I’m the girl you made fun of in middle school
November 21, 2015, 12:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

When I was in middle school, I was mildly bullied. I was small, smart, and wore strange clothing. I wasn’t a prep. I wasn’t a jock. I wasn’t a goth. I wasn’t a punk. I liked wearing glitter all over my face, wide leg jeans, and used a lunch box as a purse. I sang in choir. I loved church youth group. I didn’t have many friends. The popular girls started a rumor that I was a lesbian, which I guess if that was the worst they could do, it was okay. I had a hard time finding people to eat lunch with. When we had our eighth grade trip, I had to be bunked with random girls because I didn’t have a group of friends to partner with. It was a lonely world and I thought it would always be like that. I had depression. I had anxiety. I would pretend to be sick all of the time to go home. The nurse knew why. She felt bad for me. I think a lot of adults felt bad for me.

When I went to high school, it was more of the same. At first. Girls were crueler and the world was bigger. At the urging of my parents, I joined drama club. I made friends there that seemed to be on a similar wave length, so that made it a little better. I also joined cheerleading. I was asked to try out because I was small and would maybe be good for throwing around. I ventured into the belly of the beast; the nest of popular girls. I had pink streaks in my hair and a ball chain necklace. They all looked at me like I didn’t belong there and I decided, there in my life, that I was going to make it my goal to belong anywhere people thought I didn’t.

I made the cheerleading team. I was good. I cheered for 8 years and wound up being a captain in college.

I also did drama club at the same time in high school. I was good at that, as well. I still act in community theater.

I still felt strange–then in high school.  I still felt I didn’t belong to a particular social circle. I had some cheering friends, I was by no means a popular girl. I had some drama friends, but some thought I was a snob for doing both activities.

I was still made fun of for being just a little odd. I still felt like Maria at the convent in the Sound of Music.

Graduation was a welcome point in my life. I went to college in Maine; three whole states away from everyone in my hometown who thought they knew me. The people who had pegged at such a young age as bizarre and unacceptable. I went to college and decided to just be weird. I would go to cheerleading practice and would come home to my dorm room and play video games with my door open. I wore what I wanted. I took classes that I wanted. I dated different sorts of guys. I kept a small circle of friends, but it was my choice this time.

Now, I am 31 years old. I am a nerd. I like Star Wars, video games, well made clothing, British history. I like writing.

I am kind, respectful, and funny.

Today, I would have no problem finding people to eat lunch with; to bunk with.

When you are an adult, dear readers, being weird means something different. It makes you different–but in the best way. Instead of being isolated from life, I feel that it is an open pass to express myself in any way I feel like. Being weird just means I stand out now.

Last year, at the age of 30, I dyed my hair purple, and then turquoise. People would stop me on the streets and tell me how lovely it looked and how they wish they were brave enough, young enough, to pull it off.

I am here to tell you all that the sooner you figure out that the time is always now, the happier you will be with yourself.

My Tiny Human turns 5 on Tuesday. She likes princesses and Barbie. She also likes The Avengers and Star Wars. She says funny things in class. She picks out elaborate outfits to wear.

I know, when she hits middle school, similar things will happen to her. I know things might be hard for some time, if she is anything like me.

Instead of worrying about these bullies that will prey on her for being wonderful and different, I am going to arm my child. I am going to make sure she is articulate, kind, witty. I am going to make sure she is brave. I am going to make sure she understands that people make fun of those who are different because they are too average. They are dull and small and scared. I am going to raise her to be a rainbow fish and  hand out her colorful scales; instead of feeling like she has to dress like everyone else and act like everyone else, I want her to help encourage those around her to embrace their weirdness.

I want her to be a solution, not a victim like I was.


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