May 17, 2016

it is funny how you can un learn lessons and need to relearn them again

you might be stunned to find that I was not, as they say, popular in highschool. 

consequentially I spent a lot of time oscillating between actively not caring, angrily resenting, and occasionally trying to get people who just weren't that excited by me (and vice versa) to like me.

and so it was a revelation when I moved to Berkeley and found that I could fill a room with people who I actually liked and who actually liked me as much as I liked them
because when I moved somewhere that happened to have a wealth of people whose company I found stimulating, whose presence excited and inspired me, I came alive, and I became more interesting. I became The barely concealed shame I had in suspecting I was, at heart, an unappealing person, the shame that told me to conform, to hide my unique parts, to just shut the fuck up, or talk when I least should have, just dissipated. And I relaxed, And I felt loved. Even when the friendships were dramatic or stupid or had bumps and tragedies and long slow points, I still felt supported. I felt I mattered. At least to someone. Someones.

See...the thing about trying to forge intimate bonds around people that you just don't find stimulating is that it ...seems to kill your soul just a bit. every time. friendship is a two way street and odds are if you are straining to find them interesting, they are doing the same, and you can feel it and they can feel it and sooner or later you are stymied to picture yourself as anything other than a painfully boring or awkward person. it is a negative feedback loop with diminishing returns

understand, I am not talking the process of spending time around people who actually annoy or offend you. I am talking about compromises that are far easier to make. the girl next door or your boyfriends best friend or that girl who works with you. decent people who it seems you should like more than you actually do. because, the simple fact is that there are a lot of reasonably nice, reasonably intelligent people, who might even have the same interests, politics, mutual friends or zip code as you, who you just aren't ever going to love. friendship has a chemistry just like romantic love, and there are some people who make watching paint dry stimulating, while others can talk about your favorite subject until you want to gouge your eyes out

and so this lesson, to not fake friendships, to spend the scant social time you do have around people who truly make you happy to be you and happy to be you with then, while seemingly intuitive, is still a valuable lesson to learn.

and one I occasionally find I need to be studious about yet again, if I want to be happy

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