Monday, June 11, 2007

Hangin' With the Cool Kids

At primary school I was always the girl stood at the edge of the playground looking on longingly as the other girls played tag, too afraid of rejection and ridicule to ask if I could play and far to bashful to just run and join in. Whenever a new girl would come to the school I would be green with envy watching her easily making a place for herself in the group, fitting in with people she had known 2 hours more easily than I ever could with people I had known 2 years, secretly hoping that she would be rejected and then maybe we could be friends and stand at the sidelines together.

At high school it got even worse. Now used to not being amongst the popular kids I developed a sort of pretense I didn't care, that, looking back now, undoubtedly came across as arrogance and made me liked even less my those cool kids. Although unlike in primary school where you are just left alone, in high school they would come looking for you to torment and bully, to call names and push you around, throwing punches and scaring off those people that had befriended you.

They were not nice times, but I have grown and forgiven and I am sure that if I met any of them in the street today I could be polite, nice even, towards them as I realise that many of those girls were just doing what they had to to survive, what they had to do to make sure that they could hang with the cool kids and not be bullied by them and I'm sure, given half the chance at that age, I would have joined them picking on some other kid if it meant that I was accepted and no longer a target.

Even to this day, after all the adventures and travels I have taken in life, I am much more of a watcher than a joiner, prefering the safety and comfort of the sidelines than the possible rejection that 'joining in' could bring. It takes me a long time to get to know people and trust them well enough to call them friends and quite often it seems, just when I start to feel comfortable around someone and decide to open the door to them a little wider, I find that they are no longer stood on the other side of door, that they took my holding them at arms length as a sign of rejection and I am left feeling rather alone, disappointed and less willing to embrace the next person that comes into my life.

When I started blogging I thought I could shake off those issues, portray a more confident, well held together persona and maybe I would be able to bluff my way into hanging with the cool kids, trick them in to thinking I was one of them.

Only it actually seems harder to be that person on here that it does to pretend in real life. Somehow, this me that you see cataloged between
these electronic pages is more real than the me you would encounter anywhere else. The true me, bad and good, the stuff I hide from real life acquaintances so that I don't offend, upset, scare away, is the stuff I feed into this virtual world of friendship.

It is the stuff I read about in others, people that perhaps, if I met in real life, I would be intimidated by and think too cool to hang with me. It is these things that make you realise that we are all the same really, beneath the shiny veneer and packaging, beneath the layers of self protection and falsified confidence, we all have those things we hide from the real world, things we are too afraid to let our real life friends know about for fear of rejection or ridicule. We are all afraid of not fitting in with the cool kids in some way or another.

It is a wonderful feeling of relief to start reading someones blog, and realise from one post about how they set the kitchen on fire, or feel guilty about dropping their baby/kicking their puppy/not cleaning the house for a week and know that they, like you, are not perfect and they are no more intimidating than that cute little puppy that hasn't stopped limping since they accidentally trapped it's leg in the door and blamed it on the kids 3 days ago.

That my dear friends, and I think we have earned the right to call each other friends by now (especially since you now know my secret about being to blame for the puppy's limp which I hadn't told another living soul before now), is why I no longer dream about hangin' with the cool kids, who wants that kind of pressure anyway? I'd much rather sit with you kitchen burning, cat running over, not always coping,
funny, talented, wonderful people any day and laugh, rant and cry over life in all it's technicolour glory.

Well that and, thanks to the amazing power of spell check (even if it does try to change all my English spelling into American),the fact that you are all deluded into thinking I am a smart, intelligent woman who can spell.

Damn it! Another secret out!

I am really a woman though.


When not chasing reindeer out of her garden, cows around the field or her baby through the house, Heather can be found over at her blog
Surviving Motherhood, where some days the only way to survive is by cracking open the wine. Who says white wine and cornflakes don't go together?


JohnH985 said...

Very well done. I remember those days too. Like you I was always the one on the outside, the one that got picked on, so I can relate. I was a geek before geeks became cool.

And don't worry, now all the cool kids want to hang with us. :)

Mama Zen said...

We're the cool kids now! Aren't we? Aren't we?

I wish that I had written this.

melody is Slurping Life said...

Wait, we aren't the cool kids? Who cares anyhow. Bring on the wine and cornflakes. :)

I could make you feel real good if I owned up to how long it's been since my house has been cleaned. But in my defense, we are packing to move.

Loved the post.

Surviving Motherhood said...

John: they do? Then lets invite them round for wine and cornflakes!

Mama Zen: Of course we are my dear...a little more wine with your cornflakes?

Melody: Exactly. who needs to be cool when you have vino blanco as your friend eh? Hope the packing isn't driving too insane!

Mom on Coffee said...

Well, damn. Here I thought we were the coolest kids, turns out we suck. Bummer.

Middle and High School years were the worst of my life. Peers from that time have approached me on Myspace. I want to scream at them- WHAT YOU DIDN'T GET ENOUGH JOY OUT OF SCARING ME FOR LIFE IN SCHOOL? Instead, I accept them as friends, just to show them up.

Evil? Yes, but payback is a bitch.

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