January 12th, 2017


One thing that I know will be beneficial and helpful to me, is to try not to live almost entirely in my own little world, but to get out and be amongst and with people.

It has been over a decade since I last did… when it was I moved from northern Colorado back to the area of the home of my youth, where family then took over being the only people I would ever see and do things with… not that that was a bad thing.  Outside of them though, there was no one else, just me, doing things alone by myself.

Again, I want to make this clear, when I say that, there is no where at all within the same solar system, a hint of boo-hoo, woe-is-me, violins playing… I am just merely stating it as a matter of fact.  I have been alone almost all of my life, with it just being me, and no one else… just how it has been.

Of course the reason for me being so, is in majority, of me choosing to be so.  From being alone most of one’s life, one just naturally comes to a point where they don’t need to have someone else there, to do things with, or for whatever.  And that is what I have become accustomed to, heck, so many years, decades ago, that I can’t even remember.

I am perfectly fine being alone, which is probably my problem, and as I said, prefer my alone time as opposed to just being in the presence of others.  And am perfectly fine with going and doing things, like seeing a movie, going someplace, without the need of needing someone there in order to do it with.  May like to have someone there, and even want to have somebody else to share whatever it is I may doing, with… but, I don’t need to, and am fine doing so alone.

Which again, is probably a part of my problem… just as I wrote as a line for my character Jack, for my short film, Jack And Mabey, twelve years ago, “it’s not that I have a problem with being alone, it’s that I handle being alone to well”.  How does one who doesn’t really have a problem with being alone, not be alone?

I don’t want to be alone, I would love to have someone to share life with.  Just as I wrote early on in this here journey o’ mine, when I was in the Badlands, I believe, of my seeing others together seeing and visiting these spots with someone else, and my doing so alone, not making it as enjoyable…  Yes, I know – which is it, Jeff?  You said above you don’t need someone there in order to do something with… but, yet say there, that it lessens the enjoyment of doing whatever, when doing so alone, and not sharing it with someone else.

I guess, it’s both.  Yeah, for the most part, I don’t need someone present with me in order to enjoy doing something… of course though, there are those times when having someone there to share it all with would be so nice, and make it special… guess, it just depends what it is.

Point of all of this being, I know I need to get out more, amongst people, as my mother has been known to say to me from time to time.  But, just – how?  This past decade of being pretty much alone outside of family… and especially these past 142 days that I have been on this Journey, when I really have been alone, it seems I have regressed back to how I was when I was younger and I was incredibly shy and introverted.

There was a spell where I had broken out of that… was still reserved, quiet and to myself, but not nearly as shy as I once was.  But now, seems like I am again, and incredibly so.  I’ve always envied how my older brother could walk into anywhere, and just strike up a conversation and befriend anyone at the drop of a hat.  Total opposite, am I.  I am always the one alone hangin’ out, the wallflower, just – there.  On the peripheral.

If I am engaged, well it’s a totally different story, as I am me, and friendly, honest, and open as can be, pretty much at ease… but, I am certainly not that one to make the first move and to engage, and introduce myself to others.

Like here, in The Slabs, which has been one month today that I have been here… and this month of being so, have not one negative thing to say abut the place… well, other than all the discarded garbage littering the fuckin’ place… but, outside of that, the people I’ve seen, met, have been very friendly, good hearted, nice people.  Key word in the last sentence there – seen… as I have met only a couple people, and actually really talked with them.

And one thing I fear, is something that I have worried all my life, that my doing so makes me come off as aloof, stand-off’ish… when that is certainly not the case!  I just don’t know how someone can see someone, or a group of people, and have the balls to think so full of themselves, that hey, you know what this person/group needs?  Me.  Let me just come on over and just insert myself right in here with you, how ya’ doin’?

This past week, an older gentleman has made his home about fifty yards away from me.  Now, I again am me, and give a genuinely friendly hello, and wave when I see him… but, going over to him, and just striking up conversation… who am I to do that?  Maybe he likes his quiet, and personal time, and doesn’t want some whoever, just coming over and bothering him.

And that’s the same with others here.. I go to The Range on saturday night to hear the very talented musicians play music live, with pretty much the rest of the town… I’ve stopped in the Slab City Library, where it’s like a hangout spot, and I just freeze up, afraid to make eye contact, almost hoping that no one engages me because I just have gotten so terribly shy anymore.

I will say this though, that older gentleman who I said moved fifty yards away, he seems to go out of his way with everyone who comes within a hundred yards of him, to call out to them, strike up a conversation with them.  A day or two after he arrived, a couple made a spot about fifty yards away from him, and he goes all the way over and introduces himself to them and tells them to stop on by whenever they like (I could hear him say that from across the way).  Did he do that with me?  No.  Really?  Thanks.

Another story of my life – no one ever engages me.  No one ever comes up to me and tries to get to know me, or talk with me.  It’s always been that way, since in high school, on.  Which naturally leads one to not think well of themselves, that they are nothing special, apparently not worth it.  Which leads to one being to himself and not engaging with others… because who the hell do I think I am?!  I’m someone no one ever seems to care enough to give the time of day to, so…

I know I am a good person.  That I am fun, and people like it when I am around because I am me, I am who I am…  I am just so goddamned reserved and shy though.

You know, honestly, and sickly though – a tiny part of the reason I did the whole Discarded At Slab City photo series, was a way of me like, trying to break the ice, and call attention to myself, like a guy in the corner, waving his hand up in the air, calling out – “Hey, hello.  Over here.  Look at me”

I don’t know.  I am just a pathetic case.

This all was on my mind when I was thinking about going on this little here Journey o’ mine… I was originally planning and thinking of going and volunteering somewhere overseas.  I wanted to do some good, be outside of myself, thinking that may be just what I need to figure out what it is I need to do with myself and my life… to get outside of my head, my own little world, and be out amongst others, helping others.

The only reason I never did, is because I am Mr. Cross That Bridge When I Come To It, and never started the process of getting a passport/visa, and all of that involved, within the timeframe when I needed to be off and gone.  Yes, I didn’t need to go off to some foreign land to help others, and there are countless organizations and places, people, that I could have gone and done it here stateside… But, yeah, just didn’t really want to… not here… because, it would be here.

Again – I don’t know.  I am just a pathetic case.

Also, when I would like to do something with someone, share things with, it’s a female that I want to do it with.  I don’t know if I have written of this before (most likely have), but male friends is something I do not seek out to have, as I just never have… and think it is just simply a matter of my having grown up in a family of only brothers, and if I ever want to do something with another male, well, I had them to do it with.

Though, the gentlemen I have met via my photography, and website here, as well as their’s, I know Richard, Jacco, Paul, if we were all in the same area, I would definitely want to hang out and do things with them, and wish that we were, because I think they are all a bunch of swell fellas, and would enjoy sitting around conversing with them, going out shooting, or doing whatever with.

For pretty much my entire adult life though, it has been female companionship that I have desired and preferred to have.  That woman to share life with.  But, alas…  Which again is why I am on this journey, because how can I expect someone to be happy with me, and I with them, when I am not happy with me and my life?  When I am this constant instability of flittering from this and that, here and there?  I need to figure out me, myself, my life out… find that personal happiness, so that I embody that personally, and will then be someone that I can, in my stability, be able to dependably and reliably commit to being with that person, and growing in life and love with her.

Of course, it would be jolly well good and swell if didn’t have to wait until then, and found a fellow traveling kind, caring, and loving soul, willing to share our journeys now, together… I would not object to that at all.

In the past, my getting and being involved with others, was through shared interests and doings… like theatre, being the biggest one…  I don’t know… I do know, that when I move on from here, that whatever it is that I do, it will be getting out and involved with life, others, things, in some way.

Still working on the What, that it is I will be moving on from here to… still trying to figure that out… yay.

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  • paulJanuary 13th, 2017 - 6:29 am

    “Another story of my life – no one ever engages me.  No one ever comes up to me and tries to get to know me, or talk with me.  It’s always been that way, since in high school, on.  Which naturally leads one to not think well of themselves, that they are nothing special, apparently not worth it.  Which leads to one being to himself and not engaging with others… because who the hell do I think I am?!  I’m someone no one ever seems to care enough to give the time of day to…”

    I can relate to that as well.

    I’m guessing it’s because you simply don’t look approachable/wanting to be approached. A lot of people don’t understand shyness or introversion, so they’re just as uncomfortable as you and probably don’t know how to approach you/think you don’t want to be approached. Or maybe that guy in particular just doesn’t want to be friendly with another guy, and prefers to hang out with couples. Maybe you remind him of a childhood nemesis. Or maybe he finds you remarkably sexy and can’t muster the courage to speak to you, haha. Seriously, you don’t know what’s going on in his head. And even if he simply has decided, for some reason that he doesn’t like you — oh well, that’s gonna happen sometimes. It’s not some defect in you, it’s just how it is.

    Like you, that’s always been the story of my life. I cared far more about being apparently ‘unapproachable’ in my younger years when meeting women was more important to me 🙂 but I know exactly what you’re talking about and feeling.

    Honestly, Jeff, you’re not pathetic. It’s not pathetic to want some attention, for wanting someone to want to make an effort to know you. It’s human. It’s not a weakness. Or, if it is, it’s one we all share to varying degrees. I, too, am guilty of feeling that these types of traits are “pathetic” in myself.

    I’ve been finding it very helpful in my own life to realize that I am no more or less pathetic than your average person (and often far less). The first step is to seriously put an effort into speaking about and to yourself in a kinder way. Really, it’s important. You need to pay attention to that interior voice and don’t let it get away with calling you names and belittling you, downplaying your achievements and magnifying, or even completely making up, your failures.

    Like me, I bet you’re far more compassionate and forgiving of others than yourself. That’s ridiculous, if you care to actually think about it, which I hope you will.

    Anyway, I hope I don’t sound preachy, as usual I’m just sharing what I’ve learned about myself in my own life, hoping some of it may help you or at least be something for you to think about. It’s a 2-way street — I’m always learning, and learn from you as well!ReplyCancel

    • JPHJanuary 13th, 2017 - 4:27 pm

      Thank you, Paul, you really are too kind. And again, I sincerely appreciate you visiting, and not only that, but taking the time to write and share your thoughts. It does mean a lot to have some, besides myself, to relate things about and with.

      Like me, I bet you’re far more compassionate and forgiving of others than yourself. That’s ridiculous, if you care to actually think about it, which I hope you will.

      Yes, yes I am. Even when I may be hard on, or towards others, they are being treated like a pussy cat in comparison to how I deal, and treat me. I don’t tolerate and allow shit from me. But, do recognize, like I tend to in other ways, both most overtly, as well as subtle (like this entry you’re commenting on), to be over the top, melodramatic, and chill and calm down, boy! Getting worked up a little too much.

      And like I have said before, externalizing it in my writing helps me to recognize and see that I may be doing so in my head, so…

      You are right though, Paul, I tend to be a little too harsh on myself, and place all things on me, when really it may be something totally indirectly, and un-relatedly outside of me.

      As well as ongoing personal demons of low self-esteem and self-worth that I still battle and have to contend with.

      Anyway… like I said, as always, thank you for your kind words and thoughts. Wishing you well, and all the best.ReplyCancel

  • richoJanuary 14th, 2017 - 5:28 am

    I wish you both all the best in 2017 Paul and Jeff. It is rather funny how I keep seeing coming only your comments in this web site, but I never see the Jeff original posts. I guess it has something do to with RSS I am monitoring, but that is not important.Receiving only comments seems in certain way symbolic. I always wanted to keep discussion going on. My email box now has traces of you too doing it! Great! Keep going on.-r-ReplyCancel