I’m writing this for myself. I want to look back when I’m old and gray and see what I’ve been able to achieve and get through with God right by my side. I’m 16 years old at the moment, and have had a very “boring” life up until sixth grade. I guess I say boring because my childhood was practically perfect. I have two loving, god-seeking, HARDWORKING parents who brought my two brothers and I up in a very respectable way. A very fun childhood with many memories to go along with it. My brothers and I did every sport under the sun and excelled at a good amount of them. WoW. I don’t mean to sound cocky, we just love sports and thats kind of our thing we enjoy doing in our spare time. I do have to add…never have been good at volleyball, and I’m always picked last HAHAHA. Anyways, up until middle school, life was PERFECT. So simple.
Middle school hit me like a truck. Things were much more complicated. Girls in my grade were fickle. I lost my “friends” and had one of the loneliest times of my life from sixth to seventh grade. The reason I had such a hard time was because I was different than most of my “friends”. I was growing up, my faith in God was growing, and I was slowly but surely becoming a tomboy. These girls were also boy crazy which if you knew me I AM MOST CERTAINLY NOT, I want everyone to be my friend and I try to be kind to everyone around me. This clique was everything I wasn’t. I’d play basketball every day at recess and soccer would be the other half of the time. The clique of about 12 girls were the definition of mean girls. They’d make fun of what I wore, call me names that I didn’t deserve to be called, purposely call me out in front of the class to embarrass me and even get the other kids in the class to not like me as well. I never had a partner in class, I always sat alone, and I felt like I wasn’t important in school. You would have never guessed if you saw me because I pretended like I didn’t care. I really did though.
Sports have always been important to me. It was the one thing that I looked forward to during this time of my life. I’ll always remember how every time I would beat the group of girls in any sport, they would shun me for however long they desired. By the middle of the year, the meanest girl out of the bunch was decently good in the mile (the term good is used lightly given that we were in sixth grade). Me on the other hand didn’t know how to long distance. My competitive spirit showed through one day because I disliked her enough that I not only beat her, but beat the entire grade and cut my mile time down by two minutes. Saying I didn’t like mean girls is an understatement. At times, I would have to stay home because I became physically ill because of the anxiety I was under. I never wanted to go to school, and the day I stayed at the Childrens Hospital because of my chronic stomach problems, my parents knew they needed to stop this problem somehow. For a passive, 12 year old girl at the time, I didn’t like the idea of my parents meeting with the principal at all. This ultimately only made things worse.
As I mentioned earlier, my relationship in Jesus Christ was becoming a priority in my daily life. It only grew stronger because He was the only comfort I had other than my parents. Through leaning on Him throughout this tough memory, I gained a confidence in myself I had never had before. In the weirdest way, I had an empathetic heart towards these girls and gained a love for people just like me who feel left out and “less than.” God became my number one and I can honestly say that is the reason I am where I’m at in my life right now. The verse that helped me through my struggling middle school years was Proverbs 3:5-6-“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” By the end of six grade, I ran for vice president of ASB. Not a big deal now, but in that moment, it was the biggest event of my life. Oh, I didn’t mention I was running against the meanest, most errogant girl I will ever meet in my entire life. She will never know just how much she negatively affected my life, and I really hope she never finds out. I’m sitting here crying on my laptop. Its been five years but I remember her words and actions like they were just yesterday. I won. I didn’t think I would, but I did. Looking back, in my 12 year old self, I saw a girl who just wanted people to like her and for once, she felt like they did.
When people ask me if I miss anyone from middle school, I never have a good answer. I don’t miss anyone. People around me didn’t know how to be a friend and nobody in my opinion knew how to be kind. Where I’m at today, is a much better place BECAUSE of the basic middle school bullying everyone goes through at some point in their lives. I’d consider myself to be a very confident person, and someone who is always making sure people feel important. I believe God allows us to go through things that will strengthen us in our faith. God is good, and I can’t help but share something so special to me. Who would have thought that middle school mean girls would have helped me become a better person. So I want to give a shout out to the group of girls who made my life miserable. Thank you, because without your harsh words and isolating actions put on me, I wouldn’t be such a quirky, independent, smiling, laughter-filled Emma. XOXO