Growing up I never really had friends, I was what you would call socially awkward. I always froze up when around people and hated being in crowds. That meant missing out on birthday parties (except it was really necessary) and keeping to myself in school. I rarely laughed and had a frown permanently placed on my face. I was a loner who secretly hated being alone. I tried many times to make friends and would succeed but I always found myself falling back into my old ways. I wouldn’t go out of class during break to play, preferring to stay indoors to write in my book. I never went visiting during holidays and weekends and when they proposed coming to my house, I always gave an excuse.
After so many tries and fails I came to the realization that there something wrong with me and that was why I couldn’t have friends. During break time I watched enviously as other kids went out in groups to play. Unable to express myself no other way, I wrote stories on a daily basis, this was my escape route. In the stories, I could be anyone I wanted to be, a popular girl with a million friends or a brave and confident girl who wasn’t scared to speak in public.
My pen became my weapon. I remember once during break, my book which contained the collection of my stories was snatched from my hands. It turned out to be my bully who proceeded reading one of my stories out loud much to my despair. I didn’t bother to wait to hear or see the outcome, I ran as far and as fast as my legs could go out of the playground with tears falling down my face.
This was how It continued throughout my high school days, although with time I got a bit better and had one or two friends. One day when I was depressed and in my feelings. My only friend in college was transferring to another school and I was about to be left alone with none to go to lunch with or walk to the train station after school. I felt really sorry for myself, ‘why couldn’t I just be like everyone else, able to make friends with ease’ I thought to myself. Exhausted and tired I layered on my bed when I heard a sound notification from an incoming email.
It was an email from my English Language/Literature college tutor. I clicked on it and the message I read changed how I saw myself completely. In the email she wrote about how impressed she was with the two poems I had previously submitted, the week before she had stated her desire to read some original writing from the students. She further stated that it was a gift and I should never be ashamed of such a talent. She expressed how honored she was that I submitted the assignment even though it wasn’t compulsory. This was not the first time I had being praised for my writing (my parents and siblings had often praised my writing, although I thought they were just being nice and didn’t want to hurt my feelings) but it was the first time an outsider saw my work and liked it. It made me realize my worth in the society.
That day was the turning point in my life. I stopped seeing the wrongs in myself and started seeing my unique traits. From that moment I worked on rebuilding my self- confidence and being comfortable in my skin. I have come to accept that I would never be the most social person, neither would I have many friends but I am me and that’s all that matters.
I am still the same girl with the same flaws and weakness but I am now comfortable in my own skin.