This prompt from the Daily post, made me think of High School. High school, for me, was not fun.
The moment I knew I was an “outsider” was when I was walking in to the High School,sometime mid-semester of my freshmen year, surrounded by hundreds of people, all in different “groups/cliques”. I realized that I didn’t fit in any of them. I wasn’t athletic, into punk music and dressing black, hanging out with my “black” people (hell, I didn’t own being Black and proud of it until I met Shane), I wasn’t popular, or smart, and I definitely was not into doing any kind of drugs/ paraphernalia. I was so insecure, that I would RUSH to my classroom to be super early, so that no one really had to see me coming in, or notice that I was there in general.
Not only did I already feel like an outsider, but I was also bullied my freshman year. Some guy who used to cheat off of me, got so offended when I asked to change seats, after noticing what he was doing. He decided to print out a “fat book” about me being “as fat as a cow”, or “as fat as a .. etc etc” and printed a ton of copies and distributed the book across the school (500+ people and got caught/in trouble not too long after he and his friends distributed the copies). I know now that I was depressed after that, and reading my diary, definitely confirms that theory. I had never felt so low in my life, and I couldn’t believe I let him control my feelings and actions (but thanks to him for kickstarting my love for working out!) that took place after that.
After that incident occurred, I definitely stuck with the same friends, knowing they wouldn’t hurt me or judge me. Meeting Adriane (my best friend) my freshman year, was such an amazing thing, and I could NOT have gotten through everything without her. She was my other half, my glue, my everything. I had never had a person (besides my mom) truly understand how/what I was feeling, and actually cared about me (oh and FYI we are still the best of friends, even though we have both moved apart, gotten married, and moved forward with our lives). I never thought I could actually be pulled out of the dark hole I was spiraling down. I got so paranoid, that I felt like people were always staring at me because of my size (tall) and weight (big). I had
some no self-confidence and I truly just wanted to “not be noticed”. I definitely didn’t let anyone in, or trust anyone, so I felt like I gave no one the chance to truly to get to know me.
It wasn’t until I met my soulmate (Shane) spring break of my Sophomore year. He lived 90+ miles away from me, yet he made me feel beautiful, worth something, confident, loved and God blessed me with him at the perfect time. God shined through him and his actions, and he made me realized that God loves everyone, and He loved me before anyone else did/could. He told me that God made me perfect in His own way, and that’s all that truly mattered.
When I walked into my Junior year, I no longer felt like an outsider. I was loved, confident, and you could just tell that nothing was going to get in my way. I joined clubs (which I NEVER would have before), and got to know/meet new people, that were around me for years, yet I didn’t ever truly open my eyes to see them. I was putting my best foot forward with grades, school, friends, and my family. Even though I couldn’t control my past, and how it made me feel, I knew I could change my future, and my actions going forward.
Next time you notice someone may be staring at you, or feeling out of place, invite them to sit with you. They might be “the outsider“. Engage in conversation and let them know that they are not alone, and just maybe, that person will have an amazing story to share. 🙂
Sidenote: The guy who wrote the book about me, eventually facebook messaged me and apologized a couple years after we graduated. Better late than never, right? 😉