My brief stint as a junior high mean girl

Standard

In junior high I was always looking to improve my status.  Of course, my incredible shy demeanor did not help me whatsoever.  I had made some resolutions at the start of eighth grade.  I was determined to change how everyone saw me.  My list was everything you would typically expect out of a thirteen-year-old girl.

  1. Change my look (to be the hottest girl in my grade.)
  2. Get a boyfriend (one boy in particular)
  3. Become popular (become friends with the highest ranked social clique)

jawbreaker-1

My aspirations were pretty shallow, but I wanted them more than anything. After a disastrous couple of months in the boy department, I was ready to tackle other parts of my list. It was November and I was still reeling from Jack* leaving me broken-hearted at the Halloween dance. I had given up on him…for the time being. Every morning my best friend Anna and I would be in the eighth-grade girl’s bathroom applying all the makeup my parents never let me leave the house in. A bunch of girls in our class were huddled looking at one of the stalls. Someone had written something pretty vulgar about the eighth-grade class. While we didn’t have evidence, we could only assume it was the handy work of a few rotten seventh-graders.

tumblr_n1olm68vlT1r7n1y2o1_500

As the bell rang, I started to think that this was my opportunity to make a name for myself. No longer would I be Anna’s* best friend or my brother’s little sister. I had to get revenge. Using a brown eyeliner pencil I stole from my mom’s makeup drawer, I wrote, “For a good time, give a 7th grader a quarter.” I felt a rush, but still played it safe by using something easily washable. It was a proud moment for me when the other girls applauded my efforts. This single act of spontaneous rebellion quickly escalated into a full on war with the seventh-grade girls.

Eventually, more girls joined in when some of the comments became more personal. Anna and I became known as local badasses and the go-to people in the battle against our younger foes. I had sparked a revolution and the attention was intoxicating. I never wanted it to end. So every day I would come up with a new clever comeback finally taking the war to the other side. I would be excused to go to the restroom in class only to use the time defacing the walls with negative comments. By the end of the week, both bathrooms were covered in lewd remarks. The school had to repaint the walls, and the principal was looking for the culprits. My shy reserved self started showing back up as I became more and more nervous of getting caught.

tumblr_lby65zidhA1qekni2o1_400

I wasn’t built to be criminal badass. The looming presence of certain punishment was too much for this awkward girl. Anna reassured me that they wouldn’t punish us that bad because so many girls had participated in it. I wanted to believe her, but I was too much of a paranoid mess to be completely free from guilt.

It only took a couple of days before someone cracked and named Anna and I the ringleaders of the whole operation. My parents honestly had a hard time believing that I could do such a thing. I think a part of them was actually kind of impressed, but they were mostly disappointed. My punishment was Saturday detention that ended up being exactly like The Breakfast Club. No seriously, but a story for another time.

enhanced-buzz-18457-1367617269-12

Being a mean girl was never in the cards for me. I don’t like girl on girl crime, but when I was thirteen it was programmed in my head as the easiest way to hurt someone. We give these words too much power. I think back to junior high and think about all the times I used horrible words to describe a girl I didn’t like. I cringe at the thought now, but I know I grew up not knowing any different. In a perfect world, girls would have stopped calling each other sluts and whores long before I was in junior high. They would stop using each other’s “faults” as a way to get ahead or make themselves feel better. I hope that one day we can get there. That all girls will realize the power their words have.

Monthly Blogging Break

Standard

 We all need to love ourselves a little more.

Reliving my past moments from the good to the REALLY bad has given me a lot of perceptive.   From what you can tell from my last few posts I had it a little rough in junior high. Have you ever wanted to go back to tell your younger self that things will get better? That junior high is tiny little dot on your life’s timeline? There are so many things I have learned from writing about my childhood.

I was am deathly afraid of rejection. I had low self-esteem and horrible social anxiety. I had a group of friends that accepted me, but I always had that fear that they would stop being my friends at any moment. I was known as the “goofy one” in my group of friends. The girl who tripped over speed bumps more than once (completely sober I might add). The girl who had trouble forming sentences around the male gender and authority figures. That girl who had such a problem with being the center of attention she refused to walk into a crowded room alone.

I was put into a category early on in my life, and it was hard to get out. I was never taken seriously and was ashamed of being that weird girl. I spent most of the time just being a follower, trying to stay under the radar. I felt like if I said what I was feeling, my friends wouldn’t accept me. I went along with everyone else’s ideas because it was easier. The problem was the only time I really felt like myself was when I was by myself. My bedroom as a teenager was truly my salvation. I could be whatever I wanted free of judgment. I would spend hours singing in the mirror, writing songs, and practicing my Oscar acceptance speeches. In my bedroom, I went through many style phases. There was the witchy goth chick liked someone out of The Craft. Oh, and the time I pretended to be the next Jennifer Lopez (post-Selena, pre-Gigli). My all time favorite was the punk rock emo girl who listened to way too much Yellowcard.

My bedroom is where I found my passion for writing in all forms, my scary movie obsession, and love of indie rock. The real me was left in my room while I went off pretending to be whatever I thought my friends wanted. It took me awhile to embrace who I really wanted to be.

As I get older it gets a lot easier to not care what others think. I stopped censoring my personality. I found at least one person that accepts everything about me because I accept everything about him. I try to embrace my goofy side while exploring my many other sides. I am not afraid to say that I still sing in front of the mirror. That I love to watch cheesy made for TV movies because they almost always have happy endings. That I am endlessly working on a zombie novel that I may never finish. It took me twenty-eight years, but I am finally showing people who I really am.

The Lisa Frank Journal

Standard

I was the girl keeping a journal on every thing in her life whether it was vital or not. Today I was trying to re-read my first official journal, a four inch Lisa frank notepad, from the first part of eight grade.

Beyond the many spelling errors was the narrative of awkward preteen angst.  Filled with dramatic retellings of mean parents and recounting typical days of junior high life. Though the fifty pages or so mostly consisted of wondering when a boy named Jack* was going to notice me. I might have been a slight stalker. I wrote about his many girlfriends that school year (he had A LOT). About how much I hated them and thought they were not right for him (obviously, I was). Pages and pages of my thirteen-year-old self, writing about how I was too good for him. Only to discuss all the reasons why we were soul mates in the next entry.

Jack wasn’t my first infatuation. I had many, starting in fourth grade when I was fascinated with a boy named Taylor*. Our love never was because my selfish parents decided to move us out of the city to a small town twenty minutes away. Before Jack, the worst heartbreak I suffered was from Luke* the summer before seventh grade. Looking back now I realize that Luke was just a slight infatuation. Jack, on the other hand, was a borderline obsession. At the time I thought I couldn’t live without him.

When I was younger I always related better to fictional characters than real people. (Let’s be honest, I still do.) I pictured myself finding my soul mate from just a glance and after seeing Jack’s “pure blue” eyes, (which I mention A LOT in the journal) I knew we were meant to be.

Like I wrote in previous posts, I was incredibly reclusive. Trying to get a boy to like me while being cripplingly shy is pretty horrific.   Which makes for some unbearable, but entertaining moments. So, the next couple of weeks I will be recounting some of my most awkward stories centered on the boy who broke my heart countless times, without even really trying.

*Names have been changed because I like mystery.