I only realised I needed friends in year 9. I know this sounds a bit weird but it is my truth. I have always been a person who kept herself to herself and loved delving into the imaginary worlds that books provided. I have also always loved the unique form of expression that music provides. However, at some point in year 9, I looked up from my books and realised that people were forming unique bonds and making genuine connections and I was being left out. I yearned to find people who I genuinely connected with, who were sincere and would somehow accept me. That was the beginning of a very painful few years. While still in secondary schools I began a mission of trying to ingratiate myself with people who I felt were cool and who I wanted to accept me even though I knew that it was a bit forced. I just wanted to belong.
Year 9 also was the beginning of my self-loathing and my deepest insecurities. I felt there was something wrong with being quiet, reserved and introspective and as a result, there was something wrong with me. I found (still find to be very honest) social gatherings and being surrounded by large groups tiresome and draining and I hated myself for it. The breaking point for me in secondary school was when I was trying to belong with a particular group of girls and they had an altercation and I was just watching from the sidelines as they went at it. Then this guy (who I thought was being so rude at the time and spiteful, but now I am so grateful) came up to me and said you know your nothing like them and you are trying to force this friendship. That made me go back home and really think about what I was doing to myself and I promised that as I was leaving secondary school I was leaving forced friendships behind. Do not get me wrong I met some amazing people in secondary school who I still communicate with but I was mostly not myself in secondary school.
Fast forward to a level and first year of university where I still felt there was something wrong with me and still hated myself. University is where I had to look myself in the mirror take in who I was. I broke down in University and I also found myself in University. I realised there was nothing wrong with being myself and I stopped looking for others to validate me. Funny enough I have become exactly what I was running away from which is basically a loner (i love it so much). A lot of that has to do with seeing myself the way God sees me and also realising that the world needs me to be exactly who I am unapologetically. I have also had to cut some people who mostly brought negativity to my life (that in itself is another post). It might be a bit cliche to say this but if your reading this you need to know that being genuine and unique is the best thing you can do for yourself. Do not be ashamed or afraid of being you.