When I was a kid, I was a loser. Ough, great story, let’s hear it!! :)) I am laughing now at this idea, but at that time, it seemed pretty terrible to me.
As a lame, loser person, you know your “worth”. You don’t have what people call nowadays a “hairstyle”, your clothes look like you’re about to travel back in time, and you know shit about the world. When you’re a loser and you know it, “clap your hands”, clap-clap.
So I had this perspective of me being uncool and unfit, and I also had very few friends. I was not dumb or anything, just quirky, one of the persons to laugh at or point at, depending on the situation. However, I wasn’t any loser! I was a loser with personality! Deep down, I felt like I was rebelling against something, only didn’t know exactly what. Probably standards, and injustice (I wanted to be a lawyer when I was a kid).
When I was early in kindergarten, we were learning the colours in English. So one day, our teacher decided to ask me what colour I was wearing. Damn puzzling, ‘cause I was wearing a semi-striped T-shirt in blue and pink. I just uttered, my face fully blossomed in red, the colour that seemed the most dominant: blue. Hahahahaha laughter from everyone else. It was the other one. Well… Screw you all. It’s like asking a zebra what colour it has on, and the zebra says “well, black, you dummies”, and everyone laughs, like “no, no, it’s white”.
In primary school, I remember we came back from vacation and had to stand up in front of the class and tell the most interesting activities we did all summer. My colleagues were doing all these amazing things like travelling outside the country, going to the zoo, to the seaside, whatever. My turn. Oh boy oh boy what am I going to say? The darndest thing. That I spent a few days at my parents’ private place outside of the city and at night, I saw rats with their eyes shining golden in the dark. No laughter. Just awkward silence. Probably there were other stories less “captivating” than mine, but hey, at that age, you think yours is the worst. Unless you belong to the cool, popular kids.
I used to know everyone in my year, but nobody knew me, or remembered me. Whenever I was introduced to someone new, they continued to ignore me because… well, I was a loser. My eyebrows were as thick as the Great Wall of China, my parents were not rich, and I swear, besides my intelligence, I didn’t think I valued much, and everyone else appeared to be at some higher level of existence.
There was a iron bar thing in the school yard, where I used to do flips for fun in the breaks, and one time I forgot I had a skirt, so I was rolling over my head for a couple of times and my friend took a picture of me (we didn’t have phones with awesome cameras back then, so it was an old school photo camera — I’m not old, by the way. The world just progressed fast.). She showed me the picture afterwards, laughing: the image illustrated me in the middle of my flip, turned upside down and with my underwear in all its splendor. Now I realize, though, that people have gone through worse experiences, and that actually, each of them had their own insecurities, just hid them better.
But that doesn’t change the fact I was a loser. I didn’t do anything majorly interesting, I wasn’t doing sports because of some health issues, wasn’t going anywhere “cool”, always leaving first from children parties, kind of a mediocre kid, but as I said, I was very aware of my “situation”, and, inspired by the story “the ugly duckling” (although it wasn’t the loser duckling), I focused on just being me.
I think the story has shifted its tone to a sadder one, but while writing this, I’m not upset, really. It was what it was. There couldn’t be more at that point, and I certainly didn’t find it amusing, like I do now. Maybe I wish I had more fun in the process, that’s all.
Looking way back, they seem like bittersweet memories of who I am today, but that personality was somehow shaped not necessarily by the “others” (I think bullying is too much said), but by my own perception (I used the verb “seem” a lot in this post). Things have definitely changed since then, and if in the eyes of others I’m still uncool sometimes, at least I can have fun with it or simply throw my hands in the air like I don’t care. But I guess it’s nice to be a loser, a misfit, the underdog, sometimes. In cultures where we only celebrate what’s mainstream, or popular, or cool, it’s even refreshing to be a “loser”. I’m reaping now the fruits of those times, with humour and compassion! So, if you’re reading this and you’ve at least once in your life considered yourself a loser, don’t worry. It’s going to be fine. Just laugh a lot and live well.