A Manifesto from the Friend Zone
I'm the guy who is "so good to see!" but not the guy who gets invited. It makes me wonder if I can only be accepted in moderation. One may think that I'm a busy person, or constantly on-the-go, during these situations, but the truth is - I have a lot of downtime. So when a person tells me, at a party or a get together, that it's so good to see me, I wonder, "Why - exactly - don't I see you more often?"
I have a phone, you know.
And a twitter. Instagram. Facebook. I'm not that difficult to get a hold of.
Yet for the majority of people who feel like I feel, it seems that we ARE difficult to get a hold of. I'm not saying we're difficult to comprehend, though that may very well be true, but you would think - upon initial observation - that we are never around. You would think that we are off the grid. That tracking us down would involve an actual tracker - a native guide of the surrounding area - and the ability to get around cultural, language, and actual barriers till we finally meet.
Or you could just text me.
I should explain the title; which is a bit misleading. I'm not simply talking about the friend zone as it pertains to dating, but how it relates to friends as well. In essense we're dissecting that area in which "we're not good friends but I like them and want to hang out and get to know them more" and the "why aren't we best friends yet?" Just as much as the "oh...no...we're just friends" variety.
Because even if I have been friend zoned before - which I don't particularly care that much about - I'm still lost as to why I can't break through the "just friend" barrier within any relationship. As in: good friends, great friends, best friends, brother, or favorite person. I don't mind being a friend, but just like I believe I'm "so F***ing romantic" I also think I can be an amazing friend; yet I'm not often given the chance.
There's a certain appeal to being an enigma. For instance, my church community thinks I'm this cool, hip, and trendy twenty-something who's totally in touch with today's society and culture. I'm a terrorist when it comes to giving my friends advice, as in, I have the uncanny ability to drop bombs of wisdom because they seek it so rarely from me. I'm also particularly good at parties - if only for the fact that I can show up late (no one ever expects me to show) and I have mastered the Irish exit (do I really need to say goodbye to people who won't miss me?) This adds to the mystique, and I'm ok with that.
The obvious drawbacks come in the multitude of hours I spend alone. I mean, who the F*** has time to write a random - meaningless - blog about the friend zone just because they have nothing better to do?
I also have to keep up appearances online - My instagram feed has found some particular fans - because if I don't post updates then I might as well have disappeared to another country or planet.
Also: I'm in the f***ing friend-zone. Which means while you're making plans with Billy and Stacy and Vanessa I'm constantly comparing myself to who I want to be and wondering what makes me so-much-worse than Billy and Stacy and Vanessa that I'm not worth making plans with.
(Spoiler alert: the answer is nothing. But introspection often has nothing to do with facts or truth and relies completely on feelings and assumptions and useless comparisons.)
Here's the deal: it get's particularly lonely in the friend zone. Here you begin to question your sanity. Your worth. Your contribution to society. And why the f*** make good - home cooked - meals when one can simply live off mac-and-cheese for years.
Frankly I'm tired of it.
I'm tired of feeling inadequate and worthless and alone. Not that I am any of those things, but I hate FEELING that way. Granted, I can take the blame for this just as much as cast it, but I have the priveledge of not pretending when I'm around others.
Don't get me wrong. I love my solitude. I love being comfortable enough to chill wherever I want with just a beer and a notebook and a camera. I enjoy being available at a moments notice when someone needs me. I revel in studying the human condition so much that I can observe when someone's being fake or authentic, or catch when someone's hiding something behind that smile or phrase. Friendzoning gives me plenty of chance to people watch.
I also don't have to buy new shoes when mine get worn out. Cause no one ever sees them.
Granted, I probably wouldn't buy new shoes anyway, but at least I would know if someone cared to point them out.
This has taken some turns. Honestly I'm not sure what I intended to accomplish with this post. I'm not even sure I had anything insightful to say. The truth is I didn't have a pen on me to write in my journal, my thoughts and feelings and laments, so I decided to just type it on the computer instead. I haven't written a blog like this in a while, mostly because I know it makes me sound whiny and depressing.
Listen. I know where I am. I know where I'm going. I'm my own man and I embrace everything about myself regardless of having other people do it for me. But the truth is that I often feel like that tree which fell in the woods. I hardly exist without others around me to remind me that I exist.
I think that's the worst thing about the friendzone. Being kept at a distance. The fear of missing out. It's that often times I begin to wonder if I actually exist. I take up space. But existance is so much more. Existance means connection, and I have a sudden lack of those within my life. Unless I plan a photoshoot or I take a self portrait (aka: Selfie as of 2012) there are no pictures of me. That's sad. Birthdays have been non-existant for over 20 years. Simply a fact. I missed church yesterday. Not. One. Text.
For a person who thrives off making connections - it can be difficult when no one's around.
I don't say these things because I want people to feel sorry for me. I say these things because something is terribly wrong in today's society. Or at least amongst my circles. Any look at my social media accounts and you know I'm trying. There's no lack of effort on my part to be a contribution or to initiate connection. Could I do more? Possibly. Honestly I don't know for sure.
Here's what I do know: I intend to fix this.
If not for myself, then for other people. I want my life to be about pushing people to get closer, create connections, and stop living so distant from one another. I want others to know who their friends are, without a doubt, and to start enjoying the messiness and chaos that comes with it. I want to encourage authenticity, and to study living beyond the inter-web-world - or at least the co-existance and how to navigate it.
I didn't know it when I started this blog, but I think those things will start here. Also on my VLOG. But mostly here. Where I can better communicate my thoughts and ideas.
Either way. If you found this shortly after I posted (doubtful) or many years down the line once I've figured something substantial out, you'll have to let me know how I'm doing.
Sorry for the venting, but thank you for letting me do it again - since it's been a while.