Why is it that for me, 27 is a significant age for me. In a single term I would call it awakening. But was it all there all along, slowly building like a snowball downhill?
I don’t think I’ve ever had a real problem with confidence. I was in some way, always ok with who I was. And I think that in some way may have influenced how others perceived me growing up. I cant say for sure, because when I look back I dont find anything signifying any moments in time where it seemed to be an issue. But when I look back and try to find moments where I doubted myself, I cant find those either.
That isnt to say that I was breezy all the time. Or maybe I was and other people didn’t like it. I cant remember. But I do remember being scared, all the time, especially through most of K-12. I just wanted to have fun. I wanted to be inside like everyone else. I was scared of doing something that would call for ridicule. I never had a problem getting up in front of the class to read something. I was confident in my ability to read, and to read in front of others. I was afraid on those small moments here and there where there was a tear in the armor, perhaps in the form of my tongue stumbling over a word, things I couldn’t control. Or when I forgot what to do. I just tried to blend in. I didn’t need people to like me, but I needed them to stop torturing me for just being me.
I still have no idea why certain things have transpired the way they did. I remember in 7th grade trying to talk to a girlfriend on the phone and this girl in 8th grade actually calling the emergency breakthrough service to get me to hang up with my friend so that she and the others could harass me over the phone. If I wasnt already on the phone, they would usually tell my Mom when she answered that their name was one of my friends names. I dont know why 3-4 girls would get on 3 way calling, and go so far as to devise a plan, abeit a tiny plan but a plan nonetheless, to give me a hard time. I cant even remember why.
There was a new girl at the school in 7th grade and we became good friends. I was always happy when new students came, it was always so easy to be friends with them. We had tons of sleepovers, watching Grease and listening to No Doubt. I still dont know where or why things turned sour there. Eventually the new girl went in the direction of the better liked folks at the school. And she turned on me. It wasnt a simple phase out, it was something else.
Maybe I was too sensitive. I still am in some ways. Maybe I was an easy target but it didnt make me change, it just made me miss my friend.
So the new girl, another girl in my grade, and the 8th grader would call the break through service. I would hear a third voice come through in the middle of my conversation, a new person just busting right in and telling me I need to hang up the phone because someone with an emergency is trying to call. And I must have had moments when I wondered if one of my parents was dead. But no, it was just those girls.
One of them works at Walmart now. Ive even gone through her line, and not said a word.