Wake up. Survive. Sleep.
Also known as, my high school motto. When you ask your kids how their day was at school, their response probably isn’t alarming at all. I can assure you, however, something happened that they’d rather not talk about. High school is an open opportunity for teenagers to act out and not get caught (most of the time). The halls are run by bullies and cliques that only certain people can be a part of. Lunch period wasn’t about what food was being served that day. Instead, we all waited to see who was fighting next. Heads were slammed on tables, fists flew left and right. The drama filled air could cut through you like a knife. And your only option to make it out alive? Survive.
Being the center of attention is something I’ve always hated, even still to this day. But there was no way to avoid that from happening in school. I sat in home room waiting to hear the rumors start. “Did you notice what Courtney is wearing today?” “She wore that shirt last week.” There was no escaping it. I was judged from the way my hair curled right down to the color of my toe nails. And all I could do was listen, which eventually made me believe them. I shopped at stores that I knew other girls went to. When I picked out clothes I asked myself, would ‘so and so’ wear this? Take my money. I just wanted to fit in and I was willing to do anything to make that happen. The sad part is the people I thought were my friends at the time got caught up in the gossip, too. So when I felt like I had an army behind me, I was actually alone… just like I’ve always been.
If the rumors didn’t ruin my day, it was being called out by the teacher when I didn’t know the answer. Or falling onto the slippery floors because of the rain boots walking the halls. Maybe I wasn’t expecting my period and I bled through my pants. It was always something. So when I told you that high school wasn’t easy, I meant it. I was just one of the lucky ones who never got a break, and people made sure of that.
Waking up was hard enough to do, especially knowing how my day would turn out. Surviving? I guess you can say I did that. I think what was most difficult was resting my eyes at night. Instead of having sweet dreams, I worried what the next day would have in store for me. But I made it through those soul-crushing days. I kept my head held high, shoulders always back. And look at me now…
I’m better than ever.