This morning, I checked my Facebook account and found out through one of my Facebook groups that the little circle of high school friends I am part of (or used to be part of) will be going on a summer trip. I didn’t realize there were any plans at all, until it occurred to me that I hadn’t been checking out my account for quite a while.
We were a group of 11 friends and ever since we graduated from high school, they would get together. I never went to any, except one or two I think. My non-attendance was not a conscious effort on my part, but I somehow found a legitimate excuse not to go in one way or another. And at some point I guess they just got fed up and labeled me as the guy who was always absent. That said, I think it’s polite of them to invite me to their Facebook group.
I can’t tell when it began, but I can say now that I’ve mastered the art of small talk, of revealing just enough for people to think that I’m close friends with them, and of being utterly superficial. I’ve somehow ingrained in my mind that friendship can only go so far and although having deeper relationships with my friends has crossed my mind, I don’t think they have the same thing in mind. To be honest, I don’t like the idea of giving away my secrets, only for them to use it against me sometime in the future.
But I do reveal myself every now and then, only to a very few people I trust. I talk about my deepest insecurities and fears which I won’t even dream of letting anyone know, I let loose and stop trying to make an impression, and I just let my guard down. Often that person is the one I’m currently seeing. I realize how dangerous that is, because history has shown that my relationship with that person never works out. This leaves me with a terribly bitter aftertaste—that who I really am won’t ever be enough to make anyone stay. Sometimes I feel so alone in my thoughts, but then I’ve conditioned myself to thinking, aren’t we all alone anyway?
I know all the lectures that go with this kind of problem—that you’re smart, you shouldn’t be so cold and secretive, that you should open up more, etc. What these lectures don’t tell you is how to begin. Because I sure as hell don’t know how to—or if I even want to. Because I don’t want anyone to think that I need saving…I don’t. And because once I try to take a step forward, I realize that hey, I’m not in such a bad place after all.