I know myself too well.
One, that for some reason, I too have an invisible name tag that reads Uninvited. Two, that no matter how much I bounce in between cliques, creating relationships with different individuals, it never amounts up to much. And three, the tension will always get to me.
I’ve no problem conversing with others, especially with those who are kind. I believe that innately everybody is good, and is just trying to survive beyond their distinct scars, stress, and loneliness. Comfort levels vary for everyone, and so does time and energy level (if nothing else).
But for me, part of my collection of scars comes from being left out – no matter how much effort I may put in or “positively popular” and “extroverted” I may seem. I don’t blame others, especially at church. We can only be aware of so much. But it just gets to me that some are magically dictated to be popular while others are not, disregarding effort, personality, or even intention. It doesn’t matter how long someone has been present, or how long one person has been trying to get involved while for someone else they walk right through the entrance and are hailed with greetings. None of that matters, and for this reason I can imagine invisible nametags stuck on our foreheads, bright and present only for our souls to catch – those that read ‘destined to be popular’ or ‘uninvited’ or ‘meh she’ll try her best but she’ll be deemed as more awkward than the rest.’ It’s to the extent that I can’t point to a single cause or factor contributing to this stark division, even in the most intimate of settings. It’s everything, really. And sometimes, there’s literally nothing one can do… except settle. Bitter? Definitely. But this has been rising for years. Though I can confidently say I’ve become much more open and social – and I’ve been enjoying it too! – it still stings me when I see it’s still useless.
Sometimes – mostly based on who you luckily get to know – one may be kept accountable by much more people than another. The amount of effort, smiles, or even heart won’t (can’t?) dictate who is remembered more, welcomed more warmly, and invited to more intimate get-togethers. Why is this? Because of a better sob story? More attractive outfits and demeanor? A better sense of worth?
I wish somebody would tell me, as well as the rest of “us,” an answer.
Because above all, I believe everyone deserves a chance, and if you’re going to make these stark differences so obvious, it’s better to do so even more discreetly. Though clearly, this is why social media can get too toxic for one’s own good.
Which is why I’ve begun to attend the first part of my College service at church, lingering just enough to say hi to the rest of those coming later before taking my leave. Though part of it is because I want to get more comfortable with being alone, the underlying, larger reason really is due to this issue of sociality – and how utterly tiring it can get. It’s my fault for caring too much but I want to stop caring… so, so much. It makes me blind to gratitude and what used to make me happy, because I’ve seen some people get handed more simply for being who they are. And after years of this, it’s hard not to feel affected by it. It further makes me remember the buildup of these scars, over and over again.
It’s getting suffocating.
Particularly since, with insomnia and other mental issues having re-emerged due to this busy semester, I’m sensitive as hell. The foundation of anxiety, depression, and even simple worry or moodiness is largely loneliness. And really, who can eradicate that in the long-run? Or a better question might be, who’s more willing?
Because in the end, what really makes a difference anyway?