I'm scared to try, 'cause I'm scared I'll fail....
So, my long-awaited return to Delaware State University clearly didn't go as planned. Armed with a digital camera and a nervous but hopeful disposition, I didn't see any of the friends I made at DSU my few precious hours on campus, and the full-body pics I took of myself on my new personal camera served as a rude awakening that I still have a ways to go in the quest of being in shape and healthy. So I've been down in the dumps since I returned to the DMV Saturday night, and during a conversation with Veronica M., she asked me a question that has been asked before and probably is a thought shared by anyone who reads these kinds of entries of mine...
"Do you LIKE being melancholy?" Anyone else would've gotten the riot act, but since it's V, a true friend whose opinion I value and respect, I was able to be calm and say no without an argument. I can think of a lot better scenarios to thrive in than being lonely, so no, I really do not get off on being sad.
The truth of the matter is I'm afraid of damn near everything. Afraid of being cast in a negative light because of the extra weight I carry physically, as well as emotionally. Afraid of conversation with a woman that didn't start through typing. Afraid of even showing my face in public (considering my job is 99.9 percent of that, it's a wonder I'm able to make it through daily life without at least one anxiety or panic attack). Afraid that I'll never be good enough for any woman to want to be seen with me, let alone hug/kiss/have sex with.
We're always hardest on ourselves, but I seriously feel like my honesty about myself is taken the wrong way. When I say something about myself, it's not a cry for help or reassurance - it's a just a real observation. I see the kind of guys women go bananas for, and quite frankly, I'm NOTHING like those guys.
I'm short (o.k., 5'10 isn't terribly short, but short of the 6-foot requirement), dark (yeah, dark-skinned men are in, but "black" seems to be a favorite for women who do insult me) and here's the biggie (no pun intended) - I am a heavy/big/plus-sized/whatever man. Never have I been under the impression that I wasn't overweight or out of shape, I just didn't expect to be shunned so viciously by the fairer sex because of it. And being the sensitive overthinker that I am, I tie all of the above, along with my bass-less, proper-dictioned speaking voice and not-hood ways, into me being ugly and unattractive.
And that's the genesis of my fear. God gave people vision for reasons aside from the simple fact of being able to walk around without bumping heads all the time - people like to look at people and things they deem attractive. Pleasure center, anyone? Considering the way I've been treated based on how other people saw me, I haven't had a choice but to be honest about myself. No I'm not anybody's model/athlete/actor/musician, but aesthetics aside, I still am a human being. I am a good person armed with intelligence, a sense of humor and an ability to listen and care. Except that last sentence never really registers with me, no matter how much I may say it or type it.
I've never explored V's opinion that I convince myself that I suck out of fear of trying, but I guess she can't be far off. As sure as I'm sitting here, tears stinging the shit out of my eyes, typing this with a vengeance, I've been hiding from the world because I just don't know if I can really fit in anywhere. Who has room in their heart for a weird chubby black man who's idea of a good time is listening to classic R&B or just reading? Who really wants to be bothered with a guy who doesn't fit the physical description of matinee idol, but deep inside has a desire and a passion for romance and making a woman feel like she is the best thing walking?
Even though I have these fears preventing me from even trying my luck out here in the world, the frustrating thing is that the self-deprecation and self-imposed exile from the outside world goes on in spite of my biggest fear - the fear of being alone my whole life.
I'm 27 now, officially late 20s. How many dates have I been on? Officially? Zero. If that's not misery, I don't know what is. Aside from my penchant for hooking up with women via the computer two to three times a year, my interaction with ladies is non-existent, and I can only go off my personal opinion or what I see with my eyes and perceive to be how women roll. Do I really know? Of course not. But why try to find out if they're different if the current mode of thinking seems to hold to form? That's the thing - I don't know if it does anymore.
I can honestly say my fears and nerves of women just pointing and laughing at me in stores have gone unfounded for at least a couple of years now. Women aren't falling over me like the prettyboys and thugs who I can never measure up to, but they aren't exactly just kicking the hell out of me either. Instead of thinking of it as a positive, I figure it's a fluke, a mere bump in the road on my way to being the most undesirable straight guy in the known galaxy.
But I don't want to be that guy, ever. I want to be liked by women as more than a friend, I want to be liked for who I am instead of being disqualified because of what I'm not. I want to feel like I'm deserving of affection and adoration from real women, I don't want to be lonely anymore.
But I'm afraid of even stepping outside of this apartment to figure out where I can find women who are open-minded and mature.
"A man can free his soul inside of prison, but a man can feel imprisoned inside of his own soul," Frankie Gaye once said about his brother Marvin. And while I am not comparing myself to Marvin Gaye by any stretch of the imagination, I can identify with that quote so much.
And that's what scares me the most.