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    My name is Hannah. I'm introverted, timid and I don't like meeting new people. When you first get introduced to me- notice I didn't say meet because let's face it, you'd never come up to me and I'd never go up to you- you will notice the fact that I am six feet tall which is not the easiest thing for a thirteen year old girl. You may also notice that I most likely won't say more than three words. I don't have a condition, I just feel extremely uncomfortable. You'll go off and chat with friends or go to do anything to avoid the particularly awkward silence with the lanky girl who towers over you. I'll find a lone chair or a wall to stand against and try to do anything that won't make me look like the wallflower who doesn't have anyone to talk to. I'll probably fiddle with my clothes or if I'm lucky I'll have my notebook and start thoughtlessly doodling. You'll keep your distance and notice that, even though I'm trying so hard not to, I look like I have no friends. You'll leave, walk home or maybe get picked up by a parental figure of some kind and not think twice about the giant that you met.


    Before I continue, I want to make something very clear. When I talk about myself as giant or lanky, I'm not insecure about my height. I hate the jokes or when people ask me if I play basketball but I love being tall. These terms are simply meant to be humorous, not self-loathing. Another thing to keep in mind, I mentioned above that I have a notebook. It’s a boring yellow and has a huge spiral on the front cover. It has my name printed in green in the top left corner and it very flat and flimsy because of the pages ripped out, failed art. It's filled with poems, comics, songs, art pieces and personal lists. It's where I let out my creative energy. But, dramatically put, I would die if anyone read it. It's like my whole life wrapped up in doodles on ripped notebook pages. Now, back to our uncomfortable encounters.


    The next time we meet, though it's hard to believe, it's even worse than the last time. We meet at a public setting like Starbucks or the nearest public library. I notice you first as I'm scribbling something in my precious notebook. Then, I have a two minute battle in my head whether to talk to you. As I'm doing so, I end up spacing out staring right at you. You give a look mixed with confusion and creeped out because, of course, you don't remember me. I fall out of my trance and realize the awful situation I just put myself in. So, I wave uneasily and say hello. You still can't remember me until, of course, I stand up and the memory of meeting me floods your brain. I mean, how could you forget the Jolly Green Giant? We try to make small talk but I end up saying something stupid or offensive and you make an excuse to get out of the conversation. You leave and I'm left at the public place doodling in my notebook about what a spaz I am. I plug in my headphones and lose myself in what I'm drawing and leave the memory of our second encounter behind.


    Next comes the third encounter. It's probably at a school event. Possibly a basketball game or club of some sort. I'm sitting with a friend and you come over and sit next to the friend. My so called friend doesn't speak to me the rest of the time while you two laugh it up like you've known each since birth and I try to laugh at the right points and squeeze in a word or two but I just end up looking like I'm trying way too hard. I eventually can't take the horrible feeling and text my mom to pick me up. Yes, I know. Getting saved by mommy is very classy. I pretend to be sad that I have to leave and hug my friend and say bye to you. I break into tears as I get into the car and explain to my mom how awful it felt to be left out. I try to regain my strength by the next day at school, but I'm discouraged and stay quiet for the whole day. You don't even realize what had happened and thought the event was a blast.


   I'm sorry I have to stop the story again but I lied and you deserve to know it. I said above that I'm not insecure. Well, I am. I'm not insecure about my height but my social skills, um heck yes. It's not abnormal. I can guarantee you that at least 90% of girls in middle school are insecure. I don't want you to feel bad for me. I'm just not as confident as I used to be. Middle school is the most judgmental place I've ever been to. It's only with new, popular people that I have a problem with. It's hard to explain but it is getting better. Alright, moving on because, frankly, I'm insecure about this paragraph.


    You get moved into one of my classes. And, you sit right next to me. And, were partners. Yay! Just so you know, that was sarcastic. The first day we work on the project, we are very terse and split up the work evenly and quietly get our portion done. The next day you complain about a teacher and I agree. We both laugh and then we get back to our work. Within four days we have shared three secrets, said hi in the hallway once and high fived twice. I promise I'm not a stalker, I'm just an introvert. After the project is over, you go back to your crowd and I go back to mine. But, we had fun and I wish I could get to be your friend. Our teacher introduces a new project. We all stand up and try to find partners. I stand adjacent to you and hope you ask to be my partner. You catch my eye as someone asks to be my partner. I turn to them and say no, hoping we could be partners but when I turn around, you're gone. You're matched up with someone more popular than I am. I try to avoid you. Though it seems insignificant, I thought we could be partners.


    A month goes past with nothing to say. We switched the room around and now you sit far away from me with the popular crowd. Yet again, our teacher announces a new project that we get to choose partners for. I've moved on so I get up and try to find someone when you come over and ask to be partners. My heart fills with joy and I forget all my worries about you. I start to become more of myself every time we work on the project and then I invite you over to hang out. You agree and we giggle and watch a movie in which I make a weird joke and tell some of my thoughts on life to you. I'm loud, obnoxious and hilarious. We are now friends and I have your number in my phone. We talk and text and one day when we are hanging out you tell me that you are so shocked what I've become. I ask what you mean and you tell me when you first met me I was so shy and quiet but now I'm wild and free. I smile and we change the topic.


    Now, you are probably saying “Wow, nice story. What's the point?” Well, the point is that this whole paper is the stages of meeting me, Hannah. I'm loud, creative and wild in my own unique way. But, you never would've known that if you hadn't gotten to know me. Remember my notebook? And how I said it was my life? Well that notebook is who I am; normal and timid on the outside and explosive on the inside. If you saw it you would never think to open it but once you do, you've unleashed a whole world of craziness. Each page is its own, like my personality traits. But if you put them all together you get something very unique. And that's who I am. It's hard to break out of my shell but once I do then I can finally be myself.






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