An addition to the list of things I really can’t stand…

The malicious invasion of privacy at the hands of someone you considered a friend. Not necessarily even a particularly close friend; even just someone you thought you were cool with.
Princeton can be so difficult when you’re a minority in every way. When your entire adjustment process consists of how to stop feeling so conspicuously different whenever you walk into a room. Not everyone–in fact, I would argue that perhaps not even the majority–of such people ever learn how to blaze an appropriate path between self-segregation and self-denying-integration, how to navigate Princeton’s cultural landscape in ways that leave them feeling truly happy and fulfilled. I have always considered my friend R to be one of the few that has done this successfully. I have always looked up to him as an example of what I want my experience here to be like: breaking down the posts of the fence separating social spheres, being an example of what it means to embrace diversity without neglecting to take time for solidarity and brotherhood. 
I suppose “They” were right when they said the grass is always greener on the other side, though. Maybe he never actually broke any posts down to make a doorway; maybe he’s been trapped on this fence for years, never really getting a foot on the ground on either side. Maybe I am too?
What are you supposed to do when you dedicate your life and heart and soul to an institution and your efforts go systematically unrecognized? What do you do when you construct your life around creating a family out of people you’ve met only recently, embrace a new identity regardless of its problematic history (and semi-isolate yourself from your brothers in so doing), only to get all the love you’ve poured into this thing thrown back in your face by a few members of the family you’ve worked so hard to be an integral part of? This isn’t what he was working for. This is not what WE are working for. Regardless of sobriety levels, disrespect is disrespect. Banter is not cute when it is no longer immediately recognizable as playful. Time, love, dedication, sacrifice…these things are too precious to have thrown back at us. 
We are still waiting for the day when the world–when even our friends in the world–recognize that one can be intellectually interested in something without identifying with it; or even that a truly open and spiritually connected human being should be able to identify with the emotions and difficulties of any other human being, by virtue of nothing more than their shared human experience. We are still waiting for tolerance. We are still waiting for respect. We fight for this institution every day, in every possible way…when will it stop fighting us? How can I reconcile my love for this institution with the raw…hurt, anger, and downright betrayal I feel on his behalf? How do I show that I stand with him without marginalizing myself within this family I love so much? Should I even try to keep him from disowning us? Is there any reason to?


About alaiyo0685

I'm a kind of quirky, pretty stubborn, way too opinionated, twenty-something, intellectual, introspective, queer, Black, female, in a polyamorous relationship, and this is where I try to figure out my life.

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