"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

the people who know me.

Now Playing: Dear John by Taylor Swift (don't you think seventeen's too young to be played by your dark twisted games when I loved you so?)

So I spend a lot of time as a blog mistress reading through comments you lovely people write and I must admit...some of them are not so lovely. Ever since setting pretty strict moderation I have read my fair share of spam, as well as racist, sexist and just downright weird comments by my lovely real-life chums.

And then occasionally you come across a comment that makes you sincerely thankful that you force yourself to read everything privately first.

The last two weeks have been a confusing blur of what the actual fuck - a common phenomenon, I am told, amongst the freshers of universities across the globe. And I met a guy - a guy I thought I could like and trust.

Oh boy, I gotta work on my judgement.

As much as age is just a number and I'm essentially number illiterate, nobody is more aware of my age than I am. I've always been the youngest - the youngest in my family, the youngest in the grade, and now one of the youngest freshers in the university. As much as I whinge about being a late bloomer all the stuff that happens between teenagers started when I was still underaged, and now that I'm entering the big bad world of drugs, sex and alcohol (as if high school wasn't already a good enough induction) I'm distinctly aware of how young I am. Most of my friends are older than me and some are practically honorary big sisters - in Korea when we were living in the dorms everyone called each other 'big brother' and 'big sister', and one of the girls was nicknamed 'gisuksa ohma' - dorm mother. My dear friend and only guest post writer is, as you might have noticed, my oppa - and I was wrong to call anyone else that. Anyone else who I have called that has let me down.

So it is intensely frustrating, when you are so young and you're so accustomed to being treated as 'the youngest', when you have to waste your time teaching grown men to grow up. I fail to see the point in being friends with older people when they behave like such children, and suddenly little teenage you has to be the grown up and mature one. I'm quite well known for my theatrics, so when I tell you I've met someone who has outdone me in the drama stakes, trust me on this one. What irritated me was that I never got a chance to speak my mind - and as someone who has had her own blog since she was twelve, you might have gathered I'm someone who likes to speak my mind quite a lot.

That's the thing, see - hardly anyone knows me very well at all, and one should certainly not presume to know anything about anyone after barely a few days of acquaintance. The people who know me know that I have only one or two really close friends who know everything and anything about me, that these people have known me a long time, that these people were there for me, and that our closeness didn't magically appear overnight. The people who know me know that I write - I write a lot, and I write with a purpose. The people who know me know that writing is my only outlet, my only voice, and if you've hurt me I'm not afraid to throw a few words at you. The people who know me know that I'm always out for a bit of revenge, a bit of vengeance, and I'm not afraid to air other peoples' dirty laundry. The people who know me know that I get hurt, easily, and I trust too quickly and get into far too much trouble. The people who know me know that I love unconditionally, but that kind of love only comes to people who have earned my love and respect. The people who know me know I'm not always the best judge of character and my innate lie detector is pretty nonexistent, but there is nothing I value more than sincerity. The people who know me know that I fight a lot, I cry a lot, and I need my space. The people who know me know that before somebody presumed to know me they should have seen this coming.

Let me tell you about my first hug from a guy. It was Mufti Day last year and we were all dressed up in silly costumes and exhausted after a long day of being silly sixteen year olds. Mufti Day is always kind of surreal, because you're floating around the boring concrete jungle that is high school with the crazies that are your classmates but they're not your classmates anymore - they're drag queens and Disney characters and all sorts of whacko things. And it's even more surreal when you say goodbye and see you tomorrow at the end of the day, because you know the magic is ending and reality will be back when you meet again. That was my first hug from a guy - a guy that I'd known for a long time and after about a month, a tentative, hesitant friendship was starting to form. From the outside I suppose my relationships with some people might have seemed a bit whirlwind and reckless but...I couldn't say that I never felt overwhelmed, but I never felt pushed into anything I didn't want. That's the difference, I guess, between the people I count amongst my friends and the people I have walked away from. My friends push me, definitely - I need a little motivation, a little pick up and push when I've fallen over - but some people pushed things too far.

The people who know me know that I'm shy. That it takes an incredible amount of guts for me to walk up to a table full of strangers, or to order things from waiters, or to ask to use the fitting rooms at the mall. The people who know me know that even emailing a guy was almost too scary for me, nearly two years ago, and things that people dismiss as trivial teenage pursuits are embedded permanently in my brain - touching moments, awkward, anxious, intense moments, being caught in the heat of the moment, long chunks of endless conversations committed to memory. I remember conversations I had with people when I was five, and I remember details about people I know have long forgotten about me. The people who know me know that I cried the first time in a long time someone who was not family went out of their way to look out for me. The people who know me know that I'm shy, I'm not great with people, I remember everything, that I am easily touched and hurt often.

These are not things anyone can learn about anyone else in a week. I have known some of my friends for more than half a lifetime and I'm still learning new things about them, every day. I couldn't pretend to know myself, much less a whole other soul. But what you can learn in a week is that some people aren't always willing to respect boundaries and make sure you're okay with everything. What you can learn in a week is that there are some people who ignore warning signs and the most obvious of gestures because they want they want, and what you want isn't in the equation. What you can learn in a week is someone who doesn't attempt to learn when you need company and when you just need to be left the fuck alone. What you can learn in a week is someone who doesn't bother to understand you for who you are, instead of who they think you are. What you can learn in a week is that when people tell you you're losing your mind it's sometimes a bad idea to swear that you're fine, and now I'll look back and regret I ignored when they said 'run as fast as you can'. What you can learn after a week is that when everything goes to shit some people will never know what they did wrong and will apologise as if you're that little girl who forgives and forgets. Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me.

But the most important thing people don't know about me - I'm the writer. I'm more than capable of making up little stories to go along with your little lies; it's kind of what being an English major is about. And when you're seventeen and the person in question is ten years older - sometimes age doesn't always bring an air of authority you'd expect over someone a decade your junior. When it comes to writing down the story of us I'm the one people believe, not you. What people don't realise is that I'm the writer, and it's my stories that get told.

This is my story. You wrote your own part and dug your own grave, so to speak. That's one thing people who know me know. You can muddle up the heroes and villains and ruin the happily ever after, but I'm the one who gets to write the story of us.

You should've known.

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