From the beginning we begin to shape into the people of today, with a little less responsibility and a lot to learn. In primary school the true reflections of how people are start to emerge, the smarty pants that always got the awards, and the jock boy who did all the sports that made him cool. The slightly over friendly girl who is always with the boys. These start to create a stigma, one that stays with us throughout our growing school phase. These groupings of people begin to shape the perceptions of the ones outside that group. Why can’t I be cool, why can’t I be smart. The clicks in school start to create the alienations of certain people, the black sheep. These black sheep go through life expecting the worst from people, never wanting to accept that life and people can change. They start to lose interest in the things people are doing, they withdraw from society norms, wanting to go unnoticed and just fade into the background. But they are noticed. Bullied and cut down to the point you believe the verbal abuse that is thrust upon you like a weight falling on your face. The physical abuse that leaves marks on your body as a constant reminder that you are different. The emotional abuse, the most torturing of all as this abuse stays with you for life. You think about those people and what they said and in some cases what they saw in you, is true. But when young and in that bullied environment, you couldn’t be what they said.
I know from my days in school, I always wanted to be popular, yet was always on the outside. I wanted to become a star in everything I did, but there was always someone better, or someone who didn’t want to take a chance. So I told myself when I was in my last year of primary school, when I go to high school, I become someone knew, unfortunately the people you hated, landed up in your high school and this already created the knee jerk upchuck reaction. So I just coasted by, playing some sports, never wanted to stand out or draw attention to the pimple faced person I was. Yet, the bullies pounced like a ton of bricks, making me hate going to school, moving classes because they were in them, faking sickness just to not go to school. They made me want to not be here, so for years I took the verbal, physical and emotional abuse, digging deeper and deeper into a sea of black loneliness and sadness. Keeping it all inside, I never wanted friends to know I was the victim that would make me seem weak and further lower my self esteem. So I merely just existed.
Varsity came, and was like a whirlwind, all these people, different types, races, personalities, all chucked into a creative black sheep blender and sprayed across the walls. I was home. I could be myself. I started to explore the hidden caves within myself, became more outrageously attention orientated, wanted to show myself off like a dog at a show. It was awesome. Meeting new people, making friends, losing friends, making art, photographing, writing. I was in heaven. These people made me see, taught me, helped me, guided, and creatively stimulated me. I could be myself and not have to deal with the insecurities that once plagued me. It was awesome. That Kyle was a distant memory, but as we all know memories are never forgotten, they are always there, just like the past.
And now we get to now. I am loving my life. It’s funny how people come into your life at different stages, the awkward best friend in kinder garden, the one who shoved sand in your mouth, or the little dwarf friends from primary school. The teachers that helped you all the time. The high school friends that never left, the friends who left and came back and became your best friends. The new friends you picked up in varsity that have stayed close and never gone anyway, but will go anywhere to make you happy. The friends you met through friends who have just become better friends than the ones who introduced you. It’s funny and strange how people can fix the little things you were made to hate back in the day when you thought that peoples gossip and false opinions mattered. And now, I am able to open up to people a lot better that before, but that’s because with every day you learn more about your friends, the things you like, the things you don’t, they things that hurt, the things that heal. Every day I wake up with a smile knowing that everything is okay. And if it’s not. It’s not the end if the world. It can and will be fixed. People make people tick for the good and bad. Whether it is someone special making your break out of your shell and trying things you would never do, that is learning in itself. You never believed you could or would, but you did. Because someone make you so comfortable you would literally get shot in the face by a paintball, or sail a white rapid that makes you shudder at the thought of it. The people who even though you don’t see or speak to them as much as you used to, I can see they are having a good life, and that is all that matters. If I can go a day with making someone smile. My mission for the day is completed.
I have learned a lot, from being the kid who know one wanted to play with, to being the bullied kid with a tough skin and ever present hard beating heart. To the guy who people loved having around for a quick joke. I have become a better person, because of people who helped shape me along the way, and I’m not done evolving. Watch this space.