There I was walking into first grade with so much excitement. So much energy and light beaming through my eyes. I sat next to two girls in my class that seemed really nice. We were coloring in our "Welcome to First Grade!" sheets. I thought everything was going great, until one of the girls said, "I can tell we're going to be best friends!" And she wasn't talking to me.
I had a crush on a boy in first grade. I was walking with my classmates in the school hallway. A boy asked, "So Jordan, who do you like?" After I said the boy's name, all I got were laughs. Because who would have a crush on me, right?
I didn't keep my crushes a secret because I thought it was normal to say who you thought was cute. My classmates made it a big deal, but it's not like kids go into relationships and get married at the age of six.
For the most part, every morning was bright and sunny. I'd go into school with Crayola marker-hands from coloring before the bus came, bags and sun-damaged under-eyes, not-so-perfect teeth, and a smile.
At the age of six, you shouldn't be bullied on looks. You shouldn't be bullied at all. You shouldn't be made fun of because the boy you like doesn't like you back.
But here we are, and I was that girl who started getting bullied at the age of six because of how I looked, and how everyone knew who I liked.
In second grade, I sucked at everything. I was a very persistent 7-year-old, but kids just kept bringing me down. All that would go through my head was, "The boys say I'm ugly, but I don't think so. I may not be good at everything, but at least I'm trying to improve on anything I can. I can do better tomorrow."
Why should a 7-year-old have these thoughts?
Third grade wasn't much different, but I came to realize at that point in my life, that I felt like I was only invited to birthday parties so I wouldn't be left out.
After third grade in my town, we would move on to another elementary school that had grades four through six.
This is when everything went downhill.
In fourth grade, I had Lyme Disease Arthritis in the beginning of December. I was made fun of two days previous because I was walking as slow as a snail, and I could barely move my left leg.
I went to the hospital to get fluid out of my knee, and I had to use crutches afterwards.
I wasn't a fan of drawing attention to myself, so my Mom dropped me off at school, and I limped my way to class. A day without those crutches was a day of pain.
I was on and off crutches for awhile, but I'm telling you this because this was the only time my classmates were nice and actually cared. After that, it was nine more years of being made fun of.
After the Lyme passed as well as other injuries in fifth grade, the kids went back to treating me like I wasn't enough.
"You're ugly," and "I wasn't actually serious about asking you out." These were the type of things that were said to my face as a 10- and 11-year-old.
In sixth grade, I was at the age of twelve. Just like any other year, I wanted to fit in with the "popular crowd." There was one group of girls in my class where I was doing everything I could to be in their circle. I'd start dressing like them, but nothing worked.
My middle school only had grades seven and eight - probably the worst 2 years I've ever experienced while in school.
I lost twenty-one pounds in one month. Walking in the hallway was my worst nightmare. Dagger eyes and whispers, laughs and silence. My definition of Hell was people staring at you as walk into the classroom and already judging you based on what you're wearing, or just judging you because they don't like you. I got grades of Cs, Ds, and the occasional F.
I started wearing mascara to feel pretty.
I lost all of my confidence during my freshman year of high school.
Freshman year of high school was where I thought I could start all over, but we all know the reality of that not happening because you still go to school with the same kids.
Freshman year was when I started to wear more makeup because I had acne. I was only called pretty when I would wear it.
I got a MacBook for my birthday, and it had the Photo Booth app. I loved taking pictures with my friends. It was like the original Snapchat with all the filters - filters that made you look prettier. Filters that hid the real beauty.
Because I finally felt pretty for the first time in my life with "flawless" skin and electric blue eyeliner that brought out my eye color, I took "selfies" on Photo Booth.
And I posted them on Facebook, but I wasn't ashamed.
They say that girls who find beauty in themselves and are happy, are the most beautiful.
But instead, I was considered conceited.
One of my best friend's at the time had told me that people were talking about how I post "too many" pictures and that I was conceited because I liked the way I looked.
That time period was the first time I was finally starting to love myself.
All the love I had for myself was destroyed.
I shouldn't have cared, but like I mentioned before, I wanted to be liked by other people. I was a people pleaser.
I stopped taking those selfies, and only took ones with my friends. Or sometimes I would take the selfies, but I wouldn't post them anywhere.
Sophomore year I wanted to be the girl who had a Sweet 16. I wanted to invite the popular crowd to feel "cool." Which now I realize was clearly a mistake, and although people had said my party was "fun," nothing really changed after that.
I wish I hadn't cared so much about what others thought growing up. It ruined my confidence even more.
Junior year was when I started to gain back my confidence because I had real friends to tell me that I am beautiful without makeup. I still wore it every day, but those are the types of friends you need in your life.
Senior year wasn't a bad year, but it did include losing friends because they crossed lines, and their time was up.
It was the year that maybe everything was going well. For all I know, my name could have been slipping off people's tongues and bouncing into their ears, but I didn't care as much. I'm having fun, what's there to gossip about?
I was that girl who couldn't wait to graduate high school. I was tired of fake people. "Popular" people. And just all around people who I had been going to school with since I was six.
I was craving a life where I didn't have a care in the world. A life where I would enjoy going to school. A life filled with happiness and friends.
That's when Curry College came into my life.
Writing this as a senior, freshman year was one of my best years. Endless laughs with people who I'm still friends with to this day. Art classes that were improving my skills and accepting my strengths and weaknesses. And oh yeah, new people.
It wasn't until the end of my freshman year where I decided to start my YouTube channel back up again. I started one in my junior year of high school, but because my peers judged you when you breathed, I told no one, and then eventually deleted everything.
When I started the channel back up again with a new username, everyone at Curry was all for it, and proud of me. It wasn't until 10 days after I moved out freshman year, that I got a voicemail.
A voicemail that was spitting out nothing but negativity.
Hearing the voicemail was equivalent to hearing nails on a chalkboard.
It was saddening, depressing, and downright awful.
These girls were over the age of 18, and call themselves adults.
The voicemails continued for almost a month, until I blocked their "blocked number."
But guess what? What they said in those voicemails didn't stop me from deleting my YouTube channel or to stop filming, I actually made more. That made them mad.
The voicemails were getting to me for a while, because I got them at least once a day, but one day it didn't affect me.
Why should I stop doing what I love, if someone doesn't like it?
But between you and me, I think they liked my videos because they couldn't stop watching them - they were my number one fans.
Eventually, everything stopped.
There will always be times where words float around in the air, and it's up to you on whether or not you choose to breathe them in and swallow.