Have you ever been on the sidelines? Not necessarily in reference to playing a sport, but let’s say watching either your friends or peers. I have been. It can suck, not going to lie. Even though it wasn’t always my desired position in life, it has definitely opened up my eyes to how others interact and how to be the best friend. Well, try to be.
At times it feels like you’re behind a barricade watching everyone else around you continue the race and you’re on the sidelines cheering them on but it appears they don’t hear you.
Sometimes it feels like you’re down in a deep hole and yelling for someone up above to help you, but no one ever does.
It can feel like you’re all on your own.
I have felt this for a long time, not always, but in spurts. Sometimes it can last for a few months. Sometimes it lasts for a day.
However, being on the sidelines has taught me the art of people watching. I have trained myself in watching others’ emotions and picking up on people’s different cues. I just watch and learn how others interact, or I can tell when a person is upset even if they are sitting there smiling with their friend. I see their smile fade when their friend looks away.
Many people don’t realize that I pick up on these things. People don’t realize that I’m there. I’m like Charlie in The Perks of Being A Wallflower; I am a wallflower. I see things people don’t. I hear things people say when they think no one is listening.
High school was a challenging time for me. I felt like I was never good enough for my friends. I was not as smart as them. I was not as pretty as them. I was not as athletic as them. I was the weird, awkward one. I spent a lot of time alone. I would watch and listen to my friends at school, and I felt invisible. I felt like my opinions did not matter as much as the person who was next to me.
College broke me out of my shell. I found a great group of friends and I made two of the best friends I have had in life so far. Even being part of a group, there have been many times I felt detached from everyone else. Since there is a group of us, there are smaller subgroups that people break in to. Sometimes it felt that everyone wanted to hang out with each other, but not with me, which at first was fine but it would start to get to me even when it should not have. Me being who I am, I never really brought it up much except to one or two people and I felt awful afterwards for feeling that way.
If you feel you are on the sidelines, be brave and bring it up to your friends. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground and make yourself known. You have to help yourself be noticed. Break away from being the wallflower. It’s okay to creep back in sometimes. You have to break yourself away and chill by yourself, but don’t stray for too long. Don’t get stuck in the hole.
Don’t let yourself be stuck on the sidelines.