I'm not sure about all of you, but when I was a kid I didn't have many friends. I spent my time with the people who truly understood me and genuinely wanted to be my friends. Have you guessed who they are? For those of you who still have no idea who I'm talking about, I'm talking of my imaginary friends. As a child, I'm not sure why, but I would cry about everything. I still remember this one time in second grade when the teacher skipped me while passing something out, so I raised my hand to tell her but when she asked me what I neded, I just started crying and I had no idea why. She pulled me out of the classroom to ask me what was wrong. I couldn't tell her because I was crying so much. I went to a private school so we would get two "color changes," which are like warnings, before we got a detention. She told me that if I wouldn't tell her why I was crying she would give me a color change. I got really scared because I've never gotten one in my life. Long story short...I ended up with a detention that day.This, of course, made the other kids in my class not want to hang out or play with me; they were scared they would make me cry so they shunned me from their groups.
This didn't matter much to me. It just meant I spent most of my time alone. Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't completely alone; I did have one friend who stuck by me even to this day. It just so happened that she would be absent most of the time, so I would walk around during recess and lunch by myself just talking to my imaginary friends. It didn't really help much that I had extremely low self-confidence and was not able to talk to other people at all. So as you can see...this didn't turn out very well for me. My classmates were too scared to talk to me thinking they would make me cry, I was too scared to talk to them because that's just how I was. I knew that my imaginary friends would never be mean to me, so I decided to stick with them. At home, I would talk to my stuffed animals and such, but when I had to leave my house, the friends that I created myself would go with me.
As kids we don't like the idea of facing our fears, so we stick to things that we already know that we're comfortable with. I'm pretty sure we all think that we will all eventually grow out of this mindset, but is that really the case? I know for me I have a really difficult time facing my fears. I still have a hard time talking to people I don't already know. Public speaking is a nightmare for me. When I have to say something in front of the class, or just in front of a large group of people in general, I start to feel really uncomfortable and I can feel the heat rushing up to my face. Everybody's eyes are on me and I feel pressured as if I'm going to say something wrong and completely embarrass myself.
There are many of us, even if we won't admit to it, are scared of something and are even more scared to face it. We go on life thinking that it isn't important or we'll eventually get over it, but this obviously is not the case. So next time you see a child playing with imaginary friends, or something of that sort, and you begin to question why, reflect on yourself to see if you're any "mature" than that child. Are we even capable of changing outselves so that we are no longer afraid of the simple things in life, or will we live forever wondering "What if?" Can we go out, have courage, and just do whatever it is that we're scared of?
-Post by Kathleen