**Caution, the following post is deeply personal. I hope that this might give others some thought on the way we treat people. I hope we remember that even the little things we to do help each other out make a difference. **
…you’d know that I used to have a hard time making friends and standing up for myself. My confidence was low and the following events brought it even lower. I had a lot of FEAR, and because of that fear, I thought I wasn’t good enough, smart enough or capable of conquering any challenge. I would walk- no RUN away from what was difficult because I figured I would fail anyways. That is how low my confidence was.
It all kind of started in about the 5th grade. The group of “friends” I had were not my friends. They never called me to hang out outside of school. During school they’d say really rude things (such as make fun of a mole I have next to my ear, or that my mom wouldn’t let me shave my legs yet) and they laugh it off saying “just kidding”. They made me feel like a freak. It really hurt and made me feel ugly. I doubted myself a lot. I went to a different school a few years later and things were better.
Mean Girls really do exist.
Then I moved to yet another school and I made a new friend. We’ll call her Janet. Janet and I had fun together but Janet’s friend Bethany was jealous. Bethany gave Janet an ultimatum: stop being friends with Meg or stop being friends with me. Janet chose Bethany. Suddenly, I was friendless and all alone in a new school. I didn’t understand why we couldn’t all have been friends. I didn’t understand why a girl who didn’t even know me would hate me so much. I didn’t understand what it was about me that some girls seemed to hate. I thought I was a nice person who was enjoyable to be around. I was starting to think that I just wasn’t “cool”.
Texas Fab Five.
Highschool came and I made the cheerleading squad.
After all, there’s no drama in cheer right? Yeah, right. Drama=cheer. Luckily, I didn’t find myself in the middle of all of it too much since I didn’t attend parties. Since I didn’t really relate to the other girls’ extracurricular activities, I was more reserved and quiet. I doubted my abilities to perform stunts which affected my performance. Though I loved being a “flyer” I shied away from it as much as possible because I had no confidence in myself.
Then one night, I came home to discover something that truly crushed my spirit. Those original girls from 5th grade (and were attending another high school) who I hadn’t seen or talked to in years toilet papered and shaving creamed my car. Oh, and they left me a nice message on the hood in shaving cream: “BITCH”. I was devastated and confused. And hurt. So incredibly hurt. I cried and cried and felt so helpless. I didn’t understand why I deserved to be called such names, much less by people I hadn’t seen in over 4 years. I didn’t understand what about me made them hate me so much that they didn’t even see me and still hated me.
Thankfully, I had a group of real friends who supported me. All though high school, I was ok with being “ok”. I got A’s and B’s but I was always afraid to try harder because I just gave up on myself and told myself I couldn’t do it.
When I moved away to BC after high school, college was pretty good. By that time, I made some lifelong friends though my church who I had lots in common with. Once I knew people, I would open up and be silly and crazy and crack jokes. But around those I didn’t know, it took me a long time to open up.
When I moved back home to Idaho about two years later I made new friends. “Friends”. Here we go again. I made friends with a group of girls. We’ll call them Marie, Hallie and Katrina. I thought I could trust them. Marie got jealous of my friendships with the other girls and started telling rumors to my friends and anyone else who knew me. “Meg called me fat.” “Meg says she can get better guys than you.” Were some of the few I found out about. Hallie quit speaking to me before I even heard about the rumors. Katrina didn’t drop me but she didn’t stand up to Marie either. She chose to just sit by as Marie spread the rumors. You know what? This time, I cut the negativity out of my life. With friends like those…
At this point I’m thinking “What gives? What is wrong with me?”. Finally, I began to change. I slowly stopped letting people’s opinions matter so much. I stopped seeing myself as helpless and worthless. I started focusing on being more positive and working on making myself a better person. I worked on my relationship with my family and most important my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
My husband has always had all the confidence in the world in me. He reminds me that I’m smart and that I can figure things out. He points out my strengths and asks me to help with the things I am good at. He encourages me and doesn’t accept excuses to quit or procrastinate. He made me realize that I would be and do anything I wanted. The only person stopping myself was me. I don’t think he realizes what a rock he is to me. Whenever I want to quit and give up because I’m afraid I’ll fail, he’s right there encouraging me to “not try, DO”.
Weirdly, it was also my job in customer service. I heard it all, ranting, raving, threatening, reasonable arguing, kindness, and everything in between. At first I was terrified. I’d hang up the phone and shake. How can people be this mean? My bosses and co-workers were very supportive and I started to get thicker skin. Three years of thicker skin.
I’m no longer afraid to stand up for myself, to tell people no. I don’t feel guilty for turning down those ridiculous solicitors who come to my door, asking people in the movies to be quiet or calling someone out on being rude. It’s not like I go looking for fights, because I don’t. I no longer stand quietly by. I stand up for myself and what is right. There will always be people who are mean and rude. That doesn’t mean that anyone else has to put up with it.
Now that I am back in school, I feel a lot more positive. Yes, my classes are hard. Yes, it’s ok to ask for help. No, don’t procrastinate homework, studying, going to class. Do it, because I can do it. I KNOW I can. Sure, I might not get accepted into my program. But I’m working everyday with the mindset that I will. Now, if I fail, I know that I did not sabotage myself, I will have worked my hardest.
The hardest thing about starting a blog was if I would be accepted. I worried that no one would care. All those insecurities started trying to creep back. So, thank you. All of you who take the time to read or even skim my blog. I’m glad we are bloggie friends. Like my friends here at home, you proved that there are plenty of women out there who aren’t catty and backbiting.
I can honestly say I am really happy now. I know that everyone goes through things in life that make them stronger. Growing up and maturing has taught me not to care as much as about what others think. I choose to surround myself with real people who like me for the way I am. I have the confidence in myself to accomplish any task I set out to do. And even failing is ok. Lots of successful people had to fail before they achieved success. I no longer worry that not everyone will like me, or think I’m funny. That’s ok, because I like me. And I happen to think I’m hilarious. 😉
p.s. Oh! I got my school schedule finalized! Yayyy!!
Why do some women have to hate those who don’t gossip or judge each other?
Why do some women feel like they have to tear others down?
Shouldn’t we be defending and standing up for our gender?