Getting the Hell out of Dodge

I’ve been living as a hermit for quite some time. Years, to be honest. I haven’t stepped out of my home to do anything except go to work or run to the store to pick up groceries — mostly out of necessity. I’ve spent the majority of my free time playing computer games and not much else. I’ve recently kicked the gaming habit and replaced it with Twitter and reading items through Google’s RSS Reader online application. So far things have become more productive for me intellectually but the stress and anxiety I felt that led to kicking the gaming habit is still there. The reason for the anxiety during my gaming was the lack of reliable internet to keep my habit enjoyable. My wife touched on that in this maddened blog post here. The stress and anxiety I feel now has been replaced by the disaster that the Democratic Party has become and the uncertainty in the future of this country. If I continue in this direction, my wife will find out she was very correct in her prediction.

I need to get out.

Truthfully, that last sentence has multiple meanings. I don’t think I have to explain much that I need to get out of this God forsaken country. There is not much of a future for anyone here if things continue as they are, without reform and action from the sane crowd. I wasn’t born here; while I have made this my home, I know much of the rest of the world isn’t as bad as most Americans think it is. I’ve seen the outside of these borders and know that good can exist elsewhere. I’m not beholden to the idea this is the greatest country in the world. It isn’t. It’s not even the most powerful as people insist it is. Its heart was torn and sold out a long time ago.

The second meaning is that I need to get out of my hole. I’ve been a hermit for far too long — so long that I don’t really know how to function in the outside world. I know how to deal with people for necessary things and I know how to deal with people in situations I have to get myself into, such as in the classroom. What I do not know, however, is to go into the fitness club building I got a membership to access and do anything. It’s not that I do not know how to work out — which I don’t. It’s not that I feel ashamed of my body as I work out amongst people with bodies more fit than I’m accustomed to seeing in an enclosed space. It’s that I do not know how to look at people, speak to people, what to wear, or how to act. Should I be confident when I step on an exercise bike? Should I look like it’s foreign to me? Am I going to look like a moron?

It’s not that. No, I’m not a social outcast. I am simply incapable of having confidence in myself. I’m human, after all: I belong out there. I, however, don’t have much confidence in my humanity. I haven’t felt truly human outside of my hermitude at any point in my life. That’s why I was so comfortable slinking into this hole. I need to get out.

The real meaning of that sentence is I need to get out of my shell. I’m not just a hermit in my own home. I’m a hermit inside my own body. It’s one thing to get a visa or citizenship and move to another country. It’s one thing to hit the gym and break a sweat. It’s an entirely different matter breaking out of the thick stone you have lived inside since the day you realized the world is unfriendly, judgmental and frightening.

I have to do it. If not, I might find I’ve become a hermit within my own family.

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