Jan 13

the truth about where i stand

I have always questioned where I stand in school. I don't want to become separated. I don't want to have to hide anything or lie to any friend. I don't want to fall behind in school, and yes, I am a try-hard. But I also really, deep down, care about how I am viewed. Some of my friends now say to ignore the gossip, and that another group of girls are just not worth listening to while they talk behind people's backs. Which is why I pretty much dress like how many other girls my age do, and try to not say the "wrong" thing.

Here, I'm going to be brutally honest.
 
Right now, I'd say I stand closest with the friends I've had from the beginning. These are those who I can tell anything to, who have always been there for me, who won't judge me, and who genuinely care about their futures as much as I do. Yet, I have a couple people who I'll talk to, walk with, and really make me laugh, who are somewhat considered my other friends' opposites. I actually like to dress how they do, and share that similar style. I know that there's a reason for these people to be "the popular kids," and I, quite frankly, hate it when they talk about someone like they have no meaning in the world, or have the wrong type of body, or wore a pair of jeans that definitely don't flatter their body type.
Here's the thing. I really want to be accepted. I really want to have a chance to reach out and make more friends, but at the same time keeping the friends that I've always had closest, because I know I can trust them, and really love each one of them. It's usually me, though, whose face is enflamed when people talk about what try-hards and nerds we are. It's usually me who can't ignore the whispers. It's usually me who worries about the condition of my skin (waaaayyyy too much) and whether or not my outfit is "socially acceptable." Don't get me wrong--I'd do anything for my long-time friends. They are the best. I don't need to question whether or not I can trust them with what I struggle to tell anyone else. I don't need to hold back on being myself. I only ever hang out with them outside of school.
I'm a really sensitive person. Stories about depression and bullying only adds up to my need for a place that I can feel safe. I wouldn't give a crap about the way I look or think about saying the right thing, if not for that overlying fear.

Right now, I'm working, with everyone else who feels this is an issue, to put out this fear. To find justice, and make schools a place where everyone can feel safe. But for now, I just can't ignore those whispers. Those names. All of those terrible things that make me afraid to be who I really, truly AM.

Another issue is the fire isn't just coming from one side. No, everyone has that need to ridicule, argue, whatever it may be. No, it's everyone, including me. And it makes me feel freaking awful about it. I'm so sorry to anyone who caught me on a bad day, lashing out and trying to keep my feelings hidden. I know that I really don't have an excuse. But the truth is, overall, everyone is afraid of that tension that pushes people out, that makes people feel like they aren't worth anything. But when your stuck right in the middle of that whirlwind, you have more of that overwhelming feeling that you need to get out of it.

So I'll dress like them. So I'll try not to say something that could come back and hit me. But I also know how to do the right thing. How to have fun, and know who is really your friend. How to be yourself. And how to stand up to any force that is standing in your or anyone else's way. Sometimes, though, it's terrifying to make those decisions.

*I hope I didn't say anything to offend anyone, either. Everyone's style is different. Everyone's ideas. Everyone's strength and willingness to choose the right thing. This is just how I feel.