I am who I am regardless, right?

I hang out with a group of people at lunch. A group I don’t usually hang out with. They give me the vibe that they want me there, but they also make me feel like I don’t belong. Other people make me feel like this too, so what is different about them. Is it the causal racist jokes or maybe the muffled laughter from the corner. 

Whatever, it’s nothing, right?

They’re all so different from me, should I change who I am to please them? Yes. Smile, keep your head up, laugh when they do and sit with them even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. 

It’s working! I’m making them laugh and have a good time. But why am I not feeling the same? Oh well, at least I’m making someone else happy, right? I’m sure this feeling will change over time. 
It's been a month now, and nothing has changed. They still manage to add in the offensive jokes and have led to be me be rude to people I wouldn't usually. The group they have invited me into has taken over me and it feels like I have forgotten my identity. They’re whispering about me. Does anyone else notice or is it just me? The only one who realises how fake their act is. 

I’ve had enough. Enough of this place, that has led me to talk back to my teachers and family. This place which has made me forget who I am. I’ve got to break out of this plastic mold I’ve fallen into. But how do I leave? I’ve spent so much time with them, no one else will want to hangout with me, right?

Take a step back. Will they notice if I unfollow them on Instagram? Will they be mad if I ignore them in the school corridors, will they care? Oh well, it’s too late now. 

Another month has passed and I’ve found myself a small group of people who value the time we spend together. Two girls who have had the same problem with their old group, and realised they needed to leave as well. They encourage and inspire me to live my best life and also understand when someone needs some ‘me’ time. Time to read a book, catch up on homework, play music at lunch and take a break. 

These are the types of people I like to hangout with. They teach me the importance of never changing who I am to empress or to fit in with other people. That real laughter and comfortableness should come naturally with friends, not because I feel like that's what I think they want. 

They show me to never let anyone change me into someone I’m not. To say what I want, laugh when I want and act how I want to act, because I am who I am regardless, right?