I was adamant about attending a college where my high school self was unknown. So the idea of attending a school with dozens of classmates freaked me out. I told myself, “I don’t want to be stuck with the same friends! I want to re-invent myself!” and while I shouted these things I never once said, “I’m afraid that I won’t change. Instead, I will remain the same girl that I’ve always been.” The girl who I’ve been stuck as for the past seventeen years is shy, quiet, introverted, cold, sarcastic, unusual, and most importantly, invisible.
I actually used to avoid going to church because I felt like I had no friends. And for those who do not attend a Korean church, I’ll teach you the essentials. First and foremost, expect cliques. Second, there will be an “in-crowd”. Third, your friends might think it’s more important to hang out with the “cool” older kids instead of spending time with you. Unsurprisingly, I was not part of the “in-crowd”. To this day, I still hate my old church because it was the one place where I always felt like shit. If you think I’m overreacting then please stop right there because how I felt was suppressed till I found a church where I was accepted. I used to tell myself that there was something wrong with me and that is why I had difficultly making friends. I would compare myself to the other girls and think “if I change how I look, act, and think then I can be just like her.”
I was so messed up. How could I be fine with completely changing myself just so I could befriend people who were not worth my time? People who have apologized to me because they too realized how they simply watched as I moved closer and closer to the margins.
School is even worst. I sit in classrooms where students who are charming and talkative capture everyone’s attention. Teachers fall head over heels for those kids who literally put on an act everyday. They’ll twist and bend themselves so they can remain in the spotlight.
But I’ll be honest. I envy those who are known by many. Those who are celebrated. Those who are expected to become successful. Those who are “in”.
And I wish that I could be just like them.
I hate myself for not loving who I am.
I hate how I’ve grown accustomed to going unnoticed.
I do not hate the “in-crowd”.
I love them and I hate myself for doing so.