Over the past year it’s struck me that there’s not really many people on my side, and looking back on my adult life, I’m not sure there ever were. What I mean is, there have not been many people who went out of their way to help me advance my own goals. And as I get further along in adulthood, fewer and still fewer want to make that effort.

Growing up, I was not particularly ugly, but I also wan’t very handsome. I had a quiet, analytical personality which was great for school and programming, but in social situations I was the awkward wallflower. This meant not many people were interested in me. I was there, but not noticed. I’ve never been one to draw attention to myself, and because nothing stood out about me, I went unseen, by and large. To be fair I had my collection of friends and people who would make polite conversation with me. But at the end of the day, I was low on their priority lists. Or not even on it.

Now here I am, in my late twenties. I have a few good friendships in real life and online. Some stronger than others. But mostly I’m on my own. There’s nobody looking out for me, nobody trying to pop in now and then to see how I am. I just sort of… exist. A lot of men have the misfortune of being actually repulsive to the point people actively avoid them. Nobody actively avoids me, so that’s good. But nobody is drawn to me, either.

Because I don’t have the advantage of good looks or a wealthy family or a charming personality, I’ve come to realize I’m gonna have to work to get what I want. If I want better friendships, I will need to be the one who initiates, because for some reason I am very forgettable. If I want a romantic partner I will have to put myself out there because no, love won’t just find me. It’s had 27 years to do that. If I want a raise or a promotion I will need to point out my accomplishments because it’s not like anyone’s keeping a list of my good performance. If I want to have greater involvement in my church I will need to ask it myself or lead movements personally because the clergy is busy tending to the needs of the congregation, they don’t have time to stop and brainstorm with a random guy. Whatever comes of my life, will result from me actively making it happen. The world is far too happy to just let me be forgotten.