No, but really? Was I?
Here is the thing….I started High School with big hopes. When I was at primary school, we stuck together. We were all friends and it was great. I had no idea what was coming.
Before I launch into the tale of where it all went wrong, I am just going to state for the purposes of this blog that this year I hit the big 30 (I know, woah.) and that some years have gone by since I left school. And because of that, I no longer feel bitter. I feel that I moved on a while ago and just a few years ago, I would have written a hate filled post about why my life was such a misery at high school. Now, I can reflectively look back and realise I learnt some valuable life lessons and that it was what it was. With my first born child moving up to high school next year, I want to erase the chapters of that part of my life and start a new one with her, one where it will be enjoyable. One where she will probably have hard days that will make me want to scream and cry for her, but one where ultimately she will spend the best days of her life.
Over time, your memories fade and I can only piece together a few jumbled bits. I remember having my first week and being overwhelmed. I went from a school of three hundred and fifty to a school of one and a half thousand. It’s not that I was ever high up in the popular rankings that first week, it is more that I just wasn’t noticed. And that was fine by me. The trouble is, my best friend who I moved up with did actually rank quite high in the popular club. She ranked so high that by the end of our second week at high school, the only friend I really had and had known for years had decided to ditch me. And when I wouldn’t go quietly, she decided to do what most kids do at some point in their lives….she got mean. She started telling stories about me….some were true…. (like the story of my family not having much money because there were five of us) to just absolutely false…..(I kissed a 25 year old behind the bike sheds.) ((I was 11 and didn’t even know how to kiss.)) The lies got a lot more outrageous than that but we can keep it light.
Of course, it didn’t help that I had quite dorkish haircuts, was a sneezy kid who always kept a tissue in her hand and had fully grown boobs by the time I was twelve, therefore earning myself the name of ’tissue bra’. Every time I walked down a corridor I would hear….’You stuff your bra’ and ‘Waheyyy, it’s tissue bra’.
I was definitely an easy target which meant that people picked on me for EVERYTHING. One day, I went into school proud of my brand new shoes, but they got spat on…while they were on my feet, because they were square shaped.
It was a few years of being tripped over in corridors, having things including gum thrown at me and being called every name under the sun. I was so disliked that when a few girls overheard I liked a boy in school, they got him to ask me out in front of everyone and when I gleefully said yes…..they all cruelly laughed in my face. It had been one big joke and he found it funnier than ever, and just for good measure told me he would never go out with me if I were the last thing on earth. Not human, just thing.
Of course, me being so unpopular meant that I had a few run-ins outside of school. I will never forget the day I went to pick up my little sisters from primary school and as I was walking along with them, I saw my former best friend walking down the street with her friends. I crossed over, not wanting to have any trouble but they crossed as well. As we drew level, she said Hi, which surprised me for obvious reasons. I didn’t have time to say hello back because she pushed me hard into the brick wall of my neighbours house. I banged my head and had a bruise on my back for weeks. Out of everything I endured over the high school years, that was the worst moment for me. Because it happened in front of my sisters who were young and innocent. They didn’t know what bullying was and I was so sad that they had to see that. In fact, they still vividly remember it to this day so it obviously imprinted on their brains rather well.
And that was my high school life. And that is where the negativity ends. I am not going to lie, some of it scarred me for a long time. It stayed with me. I remember once when a family member was trying to help me and gave me some friendly advice that ‘Your high school years should be your best ones’ and it scared the living crap out of me. All I could think was that ….Oh my god, if these are my best years what the hell do I have to go through when I’m older?!
I really did learn so many lessons during those years, and not just because I was paying attention in class. I learnt that if people don’t like me, then it’s their problem and not mine. I learnt to try and approach everyone how I would want to be approached. I learnt that you can’t dwell on the things that made you feel small. That you have to move on and let go. If those people hadn’t given me such grief then I definitely would not be the person I am today. They didn’t knock my confidence, they built my confidence. Because I knew moving forward that nowhere would be as bad as school. I knew that people weren’t all bad. High school really did do me a favour. I have passed on valuable lessons to the Littles. I know that they are way more confident than I ever was and that if they were to be picked on, they know the right things to do. They also know not to be cruel to anyone. I’m not stupid enough to think they won’t go through life and never have an argument or perhaps say something unkind about someone, but I do know that they won’t be nasty just because other people are. I’ve taught them that even if one hundred people are saying that someone in their class is awful, that they have to make up their own minds and not pick on people just because others are. I know that they have compassion and empathy for others and I hope it continues for many years.
I think that the biggest thing I can take away from my school years, that the most valuable lesson I learnt was this………….
You have to kill people with kindness. It shocks them every single time.
And also, that obviously…I was just too cool for school. It couldn’t handle me. I would love to hear via Twitter/Facebook or the comments below what your high school life was like? Did it teach you anything? Do you look back on the years fondly?
And now…. here are some totally unrelated pictures because….well, ya know. Today was a beach day.