I have a social life

by Jon Sullivan - 2023-02-11 - Jonism

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I spend time with people now. Eagerly. I often sit around pouting because I don't socialize more.

I am not who I was. It still confuses me. I've blogged about that many times. But wtf? I eat lots of tofu now. I drive an SUV. I have a ticket for an upcoming country music concert. And I spend time with people. Isn't that normal? Normal for most I'm sure. Odd for me. I think? I'm not sure. I remember in the 90s I was a very social person. Lots of parties, lots of new friends. But once I moved to California things slowly changed to the opposite of that. I've always blamed my inner shame and social anxiety. It felt like I might be a better person if I just wasn't around people.

But was it that? Was it me at all? My hermit period started and ended in California. Was moving to CA the cause? Seems highly unlikely. But so much lately has seemed unlikely. Maybe it was the drinking. Those California years saw me at my worst with alcoholism. Quitting booze might be it? Whatever. We will never know. Sobriety. Life coaching. Blow to the head in the desert. Proximity to the equator. All could be it.

I have garlic honey in my cupboard fermenting. I sit out on my balcony sipping coffee in the morning. My fake meat recipe is good enough to fool Marilee. I'm wondering if I should watch football this weekend. I wear wool everywhere now. I'm growing my hair out even though I know it will look dumb because I'm bald. I've discovered I like Grateful Dead tribute bands. As democracy and capitalism crumbles around us all, I find myself apolitical and worryingly content.

I've wanted to make queso birria tacos for a long time now. When I was in SD there was no reason to do that because they were super cheap there and way better than I could ever make. Eugene is a bit less of a taco town though. So making them myself is the only option, but it's a ton of work so I hadn't. But when Marilee asked me to cook a birthday dinner for her and her boyfriend I decided to run with that. Vegetarian birria is nonsense of course but it's the sort of culinary stunt I really like. It was wonderful to spend that time socializing. More wonderful than I can describe. As it has been with all of the friends I've made here, and all the events I've been to.

And that's sort of the problem.

I still have all the social anxiety. It's still a ridiculous effort to force myself out of the apartment to do things with people. Even though I always have a great time. Even though I miss it. I feel like I don't know how to act around people. And inviting myself makes me very uncomfortable. It doesn't matter. I need to be around people more. Maybe the SCA again? Maybe a photography club? And I know some readers here have invited me to get together, and I'll be following up. But know that I am somehow 100% gregarious and 100% socially anxious at the same time.

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be." - Douglas Adams

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