I was reading an article about the singer, Lissie. Just so you know, I’m a crazytown Lissie fan. I love her voice. I love that she plays her own music and writes her own tunes. I also love that her drummer also plays bass AND sings. So I was reading this article from Spinner, and something about her story really struck me.
Here’s the link so you can read about it:
Here’s the thing – when I was in high school I wore my heart on my sleeve. Hell, I still do. I was the kind of kid who loved movies, books and being in love. I thought I was in love with anyone who showed me attention, I adored creative writing and drama. I danced in my room and when no one was home I sung in the shower. I was unafraid of being who I was and only when I was reminded by other people my own age did I realize that I was awkward or “dramatic.”
I was lucky, thought. I happened to go to a fairly “accepting” private school. It really was a place I could be myself. Yet, there was the set of girls who had it all (aren’t there in every high school?) Money – popularity – the right clothes. I was always left of center. I had nice jeans but they weren’t 100 dollar jeans. They were the jeans I got at TJ Maxx. That was fine by me – I didn’t know that wasn’t “posh.” That aside, I went through my days just being me, wearing my heart on my sleeve, loving who I loved and making mistakes, I didn’t know I was being made fun of. Maybe I didn’t care.
Now, this isn’t quite as dramatic as being taken away in cuffs but one day I decided to wear green tights. Not neon green but evergreen. They looked dumb in hindsight but they were what I happened to think was important to wear that day. So I did. I’ll never forget these girls, looking me up and down, taking in the sight of my green tights and saying…
“I like your tights…” and then walking away together arm and arm. For anyone who has been through this -even something as minimal as this, you question yourself. You question who you are. In the lieu of cases of bullying, I can’t imagine the viral nature of bullying today and what may have happened to me if my tights had been passed around the internet. High school is hard. Being yourself is hard but coming into your own or knowing who you are is half the battle. Even if you don’t know who you are and you’re trying to figure it out – do not let others attempt to keep you from expressing yourself.
Look, this even happened to me the other day. I was at a bar visiting some old friends and when I told someone I was going to England for some research on my next book, the response was, “Why a lot of vampires there?” My friend Marlo posted this quote on her facebook page and I’ll
Mediocrity always attacks excellence. “Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.” Albert Einstein