Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ambivalence and Friendship

Been so long since I've written a post here that I almost forgot how to start! And it's strange how difficult starting can be -- whereas continuing is easy. Status-quo and all that. The difficulty for finishing is probably somewhere between starting and continuing, but I'm not sure where...

Anyways, so here's a blog-post!

It's not that exciting.

Have you ever found it difficult to like someone (as a friend) because you know they don't like you? I don't mean that I like someone (as a friend) who hates ME or anything. At least, I don't think they hate me...

I mean, I like someone (as a friend) because they do awesome things and stand for awesome beliefs, as well as engage with other awesome people who stand for awesome beliefs. But, potentially as a symptom of said beliefs, they don't exactly like me very much. Like in the abstract. Like me as a representation of something they are Definitely Not Cool With.

Which I can totally understand. For better or worse, I do look -- for all intents and purposes -- like The Man, especially when I suit up for work. If I were just a little bit more wealthy, perhaps a different religion, and a graduate of a waaaaaaay better college, I'd pretty much be evil-prez extraordinaire, George "Dubya" Bush. Only without the twangy accent.

That said, I'm not "pretty much" that person. In fact, as far as beliefs, actions, and etc., go I am much closer to a Frantz Fanon/Jon Stewart super-mutant hybrid. Which might explain why I'm taking this all so personally.

Still, it makes me irrationally angry, confused, hurt, whatever, to feel lumped into a category I "belong" to on the surface but, in reality, consciously reject as my identity. Which is just another way of saying I think I'm a special snow-flake. And I'm not. Indeed, I can try to escape my seemingly superficial privilege, but ultimately it'll be there whether I want it or not. Especially because it's not superficial.

But there lies my problem. I'm trying to tell you about how I feel and I can't because I'm all caught up in trying to qualify all this shit that the point is lost.

Or is it? What is the point? I don't know. I thought it was about me but maybe it's not? Maybe it's about other people? Or maybe it's both? Can we make room for my feelings and other people? Or do the "other people" deserve better than shared space with my "feelings," which are, admittedly, not very important in the scheme of things.

But they're important to me! Damnit, all I want to say is that I want to like someone (as a friend) who apparently thinks I suck as a person, but only because of a -- in my opinion -- insignificant facet of my identity that really doesn't represent who I am at all!

So what do I do? Can I have an honest attempt at friendship with someone who looks at me sideways, even if I speak perfectly reasonable things? Do I even want to tiptoe in my friendships with admittedly awesome people who unfortunately are oppressed by mainstream society? Is that sustainable? Am I a sustainable friend? Or am I too close a resemblance to The Problem to hang out with people who are helping to be The Solution? I don't know. Shit, I don't know a lot of things.

Okay, so maybe this equivocal crap is too wishy-washy, emo-poetry, "woe is me." Let's get down to brass tacks. I like someone (as a friend) because I see something in them that I have in myself. They don't see that connection. They hold me in suspicion. Okay, fine. Then I can still like them but it's probably better if we're not friends. It's probably better if I spend my time worrying about the relationships I have with OTHER admittedly awesome people (doing awesome things and standing for awesome beliefs) who care more about being awesome friends with me.

Rather than feel guilty and angry and all other sorts of selfish emotions about someone who only sees me in the abstract negative. Why? Because I'm a dude, they're a dude, and we're all dudes! (To quote Kel Mitchell.) I consciously and unambiguously reject the negative stereotypes and ignorance in the world that lead to oppression. And because I do, I refuse to accept them in me; meaning I will not be forced into any group that I don't want to be in. If others can see me as me too, cool beans. If they can't, then oh well. Is that privileged as fuck? Hell yes it is! And I want all of my friends to enjoy that kind of privilege too. Which is why I practice what I try to preach in my relationships with people!

Also, side-bar, this all sounds incredibly like over-compensation. Yes, I'm insecure and squeaky. So sue me.

And another side-bar: this actually makes me feel a lot better. I knew it would!


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