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“Achin’ to Be”

Posted by purplemary54 on May 21, 2014

For some reason this afternoon, I started thinking about some crappy things that happened in junior high.  It was right after my afternoon nap, and it seems to have left me unsettled.  (Or maybe it was the nap; I could just be sleep-lagged.)  I always feel sad when I think of that time.  I was such an awkward kid–simultaneously too sheltered and too smart for my own good.  I tried so hard to fit in, to wear the cool clothes, to be liked and popular.  But what I couldn’t realize then was that I didn’t fit with the mainstream.  My personality and intellect would always keep me kind of on the fringes.

And kids are so cruel.  I was ignored and rejected by a lot of people before I found a circle of friends that accepted me for the weirdo I was.  I can’t even really say I was bullied; although there were a couple of rotten apples that gave me a hard time, I was mostly invisible.  Add in all the hormones and insanity of puberty, and you’ve got a toxic mix of insecurity that I’ve never quite purged from my system.  I suspect most of my feelings of inadequacy stem from this time in my life.  Whenever I’m reminded of it for some reason, I feel that old not-quite-good-enough feeling.

The Replacements are a good tonic for this feeling.  This song in particular reminds me that there’s a whole lot of other people who don’t quite fit anywhere, who feel alone and misunderstood by the world.  Aching to be.  Just like me.

 

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3 Responses to ““Achin’ to Be””

  1. Sandee said

    Reading this really gets to me. Seems you’ve come out on the other side with a good sense of self. I must say, I had hard time after I became ill right before junior high — it effected the course of my life. I was thinking of it today. I would be so different if it weren’t for that. I became an alcoholic and I used a couple of other substances I think because of the issues I had. I could have bounced back better if I had a better personality — my social awkwardness came from being aloof, which can be read as conceit. Eh. Here I am today at least.

    It’s so intrusive when these old memories intrude on our space suddenly.

    I like the line in this song “kind of like an artist, who uses paint no more…”

    • I don’t know if I’d say I came through with a “good sense of self,” but that’s kind of the core of what I’ve always struggled with. Because I feel invisible so much of the time, I spend a lot of time wondering who the hell I am. You turned your issues into outwardly self-destructive behavior (maybe because you’re an extrovert?). I’ve internalized that stuff. I don’t know which one is worse. But I also think my awareness of my issues helps me deal with them to a degree; knowing what the problem is really is half the battle.

    • Paul Westerberg really can turn a phrase, can’t he?

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