Today I started reading The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Two pages into this book I had tears in my eyes and laughter filling the room. It made me yearn for more and I have already gotten halfway through in just a few short hours. Every word in this piece is so heavy that one cannot help but feel deeply impacted. I came to an abrupt stop halfway through page 52 when I read the following:
“I always wanted to be on a sports team like that. I am not exactly sure why, but I always thought it would be fun to have “glory days.” Then, I would have stories to tell my children and golf buddies. I guess I could tell people about Punk Rocky and walking home from school and things like that. Maybe these are my glory days, and I am not even realizing it because they do not involve a ball.”
I can relate to this excerpt immensely. The moment I read it I actually burst into tears because of the severity of the realization it had given me. I have spent the better part of my life almost feeling sorry for myself because of everything that I have “missed out on”. I was never popular in school and I was not any good at anything other than academics, and as a result everything was short lived for me. I quit cheerleading because I could never meet the expectations of my coaches or teammates, and my lack of popularity caused me to stop putting myself out there; I gave up trying to make friends because even when I did I could never keep them, and I stopped going to club meetings because I had no one to talk to or even sit next to. When I moved away to college I had the same “loner” frame of mind which did me no good. I have always thought about all of these negative situations in a “poor me” kind of way and whenever someone mentions highschool I always chime in, “Highschool was awful, I hated it.” Reading the words of Chbosky put life into an entirely new perspective; perhaps I am just focusing on the wrong parts of my life. When I think about it that way I can find so many positives that I feel ashamed to have ever pitied myself. Most of my favorite memories are from my high school days. No, I was not the popular cheerleader who had guys falling for me right and left, I did not shop with a clique of friends on my spare time. I did, on the other hand, spend a lot of time bonding with my family. I complain of not having friends when I have a bond with my younger brothers that match no other family. I have read and re-read countless beautiful novels and poems that have given me more pleasure than any cheerleading practice ever could. I had a wonderful, substantial relationship that lasted all of highschool and though it was only a childish fling I am grateful for every last memory. My teachers throughout all of highschool became mentors to me in so many ways, and because of this I excelled in everything I put my mind to. Looking back I miss my “glory days”. They were, in fact, my glory days after all, even without the pom poms and posse.