Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Where the Hell Did That Come From?

Earlier today, I posted an entry...an epic entry about some of the things kk's comment about science had reminded me of and I thought I wanted to say.

Don't bother looking for it. I took it down.

That's something I rarely do...censor myself. In this instance though, this afternoon, I started to feel really raw about what I'd written and when I re-read the post, in light of my feelings, I was struck by the braggart tone and defensive bravado I'd not intended but that was nevertheless present.

I've been trying to come up with another blog topic since then and not having much success. So I turned to Lex, who's my awesomest sounding board for both emotion and writing. And he helped me see a connection I'd not considered. He then encouraged me to write about the rawness...to get it out and examine it or put it away and hope it didn't come back. Damn you, Lex! I hate it when you push my self-awareness envelope1!

You see, one of the articles I read in my morning roundup was an article a friend had posted the link to on Facebook about Facebook and the mean girls from our past. I won't give you the details of the article - you can read it for yourself.

My response to the article though was this:

"While I admit the desire to respond w/nastiness when these friend requests come in is sometimes strong, I by far prefer the satisfaction of knowing these women have not grown beyond the 7th grade, are still trying to "collect" friends in an attempt to still feel popular, and I simply hit the ignore button with pleasure knowing that I am a much stronger woman because of them but am no longer THAT girl who wants to be collected."

Background: In elementary school, I have 2 strong memories.

The first, is that, because I was so smart, my teachers didn't quite know what to do with me. This was back in the day before "highly gifted" and while AP classes existed in junior high and high school, there was no curriculum to challenge a child before the 7th grade. So I spent much of my time grading the papers of my classmates and the kids in the grades above me.

The second, is that, in the 5th and 6th grades, I was virtually friendless. Until the middle of 5th grade, I was best friends with the most popular girl in school. And then one day she decided to hate me and all the rest of the kids followed. So I spent those last 2 years in school hell.

Junior high wasn't much better...

At least, not until the end of 9th grade and into 10th grade when I started drinking and smoking and "dumbing it down". Then, all of a sudden, I was cool with cool non-conforming friends2.

I dropped out of high school...twice3.

Here's the connection...

I think, back then, it was more important to me to be accepted, to be liked, than it was for me to excel. So important that I began to believe I was not smart, I was not talented, that I was nothing more than a "bad kid"...a bad kid with friends.

And now, as an adult, over the last few years, I've allowed myself to get back to my truth...that I am smart, that I am talented, and that people - boatloads of people - do like me precisely because I am smart and talented and a total nerd.

And I'm ashamed. Because I could have been so much more than I am now if I'd not let the mean girls beat me down.

And I'm also VERY proud to be a nerd in all my finest nerdery.

And I'm also still a non-conformist.

And I still abhor elitist bullshit.

And I still have no desire to respond to friend requests from the mean girls. I'm better than that. I was then. I am now.

But talking about nerdery and then triggering the feelings about my nerdery in relation to being friendless...I guess it was too much and I felt, once again, like I needed to defend myself...which I did by bragging. Maybe to try and convince you of my brilliance. Which, I know, you already know *giggling*.

If you read it, I'm sorry.

If you didn't, you probably won't. It's better this way.

1: I don't really hate it.

2: I'm still friends, close friends, with several of them *laughing*. UPDATED TO ADD: This is also not to say my friends were/are stupid. On the contrary, I have extraordinarily smart friends. I think, collectively, I found them because we were all smart and ostracized and disillusioned about society. Punk rock...or something.

3: I qualified for MENSA membership...with a GED. Sometimes, for such a smart girl, I can be really really stupid.


kk said...

Of course you're smart and talented (and nerdy and non-conformist)! And I like those things about you! But, even very smart people make mistakes (you can ask me about some of mine sometime. I bet I could really surprise you with some of the super stoopid things that I did way back then.). Just remember that all that bad stuff that happened in the past makes you who you are today. And, you do like yourself today, right? Of course you do!

I missed your other post but I will try to not let my curiousity over it run amok!

Sounds like your high school experience was similar to mine. Mean people suck. And it's somehow easy to let the mean people get to you at that age. I'm actually really surprised that I made it through high school, myself. And that I'm not in some trailer in Florida surrounded by 30 kids, a mountain of beer cans, and a grimey, red-neck husband in a wife beater shirt screaming at me. Or in jail.

Why am I compelled to leave such long comments? I think I need to spend some more face time talking to friends. It's not so easy to find time to do so with little kids tho. You ever make it over this way? Maybe I could sneak out some night after kid-bedtime and we could have a good laugh over drinks about smart people being so stupid sometime. :)

kk said...

Uh, yeah. That's supposed to be "about smart people being so stupid sometimes." See?

Diva said...

At the risk of being a shameless self-promoter, here's an old post of mine which relates:

Stupid Girl

And if the similarities between us keep this pace, I'm going to start questioning my family about adoptions and long-lost members. Srsly. *laugh*

Just Jane said...

@kk: I'm my biggest fan now. I crack myself up!

@Diva: You are always welcome to self-promote here. Thank you for sharing.

And yes, we're kindred. That's a fact. But please oh please let us not be actual kin! LOL