Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I really appreciate the comments from yesterdays post. Thanks for sharing.

A few people touched on some related things that I have been thinking about recently. Someone responded saying how they felt that in New York people tend to feel more comfortable expressing themselves in public than in the small town they grew up in. Another person mentioned that they felt our restraint is product of habitual attempts to fit in at an early age.

I was saying to someone a little while back how ridiculous these insecurities, these fears of rejection we all have are, that if you are acting and speaking from the heart and others aren't feeling it, it might be a good filtering process - you can always just go find some new friends, a new scene. There's no need to be around people that don't get you.

For the most part I think that is true, but then I thought about high school, and offices, and small towns - things that I am free from at this moment. I realized that the consequences of your actions in those places can be very real. Fucking up in the eye of the flock, or stating your mind differently from others in school could mean eating alone at lunch every day, getting the shit kicked out of you at the bus stop, being unfairly graded. In the office it could mean getting similarly alienated or even fired, in a small town it could make your daily life really difficult. I haven't studied it, but I would imagine a lot of these are innate civilization, tribe, herd tendencies in us. Changing schools, finding a new job or moving to a new town are much more strenuous tasks than finding a new bar to hang at.

I had forgotten the root of that anxiety in school and work - what made me a shitty waiter, being so flustered and nervous sometimes I could barely talk. In New York, I agree that in public it is easier to show yourself, you can be pretty sure no matter what sort of emotion you are letting out, people around you have seen someone much crazier already that day. In the tight-knit music scene there, though, I feel very insecure, am always sort of walking on eggshells.

We need other people, but we lie to one another all day out of convenience or inability to actually pronounce the truth. Language isn't capable of expressing everything. Maybe it's important to accept that the only person you can every be fully real to is yourself, and to make sure you invest time and energy in that relationship.