It’s odd how Derpy said that he wasn’t the really popular, sports-loving guy at school. Because that’s something like who I saw myself as. The short version is I WAS AWKWARD THEN I HIT PUBERTY BEFORE OTHER GUYS THEN I WAS A BULLY THEN I WAS LESS OF A JERK THEN I DID ALL THE THINGS And then I was awkward again.
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- I was awkward
I don’t have a memory where I didn’t know how to read. Apparently, I was reading around age 3. I remember reading to some guy at the local elementary school at about that age, because my grandmother asked me to. I remember him asking me to skip around in the book as well to read. No big deal. I just read it.
Apparently, their principal skipped around, because he thought that I had just memorized certain areas of the book. Anyway, my grandmother keeps telling me about that day. The principal said I needed to have my gifts encouraged. I earned the most Accelerated Reader (dating myself) points in my school. Had the highest IQ for my grade. Was praised for my articulate speech. Took gifted classes.
Blah blah blah that cute girl didn’t like me in elementary school blah blah blah. I played baseball. Made All-Star team once out of three years. Broke an ankle.
- Then I hit puberty early and I was a jerk
My voice started to change in 5th grade, and all of those strange “feelings” that I have for girls and women now kicked in. Fortunately, my voice didn’t crack all that much, and the light baritone I have now was the voice that I had in 6th grade. People encouraged me to speak and praised my maturity and intellect. Things like that.
Of course, being hopped up on hormones, being in middle school, and being the inquisitive kid I was, I asked questions about other people. If I didn’t know why, I wanted to know why. Especially if I thought there was a better way to be. Just didn’t make sense.
“Why do you walk funny? It’d save you some trouble if you could…not look at the ground.” “If kids pick on you for playing with your Pokemon cards at school, then why are you playing with them right in front of everyone? You’re just asking for trouble.” “Why does your face look funny? Like, seriously. Your face is literally pink. (goes to find pink colored pencil and holds it to face)” “Why do you smell so bad? In fact, all of the kids who are over here smell bad, even when I see you by yourselves. Maybe you should use deodorI was a bully of one of the worst kinds.
I remember once asking to hold a Pikachu card from a guy (pink face) and I threw it on top of the school. He got mad and got in my face.
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I just smiled. And dared him to hit me, even if he was bigger than me. He and I both knew that if he tried to fight me, that I was still strong enough (puberty gave me a good bit of strength) to beat him pretty soundly. He walked away fuming. Yes, Verbose was a jerk.
My goal wasn’t to insult someone for my own benefit. It was because I just didn’t get why some kids were just so darn weird and to their own detriment. So instead of being able to simply ignore me because I obviously lacked self-esteem (which I didn’t at the time.) They actually considered what I said, because it held some merit. I still maintain that if kids give you grief for playing Pokemon at school, then you don’t play with Pokemon at school. Wait until you get home.
What made it worse was that I was an active, relatively popular student. I got good grades, won spelling bees, sang in state choruses, participated in quiz bowl, was on Student Council, was asked to read for radio spots at school, was chosen to run in the 100 yd dash during field day (got third place! Yeah!)…So because I was such a “good student,” no one really called me out on all of that. I still regret it. Blah blah blah the two girls I liked didn’t like me back. I played football. In recreational football, I was the quarterback. I ran for a couple of touchdowns each game. Ran track, played baseball for another All-Star team.
Got hit by a pitch in the thigh while looking at a cute girl in the bleachers. Scored though. … …in the game. Not with the girl.
- Then I was less of a jerk and I did a lot of different things
I never bullied him, because I knew he couldn’t help it, but someone about our age shot himself dead in part due to bullying. Nothing like being beat up each day after school and I wasn’t there to intervene or participate, but I knew he had a tough time. I think that sorta sobered me up from being so mean.
As you might be able to tell, being rejected by girls I really liked also helped me be less arrogant.
I ended up doing a lot more things. I played football for three years, I wrestled for one year, I sang in regional and state choruses, I sang for Literary region competitions (won my senior year! Yeah!), I was on Student Council, and was school president my senior year (My campaign was one poster with my face on it. I was lazy,) I was in Anchor Club, had a couple of part time jobs, lifted weights, went to off-season football camps (I have this cool story about getting the attention of Coach Mark Richt as a junior in high school,) voted most likely to succeed…stuff like that.
But in the midst off all of that, I had a unit in Literature about Transcendentalism. We read about Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
Via Wikipedia: “Among the transcendentalists’ core beliefs was the inherent goodness of both people and nature. Transcendentalists believed that society and its institutions-particularly organized religion and political parties-ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual. They had faith that people are at their best when truly “self-reliant” and independent. It is only from such real individuals that true community could be formed.”
From that, (and a class period where our teacher let us go out and “think.” Several people went into the opposite gender’s restrooms…) I began to wonder. “What is really important to me?”
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“What in all of this hustle and bustle is getting in the way of me being happy?”
And so I began to get awkward. Or at least weird.
- And then I was awkward again.
I came to do whatever I liked. I prioritized my faith beyond all else, and if something got in the way of me practicing it, then I sought to seek it out and address it. After that, I sought to do things I wanted to do. I began to not care that Pokemon was for kids. I didn’t care that it was odd to listen to video game music by itself. I didn’t care that it was odd to like the themes from Inuyasha even though I didn’t like the anime itself.
Just got hit some serious nostalgia feels. Like, in the shin.
But like in middle school, I knew better than to advertise my odd activities and thoughts to just anyone. It’s part of the reason why becoming a brony wasn’t a problem for me. I liked the show, and I liked the community. It’s not hurting anyone. Why wouldn’t I be a part of the community. So you can thank (or curse) Emerson and Thoreau for why I’m on KYM. And so I took all of that to college with me. I still love sports, I still like talking to people and learning about people (well, those who don’t annoy me,) I still have trouble getting along with the kids in anime club, I still enjoy singing and being a part of task-oriented groups (usually,) and I’m still into some geeky things.
I’m just not as much of a jerk, I guess. OH AND THERE’S THARJA OMG SHE’S SO COOL AND CREEPY AND CUTE DUDE THOUGH FOR REAL
No, I never had a thing for Raven from Teen Titans. Why do you ask?
You might notice that I didn’t talk about my parents at all. That’s because I’m a robot.
Actually, my family life was very chill. My mother and father never fought or argued to the point that they were at each others’ throats. My brother was always kind to be despite me being stuck up at times and a prick at others.
They always supported me no matter what. I’m very grateful to have it, but I didn’t think it would be as interesting as the rest of it. >implying
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