Monday, September 22, 2014

Self Confidence Issues? Tell Me About It, I've Been Acting As A Sleeper Agent For The Past Two Years.

Okay, I've been wanting to do a blog post all day, and I only figured out what I could write about in the shower. I guess those things really do work for when you need to think.

/r/showerthoughts is where they think about the important things
Anyone who's been following my blog for a while (and I do wish more people would actually click 'follow' on my damn blog) knows that I don't just write about random shit. I write about an emotion I'm surrounded in, and flesh it out to the point where we can go into the deep stuff. I basically follow Forrester's first key to writing, "You write your first draft with your heart, and you rewrite with your head." Simple, right?

I find it amazingly easy to really write, depending on circumstances. My problem is while I write about my feelings and emotions, I find it soul-crushingly harder to voice them aloud. I always talk to people at school, and anyone at my school should know that, however, I don't talk to anyone. If I talk to you, I either A) really want to, B) really need to, or C) I just like you. This means that if you want a conversation to happen between us, start it yourself, because I'm probably not going to.

My demon, my own personal flaw, the one thing I hate about myself most, has always been my self-confidence, because that's the only thing wrong about me that I can't fix that easily. I know why, of course, why my self-confidence plagues me, a person who's pretty pretentious at times. It's because of the exact same reason that Tony Stark has his existential crisis in Iron Man 3.

I used to be pretty self-absorbed, with maybe a little hint of modesty, but not that much, and then I discovered that I was not as important as I thought I was.

Picture this: you're on top of the world, you're the awesomest badass the world has ever known. Suddenly, you realize you are no better than anyone else around you, and you're even worse than some people. With a person like me, you cease to think of yourself as self-absorbed and instead fall back on the default that you are worse than everyone, and that you're nothing (this isn't necessarily the case, but bear with me here). It's once again the metaphor of sending 100 watts into a 60 watt bulb. Your tank of self-confidence has gone over the top, tipped over, and you've barely managed to correct yourself, but your tank is now empty, you have nothing. You begin to be paranoid, thinking everyone is judging you. You don't want to come out of your shell, you don't want to risk it where you could lose everything, at least according to your paranoid mind.

This is a painful but necessary realization, and I'm still suffering from the aftereffects of it, but my solution is not to let anyone notice. Fake it until you make it. I'm a lot better off than I was two years ago, even though I still act vain, I still create this illusion of me being on top of the world, I still attempt to believe I am the best.

Of course, that still doesn't mean I am. When I have to socialize randomly, I still feel my heart pumping, adrenaline rushing in. I am still afraid. For an actor, this sucks, as it should. Being on stage doesn't help at all. Your mouth dries up, your words get caught in your throat, you feel like you're about to piss yourself. Stage fright is a hell of a thing, especially to get over.

now THIS is an old reference to make.
Speaking of, I do believe that I am getting over this problem of mine, and that I've improved so much since this quest began. I still get nervous when talking to actual people, sure, but I've branched out a lot since freshman year. I've made tons of friends, I've done so much along the way. (This should motivate me to realize that maybe I really am awesome as hell, but what the fuck do I know?)

My crush, (rather, love interest), is further challenging my social courage, as she very well should. It's been so long since I fell in love with Mikayla (are you paying attention to these? Please do, I'm too nervous to say it out loud) that it just kills me every time I see her and don't say anything. I really want to, but no matter how much I push away my inferiority issues and pump myself up for the action, all that needs to happen is for her to walk into the room and suddenly they're back. I can't do it, it's just insanely intimidating, especially for an idiot like me who can't help but feel this way.

I could go on and on about this, but I'd be wasting the hell out of your time (I'd probably need a separate blog post for it).

My confidence issues are a hell of a problem to tackle, in my opinion, the only real problem I have to face, and even if I do manage to ask her out, I seriously doubt that would solve everything. I still have to take on everything else, but maybe that might be lessened by her. Maybe.

Just maybe...I can be me again, more so than I am now.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dear Rain God, Could You Please Not?

Hey everyone! Before I begin, I just wanna say that today was dense. I wrote this blog post while listening to this video, and I suggest you read it while doing the same. You don't have to, but it's recommended. Warning, there are spoilers to Season 9 of Supernatural, but not many.

Have you ever spent the first hour of your day (or rather what was supposed to be the first hour) and realized, "yep, it's gonna be one of those days"? That was this morning for me.

Today began the shittiest day I've had in a while: I woke at 2 a.m. due to intense thunder and couldn't fall back asleep if I tried; my bus was 50 minutes late; I barely got to school on time; my binder's shoulder strap came undone as I attempted to get to my first class and all my stuff piled up in my hands; I managed to get to class, exhausted and my eyes burning; I had read the wrong section for my English homework; the project I thought I had finished on Tuesday wasn't actually finished at all; Lastly, my throat was mostly dry all day.

Damn it, Zeus! You ruined the first half of my day!
Each of these trials I cursed myself for braving. I felt physically terrible, and we all know what effect that has upon one's psyche. Had I gone the whole day like this, I might've chalked it all up to a shitty day, and that's that. I wouldn't have thought about it like I do now had this been a full shitty day. A full shitty day is just that. You don't think about it, you just pervade through it, gritting your teeth all the while. Several shitty days in sequence is something else entirely.

Maybe, just maybe...
The latter half of my day was completely the opposite. Had you cut out everything before then, you'd see it as a 9 on my counselor's scale of 10. Maybe the pain I had faced before made the difference between a 7.5-8 and a 9. Everyone knows that the excitement of Friday means nothing to someone who's never known a weekend. Good means nothing to someone who's never known Evil. The same applies here. With no bad days to compare them to, how can our good days be good? A slave knows not a better master until he has served a worse.

So what was the good that happened today? I made a horrible joke in English (One positive characteristic about the Sodomites: they were very creative individuals); one of my friends in theatre is also participating in Scare For A Cure; my theatre teacher appreciated the Cinemasins video I sent her so much that she let me show the class as part of a realism study (spoilers: it was Frozen); finally, we were given an awesome project to present tomorrow that my group came up with an amazing idea for (our project is to come up with an original monster and origin story), and I'm to present it as a monologue in character, so that should go well. I'll be wearing my awesome shirt tomorrow underneath my cardigan, so god knows I'll have confidence (plus my group members assured me I'm the best person for the role, which may or may not be a compliment).

So sure, it wasn't the perfect day. I fully doubt that I'll have it ever in my life. I'll have amazingly great days, and then there are the depressing heart-sucking days, the ones that feed in the darkness. I didn't get to have a full lunch, and did so alone, I never found the courage to conquer my daily challenge of asking out Mikayla (okay, by now I'm doing this just to see if she reads this shit. If you do, I hope that makes this whole thing easier), I still am not the perfect being I envision myself to be.

I still have room to improv(e) the days of my life to be better, somehow. Though my confidence is merely gilded, I still have a chance, a chance to fake it and make it.

And you know what? So do you. If you're the kind of person I'm talking to, you know it. All you depressed, self-harming, suicidal people out there who can't fit in, I said in a previous blog post that I'm not confident, and I only look like I am. I have all these friends because of it. You can too. You have a chance.

I love how asshat religious people claim I should read C.S. Lewis to understand Christianity. Oh, the irony.
So take it, and I will do my best to do the same. I bid thee good fortune, as some may need it, but others? All they need is a spurring motivation.

Right here. Go forth and grow, my followers, and I'll see you wherever we may go.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My Recurring Issues with Social Anxiety and my Attempts at Being Confident -But Wait, There's More!

Have you ever gone to a new club at your school and felt like you were going despite the fact that you weren't even supposed to be there? Have you ever said "hi" to someone and felt like, the moment you said it, they immediately hated you?

I have, and let me tell you, if you haven't been smart enough to figure it out, it sucks.

Why would I ever think that? Why would I ever think I would want to think that? The truth of the matter is, I have no idea. I've been in my school for three years now, and each year I've gradually had more and more friends as time went by. I feel totally comfortable being where I am, and I still suffer from social anxiety whenever I try to do anything involving other people (well, that took a turn into "cheesy support commercial" area). I have no idea why I'm anxious, when my rational mind says I shouldn't be, but your instincts are different, your instincts nag at you, repeatedly saying, "what if?! what if?!"

I went to D&D club yesterday, and I nearly freaked out on the way there. I felt like I was going to be the odd one out, the total noob who didn't know shit in a room full of 30 people who did. Thankfully, this was not the case. There were only ten people in the club, including me, and I at least knew some fantasy references ("so, I think my character's ready to throw a ring into a fiery mountain!"), unlike this other guy, who actually was a total noob and had no idea what the game was. Don't worry, we'll take good care of him.

"Wait, I thought a lack of Intelligence and Wisdom didn't affect sorcerers!"
"Whoops, sorry, that was Composition we were talking about"
Anyways, you've probably wondered by now why I have social anxiety despite this outward show of confidence. My counselor wanted to know some tips for making friends that she could give to other people, one of them was this: I'm not confident. At all. Maybe a little, but I am not the confident awesome badass that you think I am (at least, in terms of confidence).

I saw a video the other day about this author's graduation speech, I forget whose, but I remember one of the key things he said was that he wasn't a good writer, he just pretended to be, and eventually he aced it. Shockingly enough, that evening I had thought to myself and realized that I had been doing the same thing. I hadn't been confident, I had been pretending to be confident, and through that my confidence had soared over the past several years. I had just been following the old adage, "fake it till you make it", nothing more.

If you know me IRL, and I expect you to feel privileged for doing so, you probably might possibly be able to imagine this, but I'm not that confident. Everyone thinks I am, though (except when it comes to my awesome crush, who I'm not entirely sure if she does the same as me (I wouldn't count on it)), and that's because of one simple reason: I pretend to be confident, and this works. I can be as flamboyant as I want to, being a theatre geek, and be nervous as hell to the point of being ready to die of embarrassment, but in my expression and demeanor I can appear as if I care nothing at all.

How do I do it, then? How do I motivate myself to do something I have literally every reason not to? Simple, I use the same approach I use with writing: Don't think, do. I try never to think about the big social thing I'm about to do, I just do it.

Alright, our product placement requirements are achieved. Now can I get paid for the view count?
Let's say you have time to think about what you're about to do. You hesitate, you freeze up, and you refuse to go outside for the rest of the year. The key is to keep it simple. When you don't think about it, it's a lot easier. (NOTE: This is even easier if you're a man.) You have a social thing you need to do, what's the harm, right? That's when you prevent your brain from answering that question, that's when you prevent yourself from becoming paranoid.

This, not a leather couch, is how you truly become comfortable, not in body, but in mind.

However, if you get the chance, go for the couch.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

So That's What Happy Hour Feels Like...

Okay, so my mom's revealed that she doesn't like my blog posts being posted under my name because most seem depressing and apparently colleges wouldn't want a depressed person who thinks like this at their school.

Fuck them, this blog post is a happy one.

Today in AVP we watched a movie, a good movie, to say the least. Today we watched "3 O'clock High", a classic 90s movie that turned out to be amazing. Basically, it's about this senior in high school who gets on the bad side of a new kid at school (who's the exact stereotype of a bully), and the bully, Buddy, challenges him to a fight in the parking lot at 3. The main character, Jerry, spends his entire day trying to find ways to get out of it, including seducing his English teacher and bribing the biggest football player in school, Craig, to act as backup (who ends up getting his ass handed to him). In the end, Jerry, faced with no other alternative, says "fuck it" and rides out to battle (especially since he almost bangs his girlfriend by that time) and faces down Buddy. After his best friend and girlfriend attempt to take Buddy down and get flung to the side, and Buddy takes down two cops who try to stop him, Jerry finally subdues Buddy with one extremely telegraphed punch (yes, even more than the one in Back to the Future), and the movie ends with him being the most popular guy in school. I recommend checking this out.

Now, I enjoyed the movie, I really did, but the movie itself isn't what I loved most of all. I loved the aftereffect, I loved the way I felt walking out of that classroom right after the movie ended. I loved the adrenaline rush I was given. I felt like I usually want to be, I felt confident, amazing, I felt like I was on top of the world. Somehow, that rush managed to pervade itself halfway through English.

I was sad that this feeling ended, as it inevitably did, although it wasn't because I had to face a bully. I was sad because I liked it, and it ended, but not entirely. The main adrenaline rush this morning may have worn down after an hour, but I still felt like a badass. I was exactly who I wanted to be, and goddamn, it was amazing. Even at the end of the day, the rain stopped right before I walked outside the theatre to my bus, and I felt even better.

Earn that paycheck, Tyrese! ...oh, wait...
Now, the obligatory news on my relationship status. Yes, I talked to her, barely. Sadly this was before my adrenaline rush and had I encountered her after said adrenaline rush, I probably would've had the courage to ask her out. Maybe. Then again, we're talking about a girl who gives inferiority issues to a guy who can be exceedingly vain, so no guarantees.

This adrenaline rush is more than just me being awesome for one day. Any asshole can be awesome for one day, and this is more than that. This adrenaline rush gave me courage that I didn't need, and it gave me the knowledge that I don't have to be the guy I was yesterday. Yesterday I would've just been who I was, been the standard weirdo in school fool of weirdos (believe it or not, that might force people to be more weird), but today?

Today I rocked the world, and I'll do it again tomorrow, as who needs an adrenaline rush to be awesome?

Well...maybe Jerry.