My Journey Towards Making Friends

This is a multi-part series that deals with the ups and downs of my social life throughout my life.

Many do not realize the struggles I had coming up. I wasn’t always the socialite I currently am. I was actually very shy and awkward for years.

My first foray into mass social interaction came as a kindergarten student at Blacksburg Elementary #1 in 1983. During this time, there weren’t many (if any) biracial children. Add to the fact that I was already different and introverted and you see I had an uphill battle socially.

I had no problem learning the material as I watched Sesame Street for years and could read since age four. I was actually ahead of many of my peers that had been “groomed” since infants to be academic prodigies. But again, I didn’t have many friends. The only friends I made that year were Bill (guy to the right of me with the adult belt buckle). He is still my oldest and best friend. The other was Shaylan (tallest in the class and one of the tallest adult men I knew.) Neither one of them saw race then or now. They saw someone that they had common interests with. We played together in class and recess, and even talked during nap time. That would earn me a paddling on my hand in front of the entire class.

I really didn’t get bullied much then (that came later on in school.). However, I had plenty of barriers, and more to overcome. Thankfully, I had at least two friends in my corner.

Stay tuned next week as I transition to elementary school and begin to experience just how mean children can be.




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