Growing up I was quite the shy girl. I was not outspoken, I kept to myself, and I watched and listened to the world around me. Sometimes I feel as if I kept myself away from certain things as a child. I was very reserved and always worried what others think instead of just going out and having fun. Don’t get me wrong, I did have fun when I was little!
Middle school was an interesting time because I never really had a set friend group. I struggled opening up to people because I would just think that in a few months my friends would get sick of me and move on. I was never the center of boys’ attention either. I would ask boys to dances since I knew no one would ask me and every time I would get turned down. I got used to rejection from both boys and even my own friends and just decided it would always be best for me to stay on the sidelines.
High school presents its own challenges to each who enters its doors. Problems escalated with my friends and I began to feel isolated. Eventually I would isolate myself on purpose because why bother sticking my neck out? I felt like I was falling deeper and deeper into a hole where no one could hear me or even cared to look. I kept to myself and kept my head down in the hallways and never spoke up in class. I was that quiet girl. Its nice, the quiet, but it does get lonely.
My sophomore year of high school I read the book The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. It tells the story of Charlie, a teenage boy who deals with mental health issues and just being a shy and quiet teenager. He describes himself as a “wallflower.” To quote the book, “He’s a wallflower. You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.” I related to Charlie with being a wallflower.
Being quiet was not always a bad thing. You pick up on things. You notice certain qualities or tendencies of people. You can tell when someone is faking a smile or being happy. You can tell many things about a person by just watching their habits and listening to them.
To my fellow wallflowers:
Its okay to not be okay all the time. Its okay to be quiet and shy. Its okay to be awkward. You are not alone. We are beautiful.