8 Jul 2012

Who Needs Friends Like These?

I've always known I wasn't ordinary. I didn't seem to get into common stereotypes, like the hyper sports kid or the nerd-like bookworm or the charismatic cool kid. And I still don't.

Not that it was bothering me too much to think I should force myself into a certain stereotype. I just kinda accepted it, because I knew it'd be way too much hassle for me to undergo a major overhaul so quickly. I suppose the only big change I imposed on myself was to control my impulses; I think I remember being more emotion-driven in my behaviour. 

Now I just find myself becoming less attached to people. That alone sounds like I'm heading towards the future of a miserable loner, but that's not what I'm doing. I know that I cannot survive in this world if I completely shun away people; strength in numbers and mutual support are obvious benefits. But I have also learned that too much of emotional investment in other people is also not a good thing either, for a few reasons.
I barely remember the few times I've been holding on to a few of my old classmate friends too tightly. Perhaps even in the literal sense! Now that I attempt to think back on it, I've probably annoyed the hell out of them through my "friendly actions" by hogging their personal space and time. The excessive hand-holding, phone-calling, joke-telling... I would be annoyed by that. At least I've eventually learned to not become like an obsessive parasitic friend, because we're humans that want privacy after all. Although some see others as toys rather than people...

Speaking of privacy, there are many other things that I want to do on my own. No doubt some activities can be more fun with others, like barbecues or playing console games or maybe even study sessions. Still that doesn't mean I must do so many things with schoolmates or other friends... it's tiring to keep up the social animal act for so long! Not to mention spending time on my own gives me opportunities to catch up on other stuff or reorganise my head or reflect on life and other mysteries... kinda like what I do on this blog too!

In my specific case, I don't like getting too tied down to the world. I'm not afraid to say that I tend to avoid commitments that others throw at me and pressure me to stick to, and frankly I think it's not that uncommon amongst people. And I don't mean just paperwork or academic pursuits that are deemed "ideal" in today's situation, but also having to fulfill certain "friend quotas" or a specific level of strength of friendships. "Friends always look out for each other!" "Friends always should have the best interests of both parties at heart!" "Friends must spend loads of time having fun together and stuff!" To this I say bah humbug! that's silly to put down strict rules for how friends should display their friendship as though the world must properly acknowledge the relationship. Let friends act as they want to act, nobody should force each other to be "more friendly" to the other person to "prevent the relationship from breaking down".  If you don't think it's going to work out, then don't try too hard to completely restore a worn-out bridge on the verge of breaking.

And so in my case, I don't like to invest myself into such deep commitments. Making acquaintances and some friends along the way I can tolerate, but I stay wary of putting myself fully into forming strong bonds with best buddies. I don't go out with classmates as often as other usually do, but that's because (and I'm trying not to sound like a lonely anti-social person) it wouldn't be the end of the world if I miss out, nobody really loses out, and I still usually see them in school anyway. If there were something really special that I'm heavily involved in I would take the effort to show up, but relatively trivial stuff like after-school dinners or movie-watching aren't social dilemas to me.

I guess I'm more of the person that prefers freedom over strong connections. I don't mind enjoying the company of others, but to maintain a relationship that comes really close to blood relation is really tricky and involves lots of sacrifice that honestly I'm unsure I'll be able to do. If giving up on super BFFs means allowing myself more freedom to explore and learn and create and help more than a few people, I'd likely do it. 

Sure you can say I'm just simply anti-social and a miserable loner. I did acknowledge I wasn't ordinary earlier. I'm just saying I do fine without as much friendship activity as most other people do in their day. No urge for me to always sit with classmates at the same table during lunch breaks, or to go for every single class outing. And I'm still satisfied with my life.

Who says "miserable" and "loner" must always be paired up?