Kids are Dumb

Back in high school I was the girl whose main goal in life was to be accepted by others. I once broke up with a boy because my "best friend" told me that he wasn't cool enough. All in the name of being accepted.

Today I was on Facebook (OK maybe I'm on FB everyday) and got a "people you might know" recommendation for a girl I went to high school with. Looking at her picture, a wave of regret ran through my body as I started remembering how ignorant I really was when it came to people back in high school.

We'll call her Christine. Christine was the perfect girl. She was gorgeous. She had great hair. She played every sport that our tiny all-girls school offered. She was tall. She always wore the best clothes. Her GPA was above 4.0. She was the nicest person on Earth. All the things that make life important in high school, right? Well I wouldn't know it because my perception of Christine was completely skewed.

I assumed that since she was all of these things and I wasn't (or at least thought that I wasn't) I assumed that she didn't like me and wanted nothing to do with me. I made this assumption during the first month of freshman year even though we had never spoken a word to eachother outside of "Hi" and "Thanks".

High school life went by and Christine and I never spoke, for 4 years. Our class had 50 people, so eventually you pretty much knew everybody. I knew nothing about Christine because I was so intimidated and never made the effort to get past it.

During senior year we went on a retreat to Big Bear (a Southern CA mountain community). One of our teachers suggested a group game/exercise. Each person would have a bag or box with their name on it sitting along the wall in the room. Then everybody would write a nice note to whomever they wanted, letting them know what they have learned from that person during the last 4 years, and place that note in the person's box. I got the usual notes from my friends, some acquaintances, some people that I barely talked to. "What a great 4 years"..."Let's keep in touch"..."Remember that summer in Newport Beach?" All the same stuff I would later see in my yearbook.

Then I saw it, a note from Christine. It simply read, "Hi. I know that we never talk, and I'm not really sure why. I think that you are a very nice person. Did I do something to offend you?"

My heart sank. I looked at her, she was watching me read it. I didn't know how to react. I felt like such an idiot. I went up to her, still intimidated, and said, "Thank you for this. Us not talking was me be being totally stupid. It has nothing to do with you. I'm really sorry." And that was it. She said nothing more, I said nothing more, a few days later we graduated and went our separate ways.

Looking back now I wish I could go back and be myself, have fun and not worry so much about what other people thought. I put so much effort into being what I thought I should be instead of just being myself. And I realized that Christine was the person that I should have been all along. She was just being herself.

1 comment:

Big Hair Envy said...

My 25th class reunion is coming up in June. We, too, had a class of 50. I can only hope that I will be able to talk & laugh with the ones that intimidated me, as well as the ones that I was happy to call my friends.

I believe I was thirty years old before I realized that it was OK to just be "me".