Saturday, April 13, 2013

on social skills

Self-awareness is an interesting thing.  As of late, I've started to realize many things about myself.  However, out of all the things I realize, I understand very few of them.

For instance, I realize that the thing which sets me off the most on the road to a bout of depression is feeling unskilled.

After years of work, I'm beginning to feel pleased with my skills in many areas.  I think I finally have the teaching thing down better than ever before.  Last semester, I got the best student evaluations I've ever received....and since "how much the students like me" seems to be the basis behind my annual evaluations, this is a good thing.  I'm teaching a Lit class this semester, and it's completely spite of it being a 2000 level class, the conversations often border on senior/grad level.  I am now 95% confident in my teaching skills.

Ditto on my music (the band's going great, and I can acquit myself just fine in a solo performance).  I'm also fine with my parenting ability to date (which is helped out by having an amazing kid) and my ability to function in a relationship (which is helped out by having an amazing wife).

Why, then, am I so inadequate at having a social life?

My weekends inevitably run the exact same way.  I hang out with my wife and kid until my daughter's bed time...then I sit on the couch by myself until I go to bed.  Saturday, I get up, feed and then play with my daughter.  When I eventually get the time to check the internet, I inevitably find several friends posting about the great time they had the night before, the people with whom they spent the evening, and how hung over they became.  Then the evening comes, and the cycle repeats.  There will be no calls or messages, but I will inevitably find out the next day about all the massive hi-jinx which happened in my absence.

Then there are the weekends where my band plays.  I love playing's one of the best parts of my life.  Yet although it's fun, it's not really relaxing.  I have to work to get my stuff in and out of the bar, on and off the stage.  I will have to get myself in the mood to perform (in other words, keep focused and not freak out), and then, after playing, try to get myself to come back down to where I can reasonably interact with others and maybe eventually sleep when I get home.

Don't get me wrong.  In the final balance, my life is great.  Yet I wonder what it is about me which makes those in the area not want to hang out with me. Have I offended them?  Have I started to bore them?  Is there some other reason why they've moved on from me?  It makes me wish I didn't need to be around people.

My kingdom for social skills!

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