Sometimes here on the island of Mallorca I feel so distanced from the real world of the USA. Whether it’s the political drama (Go OBAMA), college football games, the right for everyone to be married, Dancing With the Stars or just the everyday life can feel a bit surreal to me.
But then, something happens and I feel like I am right there. Usually it is something tragic that drags me back, like this time. Today, a thirteen year old boy committed suicide at my old Junior High School. The place of such fond memories for me of hanging out by my locker with my friends, giggling about cute boys, hanging out in the “pit”. Of course, there are not so fond memories of feeling insecure of how I looked – very skinny with braces, I was kind of in-between groups of friends – my main group seemed to be shutting me out and I was desperate to keep myself within the “cool” group, absolutely no boys thought I was cute and I am sure the list went on and on.
Supposedly, the boy who died was being bullied. I do not know that for a fact but I could see that being possible. Being a teen is a rough time! You want to be the coolest person ever, the greatest singer, the best athlete, the most popular cheerleader but for most of us during that time frame, it doesn’t happen. It doesn’t happen because it is practically impossible! Those teenage years are hard. You are gangly, or fat, or have acne, or crazy hair or whatever; for the most part we aren’t cool during this time. And kids can provoke. And kids can be mean. But what you need to do is stand up.
I know it’s hard. Standing up for myself is STILL hard. But if you are bullied you need to speak out – tell your teacher, tell your parents. It’s okay, this is not being a tattletale, this is sticking up for your rights, for your protection. Bullying is not cool.
And the last part of my soapbox. Be proud of who you are. You are different! Hallelujah! Different is good. Who wants to be normal? Maybe you are being bullied because you look different, because you dress different, because you act different. Who cares. You are loved. You are loved by your parents, your friends, your teachers. The world is full of acceptance, keep striving with life. It gets better! I promise. It gets better. You are not alone. Check out itgetsbetterproject.com for help, ideas, inspiration. Because we are all in this together. Do not let life go, it is such a beautiful thing.
I contemplated whether or not to add this but I feel Glee really touches on issues and this was one of my favorite songs from them. Which speaks so much to bullying. Be a loser like me. And know you are LOVED.