I want to share with you an important life lesson taught to me by the only two people in the world that can share such a lesson to a hard-headed lady such as myself: Be yourself.
High school was a particularly difficult time for me, growing up in the inner city without many friends to talk to. I didn’t know what to do with myself when I found that inkling that all high schoolers start to feel whenever they walk pass the cool cliques in the hallway. I wanted to be them so bad.
I loved everything about them. Their blonde hair, their self-made plastic bracelets, and the general air of bliss that came in the form of their expensive perfume were all fits of inspiration to my undeveloped mind.
There was nothing I wanted to do more than to imitate that.
Problem was, I didn’t have very many friends. So I couldn’t walk in an exclusive cluster of girls in seemingly slow motion while everyone stopped, stared and marveled.
My locker didn’t have a bunch of cut out pictures of cute boys from whatever teen magazines we were reading.
Nobody slipped notes through my locker in between class, telling me I’m cute.
And if I could ever pull together enough courage to go to the semester dance, nobody would ask me out onto the floor. I wouldn’t say I was a loser though. I did have a couple of friends, but we mostly hung out in the library and would play tennis in gym class instead of volleyball.
One day I came home crying, tears just flooding down my face, because I tried walking with these girls. I didn’t say hello or introduce myself, and our interactions before all of this were minimal at best. I saw them in the hallway, walking from one end of the hall to the next, presumably avoiding class until the last minute. They always showed up late.
When I saw them, something in my brain just clicked and without much further thought, I just started walking alongside them.
I figured if I could just blend in long enough, that I would be made a member of this exclusive group like some sort of common law friendship.
Obviously it didn’t work out the way I had hoped.
The girls didn’t make it all the way to the end of the hall without turning and in disgust, one of them said, “Can we help you?” While chewing on gum. I peeped, “hello,” and they just kept walking, leaving me in the dust.
My parents calmed me down eventually and explained to me that nothing is more important than being yourself. That girls like that aren’t cliques because they’re a club or association, but because they’re friends.
And meanwhile, my friends were waiting in the library for study period, wondering where I am. They reminded me that that group of mine that I call friends, was my clique. And after so many years, ( yep, time passes by so quickly) to this group of friends who stayed the best friends ever, I just want to tell them I love you guys 🙂