January 24, 2004

Sad 'n Alone

(going back in time...) I'm in college now and i have just come to a startling realization. It is startling because i have been on the planet for the whole of nineteen years and one would imagine that i would have had plenty of time here to figure some things out. The sad truth of the matter is, however, that i have not learned in all my time on earth how to make friends. This does not mean that i have no friends - I have a good number of them; what it means is that i don't really know how i got them, or how to get new ones. This poses a sort of dilemma as I'm slowly becoming tired of most of the ones i already have. When i was little, it was so much easier. i distinctly remember going up to strange children on the playground and after playing with them for a few minutes, chagrinedly asking if they would be my friends. As i grew older, I realized this was not the most acceptable course of action to take and spent subsequent years mildly confused as to whether or not the people i hung out with were my friends or merely close acquaintances. There was also the nagging paranoid fear that the people who I considered friends considered me as little more than a close acquaintance at best and, most-dreaded, an ever-present nuisance. Over the years, it has been rather difficult to shake that second suspicion, fortunately, there are some people in my life who I am sure I can consider friends no matter what. That only leaves me with the problem of the close acquaintances - I can never quite gauge at which point they cross over into friend territory. This unfortunately leaves me rather tentative and aloof with people i have only just met, never quite sure how to regard them and scared of seeming too familiar. I am tempted to revert back to my old childish mode of behavior. My reputation for blunt behavior enables me to entertain this prospect without feeling too foolish, however I cynically wonder how effective this tactic would really be. It takes a very strong character to refuse such a request, as I discovered one afternoon in the park in my youth, and I find it doubtful that anyone would refuse such a direct request. However, such a concession does not guarantee intimacy, and despite a verbal pledge i would most likely still doubt the other's true response. I feel fortunate that my fears and doubts have not prevented me from having friends at all, and simply i need to find a way to begin new relationships with people, confidant enough that my own feelings are reciprocated enough.

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