Friends. What are THOSE? Social gatherings. What are THOSE?
According to Google search results,
- social means related to or designed for activities in which people meet each other for pleasure.
- misfit means something that does not fit or fits badly.
These past couple of weeks I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that I may have been operating under a social misfit mindset. Allow me to explain.
Home. School. Church. This was my life growing up – eventually work became a part of this cycle as I got older. Anytime one of us children would say “my friend…”, my wonderful Haitian parents would say, “Nan ki bagay friend, m’te ye ave-w?” [TRANSLATION: Of what friend stuff was I with you?] In other words, there are no such things as friends. So you can imagine the backlash we would get if we asked to go out with one of those friends or to go to their birthday parties. Eventually, the invitations just stopped coming. We were even told to be careful with kids at our church. We weren’t allowed to talk on the phone unless it was about school work.
That was the foundation of my social life. It became more difficult to be socially normal.I managed to stick with a group of friends in high school because we all pretty much had the same background growing up with Haitian parents. We understood each other and were able to make life a bit less humdrum. Fast forward a bit to college. I was so used to not really going anywhere that I didn’t do much. I joined a fraternity the spring of my “freshman” year (I was about to be a junior according to my credits) and that wasn’t the most pleasant experience being that I’m socially awkward. I was a part of other organizations as well as a band at one point, but I didn’t really begin to enjoy college life until my last semester. I know. It’s actually really sad, but that was my reality. I found something that I loved doing right and then I had to leave.
I have now been in a period of transition for about 6 months now, and I have finally realized my lack of social interaction. However, my greatest realization as far as this is concerned is how much this has hindered me and will prevent my future success if I don’t do anything about it. The thought of that is intimidating at the least.
I do a crappy job of keeping up with people, and it can be extremely uncomfortable for me to talk to people outside of my comfort zone.
Nonetheless, I have made a decision to be the victor instead of the victim. I have chosen to do whatever I can to overcome this obstacle of social intimidation. Heck, I’m 21 now. Time is ticking. The other thing is: God didn’t create us to be lonely. We were created to be in fellowship with others just as He wants to be in fellowship with us. We don’t exist simply to roam the earth. So, instead of dwelling on the negatives, I’m going to dwell on the positives as those negatives change into positives.
I do genuinely love people and am naturally nurturing. I have the need to express myself and the need to help people. I also love to be in the company of those I love.
All in all, I wrote this to encourage myself and others who face the same difficulty, but I also wrote this to be vulnerable and open about my journey.