I hate to share feelings unnecessarily, but maybe I should open up a little bit more about one of the greater reasons why I started this project: loneliness. I am so lonely I can hardly stand it. For the time being, I've moved past my desire for a significant other, and am solely focusing on the need for friendship. I've moved around so much in my life that I have no "core" group of friends. I go through phases of really making an effort to invite people places and/or forcing myself to participate in social gatherings, in an attempt to create this circle of friends. Then somewhere along the way, I get discouraged, or busy, or...self-centered. I find that when I'm lonely, I tend to only see my needs, which in turn, isolates me even more, because I can't see past myself. Make sense? It's a horrible cycle. And I don't have the solution. It's a fight to stay positive, but I know that turning my gaze inward will not lead me anywhere good. Thus, this project. I figure, if I can turn my attention outward, towards others, and their needs, and not on myself, that surely, a change will come. I also forget that this is a process.
Yesterday's giving came relatively fluently. I was at the gym walking on the treadmill. I was honestly fighting back tears, feeling sorry for myself. Had no one else been in the room, I for sure would have been a waterfall of emotion. A hispanic older woman came in the room to use the exercise bike. She couldn't figure out how to get the seat moved back and had moved to another bike, trying to figure that one out as well. I got off the treadmill, asked her where she wanted the seat set at, fixed it, and got back on my treadmill. I felt a little guilty because I'm not sure I even so much as smiled at the woman. Then of course, my mind crept into the arrogant place of assuming that everyone else in the room must of thought how wonderful I was. I'm sure they were all thinking how great it was that I just jumped off my treadmill to help someone in need, without even a second thought about it. and maybe next time they would do the same for someone else? but for now, it would just be a story they tell their friends all about, about this nice lady at the gym. Yes...I went there. Hopefully, as this project continues, these presumptuous thoughts will subside, but for today, I cannot say that I did much better.
I texted my bandmates this morning to see what time we were having band practice tonight. One responds that he has been vomiting all morning and would not be making it. I wished him well, continued my day, and then wondered how I could help someone today. I'm a slight bit ashamed that it took me so long to offer HIM assistance. I finally realized I should see if he needed anything. No no, he says, I live so far out of town, don't want to trouble you. One thing I am thankful for, is that I do have the time right now to give. I was able to drive to his house, deliver gatorade and sprite, and then stop and look at the beautiful scenery on the way home. I felt the arrogance slipping back in, and started to think about how great I was for helping him in such a way. This pride then turned into self-pity and then sadness. My mind went in a downward spiral and it was a fight to stay away from focusing on my needs. Aren't you supposed to be able to just ride the giving high for the rest of the day?
I don't have any material needs. I don't have everything that I want, but as soon as you get what you think you want, you just want something else anyway. If I could buy a friend or two to spend time with, that is an investment I would make. Then I wonder if I am making it all up in my head. Do I have people to spend time with that I am overlooking? Is it just part of feeling sorry for myself that I can't see them? Am I the problem?
So while I would rather hide my emotions and not share this part of the experiment/project, as my ego doesn't much appreciate it, I think it is really important that you see the whole picture. I am doing this as much for me, or even more so, than I am for others.