What I've Learned
This list of things is generally in order from oldest to newest.
Be true to yourself, always. I've always been different. It was very difficult. I was ridiculed my entire youth as a result of embracing who I was. I spent more years of my life without a single friend, a single person to talk to, than I have with someone to talk to. Still, I'm proud that I've always stayed genuine to me.
Be with the ones you most care about as often as possible. It's true what I said above. Many times, I've had nobody in my life, but when I had somebody, I spent time with them every single day. This is how I learned to conduct a relationship. When you aren't busy working to keep alive, you are with those you love to be alive. From 12 to 19 years old, I went to school as required, worked 40 or more hours a week, and still SAW my friend every day. Somehow people are now convinced that they are busy 100% of the time most days. There are days when I can be very busy, but I'll never be too busy that I can't make some time in my day for someone I love.
Love everyone. I think that, because of my ability to always be who I really am, I have come to the point where I love and accept everyone for who they are. I'll be there for anyone who needs it, if only they ask. There are bad people in the world though, right? No. Many choose a path that is unacceptable to a majority, and even I may hope for something from them more in line with my morals, but I'll still continue to care for them if given the chance.
"Love" is an ambiguous word. It means different things for different people, and I believe that there are distinct differences in the way we love people that should have different words assigned to them. Did you know that in some languages there are several different words for love used for different purposes? I've learned that people who feel they should be closer to you feel threatened if you love others. Well, I am closer to a few people. Much closer than anyone else. I still love everyone. Love and closeness are not the same thing. Love and intimacy are not the same thing. Love and any other word are not the same thing. This may be why they are different words. I feel more compelled to be around very specific people than the rest of the world because they fulfill and satisfy something within me, so my love for them is a very specific kind of love. Insert your suggestion of a better word in the comments section.
Updates make the heart grow fonder. I don't agree with it, but especially after the last five years, this is what I've learned from the world. If I don't keep myself fresh in the minds of others, I become an afterthought. I literally think of everyone I've ever cared for almost every day. I'm not saying that is correct or normal, and that I expect everyone to do the same. I'm just saying. If I don't hear from you for weeks, months, or even years, you will still mean to me exactly what you meant to me when I heard from you weeks, months, or years ago. For me, love will always be love. Unfortunately, in my experience over the last several years, I don't mean the same to others if they haven't talked to me. Of course, that brings up the whole argument again about ME not keeping "in touch". Let me ask you something: if you are the one who enjoys or even requires "keeping in touch", why aren't you? Is it only up to me? I'll let you in on a secret. The people who initiate contact with me most often are also the ones I initiate contact with the most often. I recently used my interactions with one person to see where I stood. It turned out that I initiated contact with them and responded to them within 10% of the same stats as they did with me, looking at a couple month's worth of call and message logs. Maybe for you it was only 20 - 30% of the times you contact me, leaving you to initiate 70% of the time, but it is definitely not zero. It sounds unfair? Well, by comparison, my experience has shown that what I want - actually physically being together - is something that I try (or have tried) to initiate almost 100% of the time, and others initiate almost 0% of the time. Someone initiated recently with me to get together. That was really cool. Then I tried three times to actually set something up, and it still hasn't happened. A year and a half ago, I initiated a request to get together with ten different people on a regular basis. Two people actually came one time in the months that I was inviting people. A half year ago, I requested the presence of 11 people. One successful meeting, six weeks later. I've learned that I'm not very high priority. An afterthought. I occasionally get invited to things, but lately I almost feel like that is happening because people feel like they should invite me, not because they really want me there (or care that I am). By the way, don't take that out of context. I'm not convinced that 100% of invitations given me are through some feeling of obligation, just that it feels like more and more of those invitations are.
Money really can't buy happiness. I never expected it to. I understood and agreed with that statement since I first heard it. With the lack of anything or anyone else to distract me, however, I spent a lot of money over the last couple of years. Mostly on nothing. Again, I wasn't expecting that it would make me happy - it was really just coincidence - but now looking back and assessing my life I can fully corroborate that I'm no happier as a result, and actually most likely a bit less happy for having much less to show for all of the hard work I put in for years. As an additional note, I skimmed the line of spending more than I was making, but luckily, I'm just disciplined enough (so far) to keep enough money flowing to my obligations. It is a shame, though, that my spending also came during a time when I didn't have work for 14 months (pandemic), and barely enough work for the last 14 months ("post" pandemic). It's okay. In the grand scheme of what life means to me, money has very little value. I'd choose friendship and love 100% of the time (for now).
Desire paradox. The more I want something, the less I have it. This is actually a classic lesson of attraction, but a very difficult one to follow because it is counterintuitive. It says that you block results by trying to be too involved in something. If you want love, you put the intention out there, forget about it, and love will come. If you want money or power, tell the Universe, then move on. I've come to the point of such desperation for everything that I lack it all, and even observing that outcome, it is difficult to change it. I'm getting close.
Added September 19, 2022
So, I decided to add another communication here. As I mentioned in the one that you've read below, it's not typical for me to share things electronically, nor in the same way to multiple people. This time, as before, I'm sharing electronically because it is the only thing that may reach somebody. What I'm doing different, though, is I'm not sending out a text to anyone to read it. I suppose someone may happen onto this page again, and find this and possibly other new entries. Although it has been 7 months since I published the first, this entry will start with my experience just after it was read.
Basically, my first message said that I needed to connect and talk to important people about important things in my life. I received a bunch of texts shortly after. Not everybody responded, but it was a majority. For a couple weeks after, I and a couple of the recipients tried to make a plan to get together. After four weeks, I gave up trying, and changed my expectations. Just after six weeks, I finally saw someone in person for the first time, but our plan didn't include talking about anything serious. To me, it seemed clear that my lack of communication made it so the people who were important to me didn't feel they were important, which made it so I wasn't important for them either. How else could you account for reaching out, saying you need some kind of help, and not receiving any for weeks or months after. Yes, I know people are busy. That's the excuse a therapist acquaintance gave me. I can't be convinced, however, that 11 people receiving an SOS from someone are all so busy at the same time that none could spare some within a six-week period.
I've tried. With new people I meet, I try to talk as much as I can with them electronically so they can feel better about our relationship, despite how much it makes me feel worse. I find that even when I talk to those people every day, they are still not satisfied. I have come to the conclusion that nobody will ever accept me for this. Anyone else can have something in their life that they don't like, or makes them feel uncomfortable, and they are still accepted for it. Apparently, having an aversion to "connecting" technologically is unacceptable to everyone across the board. You may wonder how I'm able to run a business and my life in general so well technologically, but can't get it together for my personal life. It's easy. I don't. I'm terrible at making phone calls to companies, following up or confirming with leads, posting on social media, keeping up with online dating, and even updating this website for business or for messages like this. I know I would be much more successful in my personal and business life if I posted more, messaged more, called more. I'm working on it, but it certainly doesn't help to have zero support behind me.
Where does that put me now? It seems that, in general, some people still want me around sometimes. A couple people in my family are definitely at least keeping me in mind, and I get to see some of my favorite people when they come out to my events. I'm not as motivated to go out to see anyone. I'll continue trying to meet new people in the hopes that I'll make a good connection, and finally have someone to talk to. I'll continue to think of all of you on a regular basis as I have always done. While I'm lonely, disappointed, and sad pretty much all of the time, I'm still hanging in. I appreciate all that you have done for me in the past, knowingly and unwittingly, and hope for your success in life and love. That being said, I've come to the point where I prefer to not see or talk to anyone. Lately, in rare cases when I do, I end up feeling more separated afterward. I started to just take what I could get over the past few years, but that no longer appeals to me.
Hey! You are one of about a dozen people I've directed here, because I have a message to share. I assure you that this is more unusual to do from my perspective than yours, but my need and desire to do it has been mounting for months. It's not a quick message, so I prefer that you come back if you don't have much time to read or understand it. I would apologize for the intrusion, the dramatic seeming setting, and length, but it is quite important to me that you hear it.
I had very few friends around me as I grew up, mainly because I was misunderstood and a picky introvert. In the numerous years I didn't have friends, I had plenty of school, work, and hobbies to keep me busy. When I did have friends, I was always with them, every day. I saw my sister and her family a few times a week when I moved out of her house. I had technology growing up, but there was never a reason to use it to "keep in touch". Everyone embraces technology, including phones, and use it to keep in touch, but I find it unfeeling and impersonal. To this day it does nothing to the space where a loved one should be, except expand it. People ask, "How hard is it to send a text?". I think it's very easy, actually. The problem, other than not feeling connected when calling, texting, or posting, is that it only makes me want more to see those people I miss, which has gone vastly unrequited. Small talk, which is usually the only thing I can muster electronically, desperate rare exceptions noted, is something I generally dislike. Since the pandemic, I have been very unbusy, and I spend more than 95% of my time alone.
There are a couple of issues, other than the obvious social one. First, I only feel comfortable talking about important things affecting my life to a few or less people I consider friends or family in person. Yes, I know that this is an electronic message to a larger group of people, which is exactly why it took me months and several revisions to finally send it. I can no longer wait for "the right opportunity". Yes, I know that I've seen you all at least once in the past few months, but only around other people who I prefer not to share my intimate feelings with, and generally in a setting where it wouldn't have been appropriate anyway. Second, I enjoy having intellectual or philosophical conversations, and it has been way too long since I've had either.
I've been in a spiral. As spirals usually go, my emotional turmoils and personal issues have been coming faster and getting deeper as time goes on. I have been uninspired and unmotivated to care for myself, my surroundings, or even my business for a long time, and I keep seeking things to fill the void that I have (unsuccessfully of course). I'm in a hotel in Florida right now editing this, sad to be isolated both now, and in general, when I should be doing anything else (holding out for a specific outcome got me to this lonely vacation - I know I didn't ask you to come - my poor decision). I do things and go places regularly to have fun (mostly last minute to fill empty space), and do okay with that, but it is getting increasingly lonely. I can't tell you how much it bothers me that nobody would know if something happened to me (except maybe when you get to karaoke and I'm not there!).
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
Nothing. I've made my own decisions to get me to where I am. My lack of personal and romantic relationships is a direct result of my stubborn need for physical connection, and disdain of virtual connection. You are not obligated to do anything. Some of you reach out to me and get frustrated in my lack of response - some of you have stopped reaching out to me for the same reason. Note: I may often go without responding to your message, but I seldom fail to show up at the gathering you invited me to (sorry for not making it to the birthday gathering - both a lack of details and my state of mind at the time kept me from being in the right place at the right time). Maybe you've grown apart from me for some other evolution in your own life. I'm just trying to get my message out there. I've mentioned to a couple of you that I've been having a hard time, but as I mentioned above, it wasn't the proper situation or environment to elaborate.
You should know that I miss you, and I don't just say that because it sounds good. If you're interested, let's try to find a way to reconnect, and keep connecting. You are not very many individuals, but if I can have just one of you for a small time just once in a month or two, I think it would make a big difference. If you have grown apart for whatever reason, you should know that I love you and wish you the best. If you are related to me, you're stuck with me, and we need to get together.
Also, if you like to call, text, post, etc., do it. Be true to the way you do things. You may not always get a response, but I always have a reaction. Maybe it'll even help me get better at responding.
WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT DO
I don't want you to do anything you don't want to do. Each of you needs to be you, the you that I love and care about. I don't want some weird outpouring of calls, texts, or otherwise. The whole point is that I want our moments to happen organically when we're together, unforced. Sometime down the road, let's set something up. I'm not in a good place, but I haven't reached a point of no return. I also request that you don't directly share this with anyone. I tell each person I know something in the way that I specifically want to tell them. This is the first and likely only time I'll ever share something with multiple people in exactly the same way. There are actually a couple other people I would love to share this with, but they are either already no longer in my life, or don't know how important I think they are (again, because of my stubborn way of doing things).
There are likely things I missed, or didn't clarify in this message, but my thoughts and emotions have been and still are swirling around in my head, making it hard to concentrate on very much for very long. I've been largely distracted for months, which is not even close to normal for me.
I am who I am, even with the given consequences. I know I'm different. I'm allowed to be different.
You are busy. I get that. Don't come to me if you can't, I'll come to you. Do you eat? I eat. I'll bring food.
It may surprise you that I think about you nearly every day. You can contest that since you don't hear from me, but I'm telling you now that it's true. I say "nearly" because I'm sure there are times I haven't for whatever distraction was occurring that day, but I can't remember the last day I didn't think of any one of you reading this, my mother, or my sister. I look forward to the next time we can be together.
Something else you could do - if anyone is interested - during the entire time I've been having an issue, I also have been thinking of starting some kind of organization, completely voluntary, to connect lonely people. The main issue I have doing it myself, besides that lack of motivation I mentioned, and a world where pandemic restrictions are more important than people's mental health, is that I know that there will be a huge electronic (social media) aspect that I would clearly have a difficult time with.
Wednesday February 9, 2022