People still make me nervous

For the vast majority of my life, I’ve felt different. I’ve always felt like an outsider. The internet has really helped me over come that in some ways, and good friends who refuse to allow me to sink into a hermit-ude of self loathing have helped me out in others. Still, there are some things in this world that just shake me to my core. SVoR is a message to myself as much as any reader. Many of these things, are things I have to scream at myself, or, in my fear of the world, my fear of people, I’ll let them slide by into the darkness of my own anxiety.

Its not always easy to put yourself out there in a public forum. In fact, it can cripple you with fear when you begin to think that maybe you’ve poured too much of yourself through the keyboard and into the words on the screen. There are times when after writing something I agree with strongly enough, I have to reach out to those friends and family that I can count on to tell me the truth and ask them, “Am I being hysterical over nothing?”

The answer is almost always a resounding, “Yes.”

The fear of people is something I think most of us suffer from at least a little bit. The constant and nagging fear of being judged and found unworthy of society can make us physically ill at times. I know it has afflicted me on many occasions. I can’t sing in public. Karaoke is a terrifying thing to me. It can put me in tears if I let it. I have friends that do it multiple times a week, and I like to go out to the bar with them and enjoy the experience, and when I’m feeling brave, I force myself to stand in front of that crowd, knees trembling and stomach twisting itself into knots and brutalize one of my favorite songs. I force myself to face that fear of the judgement of the crowd, and sing, in my off pitch, squeaky, often wavering voice. It makes me know I can do it. It makes me know I can overcome that fear, even if afterwards I have to step outside and hide for a while.

This blog is the same thing, at times. Its been up now for a week, and already I feel nervous when I write an article that I think puts too much of myself out there. I pull back and hide behind idealism and philosophy. I’m cheating myself and my readers.

It is a noble endeavorer to better yourself and the world you live in. Its an imperative for the survival of the humans race that we each try to ascend to being more than what we are. All of us are capable of so much more, and all one person has to do is lead the way. Integerity starts from one source and bleeds its way out into the rest of us. We all have roles to play. We all have jobs to do. Some of us will end our lot in life delivering pizzas or cleaning bathrooms. There is nothing wrong with that. If we strive our hardest, and find contentment and happiness in doing work that we find fulfilling, we have contributed to society, regardless of if we are a garbage man or a rocket scientist. It is only when we allow our fear of failure to hold us in a place that is comfortable but not what we feel we are meant for that we begin to fail ourselves.

Honesty is important. There are a lot of truths in this world, and we should seek them out, scientifically, spiritually and personally. My entire adult life, I’ve danced away from the truth of who I needed to be, seeking instead to fulfill a dream that I always thought I wanted. I’ve worked hard to find a respectable job, making a decent wage, and trying to build up myself to be financially secure so I could have a family and a life that was, not necessarily easy, but far from drama and fear. Its not who I am, and its not what fulfills me.

Who I am, really, at my core, is a 27 year old, college drop out. I gave up on my dreams young, burned out on my hopes, and let life carry me by. I pretended to be the person that only pretends to care about the world and the people in it. Many of my friends and acquaintances will probably tell you that I’m mouthy and egotistical. A know it all. The truth is,  I’m afraid of just about everyone I meet. My brash confidence is a disguise hiding the completely insecure and terrified person inside me. I use humor and sarcasm as shields. I deny myself my true passion, writing, because I’m afraid people won’t care what I have to say, and won’t like the way I say it.

This blog exists for many reasons. I think that my country, the United States has gone insane over the last decade. I think that my generation is lazy, and afraid to step up and take our place in leading it to where we want it to be. Yes, all of those things are true, and part of me, as well.

Really, though, I feel like we all need to step up and better ourselves. We all need to stop standing in our own way and start doing what we are meant to do.

I need to stop standing in my own way and start doing what I was meant to do. Its a longing inside me. I need to be a better man.

Its never going to be easy, putting yourself in front of an audience, be it one person or a million. I don’t believe I will ever feel entirely comfortable opening myself onto a page of text on the internet for anyone and everyone to pass judgement. I do know that it’s easier than hiding from myself.

Maybe, while I’m learning to stand up and face my fears, a few people out there will see it, too. Maybe a few people out there will stand up for what they believe in, and help stop some of the injustice in this world. Then, I’ll have done something useful.

6 thoughts on “People still make me nervous

  1. Tim Neppel says:

    Count this man impressed and inspired! We are more alike than I previously realized… I too need to make a personal commitment to be a better man.

    1. Tim,

      I really appreciate that. I think there are things we can all do to better ourselves, but I got to admit, I think you’re a pretty good man already.


  2. Justin R. says:

    A great and insightful blog post! I, for one am glad to have read it, and have a small glance into a very good friend’s soul. Keep blogging brother!

  3. Deb says:

    I hope you will not be upset that I sent a copy of this blog onto a friend of mine. She has a son who fits your description to a T. You should be happy to know that there are others out there that have the exact same feelings that you do. The same lack of self-confidence, the same insecurities and even the same way of hiding from them. When the time is right, that self-confidence that has been hiding and the insecurities that have been nagging you throughout life, will rise up and burst forward with a power so strong you won’t know what has hit you and you’ll see the same GREAT person we have seen hiding in the corner for years and know that you are already a GREAT man who people love and respect for your passions and your heart.

  4. Daniel Woodmansee says:

    I find this blog to be very emotional and stirring in the fact that truth often finds its way into our life by unexpected measures. Matt has poured out feelings that most people hide and believe should never be publicly shown due to the society’s outlook of weakness. We can not presume to understand the human heart unless we have shared the pain assocatied with fellow humans. To proudly boast, make light of, and even hide behind anger, allows people to relate, even in a bad sort, with the fear that life puts into our minds. I applaud Matt for understanding that he provides a barrier of protection to help mantain his grip on humanity. I also applaud him for finding that within the barrier lives a person I always knew was there, waiting to emerge for us. Good job and keep up the blogs, even if I don’t agree with all of them, I anxiously await each one.

  5. Jen says:

    I get it. On a million different levels, I get this post. I’m not sure there’s a cure, or an answer or a correct road, but it’s definitely a comfort to know that there’s someone else fighting to act normal against their hyperventilating insides.

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