Hello internet I’m back! I know it’s been four weeks and I’m sorry, I have a good explanation. No, I didn’t back out of the blogging business just yet. I am two days away from completing my four week summer school course and believe it or not, that took out a lot of time and energy so blogging was not on my mind. My schedule involved spending three hours reading and taking notes for tomorrows lesson and six hours in school. Naturally, sleep became my new hobby…along with binge watching the HBO series Girls in between (new obsession!!!). v_v Anyhow, I just completed my final assignment and because I worked my tail off, I get to skip the final exam! So, let’s get this blog on the road shall we?
As a kid I didn’t get to socialize as often as most kids. I grew up in a sort of shady neighborhood so my parents kept me in the house most of the time. The only reason why I know what it’s like to play outside was because I would visit my cousins out of town, or visit my grandparents on the weekend. Even then, that would be a twice a month treat. Every other time I spent mostly in the house or wait until I get to go out with my parents. Generally my parents were always busy so most of my days were inside. In grade school, I had a good number of friends, but I think I can recall two times in my life where I visited their house and even then I had to leave before sun down (sounds like I was a werewolf!). Once our family moved, I went outside a lot more than normal (I still have helicopter parents though!!! >.>), but I feel like I missed a chunk of my childhood that could have helped my social anxiety.
With all that said, I have never been good at meeting new people and initiating friendships. I have gotten better (actually really good compared to when I was in middle school). Maybe it’s also a Ravenclaw thing. We can be so caught up in our heads, we forget there’s still a world outside us. The thing with my social anxiety is that it’s not obvious to people unless I tell them. On the outside, I can hold conversations with people, particularly in class. Most of my anxiety is all internal battles. All of them are centered on insecurity and uncertainty if I am even remotely worthy of having a friendship at all. This insecurity manifests itself and I convince myself not to initiate any farther. This is where I tend to distance myself from other people. People usually pick up the hint and reciprocate.
I will just go ahead and say the flat out truth, I am scared. I am scared of rejection and that person hating everything about me. I know we all face rejection, hell I’ve had a great share of rejection. But knowing that doesn’t make it hurt any less. I’m also scared of coming off as annoying or clingy to the other person so I choose to be more distant than I should. At that point, I never know what to say or what topics I should say that can make the conversations more exciting. I know this post is getting a bit dreary but I will bring in the silver lining!
Yesterday was probably one of the best times I’ve had in a long time and to think all it took was a burger. As I said in the beginning, I have been in summer school this whole time. My past couple of years has been a drag, but this change was a breath of fresh air. When I walked in the classroom for the first time, I noticed there were three girls who seemed to be friends. I can’t explain exactly, but something about how they carried themselves intrigued me. They had confidence and always talked about doing things after class. Every day after class, one would ask if they wanted to go out for food or something and I couldn’t help but wonder how nice it would be to do something like that with a friend. Something I haven’t done since high school. I’m not looking to be their best friends, I just wanted to talk to them, maybe even be around them. I don’t know what compelled me to feel this way. Maybe I’m sick of being alone all the time or I miss having talking to someone in school other than my teachers. No offense to the teachers, they rock but there’s only so much interaction allowed. After all, introverts need some form of companionship too. Big or small.
So I tried to slowly include myself in conversations. Asking simple questions or interjecting with whatever they were talking about. I tend to participate in class a lot, and we would occasionally talk about current lessons. I still felt my anxiety whispering to me from time to time, but I did my best to ignore it. I think the class I’m in helps everyone feel more open and comfortable around each other. It’s a communications class, so a lot of the discussion topics encourage us to open up and say things that would be considered TMI.Anyway, yesterday everyone gets their exam scores back and we all exhale in relief when we realize we didn’t fail. One of the girls exclaims how she wants to celebrate with pizza and ask her friends if they want to join them. At the end of class, they talk about pizza again and I casually exclaim, “yum, all this pizza talk is making me hungry”. The first girl turns to me and asks, “do you want to join us?” I felt my heart skip a beat and it felt like I was flying.
I immediately accepted her offer before it looked like I would malfunction but the whole time I was holding back my smile. I immediately text my sister what’s happening and she’s cheering me on. Sadly the pizza place wasn’t open so we got burgers which is just as delicious! It felt like a first date. The whole time I could feel myself shaking and my voice turned more meek than usual. Still, I kept my head up high and stayed present. I worked hard to keep the conversation going. I don’t know if the other girl liked spending time with me but I thanked her anyway and as soon as we split away (and I knew she wasn’t looking) I quickened my pace and started singing.(Like I usually do when I’m really happy ^_^)
I don’t know if I will ever be friends with these girls, but that isn’t a big concern of mine. What was important was how the experience made me feel. I haven’t hung out with a new person since high school, so to experience that again was amazing. I don’t know if other people take it for granted, but it really is a special feeling. It reminds you how differently other people perceive the world and life is always moving. It’s so hard for me to reach this point of interaction, but when I do, I remember how great I feel when I can make my tiny world just a little bit bigger.