Don’t know where to start?
No worries, it doesn’t matter. Everything is connected.
The ball doesn’t care where you kick it, just kick it hard.
At first glance, social isolation doesn’t seem to offer you many options. The “easy way out” is largely an array of doubtful mental states… like insanity, sexual deviancy, or “intentional” celibacy.
Hey, you could even combine them all. I hear there are a lot of openings in the Catholic Church these days.
“I am the light of the world. Don’t believe me, Thomas?
Come and flip my switch. Bring your sister too.”
Source: Tell me if you know
“Consider joining local clubs for things that you are interested in. This is a really great way to meet new people who have similar interests to you. Joining these kinds of groups gets you out of the house, out of your shell and out socializing at least once per week.” (Lifezap.com)
And we’re not talking about the local chapter of NAMBLA. We’re talking about getting your shit together. About going to work on yourself.
(Sigh… that’s not what I meant. Put up that Kleenex now and listen to me.) How? Earlier posts have given you a clue where we’re headed. The total instant make-over is not an option. Nor, however, is resigning yourself to a sex life of internet porn and inflatable women.
Now, a simple mind trick like “thinking of yourself as a winner” won’t do much to reverse things. If you already bought The Secret, well, write that off as a temporary lapse in judgment. Luckily, there’s a shitload of things you can do.
A Shitload Of Things You Can Do
Some important milestones like building “social credit” in the workplace, finding your way to the gym and earning your spurs with the fair sex will be dealt with in the upcoming posts, so let’s skip these for now. Here are a few recreational ideas that will inch you towards the better you you crave, one hobby at a time.
Before we start: There’s a Celtic saying, “Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance.” I’ve come up with at least five ways to interpret that, so I’ll leave it to you to make your own sense of it. After chewing through the following:
Learn How To Dance
For the full effect of awesomeness, combine dancing with martial arts (if you’re pressed for time, literally do that) and you’re set.
Why is this listed under “Get out there”? Pretty isolationist, eh? Isn’t this how things like the Unabomber’s manifesto come to be?
Do it, bitch!
Learn how to cook
And if you fail as a cook, the girl’s maternal instincts may kick in to save the day. I made my move on the girl I love over a criminally undercooked casserole. Maybe she said yes to save me from the threat of food poisoning… who cares?
She said yes.
I also killed the food right in front of her to prove I could defend our future family.
It turned out that my own learning curve was way too flat for Aikido; I wasn’t bendy enough for Taekwondo; I constantly got hurt during Jiu-Jitsu; and my back suffered when I tried Judo.
“…And, on to learning to fight, know that you absolutely won’t learn to fight without getting punched/kicked/thrown/etc. If you’re not hurting and being thrown out of your comfort zone, know you’re not learning how to fight. If your instructor tells you the art is too deadly to spar, you’re not learning how to fight.” (David on the PWOT Forums)
Don’t use light sabers to deflect Unforgivable Curses. You’ll kill half your gym class.
It’s not about getting all those colorful belts (well, that is part of it), nor is it about beating the shit out of someone – you’ll know that when you see those bullies taking the same class you’re in – though it will feel good to know you can at least pull equal to most of them.
Well, here’s a downer: TKK is full of shit.
Can that nail be driven any deeper? I’m sure it can and should be. Two excellent articles illustrating that point are this and this one. In the words of David Wong, gleefully pissing on TKK in the second one:
“We have a vague idea in our head of the “price” of certain accomplishments, how difficult it should be to get a degree, or succeed at a job, or stay in shape, or raise a kid, or build a house. And that vague idea is almost always catastrophically wrong. … So, people bail on diets. Not just because they’re harder than they expected, but because they’re so much harder it seems unfair, almost criminally unjust.”
As it turns out, there are no giant leaps. There are a thousand small steps.
I can’t stress the “small steps” part enough. Keep away from huge, overly ambitious make-over projects you either won’t start or can’t follow through with. Don’t make it your goal to “be perfectly well-adjusted within one year” or something like that because forget it. Hard.
“Set specific goals and write them down. If you really want to do something, set tangible goals. Throw yourself out of your comfort zone.
Yep. At the same time, aiming too high will ensure failure and an ego concussion. It’ll be all over before you’ve even got going properly. It’ll also cause you to say “told you it wouldn’t work” and go back to your Kleenex box. So, once more, balance is called for! How about fighting to claim a specific, realistic level of mastery in a field of your liking? Maybe one of the things I listed above?
There’s a reason I didn’t list “skateboarding”. Christ on a spit roast, you’re fucking adults.
Lasting through a complete dancing class season? Playing the ocarina you bought on a whim
In a nutshell:
To gain respect, become a master at something respected.