Written August 10, on the MSA03 messageboard.
In my blog, I've written about this maybe once or twice. (My blog went offline a while ago, because the site went down. I don't have a permanent host so it's down, except for this little temporary setup.) It's been at the back of my head this entire year, though. Let's begin.
This is pretty personal, so some of you might not give a crap. Who cares? I feel like rambling. Some of you here might be exactly like me, some of you might be even less social, and some of you might be on the opposite end of the spectrum from me.
I'm not very social. Basically, I was traditionally one of those people that only talked to people that had a lot in common with me, or people I'd known for a long long time. Not really socializing with the rest, but interacting whenever I had to in class. Not a true "loner" in the sense of the word, but just isolating myself sorta.
Not many official extracirriculars. I mean, I did great schoolwork, but if I were to file a college application at the beginning of sophomore year, I dunno what the hell would be on it.
Never had a girlfriend in "official" terms. I mean, even at this point, the word for "friend" was sorta like, acquaintances I was comfortable with.
Well, I make it sound really bad because it's not my way of thinking anymore, so I can't really even relate to it. What I can say is that I was comfortable with it. Just kinda, empty, I guess. Told you I was a dreamer.
Anyway. My cousin and I were kinda in the same boat. We had a lot of _online_ friends, but we were damn sure that wasn't the same thing. I'd had some real good friends to back that up. Every time I was depressed, he'd somehow find some way his life was worse. Except for the fact that we were both non-social. Not "anti social"; that's two different things. Anti-social is being against it, and not wanting it completely. Non-social, to me, is being "kinda sorta, but not very much."
In pissed emails to me, my cousin always told me my life was better than his in every way. At one point I tricked myself into believing that. But there were some parts of my psyche that were depressed. Crap, I played video games, watched TV, and got on the computer 95% of my freetime.
Once again, that's exaggeration, because my memory's so darn crappy, and because I can't relate to my old ways of thinking. XD
My cousin. His life sucked. He was sorta depressed part of the time. We kept each other sane, but I didn't want to end up like him. I had to get my life into shape.
My coming out of the shell mostly started sophomore year--this past school year. Let me run through the fall-winter stuff:
- I got my hair spikey for the first time on September 11, 2002. This was the first time I'd ever had my hair different in my whole life. I'd had the bowl cut or sorta parted bowl cut since forever. My hair kinda got bouncy/fuzzy/curly though, in the past year before I did this.
- Started transitioning into my now-usual style of cargo pants and black, dark blue, or grey t-shirts. In September, I even wore various neckties "Avril Lavigne" style. Screw you all, Gwen Stefani was the first major artist to do it, and years ago, I might add.
- Started getting into some extracirriculars.
Anyway, in December, I was doing okay. I live the Fall and Winter months with the blues mostly, because it's just the mood of the weather. There's something about being dark, moody, and alone that helps you find yourself, I guess. In a trip to Atlanta, I met the daughter of a friend of my dad's. She was pretty outgoing-ish, I guess. Didn't get to know her very well, but we really clicked fast, and that's something I'd never had happen socially. But it was a feeling I liked. I'll run through this point again later.
New Years. My dad and I drove back from Atlanta on New Year's Eve. We didn't get home until 11:30pm. I was in the car, somewhere in Kentucky or Illinois, on the phone with cousins on the east coast when it went down there. 2003: I wanted to get my life straightened out socially, and get my future and goals sorted out.
Funny that in December, a really beautiful song struck me randomly. "Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence. You've all heard it by now. But in December and January, they were really relatively unknown still. In more recent months, this song became my theme for this subject.
February-March, buy tickets to the Evanescence and Linkin Park concerts. I bring my best friend to the Evanescence concert. He's even less outgoing as me. Whereas I e-mail, post on messageboards, chat, and IM with people online, he's gaming. All the time. Very little interaction with actual people. I really thought I should drag him along because it'd be cool for the both of us. This was probably one of the bigger social things I've done at random.
I had the guts to apply for NHS and I got in. Also, whilst all this was happening (from December up until this point) I also applied for MSA. And I had the GPML Math Competitions I was doing. (I made it to state at the last regional meet by some miracle, and also got into NHS and MSA the same week as state. Miracles, dumb luck, or I'm really that smart and I don't know.) The GPML was one of less than a handful of extracirricular activities my school had that would be good for my intellectual-ness.
During Spring Break, my family went down to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I got a chance to hook up with an online friend of mine. Yes indeed, I had the guts to meet someone I met online, in person. We'd known each other for about a year. She's about a year younger than me. Our families have too much in common. It was cool for us and our parents. My cousin was saying "I hope you just stand around, not talking, and have this akward moment like that." On leaving, there was this akward moment where we were on our way to our cars, and she and I kinda looked at each other, and walked past each other really slowly. It was one of those TERRIBLY CLICHE things in movies where you hear the mental voice over going "hug her" and she's going "hug him" and stuff. We didn't. We walked by, got into our cars, said final goodbyes, and left.
That feeling of having really clicked with someone. That's one of the feelings I learned to love. It feels like the idea of "soulmate" except taken down to a step of "good friend". Just having enough in common to get along quickly, or learning to get along quickly with each other. Part of that has to do with attitude, part of that has to do with how you think. Me being the person I am, I haven't had a lot of luck with that personally, at my school. I told you my school sucks. XD
At this point. My social life was a lot better. Two rock concerts, got to road trip to meet a friend from online, did a ton of stuff... Yeah, I think I was doing successful. My cousin on the other hand hadn't improved his life very much. My cousin blamed himself for me not hugging the friend, when I met her, even though he talked trash about an akward moment. He really envied the way I improved my life. Lemme quote this e-mail that's months old; he told me not to ever quote it, but he's forgiven me since anyway.
>The thing I hate about you most is your ability to completely change your life around.
>Your ability to commit to a singular task and follow through with it.
>Your ability to motivate yourself to accomplish your asinine goals.
>The fact that I'm the one who sparked this change in you.
>The fact that I'm the one who made you change your life for the better.
>The fact that everything's working out for you. In almost every sense.
Fine. I didn't want to end up like him, so I started changing my outwardness(?) or my something. (God, my train of thought sucks right now.) But what really inspired my change was that one person I'd met in Atlanta that I got along with quickly. Something like that. It almost felt like love, but I didn't know what love was.
Since that point, I've gone to MSA. I didn't talk to any other MSAers before then except for Amir from my school.
At MSA, everything went SO FAST. But, I realized my non-socialness was due to a fact that the majority of people around me were so ignorant of my positive attributes, and partially because I didn't do the same for them. Having a lot of people with a lot in common with you, and living pretty isolated from the outside world for a few weeks puts things into perspective.
Blah. I got sidetracked watching K-19, and IMing friends online whilst writing this. Well, I mentioned BMTL earlier, and I think I'll quote parts and verses that I think make it pefect as my theme for finding a new social foothold in the world.
"...Leading you down into my core
where I've become so numb without a soul
my spirit sleeping somewhere cold
until you find it there and lead it back home"
"wake me up inside
wake me up inside
call my name and save me from the dark
bid my blood to run
before I come undone
save me from the nothing I've become"
"all this time I can't believe I couldn't see
kept in the dark but you were there in front of me
i've been sleeping a thousand years it seems
got to open my eyes to everything
without a thought, without a voice, without a soul
don't let me die here
there must be something more
bring me to life"
Blah. I quote that too much. It used to be cooler when no one had heard of Evanescence or the song before.