You might have to bear with me on this one for I’m going to take a stab at explaining something that I have been having difficulties finding the words for. It’s easy to take advantage of simple words as “hate” and “bored” that I’ve never actually thought about what I’ve really been trying to communicate. And in the end, all anyone hears is the negativity.
This is my attempt to end the rampage of simple words in order to describe the beauty and serenity that I find when no one knows my name.
I feel that I’ve annoyed a good deal of my friends with how much I’ve been talking about my move, but I haven’t been able to communicate effectively that change is something I identify with – something I thrive off of. It gives me more adrenaline than jumping out of a plane. I am aware that there are some people that have grown up in the same towns their entire lives. Never had to change schools, never was the new kid, never had to fit in or make new friends. For all of those kids – if you didn’t know by now, it’s really hard being the new kid. Until you find your way to cope with it, that is.
Each time I changed schools, I reveled in the fact that no one knew my name. No one knew my likes or dislikes. No one knew me. People weren’t calling me up to “go out and hang” or throwing me under the bus because I didn’t do the homework either. My favorite part was that my peers never knew where they stood with me; but that was probably because very few of them took the time to step out of their clique to find out.
Me… the 6’0″ tall blonde… I was an enigma.
And before you start going off on a mental tangent of “oh she’s ‘soooo mysterious'” and “pft, what makes you special,” let me just ask you this: how often did you ignore the new kid because they weren’t in your circle? Maybe they were ‘strange’ or ‘anti-social’, but how often did you really go out of your way to get to know them?
Sit on that one for a second. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Now I’m not sure if all of you other movers feel this way – but those were my favorite days. When no one other than teachers (barely) attempted to know your name, so you observed instead. Maybe that fueled my love of social sciences, but that’s a completely different topic.
Being anonymous, you had a chance to see people for who they really were. Since you weren’t in their circle, they didn’t feel the need to put on a front for you. Really, why should they? Without outside opinions to determine your actions, you could explore different classes, groups, and locations. Days, sometimes weeks, without peer pressure; helping you discover yourself when no one else wanted to discover you.
As an adult, it’s much easier to remain anonymous. There are no popular kids. No outcasts. No formidable cliques. As an adult – there are just people who choose to be around other people based on who they are. Yet, I feel like many don’t really discover this feeling. I’m not saying that hanging regularly with your friends from high school is a bad thing – it’s comfortable. As humans, we’re creatures of habit and comfort and only a few take leap of faith into the unknown. And when the comfort is engrained into you when you’re young, the circle is much harder to break.
I cannot say whether or not I would feel this way if I stayed put in one location for my adolescence, but what I can say is this: there is true beauty in being anonymous. When left to your own devices, even when surrounded by others, you get to test the balances. Push the boundaries, define your own morals, and figure out what makes the best you. After all, that’s what life is about, right? Being happy with who you are and being the best you can be. It sounds selfish, but I believe that we can never become one with each other until we are one with ourselves.
So even if you just visit somewhere for a short while, take a page from my book. Revel in the anonymity. Revel in you. You’ll be amazed with what you’ll discover.