Getting Knocked Down
(When You’re Already Down)
“People throw rocks at things that shine” – Taylor Swift
You learn a lot of things growing up. Don’t swim right after you eat. Always look both ways before crossing the street. Don’t leave anybody out. Always try your best. You learn all the basics from your family and your teachers. I can’t tell you how many life lessons I teach in my classroom, because I care. I want my students to be the best people they can be, because I know how shitty people can be (sorry for swearing, but saying “crappy” just wasn’t enough). The truth is that I care too much. I am 25 years old and words still hurt me. I still question my looks and how I do things on a regular basis. Sorry to break it to you, but you don’t grow out of this in your 20’s. I wish I didn’t care. I wish I could be the girl that threw on a cool outfit, some red lipstick, and dyed her hair pink and went about her day….but I’m just not there. Now, I’m not sitting here whining about every little thing. I don’t always get upset about what people say, because half of the things I know are not true. When I walk into a bar and some guy thinks he can take me home just because I threw on some leather leggings that night, I don’t let this bother me. I’m happily married. My husband would kick his ass if he laid a finger on me. And I’m not trying to be something that I’m not.
Now, when I’m still new at teaching and some kids yells, “I HATE YOU! YOU’RE THE WORST TEACHER EVER!!” – that stings. It shouldn’t, because it’s an 8 year old’s opinion and he is only yelling this since you told him to do his work and he doesn’t want to. But it sucks to say the least. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone home crying in my car because of words that some bratty kid yelled or said to me. I mean kids cut deep. They hit right where it hurts sometimes. Even worse, kids notice the things you are the most self-conscious about and voice them aloud. Like for me, I have always been self-conscious about my dark hair on my arms and my nose being big. I have been in so many different classrooms where some 5 year old will come up to me and say, “You have a big nose” or “Why are your arms so hairy?”. Now, on the outside – I laugh and say something like, “I was born this way” or “Now, that’s not very nice to say. Sometimes we need to keep comments like that in our heads”. You know, a teacher’s way of saying – “You just pointed out the one thing that I am the most self-conscious about. Please leave me alone.” The thing is though that kids at a young age don’t really know that this is rude. They’re either too young to realize that we don’t point out people’s body parts or they’re just so used to yelling, “I HATE YOU” to their parents. I don’t get angry with a kid and I definitely don’t show them that it hurts inside. I teach them how to react better and speak kindly to adults. RESPECT IS EARNED. That’s what I always say.
Now, when it comes to people who are the same age as me. We know what words do. We know what we’re doing. Especially girls. We all know we gossip, even when we don’t mean to. We all share and keep secrets. We all post passive aggressive pictures on instagram or posts on Facebook. Girls are very good at this. I’m not bashing girls, because we are still totally awesome. We are hard-working. We care too much. We will always be up for eating pizza and junk food. We have way too good of a time drinking. We love to dance. We will watch The Notebook pretty much anytime. We are awesome friends….until we’re not.
When you have a fight with your girl friend. It can be bad news bears. We are not the best at fights (just ask my husband..hee hee). We love the drama even if we don’t want to admit it. We voice our opinions by raising our voice and moving our hands around. We want to be heard and you better listen. The worst is when you have a friend who is very similar to you. You’re both stubborn. You both don’t want to lose, so to speak. The thing is that we care. We do remember the smallest of details and use that as ammo. We won’t go down without a fight. And I get it. I know I struggle with this too. I’m not good at forgiving. I used to believe I was the kind of girl that didn’t hold a grudge, but the truth is… I think I am the girl that holds grudges. I’ve learned that the hard way pretty recently. I guess I just never felt like I held grudges before because I never really had big fights with my girl friends. We always got along. We had each other’s back. We helped each other up when other people kicked us down. We were truly the closest niche of friends growing up. No one and nothing could break us apart. But you get older. You go to different colleges. You find the love of your life. You get married. Some of you even move away. Life gets more complicated. It takes more work to be friends with adults. You don’t have the days where you just see everyone at lunch and then again that evening for a night of fun. You have phones, social media, and the few and far between moments where you all happen to be home at the same time. It’s hard. I get that. I’m not the center of their universe. I’m a hometown friend.
I just wish that it was easier. I wish that life didn’t get so crazy, complicated, and chaotic. I had a hard year. I had been feeling knocked down for a while. I moved away to an entirely different state. With no family or close friends nearby. I grew up in Arlington, TX. I lived 15-20 minutes away from both of my grandparents. My family was the type to have big family holidays! We switched off houses for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I could see my family anytime. Now I take it for granted because I really didn’t think I’d ever leave Texas. My plan in college was to always come back to Arlington. Be a teacher for one of the schools I knew. Stay close to family. Eat What-a-burger anytime.
But I fell in love. (cue the AWWWW)
I moved for my new best friend. And I wouldn’t change it. Any of it.
Not to say that it isn’t hard. Because believe me….it’s been tough. What made matters worse is not being able to find a job. Or when I did work as a part-time teacher, having parents tell me that they wished I was fired. Or when I still couldn’t find a teaching job and I actually became an Uber driver because I wanted to help with the finances and couldn’t find anything else. Or when I finally landed a full-time teaching job and ended up loving the school, teachers, and kids but find out that a new school is opening up and they have to cut teachers. Or when you finally meet and make a close friend in a brand new state and that person moves away. I’m also really big on birthdays! I haven’t been with my family on my birthday or for their birthdays since I moved to Colorado. I know these things really are not the worst things that can happen to a person. I know that I am blessed and living the life I want. My point is – that it’s not all smiley emojis and rainbows. It’s tough. You’re happy, breathing, and living in a beautiful state. You are close to both sides of your family. You have a wonderful husband who takes care of you and doesn’t make you go through life alone. I am happy. I just get knocked down and even at 25, I don’t have all the answers for how to deal with it sometimes.
I do have a few ideas and here are some of them:
- Sing, “I Really Don’t Care” by Demi Lovato in your car as loud as you can.
- Treat yourself to a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream.
- Don’t feel guilty that you finished almost all of the pint in one sitting.
- Watch something that makes you laugh – for me it’s FRIENDS. “How you doin’?”
- Have a dance party.
- Take a long scenic drive.
- Reread Harry Potter – because who isn’t happy reading HP?
- Read the chapter of Psalms or James, because…God knows exactly what to say.
- Text your friends and go to Happy Hour.
- Go walk you dog. He will be happy and “let’s face it, you’re having fun!”
- Go through your own instagram photos to remind yourself that you are cool. 🙂
- Order a large cheese pizza and enjoy some ranch with it, because… IT’S PIZZA!
- Know that “people throw rocks at things that shine”.
- Love yourself and be happy for what you do have.
Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful week.