I think the only things trickier than learning a language is understanding the foundation that lies under each word. This can be said of writing, or even the stranger you made small talk with the other day. There’s genuine care, disinterest, maintenance, or practice. Even networking, my absolute favorite of them all.
There’s a position of honesty I like to take with friends. I want to be honest with everyone, but it’s not really possible. Between jobs and family, there are certain tightropes you just have to walk. Friends are different, letting you put the weights down, hopefully, and be your authentic self. But even with friends, now and again, you have to bend that rule when a white lie is more fitting than the truth. Actually, not a white lie so much as a coded message. A dare to see between the words and discover what’s really being said.
We all have that friend in the bad relationship. You try to be supportive, knowing all the while that if they want to be released from the chains that bind them, they should stop running away from everyone with a key. Miserable as they are, they’re the ones who forged the chains to begin with, and you’ll never convince them that they were a bad idea. They have to figure it out on their own. But in the meantime, I send my coded messages and hope they’ll understand.
“Listen to your heart.”
“Is this really making you happy?”
“You should do right by you.”
What I’m really doing, though, is saying:
“You know you want to leave. You bring this up to me over and over and you want me to say it. Do I just say it? Well I’m not gonna because I’m not taking the weight of responsibility in this from you. Look, this clearly does not make you happy because you never have a positive thing to say about this relationship. So stop wasting their time and yours and fucking go.”
Something like that, right?
But I can’t say that! There are few quicker ways to make a friend shut down completely. And do I really need to put the weight of their happiness on my shoulders? If I steer them wrong, if they hold me in that regard, could I possibly live up to my own hype? Wouldn’t it be great if this wasn’t necessary? To have to pierce the veil of what it means? Wouldn’t it be so much easier if a word could just be a word, and we say what we mean?
But maybe that’s why I like writing these blogs. Because I can just say what I mean. But I do like lying now and then and, well… I wonder if that’s where Unlife comes from.
Maybe it should be called a Right Lie.