The glorious and triumphant return of now-19 year old Blogger, the revival of a once-grand and dare I say influential webspace that produced daily content, and the crippling anxiety of a young woman who no longer has any time or motivation to write, and feels like any ability she had acquired in the past through repetition and sheer will alone is now slowly slipping out of her grasp. Brief history of the Blog and Blogger can be found here.

Here be personal journal entries, observations, slices of life, questions and conclusions, as well as exploration of social and political topics seen through the lens of a Malaysian Muslim, feminist, lesbian, Marxist, and horse enthusiast.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ross and Rachel

I am fifty percent sad, forty percent resigned, five percent angry and five percent insulted. This is where I am angry and insulted and hurt and most of all, cynical. I don't really know where to place myself on the whole optimistic, pessimistic, realistic line, because it changes by the day and today's a bad day. I do know that I adopt this sort of "hoping for the best, expecting the worst" attitude towards most things so for the most part, I think that's what I'm going to stick with, whatever you call it.

I'd just like to state, point blank, that if you've ever had a problem with me before, this post isn't going to endear you to me at all. I am packing all the punches and pulling all the triggers. I'm literally going to try to not hold back and since, unlike most people, I say somewhere around twenty percent of what I think, I'd like to up the ante to fifty percent. Enjoy.

I don't really know about any of you but I don't think you guys have really been made aware of this fact: When you first make friends with me, maybe an introduction, or we just happen to spend an inordinate amount of time together just the once and stroke a bond, and we grow closer over time, when that happens, it's something like signing a contract. For me, anyways.

It's a contract stating that as friends, as that is what I'm allowed to call you now and vice versa, as friends we'll be there to help each other. To help carry each other's weights. To listen, be there, give pep talks when necessary and criticism when needed. And, at essence, isn't that what being friends is all about? Right now, off the top of my head, I can think of four people who're very good friends. Not because they're the ones who are always constantly there, but because despite being far away or near, they fit those criteria. And I'd like to think that maybe, likewise, I fit those criteria for them as well. We help each other, carry each other's weights, listen to each other's problems, are there for each other, give pep talks when necessary and criticism when needed. Round of applause for the people I would die for (and sometimes, I'm in denial about this but what are angry moments good for if not for the sharp and sudden bursts of clarity never to be bestowed upon you under any other circumstances): Maze, Hel, Hanna, Ellie. (I'll probably get rid of this part later).

Let's go through that, shall we?

1. help each other
When needed or not, with or without my asking for it, without fail, certain friends of mine would rise to the challenge of diving headfirst into a situation they knew absolutely nothing of just to help me. I come and whine my butt off to Maze all the time, about school stuff, family stuff, and every single thing in between and he is always ready to lend a helping hand, to help me solve problems he has absolutely nothing to do with and simultaneously being the most awesome person I know. In return, I am ready, anything and anytime he needs it, to willingly help him out. Anything and anytime.

2. carry each other's weights
Suffering while your friend is suffering is not really the hardest thing to do. In fact, it's become something like second nature to so many of us. It's not nice to not see them smile so for me, it doesn't really matter what's happened in the past, all of that's water under the bridge now and it's definitely no use being a crapbag of a person and bringing it up again. As long as I see my friends, the people that I care for, smiling, I'll be happy for them and with them, even if I don't get to be part of their lives anymore because they don't want me to. (And shit, this doesn't sound like I'm angry at all now, does it?)

3. listen
Like Elia, Mei, Maze, Divyia and Ellie listened when I needed to talk to them about something the other day. Like I listened to Hanna that time she called me, crying. Listening, above everything else, is a sort of give and take that takes getting used to and I had a pretty big lesson in that earlier this year. I'm not going to lie or omit the truth: I'm a pretty bad listener. But then again (and this is quite possibly the worst thing I could say on the matter), I know of people who are even worse listeners than I am.

4. be there for each other
And this doesn't happen often, a situation in which you need someone's support and someone's actually there to help (willingly and sincerely) because the universe doesn't align this way often. But sometimes it happens. And sometimes it's the best day of your fucking life. And sometimes there's no going back once you've had a taste of the best. And sometimes when someone tells you that, "Oh, Form 2; that's when you really know who your real friends are", they're lying and sometimes you don't listen to these people and don't give those words the benefit of your doubt.

5. give pep talks when necessary
Self-explanatory and easily the only thing on this list that occurs the most because it is so easy to string words together to get someone else's spirits pumped up. There doesn't need to be actual emotion behind the words, there doesn't need to be a connection between the person who gives the pep talk and the person who receives it. But when there is, emotions and a connection and sincerity, then it's better, I think. It's best.

6. criticize when needed
"Before you speak ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve upon the silence?" - Shirdi Sai Baba. Let me tell you a little story about honesty. A few years ago, when I was still relatively new to Afreena's group, Afreena, Raihan and Nisa invited me to a sleepover at Raihan's house. Imagine my surprise (shock, humiliation) when I came there and Raihan's maid said, "Why are you a day late? The others have been here since yesterday." And they skirted around the subject but in the end, Afreena told me about it and I told them that I knew.

That was sort of the day that I decided. Nope. I was not going to take this crap from people ever again. Because that wasn't a very friendly thing to do, now was it? Nisa was all up for lying, and Raihan cursed her maid for spilling the secret. Only Afreena seemed mildly guilty.

So there are times when I would walk into a conversation and just know that they were talking about me. There are times when I would walk into a conversation and they'd immediately stop talking and awkwardly change the subject. Then there are times when I try to prove to myself as well as to everyone else that I'm not that girl anymore, that girl in Standards 1 through 4 who was a bully, who was mean, and who didn't give a crap about what people thought of her. Nothing worked. Perceptions are actually written in permanent ink.

What you guys don't realize is, and I'm speaking only to my friends, that I'm here. I'm a friend and I've seen it, been there, done that, been through it all. I've found out that there is no such thing as "nobody understands me" because there is always someone who understands. And there's always a friend who is willing to fight tooth and nail to try to understand. So none of you get that. None of you understand that I will readily put down everything I'm doing (except for maybe staring at Chris's pictures but I don't do that often, really) to help you. And there's just so many, you know. I've heard one, I've heard it all. Those people who say that we were born alone, we're going to die alone and everything else in the middle doesn't matter and is just a blank, empty space of loneliness. Well, newsflash, I haven't been alone since last year. I haven't even been lonely. And was it easy to get to where I am today? Was it easy to build trust which led to me not feeling alone, lonely and useless all the time? Yes. But it's worth it.

I don't really have a trust issue anymore. Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve upon the silence, doing what I do, which is speaking my mind? In my humblest opinion which doesn't really affect the world anymore than your very own opinions, yes. Is it kind to tell someone that what they're doing is wrong? Unquestionably so. Is it necessary to bring someone out of their ignorance with your words? There is no doubt about it. It is true? And I'm taking my liberties here and throwing caution to the wind, but I'd like to say that yes, mostly everything I say is the truth. Does it improve upon the silence? Possibly not but I'm not the only judge of that.

Kai said last year that I don't act the way I do in front of strangers and that's true. I pay my respects to the seniors, I think twice about making a joke in front of someone in a position of higher authority or social standing, I don't joke as casually and as freely with people I'm not familiar with as I do with my friends. All of those people who wrote "sarcastic" on my back as one of my weaknesses, does it really bother you that much? Because if it does, well, man the fuck up and tell me.

I was in a mood today so I looked around me and there were friends, sure. Scattered around the Gallery, there were friends. But then there were people like Hanna and Nisa, my friends. Now the thing about Hanna is that I can actually tolerate her and I've grown to love her as an individual. Nisa just... sort of brings out the bitch in her, a little bit more than usual. It's barely there, anyways, hard to see with the naked eye but... it's there. I told Hanna and I stand by what I said: we're surface people. As individuals, as friends. We don't dig any deeper than the hole that has been dug by a previous person. We don't try. And that is about as deep as it gets.

Because if we don't; if we don't help each other, carry each other's weights, listen to one another's problems, be there for each other, give pep talks when necessary and criticism when needed, then we're not really friends are we? None of us are quite friends.

And that got me to thinking sometime this morning when I felt like crying on and off, it got me to thinking that if the friendships aren't real, then are the feelings real? Are the emotions and the pain and the hurt and the euphoria behind a fake friendship real? So if I was feeling like crying then, over a friendship that was never really all that deep, that couldn't really technically even be called a friendship, would those tears be real? Or would they just be a manifestation of feelings that I made up in my own head? That we all made up in our heads?

Food for thought.

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