I had to take my son to high school orientation. He had been pretty negative about moving to high school, and I don’t blame him one bit. The high school consists of several buildings, a cafeteria that rivals the food court at the mall, and twenty-five hundred students. 2500. Gurl, I graduated with 147 people–the majority I had known since I was 5yrs old. Not that he won’t be with the kids he went to elementary school with, but the number of strangers outweighs the number of familiar faces. As I was sitting in the auditorium listening to the different types of GPA, of course I started comparing it to my HS. It’s crazy how everything about the school structure is designed to put them in college. We had a couple guidance counselors, but they didn’t really “help” with the college process. When I did have meetings about what I wanted to pursue I was always advised to “tone it down a little”. I hope that is something neither of my kids will ever hear. I don’t have and ill will about that kind of stuff–it was the 90’s and the girls hadn’t started to Run The World yet. Besides, I’m 100% Gen X and I was used to the grownups not taking me seriously, and constantly telling me that I was “too much”.
What I am most thankful for is that my kids will be going to a big school where they can find their people. I was pigeonholed into my social status by 5th grade and try as I might, those girls were not letting me into their circle. I understand now how family legacy plays a huge role in a small town, and my father was not a good man, and my mother wasn’t born and raised there so she was always considered an outsider. That left me with no where to really fit in.
I’m not harping on the past because I’m still stuck there or anything. As my purge continues I keep findings things from the past and rather than stuffing those feelings down deep I’m being honest about how my upbringing has shaped me as a person, for better or worse. That’s the part they don’t mention when you start working on yourself….confronting how much of a jerk I’ve been in so many situations. Sometimes I do wonder why Becky Broderick hated me so much. Sometimes I get angry with myself for taking all the bullying from Pete Belawske when really I just should have given him a good kick in the balls and told him to fuck off.
That’s only sometimes. The rest of the time I think about how awesome it was that since I wasn’t in any particular clique I had friends in all the groups which gave me some pretty great people skills. I think about how glad I am that I wasn’t in the the popular group because I was a good kid who wasn’t getting drunk or high or screwing anybody. I think about how I would wear whatever the fuq I wanted and didn’t give a shit about all the nasty comments Sara Smith would make–the girls in my class were mean AF, but that gave me a thick skin which has served me well in life.
And now…I’m friends with the girls who hated me so much. We cheer each other on, and enjoy being in each other’s lives in whatever form that is, IRL or FB. We’re in our 40’s and I don’t have time to be mad over some HS bullshit. I’m a completely different person now, and so are they.
Man–I really went off the rails there!!! SO! The high school! They have so many cool clubs–and the boy was super excited about a bunch of them!!! He wants to do Robotics, Web Design/Comp Sci, and after a nice chat with the art teacher he is over the moon to take sculpting and pottery! He even agreed to take a pottery class with me at the library.
As we left the school he told me that he’s now really excited about high school even though he knows it’s going to be hard. I’m so proud of the dude he’s turning into.