“It kind of, almost, promotes you as a good person. If someone says, ‘tbh you’re nice and pretty,’ that kind of, like, validates you in the comments. Then people can look at it and say ‘Oh, she’s nice and pretty.’ ”
Tbh, Katherine is both nice and pretty. She has the cheeks of a middle schooler and the vocabulary of a high schooler. She has light brown eyes, which she only paints with makeup for dances, where there are boys from other schools. Her family is wealthier than most and has seen more sorrow. She is 5-foot-1 but will have a growth spurt soon, or so said her dad, Dave, in a very awkward talk he had with her about puberty even after she told him, “Please, don’t.” She is not sure how Converse shoes became cool, but it’s what happened, so she is almost always wearing them. Black leggings, too, except at her private school, where she has to wear uncomfortable dress pants.
School is where she thrives: She is beloved by her teachers, will soon star as young Simba in the eighth-grade performance of “The Lion King” musical, and gets straight A’s. Her school doesn’t offer a math course challenging enough for her, so she takes honors algebra online through Johns Hopkins University.
Now she’s on her own page, checking the comments beneath a photo of her friend Aisha, which she posted for Aisha’s birthday.
“Happy birthday posts are a pretty big deal,” she says. “It really shows who cares enough to put you on their page.”
Katherine is the point guard on her basketball team.
Rachel, Katherine’s au pair, comes into the room and tells her it’s time to get ready for basketball practice. Katherine nods, scrolling a few more times, her thumb like a high-speed pendulum. She watches Vines — six-second video clips — of NCAA basketball games while climbing the stairs to her room, which is painted cobalt blue. Blue is her favorite color. She describes most of her favorite things using “we,” meaning they are approved by both she and her friends: Jennifer Lawrence, Gigi Hadid, Sprite, quesadillas from Chipotle filled only with cheese.
This pains me, because you are doing what you're supposed to do, and it's not yet paying off. But let me say this-- it's not paying off YET. I feel like this is like when someone starts a new exercise or eating plan and it takes a while to actually see the results, and it's so annoying that the jeans are still tight, but the results just need some time to manifest. They will come! Every time you have a conversation, you build your social skills and get a little better at the nuances of conversation and a little more comfortable and confident. And as for the tangible results of true friendship, all it takes is a connection with one or two compatible people, and bam, you have what you wanted. Those "acquaintances" you met-- what has kept them from becoming friends? Now that you are in therapy, I would make more and more quantifiable goals about putting yourself out there. Yes, you've been doing that so much you're probably exhausted from it, but it really is the right path, slow as it seems. Maybe consider a co-working space, as well? Working fully from home can just add to the isolation, and if you saw the same people over and over again, that repeated contact can serve as a foundation to build on. Keep at it, as frustrating as it may be!
— Jan 02, 2018 12:10 EST