Saturday, November 21
I grew up in a small, rural New Hampshire town. A town I desperately wanted to escape by sophomore year of high school.
Everyone knew everyone. Or at least, at school we did. Or, thought we did. What’s likely more accurate is that, in town everyone knew everyone, and at school everyone made assumptions about everyone.
That’s not to say that it’s not a lovely town and we weren’t ALL good kids. It is and we were. It’s just to point out that even in an area where kindness and connection can be abundant – exposure, authenticity, and acceptance can still run scarce.
Growing up I had (and still have) wonderful parents. Who gifted me incredible family and an entourage of their balanced, loving, and wise friends. So, I did (thankfully) have safe places to go when I started picking at childhood wounds that bled through adolescence – but, I didn’t yet have the tools to confide in any of my peers in the same way.
That’s why I spent the majority of middle school and high school desperately pushing and punishing myself with a packed schedule of advanced classes, an insane number of after-school activities, and a never-ending review of my mental scorecard where I would never earn, do, and be enough to be taken seriously…let alone get ahead, or win.
At that time, my “I am” thoughts and statements were mean and hurtful. On repeat everyday I would tell myself:
I’m ugly. I’m fat. I’m stupid. I’m tired. I’m annoying. I’m fat. I’m ugly. I’m stupid. No one really likes me. I’m annoying. I’m tired. I’m trying too hard. I’m not trying hard enough. I’m lazy. I’m fat. I’m stupid. I’m…I’m…I’m…I’m lost. No, no, no. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m not hungry. I’m not thirsty. I’m up. I’m going. I’m going. I’m going.
I think back and it’s no wonder that I felt like no one really liked me – I didn’t really like me. And with my General Anxiety Disorder (masking as super-human levels of energy), having me take on nearly every sport, group, and/or activity, was probably pretty aggravating to watch. It’s not that I didn’t want to give someone else a chance, I just didn’t know how to stop.
I didn’t have the tools…and it’s taken a long time to gain even a few of them.
So, when I see this morning that a member of the Class of ’99 suddenly passed away, I want to do something to honor his path, on behalf of all of us.
Because, while we all may not have been in touch with our higher-selves in our small, rural New Hampshire schools- we were all still there, together.
And while I couldn’t see the divine in others or myself during those years, I can now.
I’m grateful to have been in that town, in those schools, and with every single one of those divine kids.
We are all deserving. All beautiful. All perfect. All love and all loved.