Was I ostracized and teased because I was the new kid who was dressed differently, or because I was an easy target who never talked nor fought back?
In 7th grade, I had to be chaperoned to and from school and “watched” during recess. This was to protect me from being beat up by classmates.
Gym class was challenging because I was always (yes, always), regardless of the game for which captains were choosing teammates, the last selected.
Academically, no one wanted to work or share space with me.
I sat alone during recess, and I don’t remember lunch. It’s likely I wasted that hour with a teacher getting “extra help”.
There was no school subject in which I excelled or enjoyed. Oh, wait, art. I was good in art.
Today, I reap the benefits of my early challenges: I’ve learned sensitivity.
I’m sensitive to the dancer in the back row, the student who struggles academically, the parent fighting for custody, the underpaid teacher, the hourly worker who feels stuck, and the sick or shut-in.
Sensitivity is liberating, because it opens the door to acceptance and it teaches what’s possible. It allows one to move forward knowing that you can stand out and be yourself.
If you’re awkward, insecure, or doubtful, I understand.
Dream of telling your story the way you want your story to be. Focus less on what’s not working.
Sometimes the things that appear not to be working are in fact, working out quite well.
Use your quiet, downtime to grow into your strengths and to imagine what’s possible for your life.
Imagination, visualization, daydreaming. Go there in the mind.