Late on the news, I have been hearing a lot about bullying. There have been many teenagers that, unfortunately, taken their own life, due to bullying. One of the more popular cases was the college student, whose sexual encounter with the same sex, ended up being video recorded and shared with others. He jumped off the George Washington bridge to end the pain. I don't blame him. I too, like most children, was severely bullied. Some of my earliest memories of school, are those days I was bullied. Back then, it wasn't as drastic as it is today. Back then, there wans't things like the internet (OH GOD IM OLD), or youtube/facebook/social networks. Like most children growing up, I was never comfortable in my own skin.
There was group of girls at my elementary school, who I swore, their life goal was to make my life miserable. I was never good enough to hang out with them, and I tried my hardest to be part of their group. Looking back at it, I don't understand why, but back then, they were the beginning and the end. I just wanted to be a part of ANY group. These girls made it a point in their day to make me miserable and make sure that they made me feel like crap. My mom had some rules about modesty (which I thank her for now!). These girls would wear short skirts and tiny shirts, and, me wanting to be like them, I thought if I dressed that way, I would automatically be liked by them. Well, my mother put a stop to that. She wouldn't buy me the short dresses and the tiny shirts. I thought my mother hated me! I wore the knee length dresses, and the modest tops and felt like a complete LOSER. If these girls EVER found out that I liked a boy, they would get that boy to pretend that he liked me and then in the middle of the playground, he would tell me off. I remember a specific boy who I had the hugest crush on. He "dated" (as much as elementary kids can date) one of the popular girls and she found out that I liked him. She pretended that they had "broken up". She played me like a fiddle. She had me go up to him and tell him I like him. Well, he sat there, and looked me in the eye and told me how ugly I was. Wow......I was crushed. I hated elementary school. I can remember just feeling so low and so down about myself. Now suicide never crossed my mind (at least that I can remember), but I know how much I dreaded going to school.
In middle school, I was bullied for liking the band Hanson. No joke, I was actually beat up because I liked the band. I also tried out for cheerleading at Wilson, and some girl always use to call me "wanna-be-cheerleader". I never understood that, because at least I had the balls to go out and try. She was just a loser who sat there. I met a great group a friends in middle school who really helped me become who I am today. Thank goodness middle school was only two years, because I don't think I would have been able to take much more of it. Middle school is the time in life where boys and girls hit puberty. I remember this boy who I was kind of crushing over, came up to me and told me to look down. I was puzzled, so I looked down. He asked me what I saw, and I said my feet. He looked up at me and said "EXACTLY!". I was confused and then told me that I was the President of the "itty bitty titty committee" (A title that I am very proud of today!) I was always so upset that my boobs were big enough, my hair wasn't blonde enough, my eyes weren't blue enough and I wasn't perfect. I had a mousey brown hair, freckles and I was short and scrawny. I remember asking my mom if I could have my freckles lasered off, because I didn't want them anymore. She told me that by the time I was 16, they would go away (MOM, Im 25 and they are still there..... IM WAITING). I could have done everything that I thought would make me perfect, and for some reason, I think I would have still been an outcast.
In high school, I tried SO hard to be someone who I wasn't. I would change my "style" everyday, to try to fit in with what the popular people were wearing and what they were doing. I don't know why I tried so hard, but I did. I just wanted to fit in, like EVERY OTHER kid in school. Finally, at the second semester of my senior year, I gave up. I remember the specific moment, where I sat at lunch, looking at every person in the school and thinking, who am I ever really going to see again? The people who I wanted to keep on contact with, I have, and every other person, I have never seen again (THANK GOODNESS). I am so thankful that I found that point in my life, when I could just give up. Not give up in a bad way, but give up in a good way. I was just so happy being ME. Yes, I am loud, obnoxious, funny, cute, LOUD, vivacious, stubborn and every other thing you can think of, but that is ME.
We need to teach our children to be proud of who they are. They might not be the fastest athlete, or the smartest nerd, or the cutest on the playground, but there is something special about each and every one of them. I can only hope that I give my boys the confidence to be proud of who they are. Connor might be energetic and outgoing, but he is one of the sweetest kids I know. He is always ready to give someone a hug when they need it. Logan, well Logan is growing into a great person as we speak. He is here for a specific purpose, and I can't wait to see him grow up and be a good man. Lets stop these suicides of young children and young adults and give them confidence to scream at the top of the lungs. "I AM CARRIE. I AM PROUD OF WHO I AM!". To others, I might not always be right, or be perfect, but to me, I am perfect. I want each and every one of you to look in the mirror every morning and every night and say "I AM ME." We can't change who we are, we can only embrace it. It doesn't matter if you are gay, straight, bicurious, Blonde, Burnette, Redhead, blue eyed, brown eyed, short, tall, fat, skinny or all of the above. You are YOU and LOVE yourself. Lets teach this to our children.
Lets also teach our children that everyone is different. If everyone was made the same, life would be pretty boring. I don't want to be like the next person. I kind of like who I am.