I don't particularly believe in anything sacred beyond the human realm. I put great stock in friends and love; my greatest pleasures come from my time with friends, from the utter acceptance, openness and honesty I feel from them. With my closest friends, I can say anything, even something shocking or embarrassing. With my closest friends, I can make a mistake and know it's not the end of the world. With my closest friends, I can make a decision that may be beyond their comprehension, but in their evaluation of it, my closest friends will consider me and my happiness and my well-being before their personal conflicts come to bear.
In my work in multiculturalism, this is one of the larger goals I hope to attain on a broader scale: to make the world a place where free choice is accepted freely. Where a person may make a life choice and not have others impose morals, limits, fears, concerns, doubts, uncertainties, or boundaries.
Funny how, when I set a goal before myself, I often forget that I, too, am subject to the social and interpersonal conditions that bring that goal into existence. Today has been a day of ... well, of challenges, from several friends to me. And it's come to my attention that some of my recent decisions don't jibe with the way some of my friends think the world works. Or, rather, don't jibe with the way they think the world should work. And for the first time in my life, I feel a strong sense of disapproval from some of the people I've considered to be among my closest friends in the past three-and-some years. What a very alienating experience.
It could be partially due to the fact that some of my friends see much less of me, and therefore don't have a good sense of what's going on in my life, or what I'm up to. And that is partially due to the fact that I find my time greatly occupied by an assortment of new and varied activities that distract me from life at Williams. If that is true, however, it is certainly the case that it is equally true that said friends could as easily call me as I could call them.
It could be partially due to the fact that I have expanded my focus from Williams to a larger realm, and I am looking, much of the time, ahead to next year, where I might be, and what I might be doing. And to the fact that, as I am doing so, most of my friends are doing the same.
It could be partially due to the fact that I live in a house relatively far from most of my closest friends and have seen, in the past, a pattern develop wherein all interactions between myself and my friends rests on my willingness to visit them, not on their willingness to visit me, and that I refuse to bend to that pattern again because of the resentment it builds in me.
I understand that a popular question in the gossip-mill of my "clique" these days is, "What's Rosa up to?" And that another is, "What do you think of what Rosa's up to?" Curiously, no one has bothered to ask me what I'm up to. No one who feels that I've neglected to tell him or her something, or who feels excluded from some secret society of People in the Know about Rosa's Life, has bothered to express such feelings to me. This is curious because I've never thought of myself as someone who makes herself unapproachable. But perhaps I do. I suppose it's impossible for me to evaluate myself from an objective perspective. And, frankly, I have no interest in doing so.
I resent these people's vigorous interest in my life in combination with active avoidance of interaction with me. Active? Yes, if someone has a question about something happening in my life and s/he asks someone else about it, s/he is actively avoiding interaction with me.
It has also been brought to my attention that various of my recent activities don't meet with the approval of some of my friends. And that, as a result, those friends are concered for me and for my health. I suppose I should appreciate the concern, but I find myself chaffing under the weight of (as I perceive it) a moral judgement that imposes ways of thinking and being and moving through the world that do not fit me. I'd like to think that I've always given others the room to do as they choose, and I am both angry and unhappy to feel the walls of external censure making themselves present around my activities.
I am, at the moment, feeling particularly defensive and particularly attacked. I am not, at the moment, feeling particularly inclined to come out of my shell and expose myself to more of the same.
On the other hand, they may have a point that I can appreciate.
back to another dimension of silence