Since my last post, I started thinking about what next. I think it’s only logical looking back to where I was, to look at how I’ve gotten here. Growth is the word that comes to mind. Now it’s easy to look at me and tell physical growth. Middle age spread has creeped in, two kids have moved parts of my body to new places, and amazingly enough I’ve shrunk a half inch! Although now I wear heels most days so it’s not so much noticable. But I want to examine emotional growth. As I think about recovering from high school and the things I went through, I can’t help but realize how it’s helped me become who I am today.

I was never popular. We covered that previously. I enjoyed drama and band in a school that glorified sports. The girls looked like models dressed in the latest fashions. The boys were handsome and athletic. I was short, dressed weirdly and read a lot. I also had the worst self-esteem. I felt awkward, overweight and just didn’t fit in with most of the kids in my school. Another thing that made me different is that I wasn’t interested in the parties, drinking and other things that the kids my age were experimenting with. I chose to hang out in the museum parking lot (where I also volunteered) and smoke cigarettes. We were so subversive! But all these things really contributed to the verbal bullying I was a victim of. We see bullying all over the news these days, and I know that what I went through was nowhere near the level that it has reached with the prevalence of social media and texting. When I left school, the bullying ended. I didn’t have to worry about abusive text messages or Facebook pages, but it was tough. I really felt like there were two forms of bullying at our school. One was verbal. There were a couple of kids who enjoyed verbal jabs at my expense. Looking back I often laugh about the fact that my most avid tormentor’s favorite cut down was that I shopped at the blue light special at K-Mart! There were other things that were said and some time I’ll share the only fight I ever got into in high school, but that’s not where I’m going today.

Recently homeschooling has seen a huge rise. I even read some homeschooling blogs myself, although I know that I would never have the discipline to do that! Sure, let’s stay in our pajamas all day and study the effect of ice cream and toast on our diet. We can always study tomorrow, or the day after that. I’m guilty of having grand plans for a day at home and find myself at 3:30 still on the couch watching an NCIS marathon. Clothes unlaundered, sink full, beds unmade. So I am not a candidate for homeschooling. And there are a lot of people out there who make it look so fun and easy and they all have their reasons why it works for them. The one that doesn’t always make sense to me is the homeschoolers who do it because they are afraid of peer pressure of bullying in their schools. As I said before, I can’t compare the bullying I endured to what kids these days go through, but I really feel that it is the parents’ job to monitor and limit the use of technology with their children. So to take your kids out of school to limit the social ups and downs of school just boggles my mind. You see, it’s the bullying I went through that made me the totally awesome person I am today. Sure it hurt when the other kids made fun of my clothes, or the things I did or the fact that I was hopelessly crushing on Toby in fourth grade, but I had a wonderful mother who instilled in me that the problem was not with me, it was them. Sure it took a while to get that, but somewhere in high school it finally clicked that I was OK. I had found a group of peers who accepted me, I became comfortable with my body and in general learned that I was a pretty cool person despite anything “K-Mart Cutdown” had to say!

So growth to me is a product of everything we go through. The good things and bad all contribute to the adult that we become. I developed a theory some time after college that every person I meet has something to teach me. I look at every itneraction that way. Some people I learn new things from and some teach me the things that I don’t want to do or personality traits that I should avoid! So while at the time I couldn’t see how the bullying I went through could ever be a positive experience, looking back, it’s made me even more confident and not afraid to be myself. Last weekend my husband recounted a comment made by our four year old. You see, he’s a thumb sucker. We’re not proud, but we figure he’ll grow out of it eventually. At a family function, my brother made a comment to him about his thumb sucking and Jay looked at him and told him that he’s not like everyone else and sometimes he just does things differently than other people. He has figured out at four what it took me nearly eighteen years to figure out.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Erin
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 13:29:29

    The thing with bullying at school is it’s no longer the students bullying its teacher and admin too the limits and consequences change so much … The fear of punishment or loss of job has led education to move to a loss of dignity for all students including the bullies and excepting what comes ones way … There is no special walmart u act out in public calling names and yelling you will havecz consequence u may get kicked out or band from a place … But schools doors are always open it takes alot to get out unless u r homeschooled or quit and loss of numbers means loss of money so school tolerance levels ate down … It’s sad I hate it … But I have faith that someday a circle will come around with the wind in the right direction … But again it is a learning process …all round wish balance could be


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