Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor (kistaro) wrote,
Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

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More of why I'm not on instant messengers very often

So, I'm not on AIM (or related services) very often. Which is a bad thing, since I have a lot of people I care about who I pretty much only talk to through that medium. But as much as I say I'd like to be online more, I'm not actually doing that very well. I think I'm slowly recognizing why not, though.

The obvious explanations are "I'm busy", which accounts for a lot of it; I'm at work, or I'm preparing food, or I'm doing various chores. Still, I'm not on very often in the times when I'm not. I was online a lot more during college, because I logged on (and tended to idle quite a lot) while studying.

I think I'm socially uncomfortable. Again. Which is weird, because I thought I got over many of my social anxiety issues, or at least got them under control. But I don't think it's "omg, people" so much, I think I'm afraid that just about any given conversation is likely to be really awkward, through no fault of the other party's.

I'm lucky. Really, really lucky. I've had rich-white-boy privilege my entire life, and what I got for it was a good education wherein, on a whim, I joined the programming tournament team and, as a result, got a job offer thrown at me and took it before the economy went bad, and have held onto it since.

I'm comfortable with being financially better-off than peers. I am now, at least; it was awkward during my internship, but I kind of got comfortable with it. What I'm not comfortable with, though, is how extreme it's gotten. I've lost value in the stock Microsoft throws at me, and been slightly financially pressed by increases in food and service prices, but it's really not much- it's just been pure luck causing this serious recession to have very little effect on me. I'm surrounded by people I care about losing their jobs. This is people I care about losing their housing, and having no reliable source of food, and being (like me) in the age bracket hit absolutely worst by the economy and therefore having very little chances to get re-employed.

So the problem is that I don't know what to talk about. There is no way for a conversation about employment not to get very, very awkward. I gripe about high pressure and long hours, but I really shouldn't, since I'm fortunate to be employed and paid. Many conversations turn to the trials of the job market, and there's nothing I can say about it that doesn't make me aware of the fundamental inequality here, and leave me feeling very self-conscious and guilty about it. No, throwing money at people doesn't help; I can't financially support everyone. In the end, I'm still trying to get through my student loans, and maybe purchase a house within the next decade or two. Mostly, I'm afraid that my luck will run out, and I need to have savings ready. And given how inherently life-permeating "I have no money" is, there is absolutely no way to avoid the topic, nor is it reasonable for me to attempt to do so.

But what can I do? I'm sincerely ashamed to be financially stable when so many of my peers aren't. And it's completely illogical, because holding down a profitable job doesn't qualify as doing anything wrong, really. I guess I need to teach myself that it's okay that I can't take care of everyone, but I still don't know how to make day-to-day conversation not awkward.

I've migrated to DreamWidth. The original post is at View comment count unavailable comments at ; go ahead and use OpenID to post your own.
Tags: socializing

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