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Adjustment, June 8th, 1997 :: Ben Turner's Soapbox

 

the soapbox @ benturner.com
archived soapbox: June 8th, 1997
"Adjustment" [permalink]
    keywords: friendship, life, personality, love, childhood, growing up
    soapbox #: 88
    written: June 8th, 1997
    words: 1142

"Adjustment", an Essay

I'm glad my life is changing in very important ways right now. I mean, sure I'm extremely happy that I've found someone who I can't stop thinking about, and I'm pleased that I can now explore the unknown which has long escaped my curious grasp. It's allowed me to make refinements to my views on life, a life which I am enjoying more freely now. It's allowed me to look at previous perspectives on things like love, relationships, and myself in a whole new light, to get a better sense of what the reality of everything is. This will make an excellent Soapbox, this exploration of my new views, but I think there will be more appropriate times for such an essay, so I will wait.

But one of the most important discoveries, or perhaps not discoveries, but realizations, that I have made is that I don't like the conventional idea of a friendship. In fact, I have loathed the whole process that friendships involve, and you can be certain that by the time I'm done, you'll have a good sense of why I feel that way.

(Okay okay, so it shouldn't be too hard to figure out that a few friends have expressed doubt as to the seriousness of my love life...)

I have been single and disgusted with relationships for a long time now, so I've been in relatively the same mindset over the last few years. Basically I've been a diligent, efficient, and hard-working person, only tasting the flavor of emotion when I felt like arguing or breathing angst-fire on some deserving twit. Obviously, the friends I have acquired in that time have come to know me that way, and most likely can only picture me that way. The problems begin.

And now I'm changing into a different person -- a person, in my opinion, who is more complete and more understanding of the world around him. I am not so quick to be disgusted by love, as I know the good side of love still exists. This is not to say I've stopped thinking that love is a whore, however, for most people...waiting on every corner, requiring only something as material as money in order to work. I am happier now and my dark, bitter side has been held in check somewhat. Thanks, Anna.

This leaves friends in somewhat of a complex situation (which I'm not entirely unsympathetic to, by the way). What they see is a good friend of theirs who has fallen completely in love and completely out of his senses, and now he's just a hopeless schmuck who can't think clearly. They see themselves as important and omniscient enough to tell me what to do. They're trying to fix me, as if I'm broken!

Friendships are peculiar things. I believe in friendships and I live by the concept of trust. And by taking in a friend, you are allowing that friend the power to have an opinion about how you're living your life. I understand that. I don't have a problem with someone who is worried about my well-being, especially when it's a side of me they have never seen. Fine. But there is a line to be drawn between caring for someone and trying to control someone. That line has been crossed and I've lost a little faith in how much of friends these people are to me.

You know what it feels like to have someone question what you've planned to do, when you've made it in a fully rational manner and you have a list of benefits far longer than a list of drawbacks? It feels like you're distrusted. A good friend of yours who you thought you could trust now doesn't trust you at all. You realize that they never did trust you, and they see themselves as your saviors. It's alienating.

I know fully well what I am doing, thank you very much, and if you were in the same situation, I would fully support you, because I trust you to make the right decision and to do what is best. I trust you to remain fully conscious of your actions and for you to take responsibility for your actions. That's a lot of what friendship is. I just realized that. I had it in my head for a long time, but I wasn't cognizant of it.

That there are many close friends who are happy for me and who trust me makes me feel much better. It allows me to put out of my mind the deceiving sorts who have exposed themselves for who they are as of late. I'm glad some people recognize that this is something I have wanted for a very long time. I am ready for this. I'm glad I can tell with less doubt who my true friends are. I'm glad that some people are insanely jealous. <grin>

Who are these people? Well, I think they're people who at least partially understand the life I've lived and who know me well enough to know I'm serious about this. I think these people have been very INTJ-roverted at some point in their life and they've known what it's like to experience some sort of friendship purification. They know that having many friends isn't as fulfilling as having a few close ones. They know angst. They know isolation. They know inaccessible dreams. They trust their friends. These friends are a lot like me, actually. No one else would understand what it feels like, even though they may think they do. I have a better sense of who will make a good friend and who won't, now.

You are witnessing me. No one else. No other force. Get over it.

This period of my life, even if it may get worse sometime, will be profoundly important to my development. I am weeding out the people who aren't really my friends. It's chiseling away the rough edges on a statue that will eventually be near flawless, very well-cut, and polished. Refinement. Adjusting to the situation and thriving in it. If I were not of sound mind, as some so-called "friends" would suggest, I would not be taking this time to improve myself or learn my lessons from the whole ordeal.

So to all you doubters out there who consider yourselves close to me, piss off and get it into your heads that maybe you don't know me as well as you think you do. Understand that maybe your own distrust is the reason you're as pathetic as you are. I ain't yours, and I never was.

 

From a staunch supporter in loyalty and faith in others,
B.

 
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