Me and Vincent.
I was not well-liked in college. I was not actively disliked either. If anything, I was invisible. I had few friends, kept my head down, all my energies went into my schoolwork. The truth is that I had trouble identifying with the people I went to school with. I thought college was going to be about meeting like-minded intellectuals, people who I would sit with in cafes for hours drinking coffee and talking about art and politics. Instead, the people I met had no interest talking about such things. They all had bored-sounding voices and said things like, "Maaaannnnn, I got so wasted last night."
Such a bored voice came from one of my roommates last night. "You're going to bed already?" The tone was filled with disapproval, and it made me shrivel back ten years to my 19-year-old insecure college self. This girl, a college student from Connecticut, was probably no older than 21.
"Yeah," I said. "I am tired and I did a lot today." It was almost eleven.
"What did you do today?" she asked.
"Well, I went on a walking tour and then I went to the Anne Frank museum, and I don't know, just walked around a lot." My words were met with dumbfounded silence.
"My friends are arriving tonight. Probably after midnight," she said, inspecting her nails. "They're going to want to go crazy tonight."
"Oh, that’s cool," I answered, lamely.
"Do you like traveling all by yourself?" she asked, "I would never be able to do that."
I think there is a reason why I have made no friends in Amsterdam. At breakfast, all these kids want to talk about how messed up they got the night before, and I am sucked back into time to my lonely college days where I always felt like I had to act like that was so cool, and then defend why I wasn't playing a part. No one understood me. It was tiring. I think that is why I studied so much, just so I could get away from these people and have something that made me feel good about myself.
But talking to this girl and mingling with these co-eds made me realize: I would do it all over again exactly the same. Because I didn't mix well with 19-year-olds when I was one, and now, 10 years later, I don't mix well with them either. I am the same person.
While this girl triggered the same insecurities I used to have when I was younger, it's different now. Before, I used to beat myself up about it. Now, I can look at her and think, "you're really not that interesting to me."
My kind of fun: Window shopping. Who doesn't want a snow doll?