I was never the cool kid in school. I suppose most of us weren’t. But then again, I always found it difficult to make friends and talk to them, clearly communicating what was on my mind. I never could really relate to any of my classmates or really understand them, though I spent loads of time with them. I guess that makes me an introvert and/or sociopath.
So yeah, being the guy with just a couple of friends, who really weren’t that close with me, obviously led to depressing times. Teenage is a confusing time in our lives, and when you’re alone, it takes on a terrifying form. Self-esteem is depressingly low and the pressure to fit in with the crowd becomes a primary survival instinct. Believe me, I have tried every technique possible to fit in with everyone and to try to make everyone like me. And I failed hard.
I was an outcast, in the literal sense, but I was included in friend circles and the resulting discussions, out of sympathy by others. The one thing that was beyond my access level, so to speak, were secrets. High school is filled with secrets and everyone has them. You share them with your closest friend(s) and I’ve seen friendships destroyed simply because one person talks a little too much. Secrets are an integral part of the high school experience. Being let in on a secret is a great feeling, because it means the person who confided in you trusts you, and now, you too have something nobody else in the world knows, your little secret.
Naturally, the urge was quite strong to be one of the people entrusted with these precious secrets.
No one shared any secrets with me. I tried hard to prove to the others that I was capable of keeping the secret safe. I tried to prove that I wouldn’t let the cat out of the bag, even if my life depended on it. Looking back at those times now, I keep asking myself, “What the hell was so special about those secrets anyway?”. But well, the most trivial of things gain priority in your lives when you are young and inexperienced. It was all just a way to ensure that I would fit into the crowd, at a time when I was most vulnerable of being outcast.
I was scared. Scared that I would never be a part of a gang, scared that I would never have any true friends. If being told secrets guaranteed friends, then so be it. Being left out of a secret hurt. And it hurt bad. It hurt because it proved that no one thought I was a close enough friend, it hurt because nobody liked me, that no one valued me.
Sure enough, nearly half a decade down the line, I find all this to be extremely cheesy thinking of my part. I still find it hart to believe that I used to be like this. But people change all the time. Time and life itself have changed me and now that I think of it, life might seem really serious, but it’s actually fun if you don’t take it too seriously.
Also, the restless urge to be told secrets? Just a phase of my life, when I would have given a limb to be able to fit in with the people around me. This was in stark contrast to the next phase of my life, where I tried my hardest to stand out from the crowd and not give any fucks. Right now, I am just doing my best to balance everything and hope I don’t burn down any more bridges than I already have. That’s the thing about life. Our priorities change, our perspectives change. We might go chasing all the wrong things, but sooner or later, we see them for what they are. Let me leave you with just one piece of advice. Do not go chasing after secrets. For all the importance attached to secrets, they just aren’t worth it. You might think that they bring you closer to your friends and what not, but trust me, the lesser you know, the happier you will be. Spoken from true experience.