Back in the day, life felt like one dramatic never ending soap opera. If I could Pee Wee Herman myself back to the days of pogs, Spice Girl trading cards, JTT and Topanga, this is the wisdom I would impart, after 27 years of learning lessons the hard way.
Don’t fret! Being bullied has an upside
Who are you rolling your eyes at? Yes you feel like an outcast now and it sucks. At least you don’t have to deal with the internet. Since you get used to dealing with haters and doubters early on, by the team you reach your 20’s, you’ll beat to your own drum because you don’t give a f*ck about making popular choices. You might also use the F word here and there. Warning: this comes after years of seeking the approval of others.
Being good at gym does not matter after grade 8
Yes your lack of coordination and athletic prowess is part of what saddled you with your freak flag and every time you get picked last for team sports, a little part of your soul dies. Focus on what you are good at, like creative arts! You will go to an arts school and you will get 90’s in gym, just for participating. And after high school, gym doesn’t even exist. Hint: yoga/pilates will rise to the mainstream and your years of dance training will kick in.
Chasing straight A’s will not make you happy or successful
Being smart is the other half of your bullying equation. You see those kids that tease you for working hard and getting good grades? You think they’re jealous? Maybe, but guess what? Those kids will grow up to be your cubicle mates in the corporate jungle and they still don’t value intellect. So stop focusing all your attention on grades, get out there and do something scary. Put just as much effort into social relationships since adult life is about who you know. Warning: if you want to go into medicine or law, grades matter up until getting into your program of choice. After that, you just need to pass.
You will still cry years later remembering the boy who broke your heart
You will get over it and bury it in the past but some memories leave a searing impression and you will cry for your former self and how small you felt. This will happen less and less over time as you blossom. Eventually you will pick boys who treat you right, hang in there.
Taking on multiple activities that leave you feeling indifferent sets a dangerous precedent
You got dragged to swimming lessons where the water stung your eyes and that kid puked every time. You tried to get out of Saturday heritage school and dance lessons were terrifying most of the time, while piano put you to sleep. If you don’t use your big mouth and ask your parents to enroll you into something you truly care about, you will get used to taking on multiple obligations that you either loathe or feel indifferent about. Your entire existence will suffer a quiet discontent that takes years to notice. Learn to say no early.
Showing your friend’s parents a topless photo of your mom is never a good move
It was the late 70’s or early 80’s, shit happens. Keep that to yourself or kiss your friend(s) goodbye. Warning: this may not apply to today’s Facebook generation since everything is up for public consumption now.
Clinging to your mom and dad will render you dependent
Stop being a suck and go to sleepover camp even if it is just for a weekend. Or visit a relative in a foreign land, at least partially by yourself. Or go on that Europe trip in high school even though you are scared shitless. Oh for goodness sake, don’t miss out on university exchange too! The longer you avoid your fears, the harder it is to face them.
Your parents are real people too. Who will terrify you sometimes.
They have flaws, they cry, they yell, they want to throw in the towel sometimes. They are doing their best. Maybe they have lingering issues from their past that have nothing to do with you. You will either vow to avoid their fate or succumb to it. Or you might realize becoming them ain’t so bad.
Chances are your parents will sell your childhood home at some point
Despite being embarrassed by that tiny house in that rough neighbourhood, you will cry like a baby when your family moves you after university. You will cry even harder when you drive by and see what the new owners have done. Cherish the past, but don’t hang onto it too tight. Remember all good things come to an end.
What other advice would you give your 10 year old self? Reminisce in the comments!