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On the Playground - Abadoss' Mind
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Fri, Mar. 24th, 2006 03:31 pm
On the Playground

When asked what I meant by "exhausted" a week ago, I was forced to make a diagram of what all went into my usage of the word. While I don't really feel like trying to recreate it, since I gave the sheet of paper away, there was one particular idea on there that helped to clarify a need that I feel. In particular, it clarifies a lot about what I want from other people to such a point that almost every other need is a subset of this one need. This need is the need for intentionality.

Intentionality is to approach me and the level of relationship between us with a purposeful and intentional outlook. It's the idea that we're not just friends because we are, but because we want to be. This is honestly at the core of everything that I want from other people. I do appreciate those who are my friends, just because, but, at the same time, it feels like it's more like being acquainted and not much more. It's depressing to feel like I have a bunch of acquaintances and no actual friends, regardless of how true that may or may not be.

I suppose a lot of it has to do with my understanding of what friendship is. I believe that friends are friends because they want to be. I believe that to be a friend means to be actively involved in the growth of the friendship. I am not satisfied with stagnation. Even those friends with whom I have a very surface-level relationship with, I'd want it to grow, even at the smallest level.

However, this kind of thinking seems to get me into trouble too often. It seems like my attempts to be intentional wind up misinterpreted or unrequited. I feel like that kid who gets onto a teeter-totter expecting a friend to get on the other side, but none ever does. Then I'm left on the down end of a plank feeling like I can't necessarily blame anyone because they didn't really want to get on and, to some degree, I never really asked them to.

Maybe that's the problem. Maybe I've never asked. Or maybe I've asked in a way that isn't understood or interpreted correctly. If that's the case, then here I go: Please be intentional with me.

Of course, my mind instantly goes to this one question... What if no one wants to be intentional with me? What if they are content with just being a passer-by? What if they don't care? I'll still be at the down end of a piece of weathered wood stuck to a piece of rusty metal in the middle.

Now, sitting on a damn board for several years (if not most of their life) takes a certain toll on a person. One really big one that I've noticed is that the willingness to ask people to get on the other side becomes more and more difficult. It's not that I don't want someone to, it's just that it's difficult to expect any one person to when no one else has. Strictly on the math side of things, as the numbers of people who have said "no" goes up, the percentage chance of someone saying "yes" drops. It's kind of like the lottery, where the chance of winning is smaller when more people enter.

Of course, in that case, more people enter because the jackpot gets bigger with each entry. I suppose it's still the same when it comes to friendship. When the chance of friendship becomes something that isn't readily available, it becomes something that is more valuable because of its rarity. In my case, I would sooner find a true friend than a two-ton block of pure diamond. If that doesn't give you an idea of how bad my odds have been and, more poignantly, how many times I've tried, I don't know what would.

I am tired of having to sit waiting for someone to be intentional with me. I'm tired of feeling like the jackpot's getting bigger, but I have a snowball's-chance-in-hell to get it. I'm tired of having tried so many times that I can almost predict that it won't happen every time. I'm exhausted, I'm frustrated, and I'm lonely.

I have no one that I can directly blame, so I'm left to blame myself and I know that's not healthy. Otherwise, I've got to hold it in, which in the long-run, is going to turn me bitter. I can already taste the bitterness and it is not good. I don't want to be bitter.

In summary, just be intentional with me. That's all I ask.

Tags: , ,
Current Mood: frustrated frustrated
Current Music: "..." -...


Sat, Mar. 25th, 2006 02:38 am (UTC)

Ah, but so many things lie between intentional and unintentional. Am I intentional with you? To some extent yes, and to some extent no.

Yes, I would love to be a friend, to be someone who has made a real and lasting difference in your life. And yet, I have no end goal in mind. Friendships, as people, are not things that can be charted as either "intentional" or "not." Some grow and some don't, and it's not always because one cared enough or didn't care.

Just like evolution can't prove when or how their precious "spark" ignited life, no one can see when friendship is sparked, or predict with absolute certainty when it will happen and how it will end.

So what then is a hoped-for intention? The intention to be whatever friend I can be in the time I have and the time you have and the places in life we are allow. And yet, I know that is not what you want, not what you need, not at all what you are looking for.

Kenneth Edward Keyn
Thu, Mar. 30th, 2006 12:24 am (UTC)

I don't really think that a goal is necessary as long as there's growth. I also know that this whole idea becomes a lot more difficult to make practical when distance is involved. And to top it all off, I don't think that I will ever know to what extent people are intentional with me. I suppose what I'm asking for, in general, of people is just to feel like I'm not the only one who wants to be friends and makes an intentional decision to allow it to grow.

When it comes to friends, such as yourself, who I don't know in person and who are a good deal away, anything takes more effort to do because of that distance and, therefore, becomes more meaningful. At the same time, because anything takes more effort, it becomes more intentional. So, when you do things (such as leave comments, write letters, etc.) to the extent that you can, you are being intentional with me. While it may not be what I need, in a wholistic sense, it still helps and I would encourage you to continue doing what you can.

ReplyThread Parent
Sat, Mar. 25th, 2006 04:46 am (UTC)

I just want to thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. It fits in really well to some other thoughts I've been having on friendships, but not something I've ever specifically put a finger on before. I think for me I've defined it more as convenience versus actual friendship. I want someone who's my friend not just because we happen to get along and are in the same general location, but because they like what they know of who I am, and want to get to know me better...which I think fits right in with being an "intentional" friend. Anyway, you hit on a lot of things I've been thinking about, but from a different view.

This is where Maria talks about life
Sat, Mar. 25th, 2006 08:26 pm (UTC)

I guess my question is how does one go about being intentional? I mean, I think you and I could be really good friends someday, which is something I want. It is hard though, to go about building a friendship. and especially for me, since the whole concept of having friends that are male is relatively new.
Sometimes I wish life would be less confusing.

Kenneth Edward Keyn
Thu, Mar. 30th, 2006 12:29 am (UTC)

I don't really know. How I think someone would go about being intentional would be to focus on friendship being less of a happenstance situation and more like a continuing decision to be a friend. Obviously, that's a very vague statement, but to try and point out specifics would be too limiting, I would imagine. It's my hope that the specifics would be interpretted individually by those who choose to be intentional.

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