You know that odd girl out, insecure and awkward, who never had the right clothes, haircut, lunch food, or toys? That was me most of my life, and I don't think I ever got over it. That sounds so simplistic, but it was a recurring theme while I was growing up. I had friends when I was really young, friends that didn't care what kind of clothes you wore or how much money your dad made, but I believe that was because we were living in a fairly poor area. Or at least lower middle class. There weren't many kids on my street, but I had lots of friends at school. Then I was transferred to a magnet program.
These kids in the magnet program, they were from the nicest areas of our city. They had the right clothes, listened to the right music, drank Capri Sun and ate Doritos at lunch. I wore Goodwill hand me downs and ate PB&J on store brand bread brought in a brown paper bag. They were athletic and good at sports, I had never played a sport, ANY sport in my life. I tried to fit in so hard, but I didn't measure up in their eyes. Some were cruel, most just ignored me, and the few who were my "friends" were mean to me most of the time and took advantage of me. I just wanted to be liked. I just wanted to fit in. I just wanted to have friends.
Then my dad was transferred overseas - I really thought I would get a new start with a whole new group of kids! Unfortunately, it was the same. The same cliques, the same materialistic bullshit. Once a dork, always a dork? I then turned around and rebelled - I wasn't going to wear the clothes they wore, or listen to the music they liked, or do the same things they did. They didn't really like me any more than they did before, but I didn't care. I was going to be me, and I thought I was cool, so screw them. What did they know? Unfortunately, for a while, I still seemed to choose friends that weren't really nice to me or had my best interests at heart.
Once I figured that part out, I stopped getting close to people. I don't really know how to describe it, but I am really good friend when you're around, but I don't open up too much, and when we are separated, I don't make the effort to keep in touch. Sometimes I think that makes me a bad friend, but I don't think I'm a "bad" friend because I would be there in a heartbeat if I knew you were in trouble. I'm kind to animals, children and most other adults. I just still have that wall up, at all times. I would almost always rather be alone than with other people. And I still have that bitter streak that may always be with me.
I have lost friends over the years. Some of them would tell you that I'm a fucked up bitch that only cares about herself. That might be fair, I do take the time to give myself what I need because nobody else will. But I do care about others, and feel sick when I hear that I might have hurt someone. That being said, I don't have the time or inclination to deal with people who don't understand me or do things to be hurtful.
Why am I thinking about this now? I've been thinking a lot about why certain people seem to get ahead. My old boss? Completely fake and unethical. And yet everyone who hasn't had to deal with her closely loves her. She was dismissed from the job she had when she was my boss, but moved directly into another amazing opportunity that paid even more. I have been very lucky in the job arena lately, however, I have had trouble in my industry outside of my work. Trouble is maybe too strong of a word, but while I have relationships, I don't have strong relationships in my professional network. People will click recommend on LinkedIn, but would they actually reach out to hire me for a job? I truly think that my difficulty with relationships is the reason.
I have been involved with several groups of women on a personal level, but never really was totally integrated into the group. I'm not sure the reason, but it was mostly because I'm always on guard. I don't know how to fit in. I'm trying to get involved with a book club, and it would probably be easier if I actually wanted to go to the events, but I usually get home and I'd rather snuggle with my pups and watch a movie. I'm not sure how to correct this, or will I always be that homebody/wallflower/awkward child? I'm not sure.
I do know that I have a core group of women that I have been able to open up to, whether I know them IRL or just online, and I hope they know the content of my heart more than any outwardly awkwardness or seemingly selfishness vibe that I may give off. That's just my inner child coming out.