21 December, 2007

A Little Background (or How I Failed At Life)

I'm starting this blog because my two friends from college, the only friends that still play a significant role in my life (beside my brother), each started one recently, detailing their lives as working men. Even though I don't work, I thought maybe I could share some of my own experiences, to give a whole 'nother perspective on the working world.

So how did I become a worthless human, whose college degree offers no protection from the cannibalistic dangers of Society?

High School Graduation was an uncharacteristically bright period in my life. I was headed to a respected university, and I had a serious girlfriend. I deserved the education, thanks to the lifelong efforts of my parents and their parents to raise me well, in addition to my own intellectual faculties; and I earned the girlfriend with a sincerely kind heart (and a lot of luck).

So what happened?

I suppose I became a failed human the moment I decided to opt out of continuing on to Graduate School. Granted, I could still have gone straight into a career, but that's where the problem lies. The reason I made it as far as I did was because of my smarts. Going to school was never a choice for me. Going to college wasn't even a choice - it was expected, and I just followed along. But somewhere in college, my smarts started to fail me. I completely lost faith in the field I was studying. My interest declined, and my work ethic dropped with it. I coasted through those final classes just to complete my degree, and then I dropped out of the race. Even if I had attempted to apply to Graduate School, I am certain that I wouldn't have been able to 'cut it'. But it turns out that I would do no better in the job market, either...

Having 'finished' school, the expectation is for me to go to work. But you see, getting a job is not like passing from sixth grade into seventh grade. There's a whole new world out there - one that I haven't been prepared for - and it terrifies me.

My problems are largely psychological. I am not normal. This is something that I've always been proud of, but lately it's carried a darker meaning. I'm talking psychological disorder, here. Everybody's got problems, yeah, and you learn to deal with them the best you can so you can get through life and make the best of what you got. Well, when the problem gets to the point where even that kind of effort doesn't produce satisfactory results, you have to start looking for alternative methods. I never liked the idea of being the crazy kid who takes meds and goes to therapy - I knew kids like that in high school, and I did not want to be like them - but honestly, I'm considering all options at this point. Anything to get back in the game. But when your fear is talking to people, well, it's that much harder to get help.

Maybe this is a confession. It's really embarrassing to sit here and admit all these problems I have, because then I come off looking like a pathetic wretch who's reaching out for sympathy from anyone and everyone who'll care to listen. And that's hard, because it just reinforces all those ideas in my head that cause me to have zero confidence and a really poor self-image. But on the other hand, it's something that I need to come to terms with, and admitting it to myself and not hiding it from others has to be a step in the right direction.

"If you live your whole life in fear, hiding who you are, you become a stranger to yourself."

One of the primary tenets of my life is fear of reaction. Criticism, rejection, just negative feedback in general. And it's not so much the reactions people *actually* have, but simply the idea of a negative reaction, whether it's believable or not. So, in my naturally avoidant manner, I have become very protective about anything and everything that relates to me and my life. The less people know about me, the less they can criticize who I am. I have developed an attractive mystique, which often turns people off because it seems like I don't really care about anyone or anything. So I think telling people who I really am can only be a positive experience in the long run. Honestly, I've fantasized about being completely open to people, strangers even. I *want* people to know who I really am. Because it really sucks having to constantly hide who you are, always putting on a mask and cloak and pretending to be someone, or noone in particular.

So that's the whole point. Telling people who I am, so I no longer have to hide from them. It's part of the healing process. And sure, you can criticize me for being one of those pathetic fools who can only open up on the internet, where I don't have to actually face people. But you know what? That's who I am, and I think it's the first step to being able to really be myself, in the real world, too. At any rate it's worth a try. At the very least, admitting it means that you won't be whispering about it behind my back.

And besides, I'm a lot more interesting than this. This blog isn't gonna be a string of melodramatic psychodrama. Although I'm bound to throw it in, because frankly, I'm interested in psychology as well as philosophy, but I just wanted to set the stage, so the audience knows who they're listening to. I'm not just a basket-case, and although I am pretty much a shut-in with limited contact with the outside world, I'm also a budding musician (guitarist) with a huge interest in rock music and blues. And I have other interests, too. You'll hear about them in the course of this blog, since another goal is for me to describe just what it is I do with my time, being a college graduate with no job to speak of...

If this sounds interesting, then maybe you'll have a good time. At worst, you can always sit back and say, wow, this guy is so pathetic, at least I'm not as much a pussy and a failure at life as he is. Otherwise, you don't have to read the blog at all, or even think about me and my life. I didn't write it for you, anyway. So don't think *too* highly of yourself. Either way, this is the end of the introduction. From here on, we get into the meat of the dish.


  1. You might be surprised at how many people at Bucknell thought (think) highly of you. There isn't much bad that many people could say about you.

    Sometimes it worries me more when I get only positive feedback. Are they lying to keep from hurting my feelings? Is that what they really thought? Do they even care?

    The funny thing is, I used to have some of the same mentality before I came to college, largely because I couldn't hear well. When your world is a blur of noise, you have a lot of time to wonder what people are saying about you, the "different" guy.

    Eventually I stopped caring as much. Part of that is because I started valuing myself more than I do random strangers, or even most people in general. After all, are you going to listen more when Armstrong says your Japanese is wrong or when some kid from anime club says it?

    It's something you have to be able to do for yourself, though. Nobody can really wheedle or browbeat you into changing, despite what anyone else may say.

    It's certainly not easy.

    I look forward to further installments.

  2. The only thing I know for sure is that the one person who mattered the most didn't think of me highly enough...

  3. I wish I'd gotten to know you better and sooner at college; if this blog is any indication, I missed out on a lot of interesting conversations.

    I've been meaning to take a look through your archives and give your posts a proper read, as I've merely been popping in from time to time. Considering how supportive you were of Exfanding, it's only fair.

  4. I thank you for the flattering compliment. :D

    I like to think that there's some genuinely interesting discussion on this blog, but there's also a lot of potentially embarrassing personal stuff, too. But I guess that's kind of the point. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as I know all too well.

    Regardless, thanks for reading.

  5. My pleasure. :)

    Heck, I sometimes wish I had the guts (and/or disregard for potential consequences) to post about some of the topics you do in a public space. I mean, I'll discuss virtually anything with anyone in a 1:1 capacity if they're genuinely interested and I don't feel like it's going to come back to bite me somehow, but I'm highly conscious of my squeaky-clean image and the fact that my parents read all my writing. ;)

  6. I understand completely. I, however, apparently have a rebellious streak. And a callous disregard for "keeping up appearances". I guess it's the rocker blood in me. \m/ (Is that how you do horns? Ugh, I'm a rocker, not a metalhead :p).