Friday, February 1, 2013

Fear and Loathing in Las Akron

HOW MUCH EASIER, would life be if we instinctively knew what people thought about us?  Sometimes I think it would be brutal, other times I think it would be an incredible super power.  I spend so much (way to much) time worrying about the way I impress upon people.  I am always checking myself so I don't offend, defend, insult, annoy, etc.  I am always going to assume that I am bugging you, it's how I am wired and if you don't hit the like button on something I say on facebook I am probably going to feel like I suck (and it is hard to admit to that kind of weakness). All of that inner drama would be wiped away if instantly when I struck up a conversation with someone a little red light went off over their heads telling me they were not enjoying me in their space).  If the light were green, I would know we were "bonding". SURE the red lights would make me feel really badly, I am so overly sensitive anyway it's not a new sensation, but the red lights would keep me from wasting time blabbing to someone who did not give a shit about anything I had to say. 
I am always thinking my personality is odd, I do not have a cohesive flow of thoughts, I have random misfires routinely and I spend way to much time worrying about the fallout from my, well..mouth.  I have a couple of traits that are faults and perks all rolled into one.  I can be friendly and outgoing, I just assume everyone wants to talk to random strangers.  I talk to people in lines at stores, on the street, in social situations, just assuming they want to chat or say hello. I am not unlike a puppy, I am in fact, a middle aged human female puppy.  Some people enjoy the random strange person addressing them (sniffing them if you will) and some people just think I'm a freak and then I get my feelings hurt and the inner dialogue starts "WHY am I such a loser"?  "WHY do I just talk to people like that"?  "I should keep my eyes down and get to my destination without addressing anyone about anything, who cares if her dress is pretty or her hair is nice or if you buy the same coffee, COOL"!  Not everyone wants to pet me and a lot of people are allergic to me but I can't help it, I like the people sometimes and I just want to be social, then I hate myself when they act like I am a douche bag.  There are times when I am over familiar and I don't even know it until I have done it.  I am THE WORST on facebook, I realize it but I keep doing it (truest form of insanity) the only way I believe, is to just delete my account but I can't because I love talking to the people I haven't seen in decades and I love keeping up with the people who have moved away that I still care about very much.  My fault is I read all the posts on my home page and then I comment on them because I find them interesting and then I worry that everyone out there is thinking "why is this woman commenting on my wall all the time"?  I comment on my own posts, I like my own stuff and I second guess every status worrying that someone will think I am an idiot...but I still do it because I also think it's all in my head and no one else is thinking that at all, then I think I'm wrong because of course they can see that I am a dweeb and then I think, I am over thinking it.  Cycle complete until it starts again.  I have some very very cool aquaintances, I know some interesting, lovely people. I sometimes feel like if I reach out to talk to them, they will think I am trying to get into their inner circle like a limelight leach so I keep my distance and then I feel sad that there are people out there that I really like and would love to "do lunch" with but I can't because I am not cool enough or wise enough to be in their space.  I once thought I was on the same level as everyone, we were all equal and everyone was welcome to bond with everyone else.  For some reason, as I have grown older I have felt a fall from grace on so many levels that I assume no one wants to entertain my company, it's really sad and completely pitiful that I cannot step out of this mindset and give myself a break. I am not sure what happened to make me feel like I should stay in the house and read, cook and clean so as not to bother anyone really, I have a few ideas but none of them really warrant how I actually feel about people not liking me.  I think my initial problem started with my weight gain after the girls were born and then our financial crash which put me in a self induced, new social bracket which I call, to poor for the superficial to associate with.  The devestating part about being someone who was once succesful, young and vibrant, is that it's not a forever potion, the magic wears off and it's shelf life is quite brief and someone should have put the warning label on, and the side effects should have been weighed, some of the long term effects of believing anything lasts forever include:  inflated ego disease, sever withdrawl symptoms (taper off), over confidence, failure to recognize anything that doesn't put you in the center of the known universe.
So the magic lasts until approx. the age of 40 (at least for me anyway) and then it begins to fade, you can feel it but it's so slow and sure that it's not overly recognizeable as the end of your self worth, self esteem and confidence.  The physical downfall is interesting to experience, the body plumps up, the face loosens, the hair thins, the teeth dull, and then at the age of 45 you realize what is going on not only physicaly but mentally you realize you can't use the same personality you have always used because you are to old for it now, you have to rethink who you are or you will be stuck with a set of personality traits that have been instilled for years and years that you can no longer "work".  This is not pretty when this happens, ex: the 50 woman in the fishnets and miniskirt with the stillettos at the bar hitting on 25 year old men (OK I DON'T DO THAT ANYMORE).  I have to say it is weird, trying to figure out why the police officer that pulled you over doesn't think your awesome so you still get the ticket, why the boy at Swensons calls you ma'am, why construction workers don't realize you are walking past them, why no one wants to hire you, why the clothes you like are no longer suitable but you hate Talbots, why you try to join a conversation with your younger friends but you keep getting interupted while they chat amongst themselves, why your spouse comes home and falls asleep in the chair while you chat about your day, why your kids don't want to go to the movie with you anymore they have to protect their street cred.  WOW, who knew being a middle aged woman was so lonely?!  OF COURSE I am now worried about annoying people or being "not cool enough" it's the new software's fault!  The old software that made you love your computer, has been updated and you can't figure the shit out now, you liked the old version DAMN IT!  Everyone is always changing things just when you get the hang of it.  I hate that I have always worried about how my little insignificant person will be percieved.  I see myself as a friendly, compassionate, extrovert when I'm in the mood. Introvert when I'm not (I have been known to retreat for a time from all association that is not my family).It's a weird dynamic because I hate being NOT noticed and I hate being noticed just as much. I actually didn't like the taste of success that I experienced, I didn't even like it a little bit. I am NOT someone who wants to be judged, assessed and critiqued and it was not good for my self esteem or well being, I am not strong enough stock for that and it takes a really strong, confident, relaxed person to have all that going on and I am NOT any of those things and yet, I still hate it when I am not noticed, there is no winning here. I love playing clubs in Akron, seeing the same people come out, getting to know them, it's lovely I feel really lucky to have the audience I have, there are some wonderful people here that share my love of music and art and I would rather play for 50 people and write my own rulebook than thousands with no say in my life, which is how it was back in the day when record labels were the means to an end. I believe it's very different now and that's a wonderful thing, you don't have to sell your soul.  With a daughter that's an up and coming singer/songwriter I am thrilled that she can be spared the sign on the dotted line experience and still be a creative source.  I went for a nice evening out recently with a group of friends, aquaintences that I haven't seen in a while.  At the table were 3 published authors of renown, whom I have known for years, we got together for drinks and I just felt so out of place the whole night because I never made my mark on that level. I remember talking and saying, yes I still play but most of my time is spent home, raising a family.  They all thought it was great, I thought I was boring even though I LOVE that part of my life, I was just uneasy the whole night even though I am SO happy for their success and loved hearing of their adventures, book tours, people they have met and interviewed etc.  I have shared the table over drinks with rock stars, writers, poets, actors, directors and I have shared the table over drinks with bus drivers, construction workers, doctors, lawyers, chefs and line cooks, bartenders and bar owners, I have had such a rich social experience, I love getting to know everyone and I am interested in everything they have experienced.  I sometimes just want to talk to older people about what defined their lives, I so enjoyed my Grandmother's stories and my lovely Mother in Law is 87 and full of memories of the past (not so much yesterday mind you but decades ago). I love hearing about peoples lives, it means the world to me to just sit over wine or coffee and hear what you (all of you actually) are about.  I guess if that makes the red light go off, so be it because it's worth the risk to me.  If I annoy you, I apologize I never mean to be overly anything it just happens.  I am curious about people, I love a good chat even if it's with myself, for example, this blog.  I guess I feel thusly, if you don't put yourself out there for people to evaluate, you stay home, and that's just no fun at all sometimes.  As I sit here, I am worried that this post will make me seem pathetic and that you all will expect me to be a bumbling bag of nerves and insecurity if we meet and/or hang out.  The truth is that no one ever knows this about me, people don't see that I am a self doubting Thomas (get it)?  I have the role of confident woman down to a science, I should win the award for best actress really, I am THAT good at faking it.  SO...let's do lunch.


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