While I was doing Jordan Peterson’s Self Authoring Suite, I realized a moment in my life that may have potentially shaped who I am today.
When I was still living in New York, this was around 6th grade, due to the gang activity and general level of crime in my neighborhood, the city enacted a afterschool program to prevent the kids in my school to joining gangs(it did not work btw).
The basic schedule of the program was you would study for about an hour and half, and then you would play for about an hour and a half, and then you would go home, because parents would usually end work and come home at 6.
During the study time, I would sit with the cool kids. And the way I got into the cool kids group was through my friend who dragged me along to sit with them. The funny thing about my school was that it was just like the movies. You know how in hollywood depictions there are cliques of cool kids and weird/loser kids? Yeah. . . My school had the same thing. And right in the classroom that I was in, the class was divided into cool kids, and everybody else that was a loser/weird, I knew they were weird, because the cool kids called them weird.
My experience sitting with the cool kids, if I had to sum it up in one word it would be. . .
Boring. Boring as Fuck.
All the cool kids did was act cool. They would listen to music. They would make beats with their pens. They would rarely talk to each other, and whenever they did it was usually gossip. And I just sat there bored out of my mind, and I looked over at the so-called weird kids, and looked at how much fun they were having.
One day, when I was sitting with the cool kids, I made a choice. I got up. I started walking over to the weird kid table. And I shit you not, like a movie, the coolest girl of the group that was sitting at the cool kid table, stops me, and says, “Hey, Do you want to be a cool kid or a weird kid?” This might not sound dramatic to you, but to a 6th grader, where being cool was supposedly everything, a lot was on the line here, and the decision I made is something that I am proud of to this day. I said, “A weird kid.” And I left her, and sat with the weird table. And oh my god, I had so much fun.
We drew, we played Yu Gi Oh, we talked about anything and everything we wanted, we shared our music, unlike the cool kids that would just keep to themselves, and overall, they were so much more sociable.
This decision changed my life because it was the first major decision I had to make where I had to choose between others perception of me or being honest to who I was. And today, I believed this decision has molded me into the person I am today, where I can honestly say that I could care less about what people thought about me when I make my decisions, and I believe that is a huge strength, where peer pressure will not affect my decisions.
And as I look back, one of the saddest parts of my being with the weird group was that there were a couple of people, if not all, that were constantly trying to be a cool kid. And they would sometimes join in on the mocking of the weird kids just to fit in. And when the kids got some popularity, they would put on a mask and try to hide who they actually were, just so that they could hold onto what popularity that they had achieved.
People care way too much about how other people perceive them. You should self-reflect and see if you care too much too. I know I did.
It’s that simple,
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