A New Years resolution to breakup with being alone
I have an awful habit, one that I am pretty ashamed of. A habit that makes it more about “me” than anything else. I simply mentally get exhausted from being around others that are super successful or hard-working or that I want to be more like. I realize that this is the exact opposite of what I should be doing. You are supposed to invite good habits and good people around you. To be clear, these are not the throw money in your face, take pictures in their private jets crowd. One is an extremely driven, hardworking guy from the Midwest who started an online empire selling hardware goods. Talk about self-made and hustle. It’s everything I respect and yet being around him and hearing his new hustle story makes me feel like a shell of myself. He did nothing wrong, quite the contrary, and yet I find myself shunning some interaction as if he’s a leper. Another is a high-flying New York guy, who gets everything he works at. The job, the business school, the waterfront Brooklyn brownstone, the works. He is more of the “in-your-face” type and yet he is a grounded person also from humble roots.
I am not sure where this came from, obviously some sort of internal dislike, and I really aim to stop it. The nice guy from the midwest literally lives in my town and is moving, and yet I barely see him. I can only keep using the introverted pandemic excuse for so much longer. Yet another movie I think quite a lot about is “The Intern” (no, not Vince Vaughan and Owen Wilson yet again causing uproarious capers on the campus of Google — though that has plenty of alphas!), where Anne Hathaway’s successful clothing startup decides to hire senior citizen interns for experience and wisdom. Enter a surprisingly sensitive and emotional intelligence filled Robert DeNiro (very un-Godfather this ‘feel good’ light comedy). In one scene a cadre of schoolyard playground mothers seem to take it upon themselves to poison the success of Miss Prada. “Oh, you work with her? I heard she can be very difficult to work with” — he counters with what the positive mind would suggest, “Oh, how exciting you have a friend that has done such incredible things.” This is the energy I want to bring into my life.
Going even a degree deeper, there is even a more painful memory I remember with said Midwest friend. So, as I mentioned, he has two jobs, and is the type to want to fix his own house instead of paying someone else to do it. I am on a text chain with him and one other friend, really the only one I’m on (where some of my friends are on like 8 with so many people). The other friend on the text chain (other than Midwest) I have a goofy relationship with where we’ll tell guess movie quotes or text the other what is on TV at any and all hours of the day. It’s not so much making sure the other person watches it as it is a badge of pride for the esoteric subject matter or gender-defying title. To use an example from above, texting something like “Devil Wears Prada, TBS” and nothing more. “Unfaithful, TNT”. “Sex and the City 2, Bravo”. “Summer Catch, Showtime”. Midwest friend, with his more black and white approach to life, will simply text Type-A things like “what tool to unclog gutters” or “which primer before latex paint”, etc. I think I pointed this out to which he replied something that shook me to the core when I was 31, fresh off trauma, and going down a very, very slippery slope that would indeed turn into a full-blown problem. “Dude, we’re in our thirties, we can’t just sit around and watch TV and get drunk anymore.” I was crushed. It was exactly what I was doing. Instead of getting mad at myself I think I took it out on him. I found myself saying things like “It’s Friday at 6pm, is it okay now?” Ugh, dark blurry memories.
So, without going out to Barnes and Noble (which is surprisingly illuminating in nostalgia and breadth of subjects you can explore) and buying every biography on Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, I am going to encourage proactive people to come into my life. I am going to celebrate my friends success. I am not going to belittle people out loud and try to do it less in my thoughts. Invite the energy you want in your life. I just think its a paradox that you get such a natural high and assured feeling from helping others, and yet the very people that could help you, you avoid like the plague. I am off social media (save for I Am Sober app, holla if you hear me!) and yet I've still found a real-life way to “unfollow.” Classic self-sabotage. It reminds me of any networking event. Pure paralysis. Treadmill-like behavior of counting down the SECONDS until you can leave. Avoiding buying self-help books because its too much of a painful reminder of what you should already be doing. This is my goal. I am already not drinking (2 months!), so might as well throw in other uncomfortable things at the same time. Feel all the feels until it hits the point of dilution and you can get on with your life. When you look back at a risk, or even hard work, you’re glad you did it, and it never seems like that big of a deal after the fact. Live in the moment, but work towards better moments.
Please let me know if you have any other vulnerable traits like me. It would make me feel less alone. Again, I am embarrassed and if reading, thank you for getting this far and semi-accepting what you’re digesting.