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One of the many challenges of living an introverted life is reconciling the need to be alone with the desire to not be left alone. I have defined and accepted my introversion but, apparently that is not enough. I shouldn’t be feeling this lonely. But I am. I am led to believe there are other issues at play here. Perhaps others are finding in me character traits which are not appealing – so much so that there is no room for me in their lives. Or, maybe it is my age. I have long believed that the older we become, the more invisible we get. Perhaps my physical appearance is off-putting. I’m grasping at straws now, I know.
I have spent so much energy isolating myself in recent years to find a peaceful place to live my life. Have I, as a by-product, signaled that I don’t want others in my life, in any degree, in any capacity? I cannot change my wiring at will. I cannot become the life of the party, the social magnate, the high energy extrovert I see in others. It’s not who I am nor is it someone I want to be. My introversion is exacerbated by a crippling shyness which requires so much energy to overcome. What do I do?
I am tired. My saner self tells me to accept the reality as it presents itself and live my remaining years on the planet grateful for the good in my life. Apparently I just do not have the wherewithal or fortitude to effect any change. It could be that I am just one of those rare individuals who are destined to persevere outside of special relationships. Maybe this is just a tempest in a teapot. Maybe I need to just stay in my shell.
The Lavender Pen.. a sign of freedom and equality from George Moscone and Harvey Milk for almost 40 years now. The Lavender Pen Tour – reaching out in song to mend fences and build bridges. Thank you for your support – now and always.
As you know, I am a member of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. In its 40th Season, the Chorus is touring 6 southern states – Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. States where our LGBTQ brothers and sisters do not enjoy the freedoms and rights that we do in San Francisco. Our intention is to support and empower LGBT communities in those states and hopefully, to reach across the aisle, changing hearts and minds along the way.
For me, it is a personal goal and milestone to be able to participate in such a historical event that will absolutely make a difference in our world and in the lives of those who hear our music and message of inclusivity and equality.
The cost to each individual singer is $1,750. This pays for my airfare, hotel and bus transportation across the south.
It has taken the better part of my advanced years, but I am finally becoming comfortable in my own skin. I understand and accept my qualities and traits, good and bad. I enjoy my own company and have no fear of spending time alone. I look only to myself for fulfillment and, while I might welcome a long-term relationship in my life, I do not need one. I have learned to make the most of limited means and, under normal circumstances, make ends meet with some to spare. My introverted nature welcomes alone time but I find the time and conviction for volunteer work, taking me out of my shell into more vulnerable situations. Of course, my long association singing in men’s choruses in salvation for me – a creative outlet, for sure, but also another challenge to my introversion.
Taking all of the above into consideration, I still am at a loss as to why I have so few friends. The easy answer is to blame myself, that I must be giving off some unfriendly vibe. For me to initiate social interaction is a major effort, not for lack of desire, but more as demonstrative of my reserved nature so that, when my efforts or rebuffed or ignored, I am at a loss to understand. I have, on occasion, invited others into my home; I have always attempted to be welcoming to new faces in the chorus, I try to be attentive to other more sensitive individuals who may be coping in difficult times. Yet, I am rarely included or invited. Luckily, I have recently found a new baseball buddy and I am grateful. However, this recent development is the exception, rather than the rule. I simply do not belong.
Before I am accused, this is not a passive-aggressive attempt to get attention. This is an honest attempt to solicit feedback, publicly or privately, from those who know me personally, who interact with me on a regular basis, who share space with me in whatever situation. Why do I not belong in your world? What is it about me that prompts you to overlook me in social situations? Is it my appearance, my age, but financial status, my health issues? Or, is the whole package just not appealing?
Some of you are shaking your heads, wondering what the hell am I doing. Do I really expect anyone to give me an honest answer? No, not really. I suppose this endeavor is an exercise in hypothesis. Perhaps putting ideas to words will help me to understand the situation. Or, maybe, it is what it is and I am expecting too much from life. I have no answers.
So, I will crawl back into my safe space to wait and see if anyone reads this, if anyone is brave enough to confront me, if anyone is honest enough to challenge my assertions. But, I don’t expect any responses. This my life and I need to move ahead….alone, as I am accustomed to do.
The Orlando massacre was a Hate Crime, plain and simple. In order to further fuel Islamophobia, the media, the politicians and religious right may spin this otherwise: that this was a terrorist attack. . There is no evidence that this was neither ISIS nor Taliban inspired, encouraged or endorsed. The man had shown history of mental illness and steroid use. He had demonstrated his hatred of same sex relationships. He became unhinged and, in his state of extreme hatred, he entered a Gay club in Orlando and began shooting, killing 49 and wounding many more. This was not a terrorist attack. It was a hate crime. It was a crime intended to kill as many in the LGBT community as possible, using an assault rifle. Do not be fooled. Do not succumb to the lies from the Right. If you disagree with me, despite the facts, well…it’s a free country. You, are, however, not allowed to post the disagreement here. To do so would demonstrate a direct betrayal of me and all for which I stand and you will be out of my life.
Sitting here, paralyzed by life, is not doing anyone any good. I have obligations, commitments, promises to keep. I need to open the door and face the realty of the day. Though 49 lives no longer enjoy the breath of life, I cannot die while mourning them. Change comes with action, not acquiescence. I need air.
If praying makes you feel better, useful, knock yourself out. But, don’t pray for me. Pray for the intolerant, for the warmongers, for those who have the power to make changes, but refuse to do so, for the many for whom the death of someone gay is one less pervert in the world. Pray for those who believe that, somehow, a moment of silence will somehow compensate for a generation of inaction. Pray for peace, understanding, patience and respect. But, don’t pray for me. I need your strength, not your well-wishes.
It has become clear that my discovery and acknowledgement of, and my attempts to cope with, my introversion have been less than efficacious in determining a comfortable place on the planet. I had thought that, once I came to terms with this character positioning and others understood why I behaved the way I do, that all would be right in my world.
To be honest, nothing has really changed. Naming something doesn’t always give control. As it is, I am becoming more and more isolated. By allowing myself guiltless moments alone has somehow signaled that I completely disdain social interaction.
Despite occasional awkwardness, I do invite folks into my space….but I am never invited back; let me emphasize NEVER. I have hosted social gatherings in the neighborhood, yet I have not been invited into anyone’s home. There have been an informal dinner, here and there, but no return invitation. If it were not for family and would spend every holiday alone. If I spend time with anyone, it is always with my initiative.
I am trying valiantly to maintain a semblance of healthy sense of worth, but it is difficult when it seems I have become a pariah. I am no longer young and pretty. I am not of great means. I am, essentially, all I have to offer. Apparently, that is not enough. There are times I am thankful my time on this planet is drawing to a close.