Loneliness is what I am, but I can be more

If I stripped away my writing, I’m not sure what I’d be.

If I stopped focusing on writing my book, I do not know what I would do.

Then if I lost my camera and my job I’d be unclear how I’d fit in to this community.

There is this dating site I tried out the other day. Plentyoffish. And it asked me to put in a headline about myself. And I didn’t know what to put down. I didn’t know how to sell myself.

Sure. I knew what I was. I knew what I liked being. I was a writer and a journalist and I liked photography and taking pictures of people and reading. But there’s nothing that makes me sexually desirable. More importantly, no hobbies I can share with someone else.

I’ve learned to be myself by being by myself.

But I can’t just put down ‘lonely’ as an attractive quality.

I told one of my friends about the headline and she offered to list a few of my virtues for me. Didn’t want to take her up on it but she did it anyway.

“Good looking, gentle, and smart.” She said. “Gentle and warm are tied so take your pick on that. You have the ability to make people feel you like them from the first moment you meet, so I would call that warm.”

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Meeting emus. I suppose I did give them a warm welcome. 

 

Soon on Facebook she asked everyone how much money you needed to become a sugar mumma. I said “only a doughnut” and then she gave me one. But it was in emoji form.

So I’m not sure how much I’m to take her at her word. But anyway, long story short, I’m committed to having a sugar mumma. It’s not even that weird. It’s like having a Member of Parliament. You have one. But you don’t have to do anything. Well, except voting I guess.

How do I tie this up into some pensive conclusion? I don’t know really. Just like in real life I flow into tangents, which you could probably tell by my talk about my sugar mumma.

I suppose this is another tangent. It’s 11pm and I just had to go to work because I forgot to take back the work vehicle. And walking back home I passed the pub. And often I hang out there on a Friday or Saturday night. I always walk in alone in the hope I meet friends (who don’t ask me out to join them to begin with) or a girl I can build a conversation with.

And it struck me as I walked past how sad this really was.

If this is what I had to do to try and make friends and get people to talk to me, meeting them drunk on the off-chance I don’t feel alone, then how horrible.

Whatever I am now, whatever I’m doing. It’s not working for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking away from the Tinder trap

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A selfie at the Mount Isa Golf Club. “Meet the club’s worst golfer.” 

It’s intoxicating being a journalist. You write and have a medium in which you share your work to a professional masthead which has gathered your readership. Sometimes when you’re in a small newspaper you deceive yourself into believing that entire audience belongs to you. Until of course you try writing and sharing something on your own blog, or your own Facebook.

I came on here to write about something else and ended up having a different tangent. But I suppose I was easing into this with the point that I spend so much time attempting to connect to the world around me, and undoubtedly I do, and yet I don’t feel it.

I’m an anxious person and not so great at talking. But give me a camera and a room of work contacts and I know how to run the room. Because I have a purpose. People acceptt me because I have a reason to be there. My journalist persona is a social crutch. And when for some reason I don’t have the voice as myself as a journalist I’m a completely different person. I no longer have the reach and influence that I thought I had.

I was in a relationship for a while in which I had a reason not to obsess about work. I stepped back. And when it ended I needed to focus on work to keep the hurt absent. When I concentrated on aspects of my personal life, such as finding references for a new house to stay in, buying a bed mattress, or food shopping, it was too hard. I wasn’t any good at it.

Then I joined Tinder again. This dating app was what led to my first serious relationship. And so when I joined it again after the break-up in a small town where the proportion of men to women are infamously against my odds, it was hard. It took days to even be able to “swipe right” in favour of a girl’s photo. And then I’ve barely matched since.

Last night my housemate and I had beers and deep and meaningful conversations as I cooked scotch fillet steak which was risking being overdue on its best before. I tried to get him into the new Legend of Zelda. He passed out on the couch and so the party ended. I woke this morning ready to go to work and that’s when I had an epiphany.

I’d fallen into the Tinder trap of judging girls as either “not interested” or “way too good for me so why try?” There was no middle ground. I wondered if I should stop being so picky and try swiping right on a girl I normally would  not, because it was out of the comfort zone.

So many Tinder profiles loved camping and 4WD and fishing (I live in the outback) and not things that I didn’t have the confidence to do myself. I kept thinking I needed to do these things. I needed to be fitter. I needed to be someone more than just married into my job. Yet was this all there was? Was this the only way I could meet people? No.

I’d allowed this trap to distract me from important personal connection. Of waiting for girls to match with me online before I did anything on my own. I waited for their approval. I waited for their timing in the hope we’d match.

I had a whole day. So I decided to do something active. But I wasn’t inspired more than that so I put out a cry for help on Facebook. “I’m not part of a social club. what sport can I play today?” I asked.

Athletics, golf, jogging, swimming, and pool were suggested. I chose to go golfing. I’d put off membership for months so a contact of mine and his son and I went out  on the course this afternoon for a few holes.

I feel horrible right now; like Edward Cullen with a sunburn. But it was worth it. I did something different. And that actually takes a lot to get to that point when not motivated by approval of a girl or your job.  I’m a 27-year-old man who for years chose whatever was given to me because I had no better option. I made do and was insecure about the decision until it no longer was applicable. I need to do more for myself and not be guided or branded by anything else. And I need to do all this before it’s too late, because without finding my real, yet quieter voice, I’m going to be cut off from community that feels the same I do.