For the longest time now, my closest friends have been the same group of guys since grade school. In fact at this point, they’re practically family. Getting along with guys is easy, but when it comes to girls, I’m an absolute dodo. it wasn’t always this way; some of my happiest childhood memories were with my girlfriends at the time, back when I lived in the quaint little town of Akron, Ohio. I’m not sure if I can pinpoint the exact moment when things changed, but somewhere along grade school, I realized that I just didn’t have meaningful relationships with any of the girls I knew, nor did I know how to make them. It wasn’t that I lacked the motivation or that I felt shy, but something always held me back, a kind of anxiety. The feeling grew worse when the only two girls I had been close to left school. We met a few years later, and I was suddenly forced to face the fact the fact that we had very little in common.
Back in school I was a misfit, and often bullied. This along with a bunch of stupid life choices (I was a humanities lover who took up science) left me with a severe depression and no personality of my own. It was around that time that I got really close to one of the girls in my class. It was a great friendship and I loved every minute of it, but a short year later, for various reasons, we were no longer on speaking terms. It was a loss that left me with a deep insecurity and my general distrust of girls worsened, as none of my friendships with them had sustained.
The later half of 2014 was all about learning to discover myself, trying to pick up the pieces of a lost identity. I joined University and realized to my amazement that the world was an entirely different place from the one I had been trapped in for so long. What was more, for the first time in years I made new friends. I spent four months there, eventually leaving to join a different law school. It was a strange moment in my life, letting go when I’d only just started to fit in but I found that for the second time, I was okay. In a lot of ways life in a hostel is exactly like in the movies; music blasting from different rooms, jokes and laughter long after midnight, and of course, lots of gossip. It was a strange, exhilarating experience, and I loved it. I even had a wonderful bunch of friends, many of them girls. Shortly after my first semester though, the old fear started to creep in. Sometimes in a crowd, I just didn’t know what to say, other times I stood silently while everyone around me carried on speaking. I was part of conversations and yet excluded from them and I knew I was the one holding myself back.
Over the years I have grown accustomed to being alone and don’t really need company to have a good time. At times I feel almost an emptiness when faced with prolonged social interaction. It’s a horrible feeling, almost like being stuck in a cage. You’re surrounded by the people you love but still feel alone.
This post is a way of confronting my fears. At the end of these 5 years I want to graduate knowing that I’ve made friends for life. It’s a reality I’m willing too work hard on myself for. I’ve found myself a really special bunch of girls, and I’m lucky to have met them. The coming semester is going to be dedicated to moving beyond some of the walls I’ve built around myself. Women perplex me, but being one of them, I need to win this battle. This blog is going to reflect my journey-my search for the positives in life, visions, dreams and aspirations. So, on that hopeful note, here’s to the future.