It took me a long time to learn how to function socially…a really long time. Well into my twenties, I was still incredibly nervous to be around groups of strangers. I was so traumatized by my awkward childhood and my constant social rejection, that I was afraid to approach people in an attempt to make friends. I was actually that girl, who when invited to a party, would run around cleaning up to help out the hostess rather than socializing with the people there. The root of all of this, of course, is that I knew no one there was interested in anything that I had to say. I like to discuss things with people that are important, and globally relevant, and to be honest; those sorts of subjects really piss people off, and I am intelligent enough to understand that I am unwelcome in interrupting their blissful ignorance.
So through maturity, I learned to hang out with the party people by hiding my true self. It amazes me that we live in a society that so adores its ignorant happiness, that we publicly mock those people who attempt to spend their time addressing relevant social issues. Ever caught an episode of SNL and seen a skit with Debbie Downer? Intelligent, aware, conscious people are unpopular to the point that society in general would prefer to hide us away because our voices are so disturbing and our words so distasteful. This is a particular issue in America as opposed to what I have experienced in many foreign countries, and it is unfortunate. We actually elect presidents based on their charisma and their ability to make a crowd laugh, as opposed to their intelligence, or their willingness to address issues that are truly relevant to the world.
One of the reasons that I find myself so confounded by this situation is because I am actually a very strong optimist at heart. I hold sacred great deals of hope and inspiration. I suppose that I feel that before problems are solved however, they need to actually be addressed...duh, right? This leaves me in the position of seeming depressing to other people who have not yet taken the time to acknowledge so many of the issues that are so vitally important to address amongst our friends and neighbors. It is truly shameful that we have developed a society where I have to shut up and pretend to be someone who I am not, to make myself socially acceptable. I am not saying that through the years I have not made friends and found social circles in which I can be myself and express my opinions, but to be fair, I do not make friends with normal people; each and every one of my friends is a little bit crazy and exceptional. My opinions would still not be welcome in gatherings of my mainstream peers…not even if I had a penis.
This situation really sucks. I have this crazy attraction to the behaviors of elderly European men. Once they retire they tend to gather in groups where they discuss current events together. They argue amicably for hours at a time, screaming and yelling, and no one goes home holding a grudge. It is a vitally healthy exercise, and I wish that I could be a part of their club…but I am not. What can I do in the meantime? I encourage people in every way that I can to speak their minds. I encourage myself to do the same and not to give a shit whether people like it or not. Your opinion is important. Everyone’s thoughts and ideas matter greatly to the world. It is through the process of sharing opinions that we find solutions to problems, and it is truly shameful that in our country it is socially unacceptable to do so. It is a travesty that we promote the idea that it is mandatory to shut up about politics and religion for the purpose of throwing a successful dinner party. We must speak our minds if we are going to improve as a race. We must address the negative problems that we are facing to come up with the optimistic solutions that we are more than capable of finding…if only we would talk about them.