Monday, May 7, 2012

Random Law School Update 33

Last Location: Koh Samui, Thailand
Arrival Date: March 26, 2012
Departure Date: April 2, 2012

Current Location: Washington, DC
Arrival Date: April 3, 2012
Departure Date: May 15, 2012

Next Location: Grenada
Arrival Date: May 15, 2012
Departure Date: May 28, 2012 

Sometimes I am overcome by nostalgia.

Today it came as I slid my mouse down my gchat status window, causing a profile photo to appear for each one of my friends. One of my friends had posted a verse that read, “a baby sleeps in all our bones, so scared to be alone.” And this got me thinking, as I reflected carefully upon each photo, that we all used to be children.

I think that we were scared then. At least I was. I must have been scared of all sorts of things. Though, in retrospect I can only really remember one: I was scared of not being liked, of not being able to make friends.

It was a fear that consumed me. The more I wanted friends, the more impossible I found them to obtain. The intensity of my desire had ratcheted up the stakes in my young psyche to such a level that I would panic under the pressure each time I was presented with an opportunity to succeed in my endeavor. And so I didn’t. My anxious presence repelled even the lightest-hearted people and I found myself utterly unliked.

I failed to make friends, even a single friend, for years of my childhood. I remember feeling desperately alone. I would walk to school each day, my stomach in knots, the breath shallow in my lungs, and my heart hovering a few feet away as if hoping for an opportunity to sever itself from my body in search of a less socially awkward home. 

As I scrolled through my gchat list, I spent some time looking carefully into the expression of each of my friends and acquaintances, trying to catch a glimpse of what had scared them as a child. And it occurred to me that perhaps I was not the only one. That there were many of us scared lonely children growing up all over the country. That, in fact, I was never as alone as I thought I was.

I took a moment to explain this to my younger self when she was having a particularly bad day. I remember it making her feel a little bit better. Better enough that she grew up just fine. Just fine, if still stricken on occasion by a fear of not being liked.

As a reminder, I am always happy to remove you from or add you to the RLSU email list. I keep an archive of my updates here: