I read a Facebook post today that hit me deep. Reading it and seeing the expression on the guys face sent me spinning back to my younger and most insecure days. Now I know the guy is just probably a model, but I have felt that pain I saw in his eyes before. Or maybe it just hit an open wound. Here is what I saw:
I know a lot of us have felt this way from one time to another. I felt it pretty much throughout high school. I had a close group of girlfriends and everything, but somehow I just didn’t feel free with the rest of the general population. If it wasn’t for these fabulous ladies, I don’t think I would’ve remained strong enough to make it through. They kept me grounded, helped me study, made me laugh and partied their little tails off with me every chance we got. These are not the people that made me feel like that quote. That was left to every clique in town (and there were many).
We were an odd mix of ladies: from free spirits, to conservatives, country to punk and everything in between. The fact that we have remained friends (even if only through Facebook for some) and can still share our very varied lives is a miracle in itself.
Because we were such an varied mix, every lady in the group was also part of a larger clique…more popular clique…much cooler clique. All of them, that is, except for me. I was never a part of any of these. I would go to parties or people’s houses thanks to these ladies as they would try to get me into their larger and cooler groups, but it somehow never took. I always felt like if it wasn’t for my girlfriends, people wouldn’t even remember if had shown up at all after the fact and they sure as hell didn’t miss me.
I don’t blame this on anyone. I am not a victim. I am just shy and awkward. I still feel this way in new situations. It takes me a while to warm up to people. Even my mother-in-law tells me that when they first met me, they wondered if I spoke at all. I sit, observe and then decide if I want to participate. It has often been a big “NO” in the participation front. It is at these times that I just wait for the time to pass so I can go home to my very comfortable and happy life. And today, it is so much more than I ever thought I would ever have thanks to my luv, my babies and my families.
Oh, and I also have a nervous laugh that some people find sweet while others can’t stand. If you don’t know me, then you might think that I am either not very clever because I laugh at everything or annoyingly perky. I am neither, thank you very much. My brain just can’t focus on any other reaction. I laugh when I want to cry, I laugh when I don’t know what to say, I laugh just to break the ice. But when I laugh out of happiness and pure joy, you will know and you will love me. Yeah, I said it!
So why am I telling you all of this? I guess I just had to write about it since when I saw the post, I felt like if the person who made it knew me. This can’t be how others feel, right? I thought it was just me! And if there are others, does it happen all over the world? Are different countries more open to new people and welcoming into their groups? Are their cliques in countries where diversity is celebrated? How in the world will I teach my kids that it’s ok to be a little different? That it’s ok to not fit in. That it wasn’t until I was in college that I felt like myself. It wasn’t until I shed the skin of that little-self-conscious-unappreciated-silent child that I saw the beauty in diversity. I love me now and I love all the beautiful people I have met from around the world. Maybe that’s what I need to say? What would you say?