Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
Remember J from middle school? Yeah, she did in fact try to send her army upon me. It worked to the extent that none of those girls really talked to me. They just kind of tried to avoid my existence.
A & N
Oh, A & N. I thought we were such good friends. Until one day you held an intervention with me to tell me that I had too many personal problems for you to deal with and you could no longer afford to spend time on our friendship. That was fun.
Spanish Dance Club
One of my best friends from high school was the leader of the Spanish dance club and I of course agreed to participate because she needed one more person to make it an even number.
I came to every rehearsal, with all the other girls being Hispanic or African American. Clearly I did not fit in, but I was helping my friend and I was having fun with it.
One day all of the girls ganged up on me for not being able to move my hips as well as everyone else. So I stormed out and cried. I'm not sure if any of them apologized. If they did, they certainly didn't mean it. That really hurt.
A & K
A, K and I were best friends for a really long time. A and I kind of drifted because she screwed me over with a really big final one time after I helped her with countless school assignments.
The breaking point for me with A & K is when they lied to me about not having space in their prom group for me. Mind you, I had just been dumped and just wanted to go and have a fun girls night. I later found out that not only did they have space, but they had actually rented an even bigger limo than originally planned. Things like this are absolutely devastating when you're that young. Nevermind just being dumped by a guy you'd been dating for 2 years on top of it.
I didn't go to my senior prom.... and no one noticed.
M and I got into a Twitter fight at one point because she made fun of me for posting what she considered to be too many selfies. Clearly I was just looking for validation. I wanted people to tell me I looked pretty and she took that as an opportunity to tell me she didn't want to see my face anymore. Ok, maybe unfollow me then? Cyberbullying really didn't need to be the answer.
K was some sort of leader during senior year and she was responsible for collecting money for special senior key chains. I couldn't really care less about the key chains, but in an effort to fit in I gave in my $7 for my stupid key chain.
On the day we received our keychains, I did not get one. I went to a teacher and asked why I didn't receive one because I gave in my money. She looked at me weird and said my name wasn't checked off on the list and I didn't give in my money. Unfortunately, it was cash so there wasn't really any way to prove I had paid. Even though one of my friends witnessed me pay and came with me to this teacher to say I paid, she told us she couldn't do anything.
I want my $7 back.
T and I were best friends until I found out she had been talking badly about me behind my back. We had also had a few arguments, but this was the icing on the cake. She also happened to be friends with M. I still have a few printed out screenshots of the conversations she had with people about me. I keep it as a reminder that people aren't always who you think they are.
What's ironic to me about my high school experience is the amount of times we had guest speakers that came to us and talked about being a good person and not bullying. All of the girls around me would clap and talk about how great the speaker was, and yet I ate lunch alone or in the bathroom or library by myself more times that I can count. I was constantly ignored and a lot of the time I just felt completely invisible. Then, someone would snicker at something I did and I'd wish I was invisible instead.
I went to an all girl's high school and there was a huge focus on female empowerment and women supporting women. I always loved this message and felt so inspired by it. Apparently, so did my classmates although I'd really beg to differ considering the way I was treated.
I'm not Innocent
I know I'm not innocent. No one ever is. We've all said things we wish we could take back and done things that keep us up at night in a hot sweat. However, I didn't deserve to be ignored and when I was given attention, I didn't deserve to be bullied. No one deserves to be bullied.
Although I've done my fair share of things I regret, there are people out there that seemingly made it their mission to make me miserable and they did, for a really long time.
What's unfortunate about life is you're either popular or you're not. For whatever reason, I wasn't and unfortunately for a very long time that can really negatively affect your life if you're surrounded by the wrong people.
When I was younger, I didn't fit in because I could fit in with any group of people. Now, my ability to connect with anyone is a great networking skill that has carried me pretty far.
Although I was insecure and felt lonely for a very long time, I've used my experiences to treat others the way I wish I was treated. I've been told that I'm very easy to talk to and I'd like to think it's because I always wished I had someone to talk to and I never want anyone to feel that way.
I'm not that scared insecure little girl anymore. I am a strong and powerful woman. I have an amazing group of friends and I am proud of the person I've become. So to all of the people that thought they could tear me down, nice try!
So, To My Classmates and High School
So, to my classmates and my high school. Do better, please. Be kinder. Be more open minded. Be more conscious of the things you say and do. Women need to support women. Humans need to support humans. We all need to do better and it starts from within. Are you proud of the way you treat others? Or is this making you think?
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