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.