I think I am warming to the idea of making acquaintances, that tentative first stage during which you have no idea whether relationships will fizzle out or turn into best friendships. I haven’t mentioned yet how kindly the atmosphere at my new school has been. I have, on occasion, been taken back by people’s friendliness—they have no obligation to even talk to me. And I am receptive to them, more so than I thought I would be.

I used to hate it when someone would say, “I love meeting new people.” It’s such a cliché. But new people can be fresh and exciting. The prospect of discovering personalities and figuring people out has become intriguing to me, rather than scary or hard to stomach. I used to have a kind of us-against-them mentality, comparing the friends I felt understood me with those who did not. But my peers can be the complete opposite of me, and I can embrace that. In fact, I’ve found myself mulling people over—thoughts about them will pop up in the middle of my day. I used to be frightened of people who seemed different from me, but now I am starting to find them endlessly intriguing.

Of course, at first, the fact that everyone at my new school already knew each other was very strange. I was in a sea of new faces and names. I tried to introduce myself—to get that out of the way—but after the first week, I found some people were asking me questions rather than waiting for me to initiate conversation. I almost feel part of it already, which never happened in five whole years at my old school.

It is still early in the school year. I am still trying to get my bearings. I feel tired in some respects, and energized in others. Weeks seem longer and shorter at the same time. I like wondering what will be new by the time I sit down to write next week’s diary. ♦