I know that instant feeling of dread and doom when you realize another girl is spreading gossip and hateful words for everyone to hear. It's hard to describe accurately, but what comes to mind immediately is what it might feel like if you were drowning. Gasping for air, panic setting in and what you thought was a normal average day has ended up crashing down all around you. My bully decided to spread a huge lie about me and posted it on a bulletin via Myspace for my entire school to see. I lived in a small town at the time and all I could think of was "Why? Why me? What did I do?" If I could have had any wish, it would have been to move to another town far, far away and leave it all behind. I was running away and hiding from something someone said that had no value or truth at all. I asked myself over and over, "What is wrong with me?"
We've all seen the mandatory films in school that are designed to encourage us not to bully. Most students laugh at these PSA's mostly because we don't relate to the out-of-date scenarios being shown on the screen. It's an excuse to get out of class and we would rather talk amongst ourselves as we relish the thought of missing math or science. I never thought this would happen to me. I'm a nice and caring person. I was wrong, and I did not have the skills or confidence to put my bullies mean words to rest. I let it consume me. Several months later my bully apologized to me and told me she did her dirty deed because she was jealous of me. And to think I spent months wondering what was wrong with me...
We live in a world of amazing technology that gives us the power to spread news that can go viral within minutes. With this power comes those who choose to hide behind a screen because they are too coward to say the words out loud. I have learned along the way that being confident in myself, my values and what I stand for makes me my own unique person. I don't expect everyone to like me, however, I know that when I surround myself with people I share common interests with and who I can learn from I am a better person. I have spent 20 long years working on who I am and what mark I want to make on this world. There is no way that another girl who doesn't even know me is going to succeed in breaking my mold. If you are bullied for being who you are, then be you even more. YOU are the one with the power, not the bully.
Yes, it stinks. We all want to be liked and accepted but the reality of life is that there will always be those who feel the need to pull someone down. It's up to us to fix the cycle by looking more closely at ourselves, realizing our self-worth and our positive impact in this world. Whether you like to sing, dance, draw, write, code or volunteer, focus on YOUR happiness. Don't give your bully one more second of power. Sooner, rather than later, I promise you will realize that the hateful words that once froze you in your tracks have become the very words that fuel your mindset to carry on just as you are. There is nothing wrong with you. You are important to this world and you are enough.
Now, put on your fabulous superhero cape and rock the world!