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?
Monday, June 11, 2007
Featured Post and Blog of the Week
You Are Here
by Amie from MammaLoves...
You did well in school to get into college. You tried to get by well enough in college to be attractive to an employer or graduate program, and along the way you may have opened your heart a time or two. Maybe you even found true love.
With a foot in the door, the first years of work were the time to
prove your mettle once again. Promotions, raises all with the goal to secure your future will allow you to settle down, buy a house, travel, commit to a relationship, have kids or not. In what feels like a blink of an eye, your future is here.
And now what?
Chance Favors Only Those Who Court Her
After a less-than-friendly divorce, I was on the market again. Seizing the opportunity, my friends scoured their address books and Palm Pilots for single men and set me up on blind date after blind date. My reaction to most of those dates was, "I call these people my FRIENDS?" One of my real friends suggested Match.com, and given how much I love the Internet, I gave it a go.
A couple months of e-dating passed by in a blink. It was fun, but so far nothing meaningful had hit my radar, and my match inventory was starting to run low. You see, Match.com "matches" you to people based on a list of your requirements, and I'd pretty much run through all my existing matches who didn't seem psycho or stoned, based on their profiles.
Then, one day, I got an email from a guy who was not a match by my standards...
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A Lost Opportunity
by John from Altjiranga Mitjina
Trying to break in as a writer in the comic book industry can be a bit like the one legged man in a butt kicking contest. Every step forward you make means you land on your butt after your kick forward. Comic books are a visual medium. An artist can bring a portfolio to an editor at a convention and said editor can sit there and look at it within minutes and decide if this artist is worthy of working on the newest issue of Stupendous Man or not. Trying being a hopeful writer handing over a script to this same editor at a busy comic convention. You’ll be lucky if the editor agrees to take the script and promise that they’ll look at it later. Most times the hopeful writer is told to send for their submission guidelines and mail in their proposal.
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by Karen Rayne from Adolescent Sexuality Today with Karen Rayne, Ph.D.
This weekend I went out of town, leaving my family to fend for themselves. On Saturday, my darling husband took my two darling daughters – 6 and 3 years old – to what he heard was a fun new toy store in town. Great, right?
They walk in the door, and the 6-year-old pipes up with “Look, Daddy! Jesus toothpaste!” He takes one look, puts one hand on each girl’s shoulder, and does a 180 out of the store. It may be a fun new toy store, but it’s intended clientele does not include the under-13 set.
When I got home on Sunday, the first thing the 6-year-old says to me was, “Guess what! We saw Jesus toothpaste!” I blinked, figuring I hadn’t heard her correctly. Regrettably, I had...
A biker, a green thumb, a cracked hand, and a Queen.
A random biker on a Harley-Davidson took my picture last week. What I wanted to do was take his picture, but I hesitated. Now, instead of a photo of some random biker holding an i am bossy.com bumper sticker, all I have is a lame photo of me holding the bumper sticker and the mental picture of him riding off into the sunset, never to be seen again.
Okay, it wasn’t as romantic or dramatic as that. It was nine in the morning and there was no sunset.
This is not the first time that I have hesitated to seize an opportunity. I don’t expect it will be the last. However, I hope with each lost chance for something intriguing, I will lose a shade of that hesitation for next time...
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