Ever since I was younger, I have always felt a bit out of place. Being half African-American and half Filipino has always affected me when it comes to relating with those around me; most especially since I look black but I certainly don’t act that way. From a very young age I had to learn to hold my own and learn to mask my emotions. Children are cruel; I learned this lesson many times and resolved to not let anyone close enough to avoid the potential of being hurt. I was and likely will always be the odd man out.
My senior year of high school was yet another test in learning to roll with the punches. My father decided to move in with his girlfriend several miles away and I had to start over. At that point I’d resolved to just get through my last year and avoid making connections. I didn’t see the point because I knew that at the end of the year we’d all be going our separate ways.
As with all things, my plans didn’t work out. A girl who I had several classes with invited me to go grab lunch with her and some of her friends. I could have certainly refused but I was in the mood for something different so I agreed. Ever since that day, I ended up, against my bitter judgement forming relationships with people who to this day I haven’t had much contact with, expect recently the girl who asked me to lunch.
At that age, I was extremely jaded so most of my interactions were fairly superficial. Now, I’m even more jaded but the last few times we have hung out, alcohol has been involved, preventing both our abilities to shield ourselves. As a result we’ve learned that she and I are a lot more alike than we thought. We both are capable of being social and people mistake our “bubbly upbeat” personalities as extrovertism when in reality we aren’t. We just understand that to get by in life, you have to appear approachable and likeable at times and we’ve mastered the ability to mask our true emotions.
I had concluded based on our prior interaction and her interaction with others that she was a social butterfly and had many friends; turns out that’s not really the case. It’s strange that after nearly 6 years of residing in Arizona, the friend I make is the one I apparently had all along.