I have always been a little weird and awkward; never quite following suit with the masses, I went against the grain and was determined to find my own way and do my own thing. Most would make fun of me when I was younger, before they had a chance to get to know me and just went off of the gossip they'd hear (because back then everyone knew my name and they all had a story or 2 - some true and others pure fiction.
I remember one of the 'cool' girls Amanda, a cheerleader who before meeting me, did all she could to fit in. Wore the right clothes and labels, did her hair right, and all that good stuff. She and I would hang out after class when others wouldn't know or see and one day she told me how I was really awesome! Like REALLY funny, smart, sweet and how she couldn't understand why everyone was making fun of me, yet she never really stuck up for me or told all the 'cool' kids this either. One day she said she figured it out though. It was because I was so quiet and didn't stick up for myself. Because I seemed so shy and didn't let the others see who I was. I said, that might be true, but why should I have to go out of my way to prove myself to them? She also said it was because of the friends I had back then too. The ones I went to hang out with and talked to at school. Danielle, Kathryn, Shawna, Charlotte, Kelly, and a few others
She was right just a little though, I hid my inner light far too often back then. We were about 10 by the way. I just figured though, if someone was going to judge me by the fact that my mom, crazy as she was and always will be, was a single parent with 4 kids to support, and we had to get food stamps and medicaid, or because I didn't have the USED or GUESS brand labels on my wardrobe, or because my stupid poofy bang attempts never turned out quite right, or because I was quiet and kind or naive at times, well those were the real losers. I explained this to her and how people who who want to be mean to me or judge anyone so quickly based on things like that, things that didn't really even have to do with who the person is, well they are just jerks and I don't really care what jerks have to say and they were the ones who were being losers, because of all of the good peopel they miss out on knowing because they care more about what kind of clothes you wear then about who someone is inside. The part about my friends, true by technicality, but still, those were my girls. They were the ones that were nice, not going out of their way to make other people feel like they were less than a person or trying to put someone down so they looked like someone special. It made me sad to hear her talk about my friends like that and I realized that she was also really cool too, but still caught up in the 'cool kids' mentality
We lost touch for a couple of years after that. After she cut down my friends who had ALWAYS said I was cool and it didn't take some secret after hours friendship for them to know it, I realized I had been blowing them off to hang out with the cool cheerleader and I decided that I needed to go see my TRUE friends. Plus, she moved to the other side of the freeway soon after that and started to go to a different elementary school and Jr. high. I met up with her again in High School after seeing her dressed all grunged out and I couldn't believe my eyes, she had totally changed!
Amanda, was no longer a label whore or a cheerleader, no longer kissing some mean queen bee's ass hoping not to be banned from the cool kids lunch table, she had become friends with another girl who we both knew, Melissa who was also not 'cool' by the mainstream standards back in the late 80's, but who was a quiet girl with a heart stuck in the 70's - a time before she was born, who wrote poems and only liked classic rock, and rock band t-shirts were of her daily attire amongst the masses of preppies. Melissa didn't seem to care about make-up or dressing sexy in hopes of getting everyone's attention. She marched to the beat of her own drum and didn't care if anyone else liked it. She wasn't trying to win anyone over or people please. She was just being.
I didn't say anything to Amanda at first, but at some point I asked her when she changed so much. She reminded me of what I told her before, about how people who judge so fast are missing out on good people and all of that. That was one of our last talks before separating. Apparently she thought about that for a while, especially since I wasn't coming over every day like I had been after that. It took her some time, but she figured out what I had said and began to live her life differently. She was glad she did.
I also learned from what she said, and thought it took me a while longer than it took her to take our words and lessons to heart and make a change, in time; I too grew into a better person, one who was no longer shy about speaking my mind or letting the whole world know who I was, what I was about and that I am more awesome then they could ever imagine. I still was nice, over trusting, always trying to see the best in others, giving out chances and forgiveness some didn't deserve, but I stopped hiding and started to find my voice and let my light shine. And with each year prassing, I get brighter and bolder, still all from a place of love and respect for others to let their lights shine and their true selves be seen.
Isn't it how funny how one 10 or 15 minute conversation at 10 years old can change 2 people so much? <3