Friday, April 16, 2010

Who were you in high school?

About a year ago a friend asked me, completely out of the blue, what social groups I hung out with in high school. I never did ask him where in the world that question came from. He likely doesn't even remember at this point, but that question has plagued me since then. Well actually not that question - but more along the lines of who I was in high school and whether I've changed all that much. And further, if we're all just stuck in the same rut we started digging back then.

Well let's see... who was I in high school? Nobody. No really, you could probably poll everyone in my graduating class and not one of them would remember who I was.

Little known fact about me - I'm shy and often feel socially awkward. I am a total geek. I was in high school as well. Now that I'm older I am likely the most outgoing, gregarious shy and socially awkward person you'll ever meet. Often my attempts at small talk or what comes out of my mouth when I feel under pressure to say something, anything are pretty pathetic.

What else? I have always had an overwhelming need to be cool. Or more precisely for others to think I'm cool. Well I wasn't cool in high school and I'm really not cool now. I daydream about riding my motorcycle to work or anywhere really. I did own a bike, but sold it three years ago. Frankly I hadn't ridden it for a long time before that either.

I didn't have many friends in high school. This was at least partly because I had an abusive boyfriend who strongly discouraged me from having friends. I don't have many friends now either, despite my 121 friend count on Facebook. Perhaps that's why I'm fascinated with social networking, and before that with online gaming, and before that online chatting and role-playing. I now "know" people from around the world from all different places. Most of these people I've never met in person, but I know them from gaming or the breast cancer survivor group. Some I know from work, others I went to high school with, there are a few I just have picked up along the way - not really sure how, and I'm even friends with one of my husband's ex-girlfriends.

I really want people to like me, but I - ok this is going to sound pathetic - have been rebuffed and/or rejected so many times that I can be hard to get to know. Poor, sad little me, eh?

I liked to write in high school and I still do - so that's the same. I don't write trivial romance stuff anymore though. That's probably a good thing!

So, am I the same person today that I was in high school? Do we really ever grow up? No and yes. Despite the fact that I still exhibit many of the same characteristics I did in high school, I have come a long way. There's an awareness that comes maturing. I think the cancer had a lot to do with who I am today. So did my divorce many moons ago. These were big, life changing events - the kind that force you to grow up or go home, if you know what I mean. I imagine that I'll be different in another 10 or 20 years; look back and think how silly I was.

Maybe our core personality remains about the same, but we figure out ways around or through self-imposed limitations like being shy or fearing rejection.

Gosh, when I think about how often I mulled this over it seemed like such a big deal, but now that I've written it out... it just seems sort of silly actually.

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