June 01, 2004
At thirteen I had romantic notions about finding kindred spirits and soul mates. I thought that if I simply could express my True Self, I could forge deep, profound bonds with people. I must have come off as really pompous, or in the case of a boy I was crushing on, totally psycho. How else to explain giving him a birthday card telling him Exactly How I Feel - in the cafeteria, in front of his friends, without any thought to the major embarrassment afterwards? My craving for connection, for comprehension, made me profoundly, stupidly reckless. I was intense, volatile, awkward and lonely, with a vocabulary gleaned from bouts of reading that made my peers wonder how I knew so many words. (Really, they would ask.) It wasn't surprising that the person I could confide in, who never ridiculed me for these thoughts and feelings, who was emotionally grounded enough to handle students like me, turned out to be my English teacher. I couldn't wait to get older ('cause it gets so much simpler, right?).
Sometimes I wonder if I'm regressing. Writing as I do here on the blog, am I blunting my sensibilities for what is and isn't acceptable to reveal, and has that spilled over into how I interact with people in general? I often turn to saying important things in writing, because writing gives me the chance to try to make sense of what I'm thinking. Does that mean I should impose by sharing those thoughts? It's possible to be too honest, too revealing.
Electronic communication allows for immediacy and intimacy, but that can be problematic. It's too easy to hit "Send" or "Publish" before really thinking things through. More often than not, it's better to proceed with deliberation, to not force things. And yet sometimes I still have this notion that if I just get things out there, we can connect. And yet the more important the relationship, the harder it seems to be so open, because you don't want to hurt or be hurt by what you could say to each other. You can't really take it back; you can only alleviate the sting.
This question has been on my mind after having seen Eternal Sunshine. Knowing there could be pain and anguish, you have to take the chance that there could be pleasure, satisfaction, happiness. Otherwise you have stagnation, obsession over what could be - or worse, what could have been.
If only it were so easy to know when it's right to take that chance and when to give something time or let it go. If something or someone is important enough to you, you have to try. Even if it means walking away from a table of boys who think you're psycho.