It's easy to fall into a rhythm or a rut in day-to-day life, to find a groove and to continue along it without reflection. And it rarely occurs to us, I think, that our troubles, our depression, our emptiness, may all stem from the Way We Go About Life. A realization about myself and my friends has slowly dawned on me over the last few years. It's been so slow that I normally don't even notice the realization at all, but every so often I see through my social interactions, my past day, and don't like what I see. And a pattern has emerged. At least that should mean I can change things.
Simply put, a sardonic sarcasm has come to dominate my friendships. I find it difficult to interact with anyone without relying on a wry sense of humor. I feel a need to always be funny while showing no vulnerability. I could probe into why this might be the case--I was a quiet kid who got picked on a lot on middle school, etc. etc.--but really it doesn't matter, because 1) regardless of what might have shaped this approach to life, what matters now is changing course, and 2) it's not just me. This sardonic sarcasm seems to have absorbed deeply into American culture, or at least the culture of my peers. And it needs to change.
The trouble is, how do you go about changing something so fundamental to how you act with your friends? How do you learn to be genuine with people? How do you learn to be comfortable with vulnerability? I had hoped that I'd explore these questions more deeply in this post, but nothing is coming to me. Nonetheless, I'm glad to have at least state the problem. Hopefully I'll get some ideas about the solution soon.