During the boredom of quarantine, I watched HBO’s hit show “Euphoria,” and like the rest of the world, I watched season two every Sunday (sometimes Mondays). We all deserve to take a deep breath after seeing Sam Levinson’s madness play out over the course of eight weeks.
Anyways, I was watching S2 episode three, “Ruminations: Big and Little Bullys,” the iconic Cal flashback episode, when amidst the chaos, something Rue (the narrator) said stuck with my brain. When talking about Lexi Howard, Rue said “She was an observer; that’s who she was.” I thought about what she meant by that for a minute and came to a conclusion — “oh my God, that’s so me.”
I’m sure a lot of people can relate to Lexi, she’s probably the most normal high school student in the show. But I specifically related to her relationship to the other characters on the show. No, I don’t have a psychotic sister who I’m constantly fighting with and no, I don’t have a secret crush on the town drug dealer. It’s more about the way she interacts with her peers that reminds me of myself. She’s the girl that’s easy to get along with, but super outspoken and secretive. I’ve been told I’m a good listener, which I think is true. I just love soaking all the information in.
As a kid, I used to be super quiet and shy. My parents always told me that when someone asked me what my name was, I had to repeat it ten times over for anyone to hear. Because of this, I was super overlooked by my peers in school and often times, I just wasn’t taken seriously. This even happened at my last job. I worked as a waitress in a retirement home, and I often had to get a supervisor to assure the residents that I was giving them the correct information about the menu, even when I knew I was always right.
Now, I’m way more extroverted and assertive but depending on who I’m with, I still tend to be quieter. I think all my professors could confirm that I don’t talk very much during discussions because I’m always curious about what other people have to say, and it gives me the opportunity to make fun of the stupid comments people make in class. Even outside my classes, I’m always tuning in for juicy gossip.
If you are having a conversation near me, I can guarantee that I’m eavesdropping. That’s probably my toxic trait; I really am a sucker for gossip, which is one of the reasons I love writing for The Oracle. Essentially, our job is to search through social media and the campus to find the newest things that are happening. Then you get to interview people and just pick their brains and listen to them talk about something that they might be passionate about.
This applies to my friends too. I want to know everything about that new person you met or how your test went and yes, I want to see the pictures of your dog that your mom just sent you.
Even though I’m not even close to an expert on relationship drama or tragedy, I can still try and give advice and I’ll always lend a shoulder to cry on. On the downside, this can leave me kind of vulnerable to people taking emotional advantage of me.
There has been multiple people in my life who just love to trauma dump with all the gory details. I mean, I always tell my friends they can tell me anything, but some people take it to an extreme — at my expense. News flash: I’m not a therapist and I promise you I’m living in the same messed up world that you are.
Typically, I’m not a very confrontational person and I used to let people walk all over me. Not to be a people pleaser, but to avoid drama all together. I’ve definitely gotten better at advocating for my own needs and making myself heard when needed. I’m not the silent little girl I used to be. Thinking back to a few friendships I had in high school, I realize why those relationships went down in flames. They didn’t start in a good place. They started with my kindness being taken for weakness and me biting my tongue.
I used to look back on things that I did or said to other people thinking about how they could’ve happened differently. All the little uncomfortable moments where I couldn’t stand up for myself or I couldn’t just say the truth. But now I don’t care if other people like what I have to say or not. Sometimes you just have to be frank. I realized to not take things too seriously. Just like Penny Lane said, “never take it seriously, if you never take it seriously you never get hurt.”
I believe that if you know yourself and are confident in yourself, you will make the right decisions for yourself. Maybe it was quarantine that changed me; all those hours spent alone in my room away from my friends, or maybe I just grew up. But all I know is that my independent personality has stuck. Like Lexi, I’ve gotten good at being by myself. Not in a sad loner way but in a “I’m okay with my own company and reassurance” way.
Being a Lexi-like character comes with its highs and lows. Lexi took all the madness that was happening around her and used her talents to make something incredible. Personally, I haven’t written a full-fledged play about my friends, but it did help me with my college essay. I think it also helps me make the right decisions regarding friendships/relationships. Learning more about people from just listening and “observing” has definitely helped me to not repeat the same mistakes.
Because of all this, I often wonder if I’m either too sensitive or stone cold. I think I’m just in tune with my feelings, but I just so happen to have a good poker face. When people first meet me, they usually either think I’m quiet in a rude way but that judgment fades away once they get to know me. Now that I’m in the magical town of New Paltz (sarcastic) and I’ve made some new friends, I’ve been doing just fine. We can all learn something from Lexi- don’t mind your own business, you might create a masterpiece or even save a life.