It is, as the title says, 3am. I point this out not because that is the time where I am, but because I am awake to see said time. I am having one of my many sleepless nights. Where the mind is racing in all manner of directions while the body is trying to tell it to shut up and go to sleep.
I am exhausted, but alas, sleep is not on the menu tonight. Or is it this morning?
I have several things floating around the gray matter tonight, and perhaps I should share them with my electronic friend since I haven’t been able to articulate them to my living friends. My monitor’s warm silhouette has kept me company on many a lonely night, and tonight is no exception. Which leads me to my first bit of soul-baring; I am a coward. This, to me, is a rather recent realization. Having always been the one to step up and take charge when necessary, the thought that I might be a coward never occurred to me. I have always been afraid of different things, but most of them I have either conquered or have enough of a respect for them that I know my limitations. For instance, I have a terrible fear of heights, but I have climbed to the top of a three story house and survived to tell the tale. I also have a similar fear of drowning, but I know how to swim. When we are faced with obstacles that create fear within us, it is our ability to overcome those fears or move on in spite of them that makes us leaders, but it is when we can not do these things that we know we are cowards. I have come face to face with the cold hard reality that I am a coward. Even if it is only temporary and amounts to nothing more than a momentary speed bump on my road through life, this realization has given me pause.
Thankfully, my dear e-journal, I do not have to listen to or see the groan when I divulge what ails me. The fear that I have thus far run away from every time I am confronted with it, is women. I am an absolute coward with women, and I have told people as much, but never before have I felt like a coward until the other night. I invited this woman I know out to a birthday part for my roommate. I’m not going to go so far as to say that I am smitten with this woman, but I find her funny, attractive, and intelligent (I am always attracted to this combination). So I would like to take her out on a date; nothing more or less. This is normally when I get the groan, everyone tells me to just say something, and while I understand how easy that sounds I just can’t bring myself to do it. The words will not form, my vocabulary goes on vacation, and my mouth goes on strike. She is already a friend and so I am comfortable enough around her, but every time I think of putting her in the role of “a date” my confidence falls apart completely.
Bless my friends, I love every one of them, but their prodding, albeit gentle, did not help the matter. I just don’t have the confidence to do it, and at this stage of my life I don’t know if I ever will. And this, this my electronic friend, is what depresses and angers me the most. I start thinking that I will never get over this, or that I will never get past it, and start feeling sorry for myself, but then I just get angry at myself for throwing the pity party to begin with. I am a grown man and I shouldn’t be doing this to myself. Yet there it is. My real greatest fear is that I will never have the family I want so badly. That I am going to grow old with only a couple of friends and maybe my nephew to keep me company. No wife to laugh at me when I lose my glasses on my head. No children to pass on the family name and heritage to. I am frightened that my life will be devoted to work, married to research and learning, and my only children being the papers I write and the students I teach.
I can’t be the only one like this, I just wish whoever it was would get over that one fear; telling others. So I can at last get the feeling that I’m not alone. Do not let your fears run your life. It is sad and very lonely existence. When I wake up I will have replaced the masks and locked all of this back up behind them, but right now, at 3am, I am sad and I am lonely.
Good night, maybe morning…