Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Getting to Know Me

Summer is a time for plenty of social opportunities. But what do you do if you don’t fit into this picture? Teens write in to TeenPages about “fitting in.”

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

getting

Photo: Shutterstock

My Name is Chavah 

As told to Bluma Schur 

Hi, I’m Chavah. Even though you might be in my class, I’m sure you don’t know me very well. We don’t talk to each other much, but I probably once gave you a set of my notes for you to photocopy for a final or test. I’m the one who sits stiffly behind her desk all day, obediently writing down every word the teacher says. The one who you’ll find standing in the corner at the school Chagigah or sitting on the sidelines at the class Melaveh Malkah. I’m that girl. The quiet one. The introvert. The socially awkward one. 

I know what you’re probably thinking. That I don’t talk because we don’t share any common interests. That I don’t dance at the school Chagigah because I don’t like dancing. But it’s not true. I’m a kid just like you. I love to dance and sing in the rain until my throat hurts and eat chocolate sundaes during a blizzard and play the guitar late into summer nights. I dream and joke and laugh and cry. At home, in the comfort of my family, I’m queen. I talk and laugh and dance without a care in the world. It’s outside of the home where the problem begins.

Photo: Shutterstock

Outside of my comfort zone, I’m a caged butterfly. I’m terribly, painfully shy. Unfamiliar faces frighten me. Large, noisy crowds overwhelm me. When I try to talk in front of others, I’m suddenly filled with shame and the words just get stuck in my throat. And I blush and stammer until tears fill my eyes. I wish I wasn’t this way. I wish I didn’t get frustrated at myself all the time. And I wish that I wasn’t ignored. Sometimes, when everyone around me is just talking to everyone else and pretending I’m not there, I just want to scream out loud and clear for the whole world to hear, “I’m a normal person, too! I have what to say! I have an opinion! I also have dreams and hopes and fears!” But words, as always, fail me. 

I’m certainly not the best public speaker, but trust me, I make a good friend. I’ll probably never know how to be the life of the party, but I know how to comfort you when no one else even notices you’re sad. I might not be the biggest talker, but I’m a great listener. 

I’m not sure if you know me. But I’m sure that one day, you’ll notice someone out there who’ll remind you of me. Maybe, she’ll be the one sitting at the corner table during lunch, or the one hanging out on the bleachers in the camp gym instead of sitting on the floor with the rest of the group. When you see her, she won’t say anything, but I’ll talk for her now: Please, don’t ignore me. I’m here and I see you. Talk to me. I can’t promise that I’ll give you a mouthful, but I have open ears and an open heart. Just give me a chance.

Related Stories

Which Voice is Really You?

Leora Cohen

Two inner voices give us constant advice on time management. Which one has our best interests at hea...

Teen Experience: Chinese Math

Goldy Klein

“Girls, we’ll do it slowly. You’ll see. The first answer was correct,” my teacher says. But I can te...

Pampering to Perfection

Lauren Ungar

“Tova, you’re always running to her. Bubby can be alone for an hour. You need to get out more and do...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
When the Fog Lifts
Rabbi Moshe Grylak In retrospect, we will understand everything
Coming Full Circle
Yonoson Rosenblum A final goodbye to my special father-in-law
Right Turns Left
Eytan Kobre Conservatives can no longer speak their minds
Searching for Olam Haba at Disney World
Rabbi Elchonon Zohn A distorted and perverted view of life and the afterlife
10 Questions for Eli Samuel
Rachel Bachrach “SafeTelecom really is the refuah before the makkah”
Work/Life Solutions with Fran Jakubowicz
Moe Mernick “I turn to daas Torah whenever I encounter a gray area”
A Debt of Gratitude
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman If Ina Perlmuter believed in me, others would follow
Gemara Detective
Jacob L. Freedman “Tell me a bit about the bochur behind the medication”
Tidal Waves
Riki Goldstein “Holding Back the Tide” is comforting on so many levels
Ari's Picture of Redemption
Riki Goldstein Ari Fuld’s incredible photo gives a visual to this song
Not Just for Kids Who Love Music
Riki Goldstein “Every Yiddishe kid is essentially a part of Yingerlach”
Dream Duet
Riki Goldstein “He’s been my singing idol since I was a little kid”
Nix the Nickname
Faigy Peritzman Handing down concepts through family names
Do Your Homework
Sarah Chana Radcliffe What parents really want to teach during homework time
Day of Confinement
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz If Asarah B’Teves isn’t a day of destruction, why fast?