Warning: Contains I’s, Me’s, realness and a lot of words.
Thirty eight days ago I stopped posting status updates on all social media platforms. Radio silent, I call it. I did this for a number of reasons. The most of which essentially boils down to the constant feeling that I was talking to myself. And I do that in my own head anyway, I don’t need to spend time writing it out in little boxes, trying to keep it to 140 characters, making sure I include clever hashtags. So I just quit. And that’s been okay. It has proven that I was right. As in life, posting to social media was no less reaching out to people as speaking to the voices in my head.
There are a few small nuggets of truth I have pulled from director/writer Kevin Smith in his many pot-filled podcasts. The one that has always stuck with me is his assessment that people need three things: food, sex, and to be heard. I am plenty fed and I have made peace with the fact that I have the sex appeal of whatever item you can think of that has the least amount of sex appeal. But being heard, that has alluded me in ways I never imagined could be possible as a teenager who wrote poetry and stories and diary entries and never pictured there being an immediate thing at my fingertips that allowed me that same forum with the same amount of results. (Zero, if you haven’t been paying attention).
This isn’t about not getting 10,000 likes every time I posted something or not being satisfied with the ones I did get. It is more about the feeling that my brain, my life, my sense of humor and my world, is a deserted island where only I live.
Here’s the conundrum. I am an introvert who sometimes has to be an extrovert.
I have had to come to terms with the fact that I need people. I need help with things people who are not in my situation wouldn’t even think about. Everyday crap. So I have to rely on people. For most of my life I have done what I can to rely on my friends, because it’s just more fun that way. I don’t make friends based on what they can help me with, mind you, but I do give them ample warning that being my friend means having to do stupid shit with me because I just can’t do it alone.
Sure, I could hire people to be my people. But then they’re just people I hired to do things, and what kind of people is that?
The catch of it all is, all of this relying on people to be the people who I can rely on has created a terrible pattern. I feel guilty for needing people, so I overcompensate. I pay for everything, I over-give, I am over-nice, I am unselfish. And the people soon become people who only come around when they need something, and never when they actually want to.
It’s nice to be needed. It’s nice to be be the person who’s always got it together, who can always come through when shit goes down. And I do it without question. Without looking for something in return. But I’d like just one thing. A simple request. Be here because you want to be. Put down your phone and pay attention to what I’m saying, even if what I’m talking about means absolutely nothing to you. Don’t consider our time together an obligation you’re meeting because I’ll come through for you.
I know it’s confusing to understand this, but I am people too.
Because of who I am, and I don’t just mean disabled, but because I am a geek, nerd, introvert, creative type, I live inside my head. Constantly. That means every move I make is well thought out. It means that every word I say went through a process first. It means that I do not expend energy needlessly. So when I contact people, and suggest things that also include something I need done, it is not because I needed that thing done. It is because I needed that thing done and thought of you, people, as people who I’d have fun doing that thing with.
People have suggested I need to find other people like me to do things with. My question is, why? People continue to disappoint me, why do I need to go out and find new people to disappoint me? And besides, do those people even exist? Or am I truly just on an island all by myself?
Wilson!? Oh for fuck’s sake. He’s not listening either…