[I thought I should take a moment to actually write something on my blog (how novel, right?), since my pictures are apparently beginning to offend people; both with their having replaced real words, and also (evidently) with their offensively child-like, amature quality.]
I wonder in this life how much of a face we are forced to put on, or make up, for the sake of others. Do we fudge our own authentic selves in the name of acceptance, for the sake of propriety? One can never be too sad, or bitter, or angry, or excited, or overly confident, or happy. After all, people do not typically enjoy being around very sad, or bitter, excited, confident, or happy people. This, of course, isn't to say that we all do this all of the time. But don't kid yourself, we all, undeniably, have our own share of insincere performances, whether we simply temper our real emotions or simply flat out lie.
Undoubtedly, in the world it is necessary to pretend in order to live in a civilized, social society. But to what degree? When someone asks if you like their new haircut, for example, your acceptable available answers are limited, regardless of what your actual feelings may be. When you create or produce something, on the other hand, there must always certainly be some degree of false modesty, as we can never be too proud in front of others. After an awful breakup, there is only an acceptable amount of bitter grieving time you are allocated, before eyes begin to roll, and slowly your phone calls begin to go unanswered. Clearly the lines are out there, clearly there are rules, but what are they and where?
Where does one draw these boundary lines? When can we justifiably expect the right to step off stage, slip behind the curtain, into our true authentic selves, without having to prioritize what others might think? Shouldn't we be able to expect that our family and friends be able to cope with the real us, however annoying, depressing, or sickeningly sweet? Or is that really expecting too much? Are there layers of intimacy required to condone such behavior? Are we all constantly walking the tight rope of tolerability? After all, how we each choose to walk that line inevitably defines us. Should you always be an honest person and say exactly what it is you feel (and be labeled caustic, or selfish, or a bitch), or be supportive (and become the perpetual cheerleader), should you be emotionally honest (read: depressing to be around), or try to perform all of the time (and be the shallow, fake, insincere, plastic person)?
Surely we have all known people who just suck the energy out of you, whose presence is at times trying, no matter how much you love them. Is it horrifying to think that we might all, at some point be that person for someone somewhere? Is it only natural? Or should we expect more, from others, and from ourselves? I'm not sure I have the answers. I know that I often find it exhausting to pretend. I feel like my whole life I have had to "be on" all of the time, to avoid being beaten, or laughed at, or shunned. Is all of this make believe simply a societal obligation? Our duty? Is it better to be alone and yourself, than surrounded by people who have no idea or interest in knowing who you really are?
I am certain there are some of you, and you know who you are, who began rolling your eyes three paragraphs ago (oh brother, here we go again. . .), and I get it, it's fine. But should I care? Should I scramble on board the you-you-you train and change my behaviors/ emotions/ writings/ thoughts/ opinions/ beliefs just for your benefit? Suck it up and be happy that you were able to tolerate me for one more day?
I am just so tired of this constant feeling of obligation, of things I have to do in order to be a good/acceptable/worthwhile person. But I feel like it is often inescapable. I'm not sure what my point is. . .I'm not sure that I was meant to have one.
I don't make the rules. I just play the game.