Today was one of those lectures where the tutors dedication to interacting with the students was only matched by the students dedication to not. My stamina for enduring long silences is sadly lacking. I seem to only gain any enjoyment from people if I feel that they are gaining satisfaction from my presence, this is probably the route of my intolerance of awkward silences.
The pressure from the student body to not break ranks, to remain silent or be seen as a know it all and teachers pet is quiet compelling. While on the other hand the rudeness of leaving a single person standing to confront a wall of unfriendly silence always seems to win over the former causing me to break ranks. By the end of the lecture I am sick of my own voice and am extremely stressed by the conflicting pressures to conform to opposite ideals.
I do not consider myself a conformist, but perhaps I am, the stress I feel when not being able to conform to the expectations of everyone in the room is testament to that. I do in general side with the minority, maybe that is individuality shining through, a feeling of solidarity with the underdog born out of my life experience, or maybe I am siding with the dominant figure of authority, the tutor, which is conforming.
What people think of me, how to conform to their expectations of me as a boy and how I can be categorised does play heavy on my mind, but perhaps not in the way it does for most people. My main concerns lie with convincing people that I am human, a person, a person as worthy of respect and life as them. This has been a fight that most do not feel they have to engage in but I seem to fight and loose on a daily basis. Many a friend has said that they did not originally want to be my friend because of the way I look, that they did not even wish to speak to me or sit near me, and these are the kind people who do not go out of their way to voice their distaste at my existence.
|I would love a slight more victorian look maybe?|
I have cultured my image to be as inoffensive as possible, despite my occasional longings for a more unique style, have maybe gone to the point that I have removed too much that is human about myself, achieving the opposite of what I intended. Again I hesitate to talk about this due to the gender stereotypes placed upon such discussions of ones image.
Yet even my plain and conforming image does not shade me from causing offense to the casual passerby, today while walking down the park I passed three teenagers “Look at that guy on his own, loner guy, or is it a girl? Oi are you a girl or a boy. Girl or a boy? Loner guy. Loner girl. Loser” But I carried on walking and it didn’t bother me, I felt no fear from their calls or shame at their judgement.
What’s the point? There are much more interesting things to see and do on a walk than worry about the narrow mindedness of people. Sometimes its just nice to stop worrying about how to categorise myself in the wider ideas of society, or in the minds of strangers and instead enjoy walking through the park as the light fades enjoying the sights and occasionally the view of people living their lives in houses on the outskirts of the park. I’m changing as a person, two years ago I would have been shaken by the name calling but now I am finding an inner confidence that is exterior to others and I like this new me.