Friends don’t let Friends

In high school (recall I went to a performing arts boarding high school?) I had a friend. We’d met a couple of summers before at camp, and we got on well, although I always felt as though she was cooler than I was. She was gorgeous in a really unique way, and was friends with the most popular kids at camp and at school (I was popular in my own way– not the obvious way).

 

 

She remained very popular at school, and though we were friends, we grew further and further apart. I always felt as though we shared some sort of deep connection, but our friendship was always missing that thing… that thing that takes her in deep and nestles her in your bones, that sticks in you like a nettle and you can always feel it there. I wanted that, but we never found it.

Our senior year of high school was pretty miserable (see below photo) in many ways, at least for me. I had a wonderful boyfriend, and I played a dream role, but the stress and emotional devastation of the college audition process broke me down. I believe it was the beginning of my eventual breakdown which led to my ED.

And then my friend, the girl I loved deeply but incompletely, was accepted to the top performing arts conservatory in the country. This was the school I had hung my plans on, my dreams. I was happy for her, but also jealous, and indignant. Why not me? If I was so good, why didn’t I get into ANY of the schools I really wanted to go to? Why was I accepted to 3 of the 8 I auditioned for? This was a vicious cycle of self-hatred, which continued until I began to find my footing in college– by some miracle I ended up in the exact place I should be and I wouldn’t give it up for the world (at least in m logical mind).
I saw my friend a couple of times in the beginning of our freshman year (our schools are across the street from each other). She was so busy we could only meet up once, at like 8am, for a quick bit of breakfast. When I was at my summer apprenticeship in ’09, I got drunk and boldly drunk-dialed her with a girl in the “next level up” program from mine who was in my friend’s year at school. She never called back. I ran into her the last time in December of our senior year, in Columbus Circle with her mom (who I know fairly well from high school). She looked super pale and kind of gaunt. Like myself, we both had our Showcases for agents. She has an agent. I don’t. Fine.
Here’s the issue: This girl’s new best friend.

I know it’s a little loony-tunes to hate somebody that A) I’ve never met and B) is best friends with a girl that I never really was best friends with. But for many reasons, I have had the most powerful feelings of hatred toward this girl.

Check out this gross professional friendship photo:

I know that there are underlying things that make me rise from mere jealousy to venom. These are:

A. She was in the same summer festival I was, yet she was in the next tier up. Know why? Because she goes to a school with a big fatty name (I’ve never seen her act– I have actually heard exact opposite things) and I do not.

B. IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME (despite all logic to the contrary, I still feel royally fucked by college acceptances)

C. She has that thing I always wanted with this girl– something deep which I yearned for and never achieved.

D. She has a pretty good career so far. Two films, including a Noah Baumbach movie, under her belt.

E. This one’s the kicker, and the one that really hurts: She’s gorgeous. And she’s very, very thing.

Has this ever happened to any of you before? It’s such a complicated thing that I can’t even bear to tease it all out. Why is it THIS friend, THIS friend of my friend, both of whom I am so jealous of?

Blerg. Well, anyway, I’m gonna try and be back for realz. Sorry about the epic summer-long break. Let’s see how this coming year of nothingness goes… GRADUATE. Eek.

B.

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”  –Kurt Vonnegut

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2 thoughts on “Friends don’t let Friends

  1. I can relate to this a lot. Growing up I was best friends with a beautiful filthy rich girl. I also felt like I was ‘never enough’. I actually think our friendship propelled my ED to some extent.

    Maybe it’s time you try to let go though and find new friends? I dont spend much time with the girl I was telling you about but I need to mentally let go of it all. Jealousy never helped anyone…

  2. First of all, I’m 99% sure I know what school you’re talking about, and perhaps it will give you joy to know it’s actually ranked 5th this year. 😉

    The conservatory audition process is INSANELY stressful, never fair, always unpredictable, and sometimes political. (I’d had anorexia for 3 years before starting the aud process, but the day I got my last acceptance letter was the day I started purging. No coincidence.) As long as you’re happy with the training you’ve received and the connections you’ve made, the school you went to matters less and less as you build your resume. And from stalking your links, it looks like you’re doing an amazing job of getting yourself out there…which DOES matter.

    As far as friends go, some friendships are just weirdly entrenched. My best friend in high school saw me as “having it all” and fixated on how it wasn’t fair—but she didn’t realize how much crap the ED was putting me through. I had the opportunities she didn’t, the acceptances she didn’t, even the thinness—but now she’s happier than I am, doing great in a top grad program, and engaged to an amazing guy. And I’m an anorexic and bulimic mess who’s afraid of the real world, and now I’m the one fixated on HER and what SHE does.

    Things aren’t always what they appear, and don’t EVER let someone else make you doubt yourself.

    (Hi, I’m Scarlett, and I introduce myself by posting obscenely long comments with questionable directionality. 😛 )

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