The Necessity of Ranting

Dearest Friend,

I’ve always envied people who are able to express their feelings. I’m not sure if it’s just because I’m weird, but I don’t know how to deal with my emotions. They’re inconvenient. I was raised by a father so taciturn he mainly texts using default mobile templates, and a remarkable portion of my childhood was spent shielding my body language from my mother, who’s actually trained to read that sort of thing. So feelings to me have always been like icing on a cupcake. Nauseating.

Recently though, I’ve learned the value of ranting. Some of my friends are able to take an entire hour just ranting about how horrible their day was or how awful so-and-so had been to them, but in my case, the most you’ll get out of me when I’ve had a bad day is, “I had a horrible day and I don’t want to talk about it.” And then I sleep it off.

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I always feel like when I rant, I’m burdening the person I’m ranting to with worries that should be my responsibility to carry. Theoretically, I understand that friends are supposed to help you with that sort of thing, but I feel awkward depending on people. I’m not used to being treated gently by people other than my parents – who I don’t talk to about feelings anyway – and I’ve always accepted bluntness as the rough, roll-with-it way of the world.

To bend the words of John Green, we only accept the love we think we deserve. So I tend to accept the scraps of tenderness that float my way with disbelieving gratitude paired with tempered expectations.

It’s the same with romantic affection – that’s an entire Pandora’s Box of complications that I’m afraid to unlatch. I feel like telling someone that I like them would burden them, and somehow make them feel responsible for my happiness. Couple that with my acquired fear of rejection, and you have the formula for spinsterhood. Just the other day, I found a possible title for the story of my life so far: In a Relationship with Spicy Cup Noodles, or Too Awkward to be in a Relationship with Anything Organic.

The point of all this being, I’m exhausted – mentally, physically, emotionally – and nothing makes sense anymore.

A.

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