recently, i've become facebook friends with several guys i went to high school with, and this simple act of "friending" them has brought up a host of memories.
high school was not a happy time for me. and while i had some good friends and was probably considered to be a part of the "popular" crowd, whatever that means, i was also accused of being a snob by a number of people. that was not an altogether unfair assessment. i was standoff-ish and rather self-righteous.
i particularly remember--to my absolute horror--saying to one guy when he asked me out: "i have standards, and you don't meet up to them." i can't tell you how mortified i am now that i said that to another human being. he was a friend and continued, with much grace, to be one even after my hateful, damaging words.
i don't think i actually was a snob. i didn't think i was better than everybody else; just the opposite, in fact. now that i have some perspective and have had some extensive therapy (thank God!), i realize that what was really going on in me was that i felt incredibly lost and alone and terribly afraid. i was trying to navigate life and adolescence on my own and had no language or frame of reference for the questions and issues that were surfacing in my mind and heart. my response was to try to bury these things as deeply as possible, pretend they didn't exist, and then to carefully craft a false self, one that enabled me to look like i was strong enough to handle whatever came my way. the fear was that i would be found out, seen for what i really was, so keeping my distance was key.
if only i'd know then what i know now: that underneath it all, we are all lost and afraid. we are all broken. and when we can admit that we don't have our shit together and we come out from behind the masks we've been wearing, well, then, we find a small band of people who really and truly see us and say, "yeah, me, too."
and then we're not so alone after all.