I've always been a social person, which is kind of ironic considering the current state of my life. It all started when I was in 8th grade. I was the class clown previously in elementary school and 7th grade. So, being a immature 13 year old boy, I thought that it was okay to be funny all the time. Unfortunately in my case that meant being annoying beyond known measure. But I was blissfully unaware of this as I viewed my peers reactions and misread them as adoration instead of mocking. It continued until 9th grade. By this time I had realized the error of my ways and I committed myself to becoming a new person. I had no idea, however, that my misguided attempts at "finding myself" or "growing up" and 14 were still tainted by my past misconceptions of who I was and not who I was becoming. So, I inadvertedly and unknowingly halted my emotional growth by, for lack of a better term, making a fool of myself. I was picked on heavily by all of my classmates in every one of my 6 classes. I remember having 1 true friend. I had forcibly grown accustomed to being talked about and made fun of. I experienced more despair and anxiety then any 14 year old boy should ever have too, and to this day I carry feelings of hostileness towards my tormentors. In 10th grade I had a fresh start, but my freshman year did not leave me unaffected. As a result of my constant bullying, I had developed feelings of depression and inadequacy that still plague me to this day, save in reduced power. I worried so much about what my new classmates would think of me that I was a rock. I was quiet and shy, only talking when I was spoken too, only speaking to the people I knew. I made friends this way, and, after being deprived of normal human interaction for 2 years, I jumped at the fertile nature these new relationships offered. This led to me trying to be "funny" again, and within 1 week I was back where I started in the previous year. My self esteem was crippled beyond repair, and I became incredibly introverted. Once again, I had about 3 friends. I was constantly depressed, and channeled by anger out feelings of alienation out through music. I became a competent guitar player through my countless practice sessions. I remember laying down at night dreaming of becoming a rockstar, with all of my enemies at my feet, begging for my kinship and attention. My sophomore year ended just as uneventfully as my freshman year, with me hating the world, people in general, and, most of all, myself. In the summer preceeding my junior year, I grew up alot, and went back to school refreshed. The past was behind me it seemed, and I was eager for my well-earned fresh start. My junior year was the best year of high school. I had alot of friends, and had finally gained long sought after respect from my peers. I established a reputation as a poet/musician, and had many friends. However, I soon fell back into my old ways, although not completely, and history repeated itself to a limited degree. Now, it's the second semester of my senior year, and I find myself in a predicament. I've grown up completely from who I once was, and I finally can say that I've put the past behind me. I have many friends, I am no longer picked on or messed with, and I have a girlfriend whom I love dearly that I've been with for 8 months. However, even with all of this, I still feel empty. I have friends, but not an amount that is sufficient to please me. I don't want to sound selfish, but I see people I know, who have many, MANY, friends, and I feel like I am limited to about 20 people. Many of the people I have known for the past 2-3 years see me as that same stupid kid and regard me as such. I no longer have the problems I used too, thank god, and I'm back to my old self. Whenever I meet a new person, the connection I forge is so strong that they consider me a friend by the end of our meeting. However, my problem is at my high school. I want a way to convince people that I'm not how I once was, but I feel like there's a barrier preventing them from seeing me the way I am now. I want my high school life back. I'm never called by friends to do anything, and I've never been invited to a party in my entire high school career. It's depressing. If anyone reading this has any advice at all, no matter how seemingly small, please share it. This is the first time I've told my story. Thank you for reading this. God bless.
Well, you're kind of in luck. You play the guitar, so work with that. Show people that you're good. Find and learn something the majority of the crowd like and maybe sit on the grass in the sun and knock the tune out with a small portable amp on low volume, but loud enough for people to hear. Casual 'practice' with a hidden agenda. Don't make it look obvious. Someone might go oh hey that's pretty good, casualy hint that you are available and interested to play at parties. Make something up, like you love to play to a crowd or something. Even if someone doesn't speak to you the first time, people will probably talk. Could be good, could be bad, but it's worth a try.
If all goes well you'll get invited to a party to play in front of your peers, melt some girl's hearts, and earn some respect from the guys.
There will likely be the jelous types that will try and downplay your abilities and how you handle THAT will likely make or break whether or not you're re-invited. Smile, be cool, and blind them with musical guitar terminology and say how you need to do some work, but hey how about YOU come up here and show me YOUR work. Make it clear without stating it outright that you don't care about their comments, BUT DONT MAKE A FOOL OF THEM. If you make a joke out of them in front of a crowd they might do everything they can to destroy you.
I used to have the same sort of problem you are having. The fact of the matter is we have all at some point in our lifes acted in a way that we wish no one would remember. It's just as you said, you have grown up. There is no reason for you to feel nervous now. It's your opnion that matters not the people at your school. Chances are the people who are treating you differently have been annoying to someone before and they resent you because you have matured unlike them who still find fun in tormenting other people. You must look at it like this, the people who have accepted you are the ones that matter; if you keep trying to correct yourself based on what the bullies think of you then you may lose the people you have truly connected with now. My best advice is that you stop worrying about HOW to SHOW others you've matured and just be yourself and enjoy the company you have now. Because ten years from now it's not going to matter what they think. I personally think you have matured just fine and you shouldn't worry about this anymore. ^_^ enjoy what you have.