How is it that I’ve come to this – that nearly everyone in my life is concerned with the decisions I make. I mean, we’re always concerned for our friends. We spend hours talking behind their backs about that asshole they’re dating, or why won’t they just lose 10 pounds, or what did they effing think that job was going to be like. My problem, though, is that so many people in my life will actually be affected by my decisions. It’s not a problem, exactly, it’s a blessing.
The point being: When I talk things over with my buddies, I can feel them trying to steer me, to lead me. I can see the moment – it’s in their eyes, it’s in the way they breath, the way they lean in, or act like they’re not leaning in. That’s the moment when they realize what stakes they have in the outcome. They form an opinion of what I should do that has more to do with them than me. Sorry, guys, it’s only natural, I do it too. And from that moment, the conversation is boring and useless. I wanted a sounding board, but now I just have a constituent. Blech.
But that’s what therapy is for, right? That’s how I’ve heard it told, that therapy is just a friend you can tell your troubles to who won’t judge you and won’t make you listen to their shit in return. That’s worth paying for, I think.
It is my own fault, of course. I’ve prioritized work and art over everything else. I have failed to cultivate friendships with uninvolved people. I remember, probably 10 years ago, a pal said he just didn’t know how to relate to people if they weren’t working on something together. said “Right on!” and shared that statement again and again. And then I started wondering if the people who heard me say it were (rightfully) writing me off. Did you think I meant you? I’m sorry, no, I actually like you, I’m talking about other people. People who just want to hang out. People who just want to catch up. People who wonder why I don’t share my frets and frowns, even though that’s what friends do to each other. FOR each other. I meant – That’s what friends do for each other. Share.
Well, I feel better. Is this what you came here for?