This is just a small introduction to a story I’ve had in mind for a while and suddenly got inspired to detail up some more. Kinda hoping to get some opinions/feedback!
There’s a dog living across the street that’s called Cheetos. His owner, Max, is a good friend of mine. His job? Well he’s a hobo. Family business since 1951, in fact. Guy’s never known anything but the street, and I have to tell you something: I’ve never seen a guy enjoying every little thing in life like he does. He always has this toothy smile when I speak to him every morning for my daily jog. I stop by and pet Cheetos, who nuzzles my hand and barks enthusiastically. I wave or nod to the guy, hand him over a pack of instant oatmeal or two slices of bread with peanut butter and then continue on my merry way. He’s never said thank you. His smile speaks for itself.
This morning however, I found Cheetos alone, his golden little nose sniffling kind of like he’d been crying. His sad puppy eyes stared at me. I knelt down and gave the retriever a hug. Without a word, I tugged on his leash and took him with me on the rest of my jog, then into my modest home.
I’m Harris O’Connell, twenty-five, and I live in a crummy studio down on 17th avenue in downtown Hallowdale. My occupation? Well, I don’t have any. I never finished high school and have been unable to ever keep a single job for longer than a few months. I’m society’s trash and have to admit, quite proud of it. I’m able to afford this place thanks to social assistance. And I spend my days wandering the city trying to figure out what my purpose in life should be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy with my situation. I’m free as the wind and I get all the time I need to do everything I want to do.
But there comes a day where a man’s gotta man up and find out what his purpose down here is.
Turns out being a little more selfish was one of the best things that could happen to me.
I’m not talking “no sharing, me.me.me” type of selfish.
The bigger picture is that I always depended on someone to be my motivation for nearly everything I did. In the end, I tried so hard to be who others wanted me to be that I lost track of who I really wanted to be.
It took forever, but now I think I’ve got this figured out and I feel like a different person than I was a year ago. And that’s a very good thing.
I’m no longer tied to my monitor. If I wanna do something, I say “hey, I’m going, see you later” and have no attach and I don’t stay up uber late just cuz I’m talking to someone. I’m tired, I go to bed. ‘Course, if someone was to come up and needed help with something I wouldn’t turn them away. It’s not what I do. But I’m no longer co-dependant to this virtual world I’d somehow buried myself into.
I’m slowly working in more “away” time into my schedule. Me time. Me having fun. I’m not looking for someone special and instead I’m just enjoying being and I get smiles from people I see in the street and I can’t believe it took me that long to realize that the only reason people didn’t notice me was because I didn’t pay attention to myself. And it took me pretty long to fix that issue.
So I’m not going to turn into a club gal or anything, but I’m slowly opening up. It was about time. Ironically, what triggered the actual change was getting dumped by the girl who meant the most to me. So thanks, Becca. I somewhat owe my happiness to you. Best to you as well.
I’ve used that excuse like everyone else, but a conversation with an old friend has actually brought this to light in my little brain, and, you know, the light bulb went bing.
There is no such thing as social skills. Really. There are things you’re good at, and things you know nothing about. So you have interests. And you have a level of confidence that comes with said credentials.
So it turns out your thing is not face-to-face interacting with people? Neither is it mine. I find I’m much more open and verbal when I’m one on one, or when in a conversation about stuff I actually know. Or online. But it’s not the people that bother me - it’s what they do or don’t talk about.
To those who don’t know, I’m actually a pretty shallow, short-sighted geek. (I’m trying to broaden my horizons, but it’s a slow process, what with my actual interests taking up most of my time already). So I can do, what, music, video games, sports (mainly hockey), manga, arts - some. Anything else, I’m not gonna lie, I don’t really have any interest in, so trying to fit myself in a conversation about it, regardless of how many people, it’s just not gonna work. Thus begins the awkwardness, and the start of a droop in confidence levels.
But ask any of my close friends, I can actually hold a conversation with more people if I’m just given a chance (read: a topic I care about). And yes, yes, I’m weird, but it’s the good kind of weird. I laugh at my own really lame jokes and it just keeps the mood light and enjoyable. I’m a dork and rather proud of it when I get a chance to showcase it.
Bottom line is, if you think you’re out there with you lack of social skills, think again. You’ve just not dropped yourself on the right type of group yet. So instead of sulking in your corner about it, seek what it is that you crave in social interaction. But don’t use that excuse again. I know I wont.
You therefore have a right to kick me in the butt if I ever do.