I was afraid to eat alone at school cafeterias throughout my childhood. I thought it would be shameful to have nobody wanting to eat with me.

My family moved a lot, so I always had a hard time at schools. I was always a stranger, the new kid, someone from another town. An outsider.

My classmates hated me even though I didn’t do anything. Some of them I hadn’t even talked to, but they already hated me. I still don’t know why. It doesn’t matter now anyway.

Since I was young, I have struggled with making new friends. I was bullied. A lot.

I felt ashamed that I couldn’t make people like me. I didn’t want people to look at me like I was an outsider. I yearned to be part of a group. I wanted to belong somewhere. So I didn’t like to be caught eating alone in public.

But that was then.

One thing all of this taught me, though, was how to be independent. Standing on my own feet was the only way to survive school.

Now, I’ve realized how convenient and peaceful it is to be by myself. I value my alone time. I feel content to go out alone and mind my own business.

It’s not bad at all.

People still often think I’m a weirdo, but so what? I don’t care anymore. I don’t want to be part of someone’s group anymore. I don’t need to be part of any group that doesn’t feel right, just for a sense of belonging.

I can’t be compatible with everyone I meet. I don’t try to please anyone to be accepted. I don’t need to proof myself to people. If I needed to, then those people wouldn’t be worth it. They would be the wrong group of people to hang out with.

It’s better to listen to yourself. Be someone you want to be, not what society force you to be.

Be strong. Be self-made.