I was afraid to go on a mission

I was pretty sheltered as a kid.

My dad died when I was three.

My mom kept me home most of the time.  I was happy there, so I didn’t mind.

In the LDS church young men are expected to serve a full-time mission for two years.  At that time they would go at age nineteen.

I was afraid of being on my own for that long.

I’d been on my own at scout camps and events, but that was it.

I was afraid of being far from home.

I had always wanted to get married.  That seemed a lot safer, and I’d always been romantically inclined.

I had a plan.

Right after high school I would go to college for a year.  While I was there I would find someone to marry.

Never mind that I had never gone out on a date before.

Never mind that I was afraid to even talk to girls.

My plan was foolproof.

What could possibly go wrong?

“What do you care what other people think?”

I try not to.  But I do.

I worry if I write too many good things about myself people will think I’m bragging.  That I’m full of myself.  Maybe that’s why I write so many negative things about myself.

There are a lot of things I do that I don’t want to do.  Mostly those are things other people want me to do.

I’m a people-pleaser.  I want people to like me.  To love me.

That’s not such a bad thing by itself.

I do things that make me unhappy to make other people happy.  That’s when it becomes a problem.

When I become a doormat.

I’m intelligent

I could count to 20 when I was two years old.

I could read at a fifth grade level when I was in kindergarten.  At least that’s what my mom says my kindergarten teacher told her.

My senior year in high school I took AP Physics.  We did an experiment on projectile motion.

The experiment used a spring-loaded cannon which would launch a metal ball.  We were supposed to launch it through some hoops.  We had to calculate the right heights for the hoops.

I did the math for our team.  We finished first, and we were the only group to get it right the first time.

I could think of other examples, but I think those are sufficient.

Rock Bottom

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

– J.K. Rowling

I haven’t hit bottom. Not yet.

To be honest, I’m kind of looking forward to it.

I’m not looking forward to being divorced from my wife.

I’m not looking forward to living in my mom’s basement. (Sigh…)

I’m especially not looking forward to being separated from my boys

I’m looking forward to making progress. To getting myself on the right path. To really working toward achieving greatness. To being a good example for my boys.

With the help of a loving Heavenly Father I can do it.

With his help I can do anything.

My artist friend

He lived down the hall from me.  Everyone in the dorm had to share a room.  After the first term his roommate left school, so he had the room to himself.

I’d talk to him about the woes of my love life.  He was a good listener and he’s share stories of his own.  Sometimes we’d go for long walks together.  Once we even walked to the next town, six miles away.

It was the end of the school year.  I asked if I could move in with him.  He was reluctant at first.  He enjoyed having a room to himself.

I explained the difficulties I’d been having with my roommate.  He agreed to let me move in.

I broke up with my first serious girlfriend/fiancee.  I called him and told him what happened.  I hadn’t seen him for a few years.  He was going to school an hour and a half away.  He invited me to come visit him the next day.  He spent the day with me.  He introduced me to some of his friends and showed me around campus.  He asked me to consider going to school there.

That was the last time I saw him.

I’ve contacted him several times since then, most recently on Facebook.  It’s not the same.

I miss my friend.

I’m so glad I met him.

I’m incredibly awkward

I’m uncomfortable a lot.

I give a lot of one-word answers when I’m not comfortable.

I’m not good at small talk.

I’m bad at letting people know when a conversation is over.

I’m not good at reading people’s emotions.  I might be slightly autistic.

I have trouble finding the right words.

Sometimes I st-st-stutter.  I trip over my tongue.

I’m not friendly.  Not because I don’t like someone.   I’m not sure what’s appropriate, so I err on the side of caution.

I get wrapped up in my own thoughts.  I don’t like being interrupted.  I get annoyed.

I don’t like talking to strangers.  It’s stressful.  It’s uncomfortable.

If you hi to me on the street and I don’t recognize you you’ll probably get a strange reaction.  Don’t take it personally.

I’m just incredibly awkward.

She was engaged

I had just been broken up with.

Kinda.

I was watching a movie with some girls.  I started crying.  One girl put her arm around me.

Later she and I talked about my heartbreak. Then we talked about hers.

She was engaged.  Her fiancé’s mom had died.  He hadn’t talked to her since.

He lived kind of far away.  She didn’t get to see him much.

We started spending a lot of time together.  I started to have feelings for her.  I didn’t do anything about them.  I kept telling myself we were just friends.  We were going through hard times together.

We went to a school dance together.  Just as friends.

Later I found out she had broken up with her fiancé.

I saw her in the computer lab the next day.  She started walking to the cafeteria.  I followed her for a little bit.  I was going to see if she wanted to talk.  Then I thought maybe she just wanted to be alone.  I went somewhere else.

Later I emailed her.  I asked her if she wanted to go to the dance.  She had already been asked.

She had wanted to talk to someone that day.  Another guy was there for her.  They started dating.  That could have been me.

The next term she didn’t go to school.  She went to Texas to help her twin sister with her wedding.  While she was gone her boyfriend cheated on her.  By then I had a girlfriend.

My girlfriend insisted that I get a haircut.  I had long hair at the time.  My friend who was cheated on was there.  She said if I had gotten a haircut earlier she might have broken up with her fiancé earlier.

I should have gotten a haircut sooner.

I’m an extreme introvert

I need a lot of time to myself.  Being  around people drains my energy.  Being alone recharges me.  When I don’t get time to myself I get tired, frustrated.

I generally prefer small groups when I am with people.   I enjoy being around my family the most.

I don’t like dealing with strangers.

I’m not good at talking.  Especially small talk.  I’m better at writing. It gives me time to think about what I want to say.  I can go back and edit/proofread it.

 Talking on the phone is the worst.  I lose the benefits of talking to someone in person without gaining any of the benefits of writing.
A lot of the things I enjoy are one-person activities: video games, programming, surfing the intarwebs, reading, model building, drawing, writing, etc.

I don’t want to be afraid anymore

I was ashamed.

I let fear run my life.

I lied because I was afraid of what she’d say.  Afraid of what she’d do.  Afraid of how she’d feel.

Would she do if she thought I was as awful as I thought I was?  Would she leave me?

I thought I was a terrible person.  I couldn’t let anyone know how terrible I was.  No one would want to be with someone as terrible as me.

I was never good enough for me.

I had to pretend to be someone else.  To conceal my true self.

To wear a mask.

Wearing a mask all the time is exhausting.  I was always afraid of being found out.

The only time I could relax was when I was alone.

I’m tired of wearing a mask.

I’m tired of being afraid.

Taking the mask off is scary.

People will judge me.

What if no one likes me anymore?

What if I lose everyone and everything I care about?

I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings

I need to tell my story.  Or at least my side of the story.

I’m a terrible speaker.  I forget most of what I want to say.

I’m an introvert.  Writing comes more naturally to me.  I can put down what I remember.  I can add more later.  Then I can make it make sense after that.

I’m not trying to accuse anyone of anything.

I’m not trying to “out” anyone.

I don’t want to embarrass anyone.

I don’t want revenge.

I need to be understood.  So I’m telling my story.

I avoid naming names.  I don’t want to embarrass anyone.  I leave out details to avoid that.

Some people’s feelings get hurt anyway.  I’m sorry about that.

I’ve made a lot of bad choices in my life.  I guess my blog’s no different.

I hope I don’t alienate anyone.