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The Art of Wallflowering

By , Pearl City, HI
I wasn’t always so wallflower-like. In fact, I was pretty optimistic back in elementary. As far as I was concerned, no one gave a crap about whether your teeth were crooked (like mine) or whether your hair was a mess. Sure, I could potentially get ridiculed for it, but it wouldn’t bring my happy dance to a halt. It wasn’t until middle school when my bold, blooming flower had drooped into something unfamiliar. Self-image seemed to corrupt my mind when it came to looking at my timid reflection in the mirror, so I decided maybe it was better to stay in the shadows and presume the position of being a wallflower. Watching from the sidelines wasn’t bad at all, and I began to appreciate it for not getting me into unnecessary theatrics. I always longed to someday blossom into a ravishing flower, perhaps a bright Hawaiian hibiscus, but that desire-filled thought never became a reality. I remained a reserved wallflower and was absolutely dandy with doing just that.

Never would I willingly offer my services for a science demonstration in front of the class in middle school, and never would I even think of volunteering myself to go first in speech in the tenth grade. The possibility of opening my mouth only to embarrass myself by mumbling “um” along with a few jumbled stutters made my heart palpitate, and I was not going to have it. People probably referred to my personality as being awkward, some thinking I was just outright shy and anti-social. When Covergirl and Maybelline made its debut in high school, I became worried about my appearance. I nervously stumbled through the halls making sure to keep my head down so that if I saw someone I knew I could easily pretend I didn’t see them. Making small talk, having conversations with strangers, and speaking in crowds were all labeled with red alert, so I made sure to avoid those. If I had to walk past a big group of people I resorted to taking a different stairs. I could barely manage to keep myself from blurting out anything lame to that one cute guy. I refused school dances and had to be wooed into going to Prom by my best friends. Unless you were in my circle of familiarity, which by the way has a very small diameter, you most likely wouldn’t get the chance to reveal my true identity.

I convinced myself that I would and always will be a wallflower. Although I’m still a bit awkward, I’ve learned to embrace it. I am sure as hell not the most social person, but I’ve been tweaked. I still don’t like socializing, but I can handle a pleasant conversation. I’m still not that confident, but I respect myself. And most of all, I still haven’t quite flourished into my own flower, one with unique essence, but I am certainly getting there. I guess you can say the blooming process is currently in rejuvenation.



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