She was not like other girls her age. Her view of the world was different. Her response to the world was different.
Her peers didn’t understand her. She loved to act silly and wasn’t embarrassed by much. She had her own style and would enter a room chin-up, silently daring others to criticize.
She thought maybe she was cute, not really gorgeous or stunning. Really she felt awko-taco [awkward] most of the time. Boys thought she was hilarious and joked around with her but they didn’t *like* her.
The few close friends she had didn’t always get her sense of humor. She looked at them with jealousy. They were pretty and funny and athletic and had good grades. They knew just what to wear and say and how to act.
They didn’t realize that when they didn’t call or when they hung out with others how much it effected her.
She resorted to humor and they didn’t see that her self-deprecating humor was a way to deal with the fact that inside she felt different and feared that she would never really be accepted because of it.
Inside she needed to be accepted. She wanted people to *like* her, but she didn’t want to forgo her quirkiness to conform.
Sometimes she gave in. She suppressed her uniqueness to fit in. She became what she was not.
It never really worked. She spoke up too much. She didn’t understand what the drama was all about and would say so unabashedly. She still dressed and acted quirkily. She had a certain something about her that gave off an impression of assurance – that she didn’t care what people thought.
But that was just her defense – she wanted SO badly to fit in. But she also wanted SO badly to be herself and for that to be ok.
But in middle school being yourself is only ok if it’s like everyone else.
I was that girl and I am raising her.
My heart aches in remembrance and in empathy.
And I am SO PROUD of her!