THERE is a special little person in my life struggling at school. Girls are mean, and she just doesn’t quite fit.
During those awkward years in high school, I wish someone could have told me to hang tight — your tribe is coming!
I would consider myself one of the lucky ones and I still struggled.
High school is a time when you feel like your insides are exposed for the world to see, you constantly doubt yourself, and you follow a pack around a lot of the time. You may even have nights where you cry yourself to sleep. There is an aching feeling that the world is going to close up on you.
While granted my head wasn’t being smashed into a locker, they weren’t my best years. I went to a private girl’s school and my family didn’t have the money the other kids had. I survived by making my way to the cool group and rebelling against my teachers to look tough, but inside I felt that sense of not belonging.
Most kids knew it was hard for us at times to pay the rent. They saw my single Mum working a gazillion jobs and the world of power play began. Girls are manipulative. But mostly, I think it was me that doubted my place in the ranking position more than anyone really making me feel that way. It’s just a really tricky time.
So many questions, doubts and uncertainty! Who do you play with? Who is your best friend? What subjects do you choose? Should I play netball even though I want to dance? Why I am being taught about God again? Will anyone even look at me today? Why is she not talking to me? (God I spent A LOT of time with my diary on this one).
At the time, it seems like 18 and freedom is an eternity away, but I want to say to my favourite little teen hurting, it’s such a small time in the big picture, I promise you. You need to know that EVERYONE is finding it awkward and un-comfy too. Everyone is experiencing things differently yes, but even the bullies are bullying because they are protecting or hiding something.
I want to say to my magical little teen that hurts — dream big about your escape. Dream about finding your people. Because they are out there and they are most likely not in your high school. I want to tell her about the most amazing feeling of finding those special souls who make your crazy and weird feel normal.
When you stumble across your random special peeps maybe through uni, work, travel or even house sharing, it can feel like falling in love — friend style. They might not look like you thought they would, they may not even have the same lifestyle or hobbies, but something just starts to feel right. You get a click.
Are you getting your hair pulled, do you, like me, have parents who can’t afford Taylor Swift tickets? Is there a loud person in class intimidating you? Maybe, you have no friends and you are sitting in the toilet eating your lunch while reading this on your phone. (Wait. You have a phone — trust me — YOU ARE WINNING ALREADY! Jokes!)
Without trying to simplify your experience, I want to promise you; you just gotta get through this bit. I bloody promise you.
You will find a job, a uni course, a hobby, a travel experience where life brings you the people that make you feel yourself.
And until then. Find a class you like. Find a teacher to talk to. Write your feelings in a book / diary / journal, NOT JUST FACEBOOK. Talk to ANYONE who will listen. Don’t hate your siblings or parents so much and hang on tight. It is hard for most. But it doesn’t last forever.