The Smiths – “You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby!”
Every so often I catch myself using facebook in a way that I hardly ever use it. Memories. While my news feed is constantly updating me on the recent break up, who’s suddenly hanging out with who in tagged pictures, and who’s making another obnoxious status about their not-so-significant life (I am guilty of this to a fault!) I just found myself looking at what my news feed will never show me. Old tagged photos, old conversations that date back to 2006, ridiculous picture comments. The good times, the bad, and the really fucking ugly. It always makes me think of what could have been, what has been, and just where my youth and innocence has gone.
I know my youth is still there. At 22, I’m supposedly in the prime of my life. I’m supposed to be ready to graduate college and move to the next stage of my life–a wife, kids, a real job. Fearing my lost of youth is actually just fear of the next step [so while all of this scares the shit out of me, I suppose my youth is still somewhat intact.] My innocence is what I fear I’ve lost. I was such a good fucking kid four years ago. Four years ago this time I had, had a breakthrough of sorts. I had finally come out of my shell, ready to start over. Leave old friends behind, and start college. My high school friends had held me back for so many years, and pushed, tugged, and shaped me into being someone I wasn’t [boring, lame, not interested in sex or being social.] College was the place for a new start, a new beginning, a place where I could be anyone that I wanted to be. I chose to be myself, and inherently I chose wrong.
My first stint in college was a disaster. By having a closeted bisexual best friend, getting sick, and being a virgin until the “late” age of 18 I had turned what was supposed to be my new beginning into a new failure. Not a complete failure of course. My freshman year of college will always be the best year of my life. I just didn’t realize the repercussions being myself would have on my sophomore year….when I realized the first girl I had sex with had ruined my life, or when I realized that keeping my best friend’s secret just that would come back to bite me in the ass. The details are irrelevant, but the point remains that I hate a lot of people from my first stint in college. I was unprepared for the judgement, unprepared for the anxiety, and unprepared for standing my own ground on what was true and what wasn’t.
I left my first school hating 99% of these people, and for all the “memories,” I supposedly have [on what I have no problem admitting was the best year of my life] I always look back to the lasting impressions these people left on me. While I hate who they are, I remember them for the good, and understand that out friendships had to end even if I wish the outcomes could be different. Herein lies the lost of my innocence. Somewhere in between losing my virginity, losing my circle of friends, getting sick and nights of tears and drugs did I lose what was once a goodhearted kid that I could truly say always had good intentions. These days, I’m just the opposie–rough around the edges, selfish and insensitive to most, screwing girls over left and right and could never imagine getting attached to any of my friends like I once was. If anything my experience has taught that I can always get new ones….girls, friends, jobs, whatever. Not to belittle my current friends. They’re great. But people are stupid, and as soon as someone perceives/assumes the wrong image of me and projects that feeling, the herd will follow and the pieces will fall where they may. My contact list will shorten if that happens, but it’s fine…I can get new ones. None of this is to say that I’m not myself now either, mind you. Just that I don’t care as much about relationships, friendships and the like. Experience will do that to you I suppose. Somewhere I’ve developed a nice layer of thick skin for my seemingly emotionless persona.
But how emotionally attached I was when I was 18/19 to my friends….disgusting. Still, as much as I dislike my friends of yesteryear, I wish I could place myself back four years ago and replay the good moments over and over again. Or better yet, make sequels to the good times. Friends are kind of like your favorite TV show [no pun intended]. They last for a few seasons, and then they end. Sometimes they’re good for a long time, sometimes they’re good for really short time, but they always end. Assuming they keep the same level of quality, don’t you wish there were more seasons of The Wire, Freaks & Geeks or Arrested Development? I sure do. But there won’t be, there never will be. But I can re-watch those shows on DVD [or illegally, most likely illegally] whenever I want. Every so often, Facebook is like re-watching those old shows….I’m just re-watching the old friendships instead. From the first set of pictures to the last.
I guess I just kind of wonder if any of these people feel the way I feel….look at facebook on occasion the way I do. Every few months look at the good times they had with me; urge themselves not to interract with me on my birthday or when I have a status they’d like to comment on, for fear that I’d rather not be bothered with them much like I do with them. Everyone’s moved on–some are married, engaged, have kids, live in different states. I’ve moved on too [even if I am sitting here dwelling on the past.] Doesn’t mean the past never happened.
There are two girls from that time period that I just can’t get over. For a while they were great friends. Now? Well, I saw them on Thursday. It was awkward. It always is. Even after the sorry’s have been said from both sides. Kinda like watching your favorite show stay on for too long–it was good while it lasted, but now it’s time to cancel. Scrubs should have never lasted 9 seasons, and there was no need for a Saved By The Bell of That 70’s show spinoff. In the same vein, there’s no need for their numbers to be stored in my phone. It’s just bad television.