I had a great conversation with Alex this morning, and this is based on some of our musings, questions, and concerns.


People play a lot of games. Not fun games, like Apples to Apples, or Taboo, or some kind of board game. People play mind-games, trying to say something without saying it, to get other people to say or do something, to be mysterious… a lot of different things, for different reasons.

I hate these games. I don’t understand them, I can’t take a hint, and the only subtlety I practice is in writing (and even then I’m not great with subtle). I feel like college especially is filled with these things, because there are all these weird rules that don’t seem to apply to the rest of the world. These weird games and rules come up a lot in romantic or flirty (what is flirting if not playing games, mostly?) interactions, but I think they exist in all social interactions.

We play these games, and then we wear these social masks, and at the end of the day we’re not being honest with other people or ourselves. We lie about how we feel, about what we want, about what we like or don’t like. People are isolated because we’re not honest about our experiences– we’re happy-shinny-people all the time.

I don’t want to play these games. I also feel compelled to write about my experiences and feelings honestly– to be raw and honest and vulnerable. I believe that the only way I or anyone will ever get out of this Game Culture is if we stop playing in to it and buying in to it in our own lives. What makes this so hard is not just that we have internalized (or I have, at least) a lot of these things so they feel almost necessary, but also that just because we stop playing them does not mean everyone else will. It’s scary!

It’s hard because I worry so much about my Image and because I’m so concerned with doing everything right (the more I become aware of this, the easier it is to confront and deal with, but it’s still difficult). The thing about being honest is also that I have been having a hard time, and struggling for a while, and even though not every day is like that, I’m afraid of being Debbie Downer. I don’t want to be a drag to be around, or be that Depressed Girl. But I guess being honest doesn’t mean saddling my baggage on everyone else– it just means admitting that I have it.  And maybe if I can admit my baggage, it will be a small step toward other people being able to do so as well, and then there won’t be that stigma around struggle, and imperfection, and being confused about your life.

In my worst-case scenario way I worry that if I were to be a totally honest, upfront person and not play all the games that my life would just kind of crash in around me. I try to tell my self that even though it’s unlikely, if that did happen at least I could build something honest and beautiful out of the wreckage. But sometimes the cynic in me makes that kind of idealism seem silly and ridiculous.

It can’t hurt to give it a try, right?