I want to be able to just say what I think without filtering or censoring it because I know what I’m saying is wrong/horrible.

I say (and people around me say) that I suck at communication, as evident by the way I’ll say one sentence but the grammar or the word choice will be so such that no one follows. And then I start gesturing and getting muddled and can’t communicate at all anymore. By then I can only make sounds.

But I’m not actually hopeless, dammit. Like you said, I suck at hiding my feelings. That means I do somehow still express my feelings. And it’s not like it’s engrained in my personality that I don’t talk. Quite the contrary: I can talk a lot.

I just suck at communicating clearly.

And so much of it is because I’m confused about a lot of things.
Also, I just want to protect myself.

Even though I confuse a lot of people, I make sense in the very, very end of the day.
But I just don’t want to keep confusing people. It sucks for them, and it’ll suck for me in the long run.

I want to be transparent with you.
That means not just letting you know that I wrote a letter to Mike or talked to him or hung out with him, but telling you what you need to hear about how he and I interact.
I just don’t know how to do that without making it seem like I’m asking for your permission to hang out with him (but maybe it’s supposed to feel that way?) or like I’m reporting to you every single time I text or IM him. I might as well just forward you all my exchanges with him or make them three-way calls. Obviously that’s not the solution, but I don’t know how else to make you more aware of my friendship with him without feeling awkward.

I want to be transparent with Mike, too.
I think he knows it, but I want to stay friends with him, regardless of whether he wants to keep talking to me or stop talking to me or whatever. But being transparent with him means he needs to know that I’ll be talking to you more often about my friendship with him.

I don’t know how to be transparent to myself. I didn’t know I cared about Mike, I just…did. And now, I don’t know whether I really like Mike…but if it’s something I can somehow control, I don’t want to get hurt and I don’t see how I could not get hurt if I like someone who I can’t be with.

I know that transparency is important because it’s honesty at its core, and if we’re not honest, lying really hurts God and hurts us. But I didn’t and don’t want to say these things because…yes, they’re the sorts of things I’d say to you as my best friend. But how can I say them to you as Mike’s girlfriend?!

When I pray with you and give you advice and talk to you, I’m talking to you as YOUR friend, NOT as Mike’s friend.
But when I don’t tell you something, on purpose or accidentally out of ignorance, it’s because I’m selfishly thinking only of myself and not of you.

The point of my resolve to be more honest and open to you (and Mike, but to be honest, I’m mostly just focused on you right now) is so that I don’t hypocritically create different identities for myself such that Sisi’s-friend-Christine is not the same as Mike’s-friend-Christine is not the same as me-Christine.

I’ve been at peace because I’ve been delusional of what I, Christine, have been doing. But I bet Christine wouldn’t have gotten therapy or run to Lewis so often if I, Christine, were okay with what I’ve been doing. I kept thinking it was external things affecting me. But no. Of course sin is always from within yourself. I knew and know that. I just can’t stop thinking and caring about the external circumstances.

Lots of people think I’m going to be okay, and of course I believe it too. But the people who really care about me (and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but holy shoot, that includes Jonathan Su) want me to be more than okay. They want me to know what I want and be better at managing myself. Maybe, actually, it’s not that they care about me as much as the fact that they’re just smarter and more mature and they’re just explaining to me the way life works.

I’m still so confused about lots of things, but I’m not confused about wanting to be transparent to you and Michael Ren. I’m going to do it because it’s the right thing to do. I swear, though, (even though it’s “bad” to swear) it’s going to be tough and take lots of resolve and courage.

If I ever want to wimp out, I guess I’ll think about how I want to stop bothering Lewis. I owe him so much wasted time already.

Honestly, I want us to be friends, too. But I haven’t changed at all. I still get uncomfortable seeing you two together. You’ve actually been a tried and true friend and told me about spilled milk on your carpet and lack of sleep and korean class professor and IV life-changing, heart-wrenching experiences and when your boyfriend hurt you. And I told you about my college experiences too and tried to show you Barnard and shared with you about my life.

One thing I have to deal with, though, is not fearing that you two won’t tell me the things I need to hear. I’m going to try to tell you two the things you need to hear, but I fear you guys won’t do the same for me, in order to shield me or something. It’s hard for me to trust you two as a couple because your relationship started with not telling me what I needed to hear. I trust you, Sisi, more than I trust you, Sisi and Mike, because you actually have trusted me and called me to be your friend when you were going through academic decisions or had emotional/spiritual questions…but also when Mike hurt you or needed help. I feel like I can only be a friend to you if you trust me enough to let me. I can only care about you, and offer comfort from Bible verses and advice, and offer my room if you need a place to sleep, and offer whatever else you need that I can provide…when you let me.

I guess we all have bad track records, but we of all people should also know that people can change. So one last time: I, Christine Yuan, resolve to be more transparent to Sisi Huang and Michael Ren to the best of my ability, in order that they may hear what they need to hear and the integrity of our friendship is maintained by honesty.

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