Maybe it's a...Female Thing?
...but I think the icy fingers of society have somehow found their way around my throat (please excuse the really bad use of personification).
Okay, pause for a second. I know this is a blog and I am supposed to be entertaining you with food for thought or something interesting to read, but just for today give me a break. I'm going to be the one asking you the questions. I know, totally defying conventions. You'll live. Unpause.
Why is it so easy for me to express my beliefs to complete strangers but not my closest friends? One could argue it's because complete strangers don't know me, so I don't really care what these people think of me. But then why is it that when I have to give a speech in front of the class or my French teacher puts me on the spot, I completely panic and my voice starts to shake? I obviously care, at least to some degree.
Okay, that's kind of a vague example. Let's try something more specific.
In the mornings during first period, after morning announcements, everyone stands up and says the Pledge of Allegiance. I never stand up. Ever. I don't think I've ever stood up during first period, except to turn in papers or leave. When Dr. Clarke gets mad at me and asks me why I won't say the Pledge, I simply say " 'Cause I would never want to live in 'one nation under God'. You can't make me pledge my allegiance to anything."
Meticulous? Paranoid? Maybe even a little (or a lot) stupid? Okay, I'll admit it. I do get a little out of hand sometimes. But my point is that I'm not afraid to blatantly say (or, in some cases, shout) things to people who sometimes have a very direct impact on my immediate future (i.e. teachers). Actually, I kind of enjoy it.
However, when it comes to friends, I find it almost impossible to tell them what I think; even when they are making faulty arguments and kind of messed up progressions of logic. I especially like it when I'm trying to eat lunch and one of my best friends leans over while I'm mid-chew and says:
How can you possibly be atheist? I mean, you're just a teenager. I think people
should live life more before just deciding 'Hey! There is no God.' Did you ever
stop and think you could be wrong? Do you even think about things before
declaring yourself this that and the other? God pulls through in hard times,
people live life, and they find God in hard times.
Okay, so in my mind I want to scream so many things. In my mind I tell her something along the lines of
You just completely contradicted yourself! How old are you again? Fifteen,
right? Hmm, last time I checked, you were a freaking teenager too! Why don't you
take your own advice and get some personal experience under your belt before you
make claims that seem pretty outrageous. A supreme being created the entire
world in seven days and then sent his son down to Earth? Through a virgin? And then this son somehow died and came back to life? You seem to be under the impression that just because I changed my mind about my beliefs, I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about. I've probably read more of the Bible than you have. Have you ever actually opened the pages of the damn thing and seen what kind of insane things are in there? At least I'm thinking about things, instead of blindly accepting whatever anyone tells me is true.
But I don't actually say any of those things. Not one of them, in fact. For some reason I just sit there, right in front of my entire lunch table, and let her say whatever bullshit comes to her mind about agnostic and atheist people in general as well as personally attacking me.
I can't for the life of me figure out why I do things like that. It's not like arguing with her over something like religion would endanger my friendship with her. We've been friends for two years and we've had arguments that were pretty extreme, but we've always stayed together for some reason. Just meant to be friends, I suppose.
It's probably, as much as I hate to admit it, because I am completely held back by the contraints society puts on me. In social situations, it's taboo to look someone in the eye and say "The entire basis of your religion is crazy." Yet for some reason (at least, as far as I can tell from the experience I've gathered in this small, southern town), it's totally okay to look someone in the eye and say "The entire basis of your total lack of religion is crazy."
Okay, so I probably shouldn't be blaming society for my problems; if I really wanted to, I could have said whatever I had wanted and the society police wouldn't have necessarily beaten down my door and proceeded to severly maul me.
...or would they?
Just a' kiddin'.
Anyway, I don't think it's because of any inferiority complex on my part. In fact, many if not all of my friends would tell you that I have the exact opposite problem.
Maybe it's just a simple case of l'esprit d'escalier.
But somehow I don't think so.
If anything it seems more productive to speak my piece to friends instead of strangers, because friends will welcome me back with open arms no matter what crazy things I say. Strangers most definitely won't.
And yet, even in light of this knowledge, if the whole lunch period episode happened again tomorrow I would probably do the exact same thing as I did today and I can't for the life of me figure out why.
What do you think?
By the way (P.S.?):
Hi, my name is Cynthia! I guess I'm new here. Please don't hurt me. Please, for the love of all things good in this world.
Also, I totally lifted the title of this post from that RENT song, Over the Moon. "...'cause who'd wanna leave Cyberland anyway? Walls ain't so bad..."