Growing up, I was a really bright student. I was the star student every teacher appreciated and all kids wanted to be friends with. I was the one who every girl in the class wanted to sit with. They seemed to think I was a cool person to be friends with.
However, I never felt any connection to them. Even as friends, I wasn’t really fond of any of them because I thought they weren’t like me. It’s not that I didn’t want to be friends with them. I was trying to fit in but I couldn’t personally connect with any of them. I used to have trouble talking to people. I was a shy girl with no confidence. I lacked any sort of socialising skills. As I passed with good grades, things changed. People stopped trying to be friends with me because I was just so awkward. I was left behind.
I already felt like a misfit. Making friends was difficult. People knew me as an anomaly. The girl who’s always with the books, in the library with no one to talk to. Nobody knew what was up with me. Quiet one with no voice. A mouse.
There would be no one to make a pair with whilst teacher conducted some class activity. Being the lone one- I was always made to join some random group with barely familiar faces with snarky smiles and snide remarks. Loneliness was a loyal friend.
I passed 10th grade and college began. New place with new people. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to be more socially active. I would notice girls were in groups with their friends and I wouldn’t go introduce myself. Sometimes I came back home without even uttering a single word that whole day. Things didn’t get better.
Then came the period of life that’s called the “golden one”. I got admitted into a university and so began the painful process of trying to fit in. I’d come in class, attend the lectures and go back home. Occasionally, I’d talk to someone when I was clueless about something or lost. One year passed without even a single friend.
Second year started and I was frustrated and disappointed in myself. There I was, just three years shy of getting a professional degree and entering the professional life with no self-confidence and no socializing skills. I thought since I was a naturally shy person who liked listening more than talking, I needed to start talking so as to be liked by people. To overcome this, I started talking a lot.
To everyone. I’d exhaust myself trying to be a part of them. I used to try to be as friendly as possible. People started knowing me and liking me too. But all of this left me emotionally drained. I was trying too hard and it was costing me negatively. I would come home and feel tired of all the effort. I would even lie about my likes and dislikes just so people would keep talking to me. I was willing to alter my personality just to not be a misfit. It was then I realised this needed to stop. I made a few changes in myself. To have opinions about things and to be assertive where I need to be. I realised it wasn’t that bad when I couldn’t be a part of other groups. I could just be myself.
They say different is good. I made myself stand out. Not too much and not too little either. Just the right kind of different so I wouldn’t feel bad for myself. It was hard but I got through. Being yourself is a good thing. You don’t need to change yourself for people to like you. When you stand out, people who like you would become friends automatically. And that’s when you’re liberated from the feeling of being a misfit.
I like cats. Done the doggos a like. Bloggo-Lord. Legend-In-Making. Biryani is my wifey.