If anyone has Twitter, you know of the sub-tweeting phenomenon. Urban Dictionary defines it as ‘basically… talking about someone behind their back but sort of in their face on Twitter”. It’s like when you really think someone’s being a complete idiot, and you tweet that to all your followers without attaching the guilty idiot’s name to the tweet. It’s all very complex, and catty, and downright stupid, and it’s also something I’ve been guilty of ever since I got Twitter. Since I’ve come to the realization that this affects more and more of my tweets on my personal account I think it’s really time to address that; as well as some of the more personal shit of my own that’s been going on behind it all.
I came out as gay this year after settling in at Glendon. I didn’t do this in the best way around my family, telling my mom literally minutes before getting on the train waiting to take me back to Toronto. Toronto, that city that I’ve held up as so different, so special, and so accepting. My friends here have been so supportive and accepting, even if I haven’t entirely known how to deal with and accept it myself. You see, I have a huge problem with the label nowadays, because it seems to suggest something that’s entirely not me. I’ve went from feeling scared to ashamed around straight guys especially, worried they’re going to hear the words from someone who doesn’t think it’s a big deal or is too drunk to control what they say. I’ve been worried that as soon as those words are out, it’s going to change how they treat me completely, that friendliness may change to coldness, that jokes and openness could turn to distrust and insults. Now I don’t know if I’ve imagined this fear each and every time or if its a real result of what I felt like back home in my town; the result of having the first person I’ve loved turn on me.
And this love thing. I think a lot of people come to university with expectations about love and romance and all this stuff, and I think you can split them down into two big groups. You have the half that is here looking for new experiences, short-term relationships, the whole YOLO movement, and you have the other group that’s come to university hoping to find that one person, a long-term relationship, someone they can trust and start to think about spending a life with. I’ve fallen heavily into the last group, and came damn close to making some stupid mistakes with people who definitely prefer the first. Honestly; when you come to university, you’re going to be pressured into the same thing in different ways and methods. Luckily for me I’ve constantly been a master of being a bitch when needed and able to completely close myself off to most, meaning I managed to not let anything happen that I didn’t want to happen. At the same time, I’ve dealt with some of my friends being really hurt by some of the people they expected more out of. This is at a university of 2700 students total – maybe 400 you see every day. Imagine the dynamics of this at a university with ten times the students; the potential for personal hurt is huge.
In the meantime, I’ve spent a year wishing after a boy who has treated me with nothing but spite. I’ve responded stupidly, yes, and not helped the situation; but I’ve let myself be driven to the point that I barely wanted to get up and live out the day when we weren’t talking. How do you enthusiastically approach all the other things in your life when your relationship with the person who means the most to you has been blown to pieces and continuously is every time you get close again? It’s true, Glendon has improved this for me. I’ve been able to deal with it better because I’ve had someone come damn close to replacing the boy from home, but I’ve been a fool to let it. I’ve set myself up to be hurt so easily by someone who is going to be gone in a year anyways, who is far from available now, and I just can’t do that anymore with him. I can tell myself it’s because he’s treated me the best any guy has before, but it’s what I should expect from a friend, and anyone who should mean anything more than that to me should surpass how he’s treated me. I’m worried that I’m not going to handle this well; that I’m going to lose him just like I lost the guy back home, or that its going to make me more desperate for the guy back home, or that its going to leave me without any guys around me. And when I realize I’ve gotten to the point that I feel like there’s no one else here that is going to interest me, I get scared to handle it. I don’t want to lose a friendship that’s been so good to me, one that I’m getting more and more dissatisfied for because of all the rest; I don’t want to impose my relationship with the boy from home on the guy from here.
Which brings us back to sub-tweeting. I’ve run around tweeting everything on my mind over the last few weeks since I got back from my relationship-hell hole of a town, that sucked me into every negative feeling I’ve had in the last four years, and posted anything from songs to quotes to mind rambles that I just wish someone would recognize and catch on to. All of these are revolving around my experience with love, an experience that I’ve never even had returned, just expected and envisioned. It seems like as a society we have no problem saying the hurtful things to each other and catching on to who it’s supposed to be addressed to, but when it comes to love, we hide it well and don’t open up about it. It’s weird, because I’ve considered myself emotionally open, and told everyone involved exactly how I feel to the best of my abilities. But I’m still sitting here hiding it behind stupid, immature song lyrics, letting other people shape how I view my own life and relationships. I don’t fully get why I’m doing it… I think I’m terrified to keep pressing how I feel onto the people around me. It could mean losing them for good, and indeed, the boy from home insists I lost him for good months ago. And yet, I still am sitting here feeling empty without him, and I can’t explain why. The closest analogy to our relationship is Chris Brown and Rihanna on a friendship scale, and yet I’m devoting more and more of my tweeting and thoughts to trying to get the love I have returned by him. I honestly don’t know what he will do… but I wish I could see him for his birthday, two days before mine. I wish he would be missing me as much as I miss him.
And the guy here. I don’t want him to turn negative like it all did with the boy from home. I don’t know what I would be able to do about it…. and I’m so mad at myself for being unable to figure out exactly how I feel about him. So I sub-tweet and sub-tweet about that. I’m confused and keep trying to explain this to him… and now I feel like it’s becoming a nuisance. I want him to understand how I feel and what I’m trying to figure out, but I’m scared to open up fully because I don’t want to ruin another friendship. Much like the last, I want this guy as a friend, a best friend even, but I’m so terrible at communicating that without all the other emotional mess. I don’t know if that will change until I have someone else I can focus all of my emotions on and keep our friendship just that.
My question is, at the end of it all, what is our generation doing with all these hidden messages, thinly veiled feelings, stupid love songs? It seems to me like we’re hiding all of our emotions, all of the love we have for each other, because we’re all terrified of what people will do when they find out. Yet, at the same time, we’re throwing it out there because we desperately hope that it’s going to be caught by the person we are sitting there balling our eyes out for, that they’re going to see it and catch on and be there waiting for us and wanting us there with them as much as we want them there with us. We are both filled and terrified of emotion, terrified of the social customs being imposed on us on love, telling us what we should want and what we should avoid.
And I’m just so sick and tired of it.
I’ve tried to tell the people I care about how I feel about them in every way I can. I would wait until the end of time for some people. But I can’t. No one can. So as a generation, I think we should stop sub-tweeting our hearts and souls out on the keyboard and start trying to be open in the lives we are actually living.
I’m not saying we run out and throw ourselves physically on people. I’m just asking that we be open with our emotions and to the chance of something deeper developing.
I hope this happens, because I need this to happen. And with all the hurt going on in our generation and our world, I think it’s more than just me who need it to happen, too.