Whew, where to begin?
I was very pleasantly overwhelmed by the response I got to the first post of this nature. I honestly didn’t think anyone would read it, and I was secretly very afraid that I’d get tons of negative comments or something. Ugh, I don’t know why, but you know- that’s just how I am. (This is why I could never put videos on YouTube. Have you ever read through comments there? It’s like a freaking nightmare.)
A comment from my new Sketchbook Project friend, Anika, made me start thinking about it some more. She said:
Â Ok, I kinda feel like I just wrote a mini â€śthings Iâ€™m afraid to tell youâ€ť post and part of me wants to delete everything I wrote and replace it with a â€śway to go you are awesome thanks for sharingâ€ť comment, but in the spirit of the post, I wonâ€™t. Iâ€™ll leave it and you can read it and think whatever youâ€™re gonna think. Even writing this little bit, I realize it does take bravery to write and present this kind of post. Iâ€™m really glad you did! Maybe just maybe I can work up the courage to write one and share the really scary stuff. :
For the sake of everyone’s sanity, I’m going to make some generalizations here. I know that there are obviously deviations from the norm, and not all stereotypes are true… but just work with me here, mmkay?
I don’t think you’ll find a single person who grew up in the US (and I’m sure other places, as well) who will deny that there’s a distinct line in every school between “popular” and “not popular”. Sure, there’s a bit of a grey area, but everyone knows where they fall.
I can’t speak for the popular kids. I’m not going to say that they didn’t have struggles and insecurities like everyone else. But, speaking as one of the not-popular, “that girls” (this is totally a thing. Work with me), the social experiences I had left a definite mark on my paradigm.
What I’m realizing from this challenge is that many people with similar experiences have had the same marks left on their personality. And they’re marks that I believe truly can’t be understood by someone who wasn’t ever a “that girl”, you know? No, the “that girls” of the world aren’t singularly afflicted in the Lasting Effects of High School (also totally a thing), but the affliction is different.
The second big thing I realized was that nearly everyone who’s had this similar experience has grown a kind of unique compassion that is lacking in everyone else. This is absolutely not to say that other people aren’t compassionate, just that there’s an empathy that comes only from having “been there”. Not to be all “us vs. them”, but when you’re hurt by the “them”, it’s really hard to be anything but kind to the “us”. YaknowwhatImean?
So, I guess the million dollar question is, do we still have to be afraid to say these things? I mean, we’re basically communicating with a whole community of people who get it. And can empathize when we’re insecure. And cheer us on when we do something awesome. It’s become so obvious over the course of the Things I’m Afraid to Tell You challenge that I really, really hope it will have a lasting effect on the blogging community. Because I know that I, for one, am so very happy that I’ve “met” so many people like me – it almost makes up for the fact that there seem to be so few in real life.
That was kind of a stream-of-consciousness type of post, so I apologize if it doesn’t totally make sense.
Thoughts? Anyone? Tell me. Comments make my day!