Friday, September 30, 2005

No Time For Silence

Here it is, a Friday night, and I'm not out doing something wild & crazy, I'm not out being romanced by the guy of my dreams. I did catch a movie with some of my friends, so I guess I'm not utterly pathetic. But, boy, life sure isn't like the movies, is it? How many Friday nights are spent solo in the movies?

Of course, it doesn't help that more often than not, I find excuses to avoid going out with my friends.

The truth of the matter is that sometimes I can be sitting there with my friends, and they're all having a wonderful time, and I'm just feeling really, really alone.

Don't get me wrong, I love them all dearly. They're my friends. But sometimes I wonder what it says about me that I've ended up being friends with people who only want to talk about what's going on in their love lives.

Forget talking about politics, or anything serious. If I even try, it's like I'm killing the fun. They just don't care.

Well, I shouldn't say that. They care for awhile when election time rolls around. And they care enough to bitch briefly here and there about Bush & co, as long as it doesn't turn into a real discussion. But most of the time, they just don't want to talk about it.

In fact, I have this one friend in particular. Let's call her Andie.

Andie is a wonderful person, very outgoing, always the life of any party or gathering. She's also a really strong woman, someone who came out to her parents and everyone else she knew when she was still in high school. She was very concerned last Fall about the outcome of the Presidential election, and I had several nervous calls from her on election night, as things started to look dicey and then downright bad.

But most of the time, you can't talk about anything political with Andie. There has been more than one occasion when someone (and, believe it or not, I don't mean me!) has tried to start a discussion about something- the war in Iraq, environmental issues, etc.- and Andie has put a stop to it with "I don't want to talk about any negative things today!"

I'm not someone who has to talk about politics all the time. What's going on is important, yes. But there are many other things I enjoy discussing. Books. Movies. TV Shows. Hot guys. Life in general.

But it's really frustrating to me that so many people, so many intelligent people, take Andie's general attitude. They'd rather not think about anything 'negative'. Ignore it, and it'll go away, in other words.

That doesn't do us any good. In fact, that just let's these people in power continue to do whatever the hell they want. They know that they'll face serious protests and outrage from a large number, but they also know that an even larger number is going to be so wrapped up in their own lives that they won't bother paying attention or caring until it's too late.

So many of my friends, when we get together, just want to talk about their personal lives and nothing else. I hear about countless relationship dramas, family dramas, or work dramas. I admit that those things matter, too, but why are they our only focus?

And why do I always end up going along with those conversations, biting back what I really want to talk about so that I won't bore everyone? I feel like a total closet case when I'm with them, hiding who I really am because they probably won't approve! Only it's not my sexuality I'm hiding, it's the large part of me that cares about what's going on outside of our own little circle.

I get so depressed over it sometimes, and I think it's just me. I'm too serious. I should be just having fun. I should just go with the flow. Sometimes I really, really want to just not care. I wish I could stop and live a blissful life where the only thing that matters is how my hair looks and getting that hot guy into bed. Life would be so much more simple.

But that's not who I am and if I'm honest, I'm proud that it's not.

If that gorgeous guy who catches my eye and makes his way across the room to talk to me is going to decide I'm too serious for him, so what? Even the most gorgeous guy becomes a hell of a lot less attractive if he doesn't care about the world we're living in.

Don't get me wrong, if he's really gorgeous, I'd probably think 'What the hell, life is short', and spend a night with him. But I'd know it was nothing more than that. I could never settle for less with a guy that could be someone important in my life, so why do I so often let myself settle for less with my friends? Why do I let them set the topics of conversation and make me feel like some boring drag on the conversation if I dare talk about something that interests me and affects all our lives?

I saw blogging as a way to start speaking out more about what's going on in our world, but blogging shouldn't be the only outlet.

I've changed a lot in the last few years, and I think the friends I have now are more indicative of who I used to be. I would never want to lose them, but it's time that I start being myself around them. In a way, it's like coming out of the closet all over again. And just like when you come out of the closet, you have to accept that some people will want to be in your life and some may not.

It's their choice. They need to be who they are, but I need to be who I am. Hopefully, we can find some balance.

Either way, this isn't a time in history when any of us can afford to be silent.

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