Here is one of those posts where I am thinking, surely someone else feels the same?! I have a lovely group of close friends, and lots of wider circles. Friends of friends, works colleagues, family etc, however I can’t ever shake the feeling that these people can’t really actually like me. I know, sounds weird, right?
I even feel like my closest friends are humouring me sometimes, that they must go home and think what planet is that girl on? I mostly think it about new people though, or those that I don’t see very often. I guess I just feel like I irritate people, I’m awkward around them, or just not cool enough. I often find myself really watching my actions or what I say because actually I’m nervous about just being myself.
I’ve tried to pin point where this feeling might come from, and I’ve come up with two maybes.
Looking back, throughout my later school years I was subject to a really subtle form of bullying. It wasn’t obvious, and I didn’t even realise it fully at the time, but I was always teased and left out of things. I distinctly remember going to a sleepover at my “best friends” house, and it wasn’t until just before we went to sleep that another actual friend contacted me to let me know they were going to cut my long blonde hair off in the night and throw brown hair dye at me.
Oh gaaad that is painful to write down and see in words in front of me, I’ve actually never told anyone. I used to bounce from “best friend” to “best friend”, and always seemed to find myself with people who were nice to my face, and bitterly nasty behind my back. Blimey, this blog writing thing is like therapy for me…as I write this it’s becoming obvious as to why I never think anyone is genuinely going to like me. There are only a couple of friends from my teen years who stand out as genuinely lovely people, and don’t get me wrong I had many a lol with these ones.
I grew up as part of the MSN generation, spending hours chatting to friends online, before the explosion of social media. I actually dread to think what would have happened to me if I had grown up in the world we live in now. Fo’ sure those girls would have tried to take me down on Facebook. Side note…I am sure that all of these girls have now grown into genuinely lovely people, and this was all playground stuff, but unfortunately it has stuck.
Being the new girl
From the age of 8 to 21 years old, I didn’t spend more than 5 years in the same place or the same school. Spending very little time in one place means that I was always floating around the outskirts of long friendships. So many of these girls had grown up together. Been there for each other through the trials and tribulations of getting older, and here I was trying to fit in as “the new girl”. As much as I was made to feel welcome, there is always going to be the joke that doesn’t make sense to me, the drama that I know nothing about, or the holiday that I didn’t exist for. There isn’t anything wrong with that, it just makes you feel like a bit of an outsider.
I think that’s why I fell so head over heels with all my gorgeous Uni friends, because all that exists is our friendship, there is nothing before, nothing to be left out, just our memories. Our crazy, fun memories.
Of course I still have that “where was I” moment with the group of friends I have now, but with 7 whole years in one place, I’m settled. I’ve got my best friends, and hopefully many years ahead to build and build on these friendships. That doesn’t stop the fact that I constantly feel like “the new girl”, I’m constantly monitoring myself and trying to work out if you really like me. In fact, rather than assume you will like me, I jump to the opposite conclusion and think ermygaaad they must hate me, how can I fix this? How can I make them like me? Sometimes I think I’m a bit like a swan, because I am fairly certain I look as though I float through life effortlessly, when actually my brain is there constantly kicking away trying to be the best version of myself.
I don’t really know the answer to all of this. You know that thing you always hear? “I really discovered who I was in my *insert age bracket here*. Well it is for that illusion that I love getting older. I never complain about a birthday (let’s face it, I should be bloody excited to make it to another one), and I can’t wait to see how my mindset changes as I age. I’ll report back when I discover who I am…