raffle tickets. I barely spoke to anyone. I felt isolated surrounded by like minded people. It was kind of ridiculous.
I left as it wound down, tried to say goodbye to @_Ten_10 who was busy with conversation and headed home. I felt relief as I sat on the F train.
A few weeks later I went to a weekend retreat with polyamorists in New England, not far from the city. It was a basically free event and a chance to get out of the city for a weekend for almost nothing. It was a good time. There was anxiety for me but I could occupy myself with building fires (cold weekend) which I love to do and am very good at and then on Sunday morning make my somewhat famous French toast for breakfast.
I made some new friends and managed to relax after awhile, but I found myself doing the meandering thing on more than one occasion. There were only a couple of people of the 18 of us that I knew and I found it hard to reach out too much. Fortunately this was a person’s house and there was TV and fire and a yard.
I had a great time over all and even got some pictures that will be headshots for free out of the deal. Kind of wild. And a friend there seems to be determined to life coach me. Really what I need.
Then last weekend was a party held by an old friend that would feature many old friends. I have avoided the whole idea of the party for weeks. The idea of the party itself filled me with dread.
What was I going to talk about? My lack of a life? My lack of a job? My over all sense of doom about things of late?
I didn’t want to get into it, so I conveniently chose not to think about it. To the point of forgetting about the party until 2 hours before its start.
I decided that it was important for me to go, so I spent an hour and a half talking myself into it and asking myself what the hell had happened. What is going on and why do I feel I just don’t have anything to offer as a person to my friends.
My friends don’t care about my joblessness or whatever. They want to hear my political rantings (even though I myself and getting a little tired of myself on that front…sort of) so what am I worried about? But bottom line I want so much to talk about my latest adventure, my latest passion, and I have none.
Not that there aren’t things in my life I feel good about, but some aspects of my life I need to keep to myself for now and can’t share them for myriad reasons. I can and have lived with that. I’m fine with it, there are people who deal with that sort of thing on much grander scales than I do. Just some things that I might share with friends are things they would not understand well.
But ultimately something hit me as I got myself dressed and dragged myself off. On November 2 of 2002 I was on my way to a party when I was hit by a car and spent the following 3 months in the hospital and the following 2 months after that homebound. I literally bear the scars of that event and am partially artificial for it. Every day I am reminded of that night 8 years ago by a pain here and there or the sound of my hip slipping slightly from its ceramic socket.
Of course I get nervous about going out.
This is not a blog of “feel sorry for me” for all this crap that’s going on. It’s more about the fact that I need to write anyway and that I find myself not quite being myself and trying to get clear why.
I was once hungry and ambitious and creative, now it’s more like I can’t be bothered. I’m starting to think that more than my hip and shoulder were broken and those breaks probably predate the accident, but the accident itself was like a final nail after an already tough decade.
I’d just found so many avenues to avoid really looking at all that for so long that it took this latest bout of unemployment to look at what the hell is going on.
Somehow I’ve got to find inspiration again. Somehow I’ve got to remember the only reason that I feel that I have nothing to offer is because I FEEL I have nothing to offer. The facts say something else….
More on that for another entry.