This is How I Roll

I’ve thought for a long time about starting a blog. Whether or not I’ll maintain my enthusiasm in keeping it up is a crapshoot, but for the moment, I intend to, though I’m sure the frequency of my posts will vary. If I actually get feedback, and even more importantly, if people wind up recommending my blog to other people, I imagine I’ll post more. If no one cares (which, more than likely, will be the case), I’ll probably post less or stop entirely. Meh. We’ll see.

I’ve spent the last several months trying to figure myself out. I won’t get into the details of what led to this introspection, as it’s personal, but it was a long time coming. It hasn’t been easy. For someone who’s basically done very little in his life, who, for all intents and purposes, is quite dull, you’d think it’d be pretty easy to define myself. But it’s not. Here’s what I’ve figured out.

I’m 26 years old. I care deeply about my family – my parents as well as the myriad aunts, uncles, and cousins who make up my extensive family tree. I’m a writer (how good has yet to be determined). I read. I love TV and watch a lot of it, though at this point mostly it’s older shows. I love sci-fi. I love fantasy. I’m a self-taught photographer (jury’s out on how good I am at that, too).

I’ve spent most of my life feeling incredibly lonely, despite having those many family members in my life. I have only two real friends, and I’ve often wondered how much I really mean to them. I’ve felt unliked. Not unloved, but unliked – and there is a difference. I’ve felt as though people didn’t want to spend time with me, and the only reason they did so was out of pity or boredom – or because I offered to pay for the stuff we did.

I’m a geek and proud of it. I love computers and wish I’d learned more about them when I was younger. I’m a dork and proud of that, too. My sense of humor is corny, goofy, and when employed properly, at least mildly entertaining.

I’m scared – pretty much of everything. Relationships, friendships, my future. I’m disappointed in myself – my past, my choices.

I’m smart but haven’t taken advantage of it as I should have. Regardless, I have a job that I love; it’s my proudest achievement.

I’ve never been on a date in my life. Never been kissed. Never even held hands. Not just because I was afraid – in fact, that was only a small part of it – but because never once in my life has anyone really acted interested.

But I like myself. And that’s a realization I’ve only recently come to, having spent the first 26 years or so completely hating myself. Which is why I’m not ashamed of sharing these things anymore.  Until recently, I would have been terrified to put myself out like this. I would’ve been afraid of being humiliated, because I was mocked and teased most of my young life.

I used to say I didn’t care what others thought of me, but the fact is, I cared entirely too much. I worked so hard at perfecting my exterior that my interior suffered immensely. My self-esteem was non-existent, and people really couldn’t tell. I was always in a good mood in public. Always smiling. Rarely grouchy. I bottled up my emotions and let them out at the worst times, usually taking out all of my anger and frustration on my parents, and I deeply regret that.

And now I’m often in a genuine good mood – which, for those of you who know me well, probably seems ironic. But it’s true. After spending 26 years of my life wondering if I had any value, I’ve come to see that I do. And no matter what, that’s a good feeling. People like me. They want to spend time with me, and it’s not because they feel bad for me, not because of what I offer them, but because they enjoy it.

So I’m no longer ashamed of myself, of my past, of my choices.  I still wish I’d done some things differently, of course, but I don’t have a time machine. And since I can’t change my past, I have to accept it. My fear, my loneliness, my disappointment don’t rule me anymore, but they are part of me, threads in the complex tapestry that define me. And there are other, far more positive threads to be proud of.

That’s just who I am. It’s…how I roll.

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3 responses to “This is How I Roll

  • JAIME COOK

    I AM VERY PROUD AND HONORED TO BE ONE OF YOUR TWO FRIENDS, AND I HAVE TO SAY THAT EVERYONE ELSE HAS NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE MISSING OUT ON… SOME OF MY FONDEST MEMORIES ARE OF THINGS WE DID TOGETHER. YOU KNOW ALL MY DEEP DARK SECRETS, AND YOU ARE ONE OF THE ONLY 3 PEOPLE WHO CAN ACTUALLY MAKE ME LAUGH WHEN ALL I WANT TO DO IS CRY. YOU ARE A GREAT PERSON, AN AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHER/VIDEOGRAPHER AND AN EVEN BETTER FRIEND AND I AM BLESSED TO HAVE YOU IN MY LIFE. “BECAUSE I KNEW YOU, I HAVE BEEN CHANGED FOR GOOD.”

  • Paula Nevala

    You mean to tell me that you would have paid to hang out with me, I feel so cheap. I do not consider your sense of humor corny or goofy nor mildly entertaining, I think of it as a gift from God and when employed properly, funny as hell! Remember, I know what I’m talking about because I too have inherited the gift. Now all joking aside, this is a good start to creating that person that you want to become. You must take every trial in life and grow from it, don’t allow it to weight you down to where it becomes so heavy that you are no longer able to rise above it. Don’t feel alone, there’s not one person out there that hasn’t experienced something in their life that they had to make a personal choice of allowing that situation to make them stronger or destroy them. I love you, Nate and not because I have to, because I mean it.

  • Linda D Swaney

    Nathan, you are a great person. You are caring and you care about other people. Maybe your blog will help other people that feel the same way.

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