Saturday, March 5, 2016

When everyone else is friends

This keeps happening to me, and I hate it.

This semester, in terms of Being Social, is so much better. The building is still mostly the party krew- I've heard them described as "cliquey" and honestly that about sums it up. They're still nice people and all, and I've had some nice one-on-one conversations with a few of them, but together, they're a group, and they don't need anyone else. I'm still not sure how anyone gets in that group beyond knowing someone in it from high school and liking to go out and party. Dance is great, I have been getting closer with most of the team, and especially with three of the girls (two of whom are very talkative, which makes it easy). Everyone in my lab course is so nice and chatty and we're all in the same boat, which leads to people trying to arrange schedules in lab. Plus having something in common with people, no matter how small, makes it much easier for me to talk to them. I'm really good at small talk now. AND I got invited to a little potluck tonight which was mostly people I've known and befriended in my past few years at the building, and it was actually way nicer than I thought to see everyone again. I even got some advice on apartment renting this summer.

But in each case, there's always been something someone said that lets me know that other people are way closer to each other than I am with most people. "Oh, it's way softer than that blanket I got you for last christmas!" or "If you weren't here every weekend I'd probably never clean my room" or just "oh man, remember last weekend?" "Oh yeah, someone else from dance texted me to let me know!" (while I have the numbers of two people). I know people aren't trying to exclude me, they're just trying to talk to their friends about shared memories. But it really bums me out,  because I realize I don't have a connection like that with any of the people involved, just when I finally start to feel like I'm getting good at this, this is normal! Oh, wait, no, other people have the numbers of everyone on the team. Oh wait, other people are good enough friends to buy people presents. Oh wait, other people have more history with each other. Oh wait, everyone else is more outgoing than me.

It really makes me cling to the friends I have who I have some kind of history or deeper connection with. Carina is one example, along with Redbeard, and many of my friends from home. And I know these people still like me, and probably do want to be friends with me, and I know I make that really hard. I swear to god I'm trying to put myself out there but I still feel like I'm just not good at it.

Obviously I can still make friends. I realize very much that never again in my life will I be so constantly surrounded by people my own age who are also growing and eager, grasping at every opportunity we see. I realize people still want to be friends with me and include me. I don't think everyone hates me, it just seems like everyone is becoming better friends with each other.

I wish I wasn't so quiet, so much of the time. It takes me so long to finally open up to people, though I think my average time is getting shorter. And I really do appreciate everyone who takes the time and effort to stick with me and get me to talk. But I also get that sometimes I just come off as quiet and awkward and that makes it difficult for other people to deal with me sometimes because talking to people who are quiet and awkward is no fun at all (there are still people more quiet and awkward than me and I find it so difficult to talk to them), and that just really blows.

I still just wish I knew how to be normal. I wish I had played sports in high school or something. I wish I didn't second guess everything. I don't want to be like everyone else, but... I want to be like everyone else, just with my own twist on it that doesn't involve anxiety. I don't want to be the one who worries too much. I don't want to be the quiet one who can't just make interesting conversation. I don't want to be the one who never knows what to text to people, ever, at all. It feels all at once like I'm doing too much second guessing of how everyone will react to me putting myself out there more, and that I just don't know how people act. I feel like some weird kind of outsider, an imposter who can put on the mask and fake the facade and be happy and smile but inside I'm worrying. They didn't do something like that with me. No one does. Do I really have good friends? Are we just casual buddies? Will they forget me as soon as they leave? Is our entire relationship just small talk?

It would be so nice if I could turn the worry off. Like, for good. Just be myself and try my best and be nice and see how everything worked out. But I can't. Lord knows I try, every single fucking day, to turn the worry off. Maybe I'm just too open about it. Maybe other people worry this much too but they don't say anything about it because it's taboo to say? I don't know. I wish I did. I wish I was more normal than this.

yer pal,