I blog a whole lot about the past. It’s probably because the present isn’t really anything to blog about at the moment, and maybe I’m just an overly nostalgic, past-looking person. It probably gets annoying just hearing about my past all the time. And I will admit–I’m obsessed with the past. My own past, the past of the country and of the world and of humans…history. I love history.
History tangent aside, fifth grade was the beginning of everything. If life is a book, I’d probably consider that the inciting event after a ten-year exposition. Although everyone grows a little every year, I feel like many people have a year where they “really grew up.” Fifth grade was that year for me. I got my big-kid eyes. The obnoxious kid I was at the beginning of September was nothing like the shy-ish girl in June.
It’s not like everyone actively sought me out and attacked me the whole year. It wasn’t like that. In fact, for the first few months of the school year, nobody really talked about me at all. I’d walk by and get the classic eye-roll. People just walked away from me. I was pushed out of groups. For those months, nobody went out of their way to hurt me–they just excluded me and showed a general contempt for me. A quiet contempt. For me, that was almost as bad–feeling like I was too crappy to even be crapped on.
So when people became more open about how much of a worthless loser I was, my way of consoling myself was trying to force myself into believing that it was “really a step up.” I clearly remember saying it: “It’s a step up. At least I’m not being ignored.”
And so it had begun. I became the “emotional breakdown” girl–the one always in the bathroom crying, or always getting pulled out and talked to by the teacher. As you can imagine, it just did wonders for my self-esteem and social status. By the end of the year, I was a completely different person. The days of pouring milk in my salad, breaking into song and dance in the middle of class, and trying to join in on all the cool girls’ games had ended. I had accepted the fact that everyone saw me as inferior. At the end of the year, when we had to write goals for sixth grade, my goal was this:
“I hope not to be a weird jerk like this year.”
And by jerk, I didn’t mean horribly unkind or disagreeable. I didn’t really understand the meaning of that word. I really meant “weird loser,” but couldn’t find the word for it.
The reason I write so much about fifth grade is that I want people to realize that everyone deserves to be respected and included. Really. We all know some kids–and they’re different. They stand out. Maybe they put milk in their salad, or they’re a little obnoxious and loud. Maybe people see them as annoying. All I’m trying to say is that you need to include these people, too. These people have feelings and are not any less than you or anybody else. They are humans like you. When you really think about it, they aren’t that different. You both have flesh and blood and feelings and futures and pasts and presents.
Okay. i don’t know how to end this post yet again. So…goodbye. And don’t worry, I have more past to spew. I’ll never run out. Ever. Because eventually, the present will become the past. See? Snap your fingers. That snap is now in the past. It will never be again.
Ooh, so deep I’m drowning! Deep thoughts! Deep thoughts! Deep thoughts!