The last couple weeks of the semester has caused me to feel glum due to stress over my academics as well as my social life. To sum it up: I am in the middle. The in-between. The grey area.
Every aspect of my life seems to fit that description. My sexuality and race/ethnicity, as noted in this post, my affiliated religion (I don’t identify as anything, I just don’t think about it), my majors (WGS and Economics)..I can’t seem to ever fall into one, absolute category. Perhaps it’s because I’m going and I’m still discovering myself and the world or perhaps it’s a false pretense that people can ever fall into one category. Regardless, this thought also applies to my friends.
I don’t have a clique or group of friends. Every time I think I do, I get proven wrong. It’s exhausting, hurtful, and lonely. I was complaining to my good friend, Steph, about it and she told me it was okay to be an outsider in the sense I don’t belong anywhere, I just have random friends here and there. She said I have years to figure out the friends I want to be making and who stays in my life too. She’s right but..I think the nature of college is extremely lonely without a group. Without a group, you tend to get left out and excluded. At least that’s been my experience. If I commuted, for example, I probably wouldn’t care at all about lacking a social circle.
Anyway..I’m writing because despite how much I feel like an outsider, a misfit, a loner, or whatever it may be, I’ve done some pretty badass things. Perhaps I wouldn’t have done them if I didn’t feel so alone.
I haven’t hung out or seen the guy I had a problem with in over a month, and I feel happier. For a long time, I’ve felt like it’s my fault we’re not friends…yeah, he stopped texting me after he fucked some other girl but I stopped contacting him too. I decided he wasn’t worth the effort of trying to mend our relationship because, after our initial talk, nothing changed…we kept hooking up, and we hardly talked anymore. So what would another talk have done? And I didn’t trust him at all either. So it’s not entirely my fault why we’re not friends…he also has no ability to self-reflect to realize how inconsiderate and hurtful he is. Maybe if we never got physical, we could’ve clicked but…there are other friends in the world to make.
So I brushed myself off after that fucker and I got tested for STI’s and HIV, and I am clear. Instead of investing so much time in trying to be his friend, I invested time in other people. I think I made one new, solid friend. We’re going to see a late show together in Manhattan! I’ve hung out with some other cool people and done some cool things too. I volunteered at a benefit concert that got shut down because everyone was high/drunk, went to a queer ball and then the after party with a girl on my foor and her fella…I received an Excellence Award, which included a scholarship, from my school for being in the top 10% of my graduating class. I went on a spontaneous adventure to see Rocky Horror with a new friend, I saw my close friend play lacrosse, finally. I ran for office in student government and I won the position, so now I’m the representative for my campus. I sort of pursued a girl I liked, but it fizzled out real quick. Then she got a boyfriend immediately afterwards, which was a little weird and upsetting, but fucking whatever!! I’ve done so many cool things! I am smart, strong, independent, and abfab, and I am going to be dining and drinking around Europe in a week!
Oh, and I am going to be able to work for the same office at school again next year. This office works with survivors of sexual violence to provide them with support and options for justice as they see fit. I had a super nice encounter with a peer through this office.
The office runs a club that I’m part of. It’s a little theater group that educates about sexual violence…we go around to perform for different events at the university as well as perform for other schools.
As a staff person, I’m supposed to talk to my peers to make them feel welcome. So…the first day of the club in the fall, I sat next to this cute guy and struck up a conversation with him. He was a senior and some kind of engineer…he had been at a meeting his first year but hadn’t returned until now. At the end of the meeting, I told him he should train to perform and come to future meetings because it’s a lax, fun club. He replied, “maybe.”
Sure enough, he came back. He trained to perform and performed a lot..he became my go-to guy to contact for performances.
At the end of the year party, when I was hugging him goodbye, I told him I was happy he decided to keep coming back to the meetings because he’s done some amazing things and has contributed a ton. He responded, “Well, I came back because of you. You convinced me that first day.”
I shed a single, happy tear.
All the things I’ve done and accomplished this year makes me think that maybe…maybe if I felt comfortable at college, like I truly belonged somewhere…maybe I wouldn’t have pushed myself so much. If I had a clique of friends, I probably wouldn’t have studied as much to have earned that award and scholarship. If I fit in, I wouldn’t have felt the desire to run for student government (I ran hoping to meet some people as well as do something important for my campus). If I didn’t feel like an outsider, I wouldn’t have joined the club in the first place, became a staff person, or talked to that guy! And I inspired him! I did it in a small way, but I inspired him nonetheless! I want to inspire more people…and maybe it’s beneficial to always feel like an outsider in order to accomplish this. As an outsider, I’m always searching for new things to try, new people to meet, new experiences to have…maybe being an outsider isn’t so bad.
Stay gold, Ponyboy.