[This turns into a three parter, I apologise]
This week, I did a thing. A thing that wasn’t easy to do. And now I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself.
For those of you who have been reading a while, you’ll know about a particular personality dilemma that I suffer from, that of the alone/lonely paradox. In brief, most people that I have to spend my time with aggravate me, and I get time to write when I’m alone, but I also get pretty lonely sometimes and feeling utterly sorry for myself. Crazy, right?
Well, I’ve been struggling with this for…now that I think about it…years. I struggle to make connections, to tell when someone is interested in becoming friends and, quite often, I have no idea how far to take that. I have a problem differentiating between friend and acquaintance. Well, I don’t think I do, but other people have told me that I do.
I have a firm belief that friendships should be 50/50 in terms of who contacts who, who listens to who (there were probably supposed to be some “whom”s in there, but nevermind) and suchlike. My main problem is that I’ve struggled to find that and yet refuse to drop my principles to meet what is around me.
And that becomes a feedback loop where I hate myself for not being able to set those principles aside mixed with “I’m not the one in the wrong”. I’m sure that many of you will understand where I’m coming from with those kind of loops. They’re hideously bad for you.
But, this week, I decided to do something to break the loop.
You guys might know that I love playing D&D (Dungeons and Dragons). It’s great fun, it gets me out of my head, and it encourages people to sit around a table and socialise. What’s not to love? Well, I run a fairly regular game that has been going for well over a year now, with a few friends (or is that acquaintances?). Some of those people are now running their own games and I play in two of them. The games that I have opportunity to play in, however, are sometimes months apart. Therefore, the part of playing which helps me to relax (as running a game can be very hard work and stressful) is spread too far apart for it to be actually useful.
As always in life, there’s an app for that.
I downloaded the Meetup app and began searching for D&D games in my area. At this point, I was soaring on the wings of a flight of fancy (as I often do), thinking, “it’ll be great. I’ll meet new, like-minded people, we’ll have epic adventures together and I’ll make new friends”.
How simple does that sound?
And the search proved to be just that. Within half an hour of expanding my search outside of my hometown of Doncaster (where there seem to be no-one willing to run a game but everyone wanting to play, and here’s me really needing to NOT run another game) I had found a group with a spare seat at their table.
After dropping them a quick message (no harm, I’m only asking and it’s not like they know me), I found that they were more than open to a new player. Eager and friendly, in fact. On a whim, I told them I’d go, and clicked the fateful button that produced a green tick on my screen.
Holy shit. I was going.
And then…the terrain grew difficult.
This post turns out to be quite long, folks, so I’ll post a little more later and finish tomorrow. See you then!
Thanks for reading.