I know right now that everything seems crucial.
Your friends, popularity, the kids in class, the things you do, the music you like, the jokes you tell, even the clothes you wear are things that revolve around a crowd.
Not everyone is the same, which is a good thing. But even when we are different, truth is we all just want to get along.
No one asks to be the weak kid or the one that kids pick on. No one wants to be singled out, but at the same time, no one wants to be faceless and forgotten either.
Know what I mean?
Nobody wants to be unnoticed.
None of us do.
The truth is we are all social creatures.
Loneliness is like a poison
I swear it is.
But loneliness is a funny thing. Sometimes, feeling lonely doesn’t come when we’re alone. Sometimes we feel the most lonely when we’re around the wrong people.
I remember when I was in grade school. One of the teachers told me the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.”
I never believed the teachers when they told me this. I never believed anyone who said this.
In fact, growing up, broken bones hurt a lot but nothing ever hurt me worse than a broken heart.
I never asked to be smaller than the rest of the kids my age. I never asked to feel the way I did.
I wanted to be cool, just like the other kids.
I wanted girls to like me. I wanted everyone to like me, but somehow, that just didn’t happen the way I wanted it to.
If I could go back to the younger me; and I mean the little me, back when I was in grade school and felt those sad, uncomfortable feelings, I would go back and ask, “What would it look like if you just walked away from the kids you didn’t want to play with anymore?”
And I know what the little me would say. I know what I was afraid of back then. I just didn’t know how to tell anyone about it. I didn’t know how to explain it. I certainly didn’t want anyone else to know about it because then this would be real and no amount of pretending could ever make my feelings go away.
If I would have asked that question to the grade school version of me, I suppose the little me would answer, “Because I don’t want to be alone.”
If I could go back, then I would ask, “But don’t you feel lonely now?
And I’m pretty sure I know what the little me would say. I’m sure the little me would say, “Yes, but I’m afraid I’ll miss out on something. And then I’ll have to hear everyone talk about it. And then I’ll just feel left out again.”
I would then ask, “Do you feel still feel left out even when you’re with the other kids?”
The little me would probably answer, “Sometimes?”
But if the little me answered honestly, the true answer would be, “Most times.” if not “All the time.”
These things are not really so tragic. They may seem like everything but the truth is they mean nothing. To a kid, however, these things mean everything.
If I could tell the little me anything, I swear, I would say walk away.
When you don’t like something . . . .
When someone talks to you wrong . . . .
When you feel like something is wrong, don’t do it, and walk away.
Don’t look to please others. Take care of yourself first.
I would tell the little me, look to please yourself because at the end of the day, the last face you see is yours in the mirror.
Out of all the faces you see in your life, you cannot be disappointed when you see your own reflection.
I would tell the little me, Trust me.
You’re more precious than you think.
In one year’s time, this year’s problems will be last year’s problems.
If there is nothing between us but time and distance, then let’s say, you and me, we close the gap.
Let’s talk; not adult to child or child to adult.
Let’s talk, just you and me.
I would like you to close your eyes for a second.
Can you do that for me?
I want you to think about your favorite thing in this world.
I want you to think of your favorite game.
Imagine you playing it.
Imagine whomever you want to play the game with is there with you now.
You are happy.
You are fine to laugh and fine to smile.
There is nothing to be afraid of and no one around to hurt you.
This game is yours now. And anytime you feel lonely or sad; anytime you feel like you might want to cry, that’s okay too, but if you want, you can close your eyes and see this game of yours.
Think about the outdoors. Think about the green grass. Think about the warmth of summer. Think about running and playing and feeling happy.
Keep this picture with you wherever you go. And don’t be afraid to walk away. Don’t be afraid to be you because trust me, kid, you are absolutely beautiful
It’s okay to walk away. It’s okay to do things on your own. The people you choose to have around you need to earn your company. And if they don’t deserve you then they don’t get to play. Understand?
I want you to learn this lesson now because trying to make other people happy instead of yourself can be habit forming. Before you know it, you’re all grown up and all you’ve ever done is everything for everyone else and nothing for yourself.
Learn to walk away now.
Learn to care for yourself.
Learn your worth and learn your value.
Understand that no one has the right to beat you, hurt you, touch you, or put you down.
We stay away from people like this because spending time with the wrong people so we don’t feel lonely can be habit forming too.
So learn when to walk away.
This is the best advice I can give:
Never be afraid to be you
And if you really feel lonely and if you’re really afraid, or of you ever think that no one wants to play with you, don’t worry because I will always be right here. Because I love to play and trust me kid, no one’s ever gonna hurt you again.