And I have done nothing. Mostly I- Read Odd Girls Out and wondered why do these girls act like this? I didn't act like that when I was in school. I was sort of... odd. This book talks about how girls will single out a single girl if she's overweight, if she's rich, if she's new or if she thinks she's "all that." They will pretend to be her friend then pick on her in subtle ways and say, "God, we're just joking. You don't have to get all huffy and bitchy." This really hurts the girl, shakes her trust and confidence. I wonder why they do that. It makes little sense. It's like the girl can't win. If she's thin, she's not thin enough, if she's smart she has to tone it down. It goes with a book I got through half of at the Coop yesterday. It was called Pledged. It was about these girls who pledged for a sorority. One had a nice boyfriend and broke up with him because of pressure from her "sisters." I wondered, why? He's a perfectly nice guy. I wish I had a nice person to be with. No bunch of girls would make me break up with the person... Maybe it's because I lack those kind of pack instincts. In elementary school I'd walk around the perimeter of the playground telling stories to myself while everyone played and jumped double dutch. I got teased a bit I think. It was terrible living in Alabama. Elementary school was ok there but in junior high the boys called me frog and some girl who was nice to me at first picked on me. But, I seem to exist in my own little world, which is a problem and a good thing at the same time. I went back to NY and saw old friends. I never had that many close friends in school before high school... There weren't many friends I could hang out with and play with so I mostly played by myself and read a great deal. In junior high I hardly did anything. I didn't date, didn't have any interest in boys or girls. I hung out with 4 girls, but was on the outskirts. They'd read me the juicy bits of romance novels. I hated romance books. Mostly I read books like Wise Child and The Seventh Son and thought about odd things. My closest friend in junior high was a girl from Haiti who got teased by the other kids and called "Voodoo girl". She was an awesome person. She knew several languages but had trouble with English. She was being abused though. Soon she was taken away to a foster home and it was quite a while before I saw her. I wish I had at least been smart enough to ask for her address or to say something Dang I hate being shy. I had a handful of friends in high school, but for the most part I was in a world of music, books and my own stories. I liked most of the teachers at school, but some of the students were a bit... annoying... loud and obnoxious. Just like Junior high when are best music teacher left because someone pulled off her wig. In high school like junior high school some people would get it into their mind that I need to mingle and be social. So they'd force me to go to proms. In junior high some people made me go on the senior trip without books (there was no way in hell I'd go on a trip without music... no way) and I got forced to go the dance. I wanted to stay home from the dance and listen to Mozart. I am a major, complete nerd. On my prom I didn't go with a guy, but a group of girls I barely new. I can't stand dances and things that involve dressing up and uncomfortable shoes. I did, at least got to dance with a girl though.
In college making friends was easier. We were crammed together in the same place on some small campus where the winters were harsh and everyone caught the same colds. I had a diverse group of friends. Christians, artists, folks who liked to watch movies like Princess Bride. The groups would sometimes intersect at times. But I had all sorts of people to hang out with, see movies with. Or, I could just hide in Richardson computer lab and watch movies. I knew I didn't want to leave college.
In the real world, it's harder to meet friends. The people I work with are either older than me or much younger and they already have their pack going. Or, perhaps I am the one with the problem. Maybe I'm the one building up walls whenever people try to take them down. I just can't tell. There is probably a reason why I am so socially behind (hey, Kramer has a pocket watch. I hate this show, but his pocket watch has a hunting case!) I feel.. rather socially retarded. I don't talk enough to people. In fact, like Strongbow in Elf-Quest I wish I could just directly project thoughts into people's minds. I get tired of talking. It hurts my throat for one thing and no one can really hear me. I ought to come with subtitles. Or someone to translate for me. Times like that I wish I knew sign language. It's elegant, beautiful and silent.
Shyness is like a wall. Like a force field and it can be difficult to get over it. It can be painful even to speak sometimes... even among nice people. I blame too much isolation, yet... it seems to make whatever weird senses I have stronger. Which sounds amazingly strange.
Pay? I don't know. But I found it very interesting to read. It sounded a lot like me in some ways. (Different in others, but there was a lot to relate to.)
Posts: 1547 | Registered: Jan 2004
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I guess in the sense that we all give our lives for something. I did not think, as the august Mr. Davidson sometimes says, "that's x-minutes of my life I'll never get back."
But I did want to read it based on something you said about a goal you had related to your birthday in another thread a while back. Some thread about dreams and goals.
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Yes, I'd like to be a writer... but... I'm sort of... random... This, is something I just wrote today though, a few hours ago and it's not very polished at all.
Posts: 9867 | Registered: Mar 2003
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Hey there! I enjoyed reading your thoughts.
I heard an inverview on NPR once on the book Odd Girl Out, and I found it fascinating. I thought, why didn't I experience much of that growing up? Then I realized that these games are played amongst the more popular girls. Though I must admit, some of that pettiness did happen amongst our group of friends, but really not much. To this day when I see a girl who looks like she was popular in high school I automatically think that we have nothing in common and have very litte interest in getting to know her. That is horribly judgemental of me, and I try to stop when I realize I am doing it.
I did feel I could relate to a lot of the experiences you had growing up. I think that it is better to be lonely and be true to yourself than to be popular and be manipulated by the fickle winds of fashion.
As for paying for what you had written, the thought would not have occured to me if it had not been asked. Of course, I pay for very little and I avoid paying to read something unless it is an author that I highly support like OSC.
I imagine that it is tough to get a job as a writer as it is difficult to get into any professional art. I rarely think about trying to get money for my writing, art, or musical talent, since I am not stellar at any of them. I just kinda keep it on the side as something fun to do. Also, I often do these things for free (or mostly free) for family and friends and enjoy being able to share with them. Payment might come in the form of babysitting or a meal or whatnot.
I feel like I get far more appreciation doing things for free than if I require payment. I don't feel impressive enough to be paid, and a paying customer is critical. But when I am doing something for free, the person is always so grateful and admiring.
I remember in my highschool students were always asking me to draw things for them. Everyone wanted me to draw The Little Mermaid in their Yearbook. When it came to art, I was popular. I knew I wasn't all that good. It was just that in that small pond I happened to be the best.
But dream big, keep writing. You may find yourself moved to create something that the world must behold. If nothing else, your writing can be a joy to you and those close to you.
Posts: 7050 | Registered: Feb 2004
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quote:Yes, I'd like to be a writer... but... I'm sort of... random...
Synth: Being random is part of the packaging of a writer.
Here's a sort of late b'day gift for you since you are toying with writing as something to pursue. Go to the bookstore or library (if you're a poor grad student like me, the library will suffice). Get a copy of Stephen King's On Writing .
Read it. What King has to say about the writing life is all true. Writing is work, but it's the most pleasurable work I know.
Oh, and a little advice from me (I say this to every composition class I teach): All first drafts are crap. Crap doesn't mean unsalvagable, however. Crap means you have to refine what you write . Most of my writing doesn't really start working well till draft three or four. And because I'm a perfectionist deep down, I'm never, ever satisfied.
The fact that you're trying to discover if you are a writer is encouraging. Discovery is part of the journey. Here's your towel, have a nice trip!
[ August 27, 2004, 11:36 PM: Message edited by: Jess N ]
Posts: 392 | Registered: Aug 2004
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