an aside

This is a nice stand-alone entry about some memories I have conjured up. While in Elementary school I considered the group of kids that lived in nearby subdivisions to be my best friends. I would go over there to play on weekends and hang out. There were two subdivisions, the kids from each subdivision didn't really interact with each other, and I lived right between the two on a private drive.

I spent the most time at my friend J's house. Despite being physically shorter, he was the neighborhood kingpin, so to speak, and most people looked up to him. Little did I realize just how low I was on the totem pole with these groups. I can remember going to a pool with them and being abandoned. Sure, I was never the most fit kid, but I was always picked near the end of every backyard sports draft. Any time I had an opinion, it was unlikely to be heard. Even the kids that were younger than me tried to pick on me.

As soon as we moved on to middle school, J and the others quickly cut ties with me as their new-found popularity couldn't be weighted down by having such an outcast friend. I made a new group of more accepting and less accepted friends, and in some ways became one of the kingpins of my new group. This wasn't getting me very far, but luckily I was able to move away after my Freshman year of high school and reinvent myself at a new school. This move was good for me, but I cannot forget my roots.

I recently reestablished contact with J and a few of the other friends from my Elementary days. It was nice to hear from them again, but also evident that they had no desire to even be acquaintances online. I guess it is pretty disappointing that a stigma developed in Junior High can have such a lasting effect on someone's psyche. I don't know if I am talking about myself or my old friend. I guess in a lot of ways I am a little bitter now...and just saddened by how shallow our friendship must have been all of those years. And once there was popularity to be had, what a tarnish I was on their reputations.

I think despite all of this I have turned out fairly normal...If anything it has helped me to see through the facade of forced social situations and helped me to realize the unpleasant and selfish person that perceived popularity can create. I think for a lot of people, they peak too soon and never reach that point again.

At the rate I am going, I doubt I will ever peak. It is more like a gradual plateau. All I know is that I don't talk to anyone that I knew before college anymore, and that is probably the best thing I have ever done for myself. When you are forced to be friends with people you might not otherwise get along with, you are given just that, a forced friendship. Very little is real about it, and the relationships that you make seldom last.

Thanks for that lesson, J, and all of the other people that I was once convinced were really my friends. I wonder how you fared?


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