I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and I’m just not sure how to get back out of my shell. For the majority of my life I’ve been a pretty intense introvert, only able to really connect with people when I’ve got them in one-on-one situations. In those one-on-one occasions, though, I have a really good ability to connect with just about everyone, including those whose viewpoints I really don’t agree with at all.
There have been several occasions in my life where this has changed for stretches, though. I’m hesitant to go into detail on the circumstances around these stretches, but I think that it has to do with being proud of where I’m at in my life. During these stretches I’m able to maybe not be a social butterfly, but I’m suddenly much more outgoing, and able to connect with people in larger amounts. I’m not such a wallflower, and I’m able to actually make friends, instead of having to rely on meeting people through existing friends. I’ve even had people comment on my charisma and leadership capabilities when I’m in such situations. Seems like such a massively far cry from where I’m at right now.
You see, right now, it’s pretty tough for me to meet anyone at all. I mean I go to some 12 step meetings and the like, but still I’m having a really hard time breaking through my introverted nature to be able to meet anyone. Even if it feels like there is a connection starting up, I’m unable to pursue it to a point where there’s any chance of being a real friend outside of the initial setting or whatever. Then there’s the fact that I ended up in a place where I have no real [local] friends any more, after I realized that I was better off without the ones that I still had here. When I realized that I was selling out my own personal values in order to hang around a person that was toxic, simply because I was afraid of being alone, I finally made the jump into isolation, thinking that it was the stronger and better thing to do.
Now, while I’m still full of conviction on the merits of having gotten away from that person, I cannot help wonder where it’s put me, and how long this isolated state is going to last. I’m doing better at being on my own, not needing others to fill the ‘gaping void’ inside so much any more, but still I crave human interaction. I’m a social creature, despite my introversion. Then there’s my son, whose only real friends outside of the school setting were the [verbally abused] children of this person that I decided to sever contact with. He’s been isolated all summer long, with no respite except for the other kids that he talks to via the PS4 headset when he’s spending far too much time on video games. I’ve hated to limit him too much on that over this summer, when he’s had no other kids to do anything with at all. We moved around so much for his first few years of life that he’s simply never really had the opportunity to build a decent network of friends outside of the school setting.
I need to be back in a place where I’m proud of myself, and what I’m accomplishing again, so that I can break through this isolation, but I’ve got absolutely no idea how long this is going to take. Or, frankly, how to do it. I’m working with vocational rehabilitation to try to get into a field that utilizes my capabilities, instead of just earning the bare minimum that a warm body can manage around here in manual labor. I think that this is the best place to start. The career specialist that saw me yesterday asked me why I wasn’t earning 4-5x more than what I am right now. She told me that I was capable of so much more, and that I should be earning at least $40-50k/year or more with my capabilities, credentials, and aptitude. I have a hard time convincing myself of that. I mean, I know that I’ve got skills far above most of the other people that I work with, in shuttling parcels around onto different trucks, and others in different entry level work fields, but I have never been able to obtain any work in my field of aptitude without having an inside lead on the job. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing wrong, and I don’t understand how to change it, since I don’t know the nature of my mistakes in the first place. I’ve tried for my entire life to break into the field where I have been working on my own, in my spare time, and I’ve only managed on two short stretches. Unfortunately, during both of those stretches, my life was too chaotic for me to be able to properly maintain those positions and grow from there. My life is stable now, but these opportunities with an inside lead seem so rare in my life that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to break into the field again.
Not sure what I hope to accomplish by writing all of this. It just seems like too much to hold in right now, so I had to put it out there. It sucks not having any friends locally to talk to about all of this. Hope you’re all having a good day, and not having to deal with such heavy thoughts early this morning like I am. Heh. Take care, y’all.