Am I a wallflower?

Today has been a difficult day, and I have been thinking about a lot of things. I arrived at the uni to do my Portuguese oral test and I must say I performed poorly. I got a good note but I think the teacher gave it to me just because I was fine in the other stages and she likes me being on her class. I think that maybe if I hadn’t had that “I hate the only Brazilian person slightly connected to my life” phase I would’ve done it better. But I guess I just have to work hard to take back my old rhythm.

In other topic, a few days ago I was talking with my French classmates about school and sharing points of view on what should each of us work in. And Potter, a girl from my Nerd crew, pointed out my biggest issue.

“Écrivain, you need to work on your voice” she said. “You can’t read aloud, nobody hears you”.

“Well, it’s not my fault, It’s just I’m not used to talk to people.”

Awkward silence. Everyone staring at me. I had to fix things.

“It’s not a big deal! I just happen to be used to be alone.”

More awkward silence.

“C’mon! I spent half my childhood and all of my puberty in the library, you can’t expect—all right, I’m a loner, stop looking at me like I’m a dead puppy!”

Somebody made a joke and we started talking about something else, but in my head I was feeling bad. I mean, I’ve always known I’m a lonely person, and that I spend more time by myself than most people, but I never realised how much. It was like discovering that the way your private parts look is not normal: you might suspect that you’re different but you’ve never really had something to compare with. But I just found out that the private parts of my soul (if that’s a thing) are severely damaged, to the point that I have developed a learning difficulty for that. I can’t read aloud. And I can hardly yell, now that I think so. There are a few abilities that everyone should have and those two are on the list. And in that moment I turned really self-conscious and started to notice how big my loneliness really is. And by the time all of my friends started to talk about an old book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower. So I decided that I should read it and I downloaded it to my tablet (I don’t pay for anything until I proved that it’s worth it).

The book is about Charlie, a nerd teenager with writing skills, not too many but open minded friends, and over all, lonely. He’s described as a wallflower in the original book, but I’m reading the translated version and it hurts a little. There’s no equivalent of “wallflower” in Spanish, so the translators changed it for “margined” (“invisible” in the movie). And I could not help but think how much I have in common with Charlie. I haven’t finished the book because I don’t give it too much time (I’m also reading Wild Cards), but I think that Charlie’s life is really sad. And I started thinking. Is my life sad? Am I missing important experiences? Am I a margined?

I believe I should do something about it, but I don’t know where to start. First of all, how does someone meet new people? All the friends I have came by forced interaction: my classmates, my classmates’ friends or couples, or my clients. I don’t really know someone that I can say I looked for and became friends with. How do regular people find friends? How hard is it? Will I get in problems if I say something inappropriate? And how do I know what is appropriate and what is not? It looks like a really difficult task, and I think it will take me time to decipher it.

Luckily I got a practice exercise today: I found an old High School classmate at the bus to my home town. We talked for an hour and a half about how school was and what were our plans. It was nice, but I did notice several awkward silences. And during that time in my head was echoing “Wallflower, wallflower, wallflower”. It was horrible. I must get rid of that now. For now I will just finish the book, maybe Charlie’s experiences work for me too.

But tonight it became difficult with my parents. The thing is, my family is a very religious one, and pretty conservative. So when my father found out in one of his jobs that one of my best friends is bisexual I had a long talk with them. They quoted me the Bible and everything. They say he’s a dangerous person (even though they thought he was cool a few weeks ago) and that he could drug me and rape me. I told them I know him and how he is, and that if he wanted to hurt me he would have already done it. But they didn’t listen to anything and they really want me to stop seeing him. They said it was an advice only, but I know them, and I know it’s not. If they ever find out that I was hanging out with him I will get in troubles. That makes me sad, because Scrubs (I’ll call him that now) is one of my best friends, but it got me to think. How many of my current friends are gay or bisexual? Pseudogay, Aristocat, Scrubs… but the one that worries me more is Whovie. How could I ever tell my parents I’m in love with an agnostic, tattooed, pansexual girl that believes everyone should do anything they ever have in mind doesn’t matter how unreasonable that is? (I want to clarify that last point is not about homosexuality, but about society in general.) My beliefs say that homosexuality is wrong, but that doesn’t mean I should throw rocks to any gay person I know, right? I’m supposed to be an example, not a threat. And I knew my dad had some homophobic ideas, but I never knew how firm they were about it. Now I hear that I must tell a friend to get lost because he’s bi. It just doesn’t make sense to me. I’m pretty sure that’s not what the Bible tries to say when they talk about the topic. Anyway, since this is not a religious blog and this is a controversial topic I think I maybe cut it here.

At the end, it turns out that my parents support my desire of making new friends by getting rid of those that I already have. So I guess I’ll just keep being a wallflower.

And the three things that I learnt today were…

1.- You don’t choose who you love, you just have to learn to accept them, even if it’s difficult.

2.- Being lonely is not a bad thing… until you think about it. Then it becomes a horrible nightmare.

3.- I must become better at Portuguese and leave my personal life out of it.




6 thoughts on “Am I a wallflower?

  1. Pingback: My last date with Curlz | Chronicles Of A Lonely Writer

  2. I haven’t read the book but I’ve watched the movie and it broke my heart. The question to really ask oneself is – do I feel like I’m missing out on something by being an introvert. Because if you are comfortable being by yourself, then people’s views on how many friends you need to have, don’t really apply. I think you are a very interesting person and it will show in your interactions. If people don’t really spend the effort to get to know you, are they ultimately worth it? Hang in there. You will do fine. You will be fine.

    • Thank you 🙂 I really never cared about it, but lately I realised I never do anything with my friends. I have plenty of them but I only see them at school, and only talk about school with them. I’ve noticed I never have plans for vacations and I think it’s starting to be a problem. It’s not the same being alone that being lonely. But your words really help, and I think you’re right. I will be fine. Thanks!

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