Tuesday, January 18, 2011

i need friends

I did a lot in 2010, huh?

But that tack of self-inquiry really began with, "What more do you want?" asked in needling, mock exasperation. Another voice, this one more solemn, answered, "love."

I try to keep my perspective grounded and fair--and,  in my equanimous moments, I rationally acknowledge my blessings (both circumstantial and the ones for which I've worked). Still, in my day-to-day goings-on, I'm haven't been satisfied with, or proud of, my life since graduation.

I wish I could say that it comes down to unfulfilling work, but, mostly, it's just plain loneliness. I'm definitely one of those people who gets down for no good reason, which happens just about anytime I have time to myself, which is often. For all that I did in 2010, what I really want in my life in 2011 are friends and time with friends--for the initial and very selfish reason that I don't want to be down so much. I also have an inkling that life's joys, at least for interpersonally-inclined me, will be found in my relationships and not in my accomplishments. One (most of all, me) hardly looks back wistfully at a day spent watching DVDs or studying for that German test as one would when reminiscing about times spent with friends. Working through new ideas and other practices at life-mastery became goals of mine because they were the alternative, the things that one's left with aside from hobbies and hanging out.  I've sustained them because I want to be an interesting person, fair and equanimous to all of my friends and acquaintances.  But I can't say any of my competencies in the humanities have ever won me a single friend...

I know that I'm not incapable of making close friends. I've made them and I have them, but they live hundreds, even thousands of miles away. They even tell me that I'm not repulsive and mostly normal, if a little eccentric and sarcastic. But I still get jealous when I see groups of friends or others with full social schedules and I wonder how I've bungled my life up to this point that I'm alone and bored yet another Saturday night. 

I feel like a silly chimera: outwardly aloof/deliberate/calculated/sly but inwardly playful, like a labrador puppy running at you. I've had to cope, but time's dragged on since graduation and things haven't improved and my circumstances aren't likely to. So it's up to me? Well, that's disheartening--I've been largely alienated from my peers my whole life and I can count on one hand the friends with whom I can just be. (There's something so great about just sitting on a friend's couch sans all personae. But there's no couch like that in San Diego for me.) Every interaction with a new person is so calculated, so far removed from my spontaneous energies that it becomes a game, a theatrical production where I'm just playing a role.  I've been so concerned with coming across in a certain way--of making sure an idealized image of myself (as smart, funny, complicated) was realized in the perceptions of strangers--that I've lost myself chasing a illusion.  Well, this is ridiculous.

Action point, then: obviously, I can throw myself at life: at travel, at church, at hiking or marathons, at studying German, etc. Well...I'm thinking I might start to throw myself at people. Better a fool than a loner.