More than likely, this will be a flood of ideas rather than a coherent thought. This blog post has been compiled from several different thoughts over several different days hoping to make a single conclusion; for you but, more importantly, for myself.

I've talked about shyness before but with new thoughts I could probably write a lot more. Every new instance, every new occurrence feels different. Maybe it's because each person is different so each perceived failure is also feels unique.

But instead, I wanted to talk about boundaries here. I realize, everything I talk about, everything I say is probably not a struggle for most of you. Most advice would just be,"Yeah, buddy, you just suck it up and do it." It probably is that simple, physically; but it doesn't feel that easy, mentally.

I don't have a problem talking as much as I need a frame around our interactions. For example, say you're in an acting class; when you're watching your classmates act, your duty is to be attentive or at least be silent so as to not disturb them. So you sit in your seat and watch, maybe you look around to a few of your classmates to share a smile at what's happening on the class stage.

Then you go up and so does another classmate to act with you. You're given a script; all the interactions, all the going's on of the story are in your hand. You know exactly what to do because some writer has written it out for you. So you act with your partner, you do fine.

Class ends, you walk out the doors and your acting partner for that scene happens to walk out with you. But now there's no script. There's no longer ANY rules that govern your behavior. You're outside, you neither have to be quiet nor do you have to speak up at all. Now you're on your own and other than maybe saying, "Nice job back there;" if you're like me, you don't know what to say.

Again, it's not about simply being unable to speak; it's more about what do you say.

I'm a very direct, blunt person. If we're on the subject of dating, I don't like games or cleverness. Example: The only girl I ever dated is now an ex-girlfriend (we're still very good friends) and that was a set-up from a friend. I took her out to dinner and/or a movie but I didn't try anything [I don't know what it is people 'try' - I've only seen the cliché "Yawn to arm over the shoulder" but I think that probably only worked in the 70s, and probably not since the media has oversaturated that move].

What I did do was, I drove her to my house and, before we left the car, I said something along the lines of "I really would like to kiss you." And she got a little sheepish but we did kiss.

After that, we didn't really continue 'dating.' It was instead like we were instantly an old married couple; we enjoyed each other's company just hanging out at the house, watching TV. We went out to sushi and I took her to the Long Beach Aquarium but, overall, there wasn't much 'dating.' I broke down the barriers with my 'non-flirty' and direct comment and, ideally, found the real person; not a person behind a wall.

But that's not a normal situation. That's not the way society is today. I know because I would have probably kissed another girl by now. But I'm not saying that's what's important here. Honestly, I don't know if I'm a guy meant for romance as I'm hyper focused on struggling in film until I don't have to anymore. What is important to me is to be able to sit next to a person I don't know and not feel like I'm failing socially. Even if I don't talk, I want to feel like I was comfortable enough to do so. I know it's in me because I've done it but it's a battle sometimes and I wish it just always felt smooth.

Likely the only way to achieve that is practice but it's a scary notion.

Then there's conversations in progress. If you're at a party and there's no one else standing alone and no one you seem to know, what's your course of action? It seems like the 'social helpers' would suggest joining a conversation group but how? Do you just walk over and hover until you're included? Because that doesn't always pan out and, more often than not, you're just standing there with a drink in your hand, right next to a conversation continuing to go on without you. Sometimes people will bring you in but it's not a sure thing. You could move your 'hovercopter' to another group and take a chance but there's got to be something else.

I don't know what that is though. For me it's not go to parties too much because there's no defined rules at parties. You are there to socialize, so if you don't know how or find it difficult, there's really not much point in attending. For people like me, it's another opportunity to see how far I need to go to feel like a 'normal' human being.

I was watching this great video on modern loneliness and it made me think of something: I am at the perfect age to be socially stunted.

When I was young, computers and even cell phones were in their infancy; people relied more on face-to-face conversations rather than email or phone. And yet I was a shy kid, I didn't talk much and didn't try to socialize much; at the time, I didn't realize the importance of it. When computers became more prominent, just as the video suggests, interactions and communication changed. I was already unsuited for 'regular' communication when 'internet' communication became a game changer in the way we talk to our peers. Thus leaving me somewhat unable to cope with either type of interaction because I'm still trying to play catch-up on actually talking to people in a world where physically conversing with another human is becoming less and less prevalent.

I, at times, still akin myself to being an adolescent at the age of 27. I'm still learning some of the basics; some skills kids likely learned in junior high, I'm tackling right now. Surely it hurt those kids as they were going through it but something about being in your late-twenties, having all that self-awareness and experience, that makes going through it now, much worse.

It's like anything, as you learn, you struggle, you suck, but you keep going. I took a LOT of shitty pictures for at least seven years before I was actually impressed by my photography; before I thought it was actually art instead of just snapshots.

But photography is solitary task. It takes two to talk-tango. Or, without alliteration, you need another person to practice social skills; and not just a person, a stranger so the discomfort is there. That's what must be overcome; to not worry so much about a perceived boundary around a person.

People have different standards for their personal boundaries. I, for incoming interactions, have a very small boundary; I'm open to just about anything though this is likely because I perceive such high boundaries around everyone else so I don't want it to be me that takes the chance.

And until I break that boundary layer, like I did with my ex, I feel frightened to even try and would rather others approach me. Which is a Catch-22; I want people to be comfortable around me yet I'm not eager to do anything that would allow them to feel comfortable.

I don't even know if that makes sense. I have a feeling people like me will maddeningly understand this futile conclusion and those who are 'normal,' functioning humans will not.

I think I worry too much about offending or saying the wrong thing so I establish wide, outgoing boundaries around everyone else so I don't even have a chance of invading their space.

Boldness. I lack boldness. I only play it safe socially. That makes sense in my field because, as an actor and filmmaker, I want to keep all my connections positive and playing it safe is one way to do that although it's probably also an easy way to be forgotten entirely.

Despite how good you were, without a follow up sometime down the line, you might not be remembered. Following up is probably the simplest of the 'bold' things you can do; but you're still taking a chance because it's unexpected and you're doing it of your own accord [instead of being directed to do so]. In essence, you're responsible for it.

So, once again, I present thoughts without conclusions. Maybe when I'm 47 I'll understand the disconnects that I don't see now. Or maybe there's nothing I don't understand here. Maybe it's I'm simply just too afraid to try.

That was pretty heavy. Luckily there's a comedic example of what a shy person being bold fears. After :46 it's no longer relevant; but still funny? Probably.