kaleighsomers

be connected

Long before I turned to Twitter to draft 140-character introductions between two like souls or sing the praises of someone else’s pride and joy, I thought my life might be better lived on the bottom of a
shoe.

I thought my lonely Friday nights were forever destined to mark me as ostracized and unlovable. That I did not have friends.

To put it shortly, I tried for hundreds of hours to forge connections on MySpace and in person with the girls in my class who Had It All Figured Out and they threw my own words back at me like grenades.
Mocked me publically for my kindness, my ache to just please oh please let me learn your popularity like geometry proofs.

Because I thought this whole life thing was a math problem. Some people, I thought, were gifted with the solution. I was not among them.

I knew that one plus one equaled two and so desperately wanted to be somebody’s number two, but after my kindness became a weapon against me, I gave up.

This was long before Taylor Swift ever found her voice humming in my eardrums or vibrating the windows in my car. This was a time before Twitter, when friendships were declared only by someone else’s validation. When even the messages of “I’m so sorry your mother died the week before senior prom” were hardly enough to make me connections in this cruel world called high school.

So imagine my surprise when I started dabbling with tweets as a means of forcing myself into someone else’s conversation or starting a sentences with
“Hey you, you should meet this girl. You’re both pretty fabulous.”

Not even two years later and I am the first of my friends to call someone on the other side of the screen a friend. To say they have been there for me when I find my days stretching a little too long or my nights too short.

I could make you a list of a hundred people I’d like you to meet, most of them via social media. And you would probably laugh in my face, tell me I can’t have it both ways: hating the game and loving it, too.

Because we both know cyberbullying doesn’t taste so sweet when sprinkled on our Frosted Flakes with breakfast. We both know one tweet may or may not alter our future. But I’ve seen it happen.

And I am prepared to find confidence and connection through the kind souls whose words don’t mock mine. Whose fingers don’t twist phrases. Whose lips don’t whisper slurs.

-Kaleigh Somers

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