Follow-up to The Hallway Blood Clot. High school Journalism assignment.
| We have all heard the deep and meaningful stories about teenagers not fitting in. We have all seen the young adult novels about finding out where you belong. We all, admit it, remember what Avril Lavigne used to stand for. We all remember what “drama” means.
In “The Hallway Blood Clot” I said some things that I don’t really agree with. It has been bothering me too much to just let it go and accept that I already did the assignment.
Like I said, we are all aware that teenage girls have trouble fitting in. We are so aware, in fact, that nobody really wants to hear about it anymore. No one is really interested in anybody else’s “drama.” There are songs, poems, books, movies, and entire websites devoted to it. At this point, if that’s what you are writing about, you might as well just throw it on the pile. Nobody is interested anymore.
All the same, that is, to some degree, exactly what I am writing about here. I know that it has all been done before. I know that I am not doing anything deep and important by adding to the stack of sad little misfit girls who don’t belong in the world. But this is what I have, so bear with me, okay?
In “The Hallway Blood Clot” I wrote about how cool my high school clique is. The truth is (here it comes), as a person who has never quite fit into any specific group, I am overly excited about finally being in one. I am very aware, however, of how judgmental and snooty I seemed.
When I first asked Mariah Baker for a quote, she said, “If you aren’t in it, you wish you were in it.” I didn’t use that quote in “The Hallway Blood Clot” because I thought that it completely went against the point of my story. As I think about it now, though, it actually sums up exactly what I was saying. “We are cooler than you. You are not as good as we are.” I was wrong.
From the outside, it was actually pretty hard to see the cliques. It just looked like everyone else was together and I was alone. It was a giant pity party, actually. Once I fit myself into my own group, I saw the other people more clearly. I saw the people I wasn’t friends with, and the people they weren’t friends with, and so on. And to be able to be in my own group and see everything from such a different view was such a good feeling that I forgot to be open-minded.
I could see how unoriginal and labeled everyone else was. I could see very clearly how different my group was. It was quite obvious to me that we were the only original, unlabeled, and real clique out there. But how could I possibly know what anyone else saw?
I have never been one of The Girls at The Top of The Stairs. I have never been one of The Ghetto Kids or The Art Freaks. I couldn’t even pick a Prep out of a crowd of Scene Kids. I have never seen things that way.
Maybe they have their own reasons for being the way that they are and for hanging out with people who are the same. Maybe they aren’t even all the same. Maybe from the outside, everyone in my group looks the same, too. Maybe every group sees themselves as The Unlabeled Kids. Maybe everyone just wants to be a part of something.
Maybe none of us are defined by what we wear or how we act. Maybe the truth is that everyone is so busy trying to figure out their own place that no one has time to give anyone else a place. It is not possible that we are all the center of the universe. It’s not possible that everyone is watching me, trying to label me, and at the same time they are all being watched. There just aren’t enough eyes in the world.
There is no panel of judges sitting in a secret underground lair in Alaska deciding which group each one of us belongs to. Maybe it just happens. Maybe we just fall into the categories we fall into here.
I am no better than anyone else. I don’t label myself because I don’t like it. I hang out with the people I hang out with because they make me laugh. I feel happy around them and I trust them. I don’t decide who my friends are by what they wear, but then again, I’ve had the same three friends since third grade.
Maybe some of us remain the way we have always been, and maybe some of us choose to change. Maybe just because somebody chose to change doesn’t mean that they sold out. Maybe change doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Some people are just different from me. And maybe within your own circle, you really are cooler than anyone else. Maybe the view from the outside to the inside to the outside to another inside is always going to be different. Maybe we can all be “the cool one.”
There are bigger things in life than what group we were in when we were in high school. We just don’t know what they are yet. Maybe it isn’t about finding your circle or being original. Maybe it’s just about making friends you can keep, no matter how far in separate directions you go. Maybe it’s about growing up, and knowing that we are not there yet. Maybe it’s about acting our age and doing things that we will be too old to do someday.
Or maybe they had it right from the very beginning. Who knows?
Maybe it really is all about the Hokie Pokie.