Sparks of Realization and Self-Respect

As muddled as my mind was for most of high school, some things began to become clear during those years.

First and foremost, the idea that, among my peers, I was actually a worthwhile person began to creep in. That was mostly due to finally shedding the destructive crush of years prior and finding the wonderful support of a small handful of people who let me have a positive impact on their lives.

Yes, it’s true that unlike a lot of other people I know, I had (and have) a very supportive family. But in those teen years, especially for someone like me, that doesn’t count for much inside one’s head. In fact, I still don’t think that, no matter how meticulously I try to explain things, my parents even come close to understanding where I’m coming from half the time. Back in high school, there was no way you could have convinced me they would. But they were always there and they did do a damn fine job of laying some positive groundwork for me to (eventually) build on.

What mattered most was the people I spent half my day surrounded by. My classmates. The same people I’d spent the previous three years with. The same people who were mostly indifferent toward me–which was an improvement over the previous years. That bit of indifference, while painful and confusing at the time, turned out to be a fantastic asset in the realm of self-discovery.

With no one to talk to most of the time, I had a lot of time for introspection. As an extra added bonus, because I was often ignored by those around me, I got to see sides of people they didn’t often bring out in public. Mostly because they had apparently just forgotten I was in the same room. Other times, because I stood mostly outside of any given social circle, people would confide in me, knowing that their secrets were safe.

These factors came together to give me a much more well-rounded picture of my peers than most others ever had. I could see the strange interplay among and within the different groups. I learned where people became boisterous or sullen to cover up self-doubt, how  they deflected attention from certain areas of their lives they didn’t want to share with the world.

I had a front row seat to the back-stage of high school life.

Try as I might, though, it was still difficult to apply that same point of view to my own issues.

As time went on, I did get better at it. Running through scenarios in my head, taking note of my own fears and hopes, trying to overcome my shortcomings. It was a rough process–and one that wouldn’t even be close to finished until my second year of college (and that just opened up a new level of things to work on).

There were crushes and clumsy attempts at relationships–romantic and platonic. More often than not, I just sat back and watched and learned.

The most important thing I learned was that, no matter what, I was most certainly no worse off than anyone else. I had things to offer–ideas, poetry, insight–that really could change people’s lives.

Even if it was only for an instant.

  • Autumn Szabo

    I really like this post. It is about learning your essence. I do feel like it has moved away from crush worthy writing but it talks a lot about growth and realizing your inner worth, an essential piece of information one must have in order to have a real relationship. 🙂

  • Autumn Szabo

    I really like this post. It is about learning your essence. I do feel like it has moved away from crush worthy writing but it talks a lot about growth and realizing your inner worth, an essential piece of information one must have in order to have a real relationship. 🙂

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