"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Monday, April 29, 2013

the diary of a manic pixie dream girl.

Now Playing: Mykonos by Fleet Foxes (and you will go to Mykonos with a vision of a gentle coast, and a sun to maybe dissipate shadows of the mess you made)

I remember very clearly cutting ties with K back when I was thirteen. I used the summer break to my advantage; not seeing someone on a daily basis is handy when you're trying to make it abundantly clear that you never want to see them again. I have never spoken to him ever since.

I remember feeling remarkably detached - I suppose, in retrospect, the ties I made as a little girl weren't as strong as I supposed them to be. And I suppose, in moments of weakness, my memories reconstructed themselves so that I couldn't bring myself to stoop to his level. Because we never remember things how they happened - we remember only memories of memories, an elaboration of a summary, as someone once put it. Because our experiences are not experiences at all until they have been encoded somehow into our brain, and then subconsciously we flesh those out but the way we remember them instead of how they actually happened, which can sometimes be very different.

I remember trying to do something very similar last year - trying to cut ties. It almost worked, but not really. It's very hard to ignore someone you have a class with every day. It's very hard when that person actually makes the effort to reconnect instead of aiding in your efforts to fade into obscurity. And so c'est la vie, we are still very good friends. I always wandered why that happened with that person and not with K. Was it really lack of effort on his part? Was it only because K has never once offered up a genuine apology and I have grown up enough to meet people who honour me with sincerity every day? Or is it just me and my ability to be very cold to some people but totally unable to let go of others?

Now I'm trying to forget someone, and it's not working, although it's for all the wrong reasons. If I see anyone who looks like him I get a panic attack, which is mortifyingly embarrassing and pathetically humiliating. I can't think of him without making my skin crawl, but I find myself thinking about him a lot. They tell me that when you're someone like me, constantly engaging in power struggles with everyone, shamelessly proud of victory, you remember the people who disempower you, you remember the people who take away who you are instead of adding to it.

I never really had many strong friendships until quite recently and all I can say is how much I am learning, how much I am growing as a person, and I am quick to drop people who don't do anything for me in that respect. It's not just politics and theology and religion, it's...I'm learning, slowly, how to deal with people, learning how to compromise and still stand my ground, to get what I want and to give people what they want, to somehow function as a human being, to try and figure out relationships. I was the loner kid and I kind of suck at this but...I'm learning.

But I can't believe...I can't get over how horrible being a manic pixie dream girl is, and I can't believe I wanted that, so badly, for such a long time. I feel like I'm twelve years old again, genuinely hoping some Edward Cullen character would magically appear amongst a gaggle of snotty seventh graders. Why on earth would I want to be a manic pixie dream girl? Why? I...I don't get it. I'm horrified and disgusted but...this revelation of how disempowering the tropes and conventions of hetero relationships are for women, especially women like me, has somehow been empowering. I hope now that I have a better idea of what I want in life, of what I want in a relationship, in a person I could come to love.

The people who know me know that I'm pretty clucky, and I definitely have that innate sense of nurture and responsibility over my friends - even the ones that are older than me and twice my size. But that doesn't mean I'm your therapist, or your mother, or I'm going to wipe your ass and fix you up. I'm seventeen and never been in a relationship, I hardly know anything about men or being a girlfriend or sex or any of that stuff. If a relationship isn't about mutual growth than it's not worth my time. I'm done with cleaning up other people's messes; I can barely clean up the mess that is my own life.

There's a fantastic quote from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in which Clementine says 'too many guys think I'm a concept, or I complete them, or I'm gonna make them alive. But I'm just a fucked up girl who's looking for my own peace of mind; don't assign me yours'. People like to delude themselves into thinking that your weirdness is a result of being so well adjusted, so comfortable with who you are, so at peace with the world, when in reality it's almost always the total opposite - my wackiest times were at the height of my depression and all my wonderful insecurities, I was rash and rude and kooky because I was bullied and defensive and angry. It's attention seeking, sure, but it's more of a cry for help - a desperate, silent plea for a little love, a few friends, a bit of acceptance; but what you get instead is a person thinking they can lean on you when you're already so close to tripping over your own feet. I was just thirteen when I was the rebound girl, and time and time again people think they can lose themselves in my weirdness, use me as a pickaxe as they chip their way through the mines of mundane monotony. And I know what they're doing; making themselves a better person for other girls. Never me. Prince Charming never marries the sidekick, trust me, I know. Nobody has ever looked at me and thought 'I want to be a better person for this girl'. It's always 'I think this girl could make me a better person' or 'she could help me get that other one'. It's never about me, or us. It's always about you.

I think it's time for me to be a little more selfish in my relationships. I have to look out for myself - too many friends have let me down, and I'm a little tired of hopping around from lover to lover. I will always be there for you, always be an ear to talk at, a shoulder to cry on, and, if I'm not totally out of my depths, I'll try and think of something intelligent to say. I know when your 'I'll always be there for you' is just code for 'please be my crutch'. Neediness works both ways, and it's not fair if you're the one getting all the loving and I'm crying myself to sleep whether you're 'there for me' or not. I'm so tired of being the manic pixie dream girl. I wish someone could just see me for what I am.

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