Recently, there was a death in my family. I've crossed many bridges in my life, but this one was a long and brutal one. The aftermath of which I am still coping with at the moment. I debated whether I wanted to write this or not, but I think it needed to be said. So here goes:
When I was a kid, I was blissfully unaware of the many terrible neuroses people cling to, one of which is to always be hurtful. My childhood was one of terrible awkwardness and even more awkward moments (you know that kid that gets picked last? That was me.) I can't say I wasn't aware that people, specifically kids could be mean, but to actually grasp the concept that there were people who purposefully put down others to feel better about themselves was impossible.
So, today, I stand here as a much stronger individual who wishes that in the moments of being picked last, skipped over with a party invitation, or having to sit alone I would've spoken up.
This is what I wish I could've known to say: Your choice to not be my friend is irrelevant to my happiness. Your choice to be who you want is a choice that everyone can make. Even me. Your choice to not invite me to your party is something I choose to regard as unimportant in the grand scheme of things. Your choice to not sit with me at lunch just means the homemade cookies I brought to share will be shared with my elderly next door neighbor who will always sit with me. Your choice to break me down as a person only shows you how much you have still to grow. My books take me on wild adventures and allow me to be any heroine/queen/or whatever I choose. They remind me that this is only one small part of the world. And tomorrow, it's mine for the taking. To give those without a voice a way to speak and to push those without strength to keep going. And no matter what you ultimately choose to do in life, I will choose to do what I want with mine and that is to be happy, independent of your validation.
That's what I wish I could have so elegantly spoken in that classroom or cafeteria.Today, with the recent death, I am reminded that there are things in life that may seem so utterly devastating and hurtful but in the end, what has not killed me has certainly made me stronger.