Wednesday, April 18, 2012

30 Days Honesty Blogging Dare - Day 18

This 30 Days Honesty Blogging dare is hosted by Tom Baker. Hop on over and check out his blog, including a list of the other participants in this fun - and sometimes challenging - dare.

Day 18: I would agree or disagree that high school is/was the time of my life... Because...

I would highly disagree!

I don't spend a lot of time pondering these years of my life, but every now and again a painful memory rises to the surface and rattles my cage a bit. Thankfully I'm older and wiser now and I know how to knock it back in it's place - the past - dead and buried, where it belongs.

I often heard my step dad say how he had never missed his high school years. For most of my five years there I imagined that I would feel the same way one day. Sixteen years later... Yip! Just the way I imagined.

I moved to a small town (compared to the city that I mostly grew up in) in the transition period between primary and high school. The school had a hostel - the first time I ever encountered that concept. Where I grew up kids attended school from home with their parents. The new town was the biggest in quite a large area and all the smaller farming communities' children came to the "city" and attended school, living in the hostel. I was not a farm girl. Let's just say that I did not fit in. I took life seriously - I never learned how to just be a kid - and I played by the rules; something that made me an outcast half way through my first (of five) year there.

Rejected by my own age group and rather lonely, I sought comfort with a friend that I knew from my church youth group who was one year ahead of me. Without going into too much detail, I ended up finding one friend who stayed with me for the next four years. I cherished our friendship. It gave me the courage to face each school day. Now I could focus on getting the work done while looking forward to spending time with my friend during break and over weekends. I wonder if she ever knew just how much of a difference her friendship made in my world? 

I was as content as (I think) I could be until my friend matriculated (graduated) a year ahead of me. It is then that I realized just how much of a stranger I had become in my own group. Now I was still being ridiculed and bullied - openly rejected - but I had no safe place to find comfort in and my days usually ended crying all the way home. I remember being so grateful that no one could see inside my motorcycle helmet. That was my private space where I could expose my vulnerable soul and pour it all out at the end of each excruciating day; where I could look out at the world, but it could not see in.

I remember the last day when it was finally all behind me... one of the girls who had blatantly rejected me, and even explained to my face the reason why (not as if she didn't know that she was hurting me) hugged me, telling me how she was going to miss me... my feeling as I looked over her shoulder... yeah. bloody. right! I started my motorbike and thanked God that it was finally behind me. I haven't missed it for one day since!

Every now and again when I'm on another school ground I imagine though that I would have had a completely different experience if I was back then who I am today; my changed mentalities, my views of people and the world and - above all - my view of myself. In some ways - on some days - I thought I was going to die, but in other ways - while I didn't realize it at the time - I've learned a strength and compassion for others in pain that have become invaluable to me; something that no one can ever take away. For that I am grateful to the bullies - the silver lining around the proverbial dark and lonely cloud.

By the grace of God I got through it; In the end He worked it all together for good, just as He promises He will. If He could do it for me, He can do it for you!

Do I miss high school? HELL NO! 

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