I’ve taken what is hopefully a step towards inner-peace and happiness. No, I’ve not become a member of a tribe of monks who live in the middle of nowhere, I’ve simply deactivated my Facebook account. Yey for me.

Image

Why is this such a big deal? Well for me, it is quite a big deal, seeing as I probably spend around fifty percent of my time using the useless shit of a website. And why do I do that? I don’t know. Perhaps because I’d rather be preoccupied with the lives of others than my own pathetic excuse for existence. 

But I think my main reason is that I’m freeing myself. I spend my life trying to build up an image of myself to impress others. I want to hide what is really going on and showcase everything I think people will consider ‘cool’. And who is my audience? Who actually cares? That’s the point, nobody really cares. But I want them to, so desperately. Some people in particular… An ex-girlfriend from 6 years ago, people at school who made me feel inadequate… The list goes on. The simple answer is, I want to be better than them. I want them to look at me (or, my Facebook profile) and think ‘This guy is a hotshot. He’s doing well. He’s gone further and better than me…’

…and maybe also ‘God I envy him’.

Its pathetic, its stupid, its a waste of time, its shallow. I know all of these things, so why don’t I feel them? Why am I still obsessed with getting people to like me? Because its a life-long habit and its all I know, and because I’m scared of actually doing what I want. I’m not where I want to be, I’m not doing what I want to do. I’ve dug myself into a hole, thinking there’d be treasure somewhere down below the dirt, thinking I’ll find happiness, but I’ve not found satisfaction and now I’m stuck in the hole and I don’t know how to get out. How do I go on with life not trying to impress people? That’s always been my occupation; fitting in, being popular, looking cool. Now suddenly I need to not give a fuck what people think of me and do things for myself? I don’t know how to do that. I don’t even know myself, so I can’t even ‘just be myself’. 

I feel like deleting Facebook has somehow freed me from my chains, but now, just like a slave might have felt, I don’t know what to do with myself and this new found freedom. I can do whatever I like and nobody will ever know. I can do things for myself; I can fuck up, succeed, move back in with my parents, follow my dreams. The world is my oyster, yet whenever I imagine all the things I could do, my mind takes me back to Facebook. ‘I could go on a spontaneous trip to Holland, all on my own, stay on someone’s couch, have a fantastic experience’, and then automatically, like its completely natural, I think about making a Facebook status about it. 

I have to stop myself. I have to say ‘no, we don’t put it on Facebook. Its fruitless, its unhealthy, its pathetic’. If I then lose any desire to do these things, did I ever want to do them at all? What do I want to do? Am I happy sitting in bed watching Netflix all day? I don’t write Facebook statuses about that. But then, nobody would think I’m awesomely cool. Pictures of me with a beer in my hand surrounded by friends, or setting my location to another country, or adding a new spoken language… That’s what will make me look cool, right? That will make people notice me, think I’m cool. Yeah. Fo sure.

 

Advertisements

Facebook gives you the option to stop individual people’s updates from showing up on your newsfeed, and over the past two years I’ve been eliminating those that are boring, attention seeking or those I simply don’t care about; people who aren’t in my life anymore.

Lately, though, I’ve been finding myself viewing the updates of those I’ve left behind. Its just out of curiosity really, although a part of me – well, a big part of me – enjoys laughing and feeling smug with the realisation that, relatively speaking, I’m actually not doing as badly as I thought. There are people still keeping up the same childish, bitchy antics they were known for when they were at school. And then there are people who post hourly updates of what they’re doing, or people who post everything and anything they feel (often short ambiguous statements). Its all just attention seeking, whiny and self-victimising bullshit. But am I any better, sat on Facebook, reading their updates and feeling better about myself? Surely I’m just comparing myself to others, which is never good. Or is it acceptable to feel like you’re better than certain people? I hate to sound arrogant, but maybe I’m allowed to be. Maybe this is what self-confidence is. Perhaps its permitted to feel like you’re doing better than someone else, when that particular someone else is leading their life in such a negative and self-deprecating manner. I think I’m a smart, ambitious, self-improving, experienced and overall good person. These are qualities in which some people are lacking. Surely its perfectly fine to realise this?

I have bad qualities too. For instance, I still care about what these people think about me, even though I don’t care about them as people. They mean nothing to me in my life. I knew them at school, college but now they’re no longer a part of my life. But still, I feel like I’ve got something to prove. Because I still think they remember me as that anxious weird kid, the pushover, the scruffy badly-dressed mess of a teenager. There’s a big part of me that wants to show them; no, I’m not that person anymore. I’ve grown and I’ve risen above them. Because I used to look up to certain people, in school and in college, but now I’m able to look at them for what they are. But why does it matter, now, what they think? Why do I have to prove myself to these people? Next month I could have a job in Hamburg and I’m fucking excited, but why should it matter to anyone else but me? Who else should care? Why am I already planning on what my status update will be when/if they give me the job.

Its time I started doing things because I want to, not because I want to prove my worth to other people. The opinions of others don’t mean a thing. Its time I stopped living my life like they mean the world.

Yesterday was a constructive day for me. I achieved a lot without actually doing anything, and I feel like a different person. Almost.

I stood naked in my shower for a good ten minutes, willing myself to turn on the tap which was turned all the way to the right. When and if I did, a torrent of freezing cold water would rush out and hit me. Why did I want to do this? Because I didn’t want to, At least, my brain didn’t.

Fear. The message from my brain was that a freezing cold shower would be unbearably horrific. I wanted to prove it wrong. So I stood there, and I told myself every reason why I wanted to go through with it. I wished to be a different person, a more confident person, a more disciplined person. I can never be any of those things while fear holds me back. So I turned the shower on and felt the worst pain and torture imaginable…

Or not, as it turned out. Yes, it was a huge shock to the system, but it wasn’t half as bad as my mind made it out to be. The fear of taking the action was more uncomfortable than the action itself. I finished my shower and I stepped out feeling on top of the world. Suddenly I felt like I could do anything. I felt capable of facing up to my past bullies and simply telling them to ‘fuck off’ to their faces with absolute confidence.

Last night I went out to a Valentine’s day party in Leipzig. I was on a real high from earlier and felt positive about the night. I felt ready to take the plunge and approach a girl. I had some friends come round my apartment for a pre-party. I felt awesome. The tight feeling in my chest was absent and I wasn’t struggling for a satisfying breath. I could truly focus on the moment and having a good time.

So we get to the club and I’m still feeling great, but there’s something creeping up on me. My Italian friend says he is going to set me up, and doesn’t wait long before introducing me to a random girl. The nervousness hits me, although not half as bad as usual. I say hi, introduce myself. I don’t say much else and go to the bar to order a drink. She disappears. That’s fine, I didn’t fancy her that much anyway,

Later on we’re on the dance floor and I’m scouting the room for a girl I really like the look of. I find one, and damn is she beautiful. I point her out to my friend, and then he says something that really annoys me.

“What, the chubby one?”

“What?”, I say. She wasn’t chubby at all. She was stunning and exactly my type. I don’t know why but this really got to me. I guess it was just the fact that he is of the opinion that girls have to be stick thin, or else they’re chubby. Anyway, I won’t get into this any further.

So I’ve found my mark but I’m hesitant about doing anything. I feel like I’m in the shower again. I should approach her, introduce myself but I just can’t push myself to do it. I’ve really never done this before. Is it normal to go up to a girl? What do you say? What if she rejects me or laughs me off, would I be able to handle that? It doesn’t help that its a noisy club and she’ll be speaking in a language I’m only just beginning to get the grasp of. Then my Italian friend makes a suggestion. He says get her to take a picture of us both.

So I do, and she does it gladly. Afterwards I ask her name, she tells me it, then says something else I couldn’t understand. I ask her what she said, she says it doesn’t matter. Then I retreat, not knowing where to go from there. And that’s the end of it.

I guess maybe it just takes practice, but I just feel like every time I let my fear get the better of me, I’m letting great experiences slip away. I feel like I’m missing out on life. But maybe I’m just starting my journey; one step at a time. I’m better than I was a week ago, and in a weeks time I will be better than I am today.

It’s Valentine’s day, I’m single, and I’m hopeless at getting girls. This may have something to do with my social anxiety problem and my fear of approaching females, or it could be that I’m not perfect/awesomely good-looking/a model. I usually like to believe its the latter, because that takes most of the responsibility away from myself. It is out of my control. I’m a victim.

In actual fact, I like the way I look. I think I’m rather good looking, even with the acne (which is clearing up anyway). Its just that when I’m looking for excuses not to take the leap of putting myself out there, I look nowhere else but my face. My hair isn’t perfect. There are much better looking guys out there. Blah blah blah.

But tonight, I want to change that. I want to break through the wall of fear and talk to girls…

…but why? What is my reason? Do I want to be a polygamist? A man slut? Do I want to sleep around without regard for the girls I share intimacy with? And if so, why? For my ego? To prove to myself that I can? Or, to prove to other people that I can…

Talking to a girl and getting her to like me would boost my self esteem, but if I have no self esteem in the first place then the huge gap is going to be obvious. I can’t rely on the acceptance of other people for self-confidence. I need to not care about the approval of women so much. I need to stop putting girls on a pedestal and start seeing them for what/who they are. Just ordinary people.

I don’t think anybody will read this, and I hope they don’t. This blog isn’t for anybody’s benefit but my own.

I have social anxiety and I give a fuck about too many things. I never stand up for myself and I never speak out. I guess this blog is a way of stepping forward out of that.

I’m a student. I’m currently living in a foreign country, learning the language, experiencing the culture, or at least trying to. Learning a foreign language is difficult when you struggle to communicate in your mother tongue.

Half the time I feel like I’m suffocating. My chest feels tight and I struggle for a satisfying breath. Managing a conversation with a stranger is twice as hard when you’re too busy focused on trying to breathe correctly. I know its all in my head, but it doesn’t make it any better.

I would share some of my opinions, but most of them are pretty standard and popular that it would be a waste of time. In fact, maybe that’s why I hold those opinions. Gay rights, check. Racial equality, check. Hitler was bad, check. There’s nothing really special about me so I probably make a very boring read. But that’s okay. This isn’t supposed to be entertaining.

This blog is all about self-improvement and overcoming my issues. Issues such as; social anxiety, general anxiety, low self-esteem, cowardice. These are the steps I’ve taken so far…

  • I’ve started taking cold showers. They’re supposed to be therapeutic, healthy, and they give you a sense of self control and discipline. If I can push myself to endure the (initial) discomfort a cold shower everyday then maybe I can push myself to approach a stranger and hold a conversation.
  • I’ve started taking meditation seriously. I know it can help, I just need the patience to set time aside everyday. And I need to do it properly, which means not letting my mind wander as it usually does.
  • Healthy eating. I’ve been having tons of vegetables with every meal lately. They’ve become less of a chore and more of an enjoyment. I’ve really taken a taste of onions. Where have they been all my life? I just need to stop buying sweets… I’m a sucker for anything sugary and it won’t do my anxiety any good.
  • Exercise. I got running for an hour every two days, and I’ve learned to love it. I miss my morning run when its the skip day but I know I need to let myself rest. I used to be scared of what I looked like, I thought I looked stupid, but then I stopped giving a fuck and just went out and ran. Now I feel fine. Maybe this can be applied to other areas of my life if I just go for things instead of letting fear stop me.

That’s about it. Maybe I’ll write another post, maybe I won’t. Either way, I feel better for putting this out there.

Tschüss!