Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us.
― Stephen Colbert
I don’t know if I’m being safe or cynical, bright or bitter. It’s like when you wake up at an odd time and can’t tell from the sky whether the sun is rising or setting.
Because, believe it or not, I don’t like being hurt. I don’t think I could take another friend leaving me. And I love very hard, so if I can do anything at all to predict or prevent heartache, you bet your ass I’m going to do so. I can’t tell anymore if I’m alone because I’ve gotten really good at spotting users, or really, really bad.
D.H. stopped talking to me. I wasn’t surprised and I didn’t miss him. Being in my life requires sensitivity and a strong stomach for self-depreciation. (If you can put up with it though, I am truly the most loyal, giving, compassionate friend you could ever have.) D.H. was D.O.A. I felt like his every move was self-promoting. Even his sincere moments seemed shallow to me.
He stopped talking to me after a few instances of me dipping out of awkward hangouts with him and his friends. It seemed awkward because I never understood why I was there. His next girl was always there, so I knew he wasn’t interested in me romantically anymore. I’d been going through an emotional time so I wasn’t even fun to be around. What did he want from me? I couldn’t figure it out and It made me uncomfortable. So I left. And I left. And I left again.
But he called last Wednesday. To say that he’s been “afraid to call” because I’ve been so depressed. I call bullshit. The timing on this call alone is suspect. You call the week dorms close? When everyone has gone home and I’m one of the few people you know still in the DC area? Right. So what you really mean is that suddenly your list of convenient contacts has been redistributed and I’ve made today’s roll call?
I’m told this is an extremely cynical way to read this. Why is it hard for me to believe to he genuinely enjoyed my company, but that he didn’t know how to respond to my personal struggles? I’ll tell you why: because the consequence of assuming this situation and being wrong is dire. My already broken and beaten heart is put in the line of fire, or worse, enchanted by yet another charlatan. The consequence of assuming he doesn’t care and that I am just a figure of convenience is…I carry on with my life no better, no worse. Perhaps a bit more jaded, but no more hurt.
It may be a balancing act that I’ve yet to master. Maybe one day I’ll have it all together. All I know is this: whoever said that it’s “better to have loved and lost” never truly loved. Nothing is worse than loving. And subsequently losing said love. In fact, being on the other side of this saying, I can proclaim that loving isn’t worth the losing. Living is hardly worth the losing at times.
Think of it this way. If a plane-crash survivor decides never to fly again, would you call her crazy? No. She pained. She never wants to feel that pain again. She was shaken. She never wants to feel that out of control again. And the chances of her getting in another crash are much, much lower than the chances of getting your heart broken a second time.