I remember looking around the cafeteria at my middle school and wondering what each table was talking about. How did everyone connect to the conversation? What thoughts were breezed past as someone interrupted or lunch ended? Did people choose where they sat or was there a system I was a slave to without knowing?
In middle school I was not necessarily the most attractive human being. However who is in middle school. Puberty plays a nasty trick where ears and feet grow before the rest of your body can keep up.
So I learned, through trial and error of course from 6th grade to 9th grade how to have a sense of humor. Whether it was making silly faces, having my phone go off in class, or the funniest gossip.
Was it easy? GOD NO! There were times where other kids were being funny and I had no clue. Like flirting, when people play keep away and I would just grab the object away with anger of the game. Another time when my humor would bet the best of me was when I didn’t understand certain sexual jokes because I was younger for my grade.
Either way I learned to joke, even if the punchline was me.
In high school, magically, gained somewhat of a booty and finally learned how to do my hair. I got attention for random things that at first I couldn’t figure out. People would comment on random things or appreciate my beauty. It took me a long time to realize, but by Junior year I realized, I was finally pretty.
Like the humor, it didn’t come without practice. A couple bad hair choices and poor clothing purchases from Rue 21, guided me to youtube to figure out make up and hair. Along with that Teen Vogue offered some promising in site in the fashion department.
Finally, I had my own style and it was gaining me some sort of attention I still didn’t quite understand.
In college however I realized at a potluck party with a couple of families my family has known for years, I had nothing to talk about.
Yes, I had answers to the standard questions: How are you? I’m Fine. Hows school? I’m managing. What is your major? Special Education.
However I desired something deeper. I also worked at a bar in college and realized my limit of stories to dicuss with patrions was dwindiling and boring.
Finally one day while scrolling through Pinterest and watching Friends for the 15th time through, I saw the quote
“To be interesting, you have to be interested.”
It didn’t completely make sense at that moment, but I decided to try something. Couldn’t hurt right? On Pinterest I looked up “Questions to ask…” And a bunch of different topics popped up like questions to ask your boyfriend, questions to ask yourself, questions to ask strangers…. I started using this random questions to ask others. I found they would give me information, however not always things I personally would remember.
One day while standing outside and talking to a new victim of my question map I realized we started discussing philosophy. I had taken the class once, but I didn’t remember much. I tried to continue the conversation, but realized I was completely lost.
In this moment I truly understood, sure physical appearance and humor could only go so far. To be interesting I needed to be interested in something, not just conversations, but topics.
I traded Friends for Ted Talks and Impact Theory, Pinterest for Medium, and music in the car for podcast.
Becoming interesting has after causes like having deeper relationships with people, attracting more intelligent people in your life, and never running out of conversation topics. The more I learned the more I wanted to learn.
Now I spend at least one to two hours a day reading, which makes me enjoy the time I have with people more.
I know find people who are able to learn from me or whom I can learn from.
I feel free knowing that I can change it or learn more at any point.
Thank you for reading and supporting my journey.