I realize now why I have been avoiding most of my high school friends.
Over the years I have learned to associate the majority of them with “drama,” the curious affliction that seems to follow teenagers regardless of social class or environment. I am mostly referring to the inevitable and unavoidable problems with guys and girls that we all fall victim to. Most of these issues are trivial or inconsequential in the long run, but many of us become so entangled in them that we sometimes feel our world might end if he/she is no longer around.
What I have learned from the people I know is that we are all a bit masochistic. We seem to thrive on inflicting a certain amount of pain on ourselves, specifically through the bad choices we make in terms of relationships. We do silly things in the name of love, such as giving a deadbeat another chance, or believing we can change him. I am not writing to women in particular, but I see us making the same mistakes. There are very few of us who actually learn that changing a person is impossible. Change must ultimately come from within; it can never be forced. The guys I know have also fallen victim to feminine wiles, chasing and sacrificing until they are spent. We do these things even though we know better.
I may be more of a realist these days, but I do still believe in certain things. People who love each other should never resort to physical harm. One can only truly love if one takes the other as he or she is, flaws and all. I don’t believe these are too much to ask for or give when actual love is involved. Love is not simply passion; the true love of another person also involves respect, dedication and compromise.
Just like most people, I long for this at least once in my life. To feel and know that sort of love is a phenomenon that is worth an entire lifetime to wait.
Occasionally I do still dream about being swept off my feet, falling head over heels in love, and all those other cliches we learn as we grow up. I think it would be nice, and even liberating, in a sense. To love so fiercely.
Regretfully, I doubt I would be able to fully appreciate such a love. I hold much of myself back as a defense mechanism. Avoidance behavior.
But I digress.
My original intention was to discuss why I avoid certain friend groups these days, and prefer to spend my time with my newspaper buddies. On staff I have found females such as myself, who hate drama and avoid, but not necessarily ignore it. I do not have to worry about them because they are strong and unwavering. I do not have to worry that they will make the wrong choices and end up hurting themselves. With my other friends, I am constantly bothered by their apparent weaknesses or unwillingness to recognize perfectly valid solutions. Instead I must watch them as they throw themselves into the abyss, despite of my warnings or advice.
I grow weary of being a witness to their morbid self-mutilation. I grow weary of becoming angry or distressed because of my concern for them.
My friends on staff simply let me be. And I let them be.
Sometimes I just feel so tired, and I can’t pinpoint why.