Being an 8th grade girl is hard. I remember it like it was yesterday. This was the year that I realized that people can be disappointing. it was the year of loneliness. The year where I realized that there was reward in being a lemming. That reward was friendship. A cost i was incapable of paying. Though being an independent thinker has provided well for me in my adulthood, the same could not be said of junior high school. It was like my peers spoke a language I did not understand only made worse by the fact that there were no interpreters for hire. I remember my parents asking me if I wanted to change schools. I somehow knew that the kids would be the same and I would still be me, so what would be the point.
the goose is in 8th grade. She is a better version of me, but at her core, very similar. she does more than march to the beat of her own drum. She dances when no one can even hear that music is playing. She has been disappointed in what people are willing to do to maintain friendships with the wrong people. Our mornings often end in peps talks. Promises of just needing to white knuckle it through another week. Of finding the bright spots in your day. Those who have never let you down. Befriending those good people because of their goodness and not worrying about their social desirability. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I think the goose is better than most, but more courageous. The cost of that courage can be sadness and sometimes loneliness. Not in her lot in life, but in the underwhelming predictability of people. One day she will understand that people shirk not from her individuality, but from fear of the brightness she emits. fear that that light may shine on the places they’d rather not be exposed.
I realize now, that in 8th grade, kids are too worried about figuring themselves out and how they fit in the world? that this time is a molting of sorts. When I looked around me, everyone was in a their protective cocoon of sameness and I wasn’t even a butterfly, but more like a ladybug. It is our nature as humans to find comfort in our sameness. I realize now that they weren’t being mean because of me being me. Their cruelty came from a place of fear.
this morning’s jack handy moment ended with this little morsel.
“I know it hurts to be disappointed by people. You may never understand the reasons why some people do the things they do. Your only job is to be able to put your head on your pillow at night knowing that you were kind, that your were authentic, and that you did the best that you could. I like the person that you are. You have a beautiful spirit and I am so proud.”
she smiled. Stood a little taller. Left to face the day and all the unknowns that may come with it.E