Well, the girl I THOUGHT I met at Line Camp.
This is the story of how Taylor Neely I should have never met.
However, I didn't get the phone number from Taylor, who was in my Sing group. I used our Facebook Page that weekend, looked up her name, and friended her. Then I sent her a nice message and awaited her response. Easy.
You see, I was trying to find THIS girl:
But the awkwardness would only continue.
After we had both promised to hang out when we met up on campus, we finally saw each other (for the first time ever) in the lobby of our residential hall. She was talking to somebody else, and I wasn't sure how to actually introduce myself, so we both just nervously ignored each other...
...for 3 whole weeks. Welcome Week, Running the Line, and the first round of tests had come and gone before we ever spoke. We weren't starry-eyed or stuck-up or lonely or crazy...we had just messed-up our first chance interaction and didn't want to have to face that.
Finally, our residential community hosted a formal dinner with a guest speaker. After arriving somewhat late I could not find a seat at one of the tables for my hall. Flustered and in black tie attire, I received a brushing gesture from my CL to sit at an open spot at one of the girls' tables. The only seat?
Next to Taylor Neely. I faked some more confidence and sat down.
To the reader - what happens next is the point of this story, the lesson I wish everyone could learn before their first week on campus. THIS is the moment that all of you will experience with different people in your lives - the uncomfortable first step, sometimes against your will, of introducing yourself to someone else. Now take note:
This story only has a good ending because both of us stopped caring. Completely.
We could have tried to impress each other, or talk about our accomplishments in high school, or spend the night flirting for status benefit, but instead we just decided to have fun as ourselves. Our end of our table was tucked behind a column where the guest speaker couldn't see us, so Taylor and I proceeded to act like mature adults and distract each other from the lecture for the next two hours, making faces and stabbing our cheesecake until we had sculpted a masterpiece.
Afterwards, we laughed about the reasons why we had avoided each other for three weeks, and celebrated our new friendship with a picture. Since I was still nervous to be talking to, you know, pretty girls, I played the classy "hover-hand" card in this beauty:
I want to add at this point that this is not a love story. Taylor and I became close friends, then dated different people, and now spend less time together than before. But this story wasn't intended to be romantic. It's supposed to (rather perfectly) demonstrate an important fact:
You WILL be put in situations where you are uncomfortable. Where you are thinking about how others see you and what you should do to impress them. You'll feel awkward. You'll make mistakes.
But I have one of the greatest secrets to living a happy life at Baylor that you have heard for your entire life. I'll say it the "Disney" way, and then I'll say it with a bit more meat:
Disney: Be Yourself.
BoyMeetsBaylor: When you focus on how you appear to others, you can't be guaranteed to impress them. You'll lose sometimes. But when you focus on others, and pay them the respect they so desperately desire, then they will take hold of it instantly. You always win.
You will only get one chance to make a good first impression. You know what has better odds than that? Letting yourself be impressed by others.
Try it - and maybe your friendship will also be a mistake.
He gets excited when he receives a text at (512-705-7989) from anyone wishing to hang out or try something new. If you have anything you'd like to ask, feel free to say hi.
(^guys, psst. I wrote that, it wasn't somebody else. I just secretly really want anyone who would've been nervous otherwise to pick up the phone and say hi. I'd love to meet you!)