So, during the school year, this RYLA leadership camp thing was presented as an opportunity. I first had to apply, and then go through an interview process. Naturally, with my great knowledge of interview tricks, I managed to be the one given a free trip to the camp for leadership skills (one per school in my district). It was something like that, but I barely remember the exact details of how it all works. Kinda the epitome of "I have no idea what I'm doing".
Here I am, writing a blog post in the 50 minutes I have left about how I feel. I'm gonna do another one after I get back, so that should show the drastic change (or not) in my persona. I'm going to develop leadership skills, which I've always found useful due to my watching of Firefly. Malcolm Reynolds is the guy who inspires me to truly be a leader, and he's one of the most relatable characters I've watched on Television. Person Of Interest may be the new top dog on the television network (though others don't feel the same way), but Firefly will always hold a special place in my heart due to the soul-augmenting journey it takes me on.
|"well look at this! Seems like we got here just in the nick o' time! What's that make us?"|
"Big damn heroes, sir!"
"Ain't we just!"
Leadership. Ah yes. I've always struggled with being a leader with my social anxiety, and I feel it's crippled me. In group projects I'm normally the one to take charge, normally the guy who says, "okay, what should we be doing?" As I had to go through summer school with a bunch of idiots from normal schools, I had to do this quite a bit the past few weeks. My social anxiety is still a subtle thing, it always gives me a burst of adrenaline as a fear response when I appeal to the remaining members of my group.
I know this is short and choppy, but I'm kind of on the clock here. Were I to have been doing this since the moment I got up, I would be putting a lot more effort and thought into it. But no, I only have 45 minutes, thus the lack of funny images and witticisms that you all seem to love from my blog posts. Still, I feel I should say something profound. This camp I'm going to be spending overnight, with no electronics, with people I don't even know. What's worse is, with a good amount of people I knew in middle school having gone to another high school in Austin, there's a possibility there WILL be someone I know, which with either be awesome, alright, or a goddamned nightmare.
There's still the anxiety I feel with the amount of people I don't know. At least if someone I know is there, it'll be the devil I know, but an entirely new group of people I can't help but feel nervous about. Now, I know what you're all saying in your mind, "oh, just be yourself!", "they won't be that bad!", "you might meet your soul mate there!". Yes, yes, and yes, but it still terrifies me somewhat. The point about anxiety is that it's an example of an irrational fear. I know all these things, but I still have an adrenaline response due to fear. I actually had a small conversation with someone yesterday about anxiety on stage. She wondered how I did it, and I had to think for a moment. The way I survive being onstage is that I force myself into it. The anxiety for me is all beforehand, anticipation of all the possible scenarios of what could go wrong (which is, in most cases, everything). The key, in my opinion, is to force yourself into it, to concentrate on swimming rather than the prospect of drowning. I rush myself through the lines, calm myself down by reassuring myself that this ecstatic heartbeat isn't fear, it's excitement. I convince myself I love it.
I actually did that without thinking earlier this morning, I was pacing back and forth, waiting the extra hour, when suddenly I felt invigorated, I was going to ace this, even though I had no idea why, but even then I did feel like I knew. Because this leadership camp is gonna solidify me into who I am. My biggest issue is my social anxiety, always crippling me in the halls, making me wonder about things that couldn't possibly happen but still could.
Despite this, there have always been people I imagine myself being (Lukas, that's why your yearbook entry was so special to me), people who are completely at peace with themselves, making them even cooler than they believe themselves to be. I imagine, "what would Lukas do?" and smile as I imagine him handling the situation perfectly as he always seems to. It's not a Pliny-esque bromance I have ("I have wanted to be you and be held by you"), but rather an unconscious respect, admiration at the idea that someone has achieved a self-actualized persona. There are few people in my life who I can say are completely self-actualized, like Mikayla for instance. It was part of the reason I fell in love with her during sophomore year, and when I got rejected like a bitch, I feel like it somehow drove me closer to being self-actualized myself, forcing a life lesson in my face that would help me later on.
Self-actualization, for those who don't know, is one perfecting themselves, allowing them to be at their greatest potential. Of course they can improve further, but the key is their potential to become greater. Lukas and Mikayla are some of the few people in my life, I think I'm repeating myself, who have this self-actualized personality, this quality that makes them ideal people and perfect friends. One can guess, of course, that due to anxiety I've been unable to approach anyone like this, but this camp should change that.
I'm not anxious, I'm excited. Though I may not seem so to my mother sitting across from me, I am excited, and cannot wait. Though some subconscious feeling, I know I shall take one step closer to self-actualization this week. It's always been a goal of mine, a goal I desire so greatly to fulfill, not just for myself, but for those friends I have.
Have fun without me, guys.
Have fun without me, guys.