Learning to Talk

Sunday, February 22, 2015

I've wanted to share things about myself for a while, but I must first let you know it won't be dramatic or exciting, it might even be quite boring to you. It doesn't involve love, violence or poverty - only a poverty of the mind and a poverty of the connections around me. 

For the longest time I was excited to journey along unknown roads in new cities, meeting new people, building new relationships and being completely free to be myself. But for the longest time, I felt exactly like the picture above, nor did I have anyone to go with or the courage to go.

I did not know many other kids in elementary school, I somehow, preferred to spend time at home with my mother and my twin brother. I remember reciting Shakespearean poetry to myself and singing to myself to pass the time at recess and lunch. This was completely fine with me. The best days were spent in the densely bushed backyard and hidden forests that surrounded my house in imaginary leafy kingdoms fighting shadowy antagonists.

In high school, other kids had their own little cliques and their best friends - and I really did want to be part of it. But the opposite started to happen for me. I remember I clung to one of my first friends I made during recess and lunch because I was so happy I had made a friends but other people commented that I followed him around "like a dog" so our friendship ended. Worse things happened throughout the years that had me upset in private and public - I had one or two good friends but it was always a struggle.

In retrospect, what this did to me was that I felt like couldn't always do the things I wanted because I thought other people were better than me. That for some reason, my opinion was invalid, that I didn't have the intellect or EQ to even contribute to an everyday conversation. I never spoke unless spoken to. School speeches and presentations had me in visceral fear weeks before. I liked things that people thought were weird. I was into video games, underground Japanese anime, Queen, Bruce Springsteen and avidly following Fashion Weeks.

Somehow, it took making my first real long lasting friend at university to begin feeling I could contribute to anything. I began surrounding myself with encouraging people, not necessarily those who were the most popular or successful - there was only one characteristic that stood out to me - genuinely nice. 

They told me that I should embrace all the weird things about myself because one day it would be all the things I love about myself.

And another quote:

We don't have any money. We're not famous. There's no paparazzi chasing us, but when we walk down the street, people wonder who we are. That's that inner fame. That's that swagger. It is that inner sense of passion for your art, your style and your knowledge about what you do that is infectious. Nobody knows who you are, but everybody wants to. Until the lie becomes the truth.

Going nice goes a long way and the people around me started to change my life. Now, a few years later, I can see how my life took a complete turn. I'm still heading toward that 180, but the greatest feeling is knowing my trajectory.

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