Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm Normal Now.

Hold on, let me just clear away this plate of Lonely Mom Nachos I just slaughtered... Dang, those nachos were without hyperbole, sufficiently fantastic today.

First let me just say to all 6 people reading this over the next 4 days that this is not just some retrospect of me. Even I wouldn't want to read that. Gross.
This is for 2 sets of people:

Set 1. My people:
This is a shout out to dorks everywhere!
Past dorks, present dorks and future dorks.
Some random website's definition of Dork:" a silly, out-of-touch person who tends to look odd or behave ridiculously around others; a social misfit." Gillian's definition of Dork: a person who does not fit in or has issues.
Set 2. Them/Noodle Salad People/Cool Kids:
If you are someone who is and has always maintained a certain Super Mario Bros. 8th level of COOL- current and past alumni of SHS (located at 14555 Fern Drive
Houston, TX 77079) and any Middle School or High School I'm looking in your direction. Then this is for you too. Especially if you are raising a child. No that is not meant to any one person. I said people! Doesn't matter, y'all probably aren't reading this anyway, but if you are I can almost guarantee you will think twice before bullying someone after reading this.

This is me, circa 1st or 2nd grade:

I don't know where the heck my glasses were at that moment. Probably being crafted by some skilled coke-bottle-artisan at Eye Masters. And it's cliche now to talk about how the fashion was to sport Dorothy Hammil bangs, so I won't mention it.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong in this post. Lord, please protect those you need to.
Kindergarten:

Halloween Costume Day. I remember this day vividly. We had to parade around the school in our costumes. I guess my costume didn't make the cut- I thought it was beautiful for the record- and I endured an hour of all grade levels yelling out horrible names with pointing fingers and let's just say I was a crying ballerina/princess/fairy/whatever the heck I was supposed to be. I've had a lot of bad dreams that weren't actually dreams. (STICK WITH ME- IT'S NOT ALL SAD!) And I do realize that this is simply suburbian pain and is nothing compared to other worlds of pain.

From K-12, I went to a total of 7 schools in the same city. It sucked. I knew I was really in for trouble when I began first grade at a new school. A private school. It wasn't the majority of the kids' faults for thinking I was weird. I was and they'd been raised together. I had a couple of people befriend me, and that was air into my lungs. St. Cecelia alum, I'm sure you were perfectly nice. I'm so very sorry for any pain I inlicted on any of you. And thank you to the people that befriended me how I was.
It didn't help that homelife wasn't all roses. It was scary and I was hurting. There, I said it. I'm sorry for the implications, but this is important.

Sometimes the people you are the meanest to have the worst situation going on at home so lay off or maybe just smile at them once. These people didn't ask to be picked on- okay some do and they are just jerks you've got to pray for- but people like me, shoot, I was just a big ball of weird because of some heinous homework if you will. Would you please remember this Set 2? As Jack Nicholson's character so brilliantly stated in the movie, As Good As It Gets, "Some of us have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. But, a lot of people, that's their story. Good times, noodle salad."
I was an un-noodle salad person in a school full of noodle salad peeps.
And I'm sure there were others like me that were better at hiding their luggage from home who had less bushy hair and less glasses out there. I didn't corner the market on weird.

So you combine the homeload of not-awesomeness (being yelled at day in and day out), the new school number 4 & 5, and combine that with hormones and a living out daily as a contestant on an episode of "What Not To Wear" and you've got: MIDDLE SCHOOL.
Oh crap. Just typing that gave me goosebumps from fear, shame, and remembrance of acne. SUCK SUCK SUCK!!!
Come on, who's with me!?!? SET 1!?!?! Oh shut up, Set 2- y'all were having the best time ever. Sorry, Set 2 about saying "shut up" to you.
Here it goes- go grab a barf bowl:

I know that I am "fearfully and wonderfully made" and I know I would die if Leelah said she ever looked like "barf", but what crappy forest am I in really? I know, THE FOREST OF SHAME. Oh well, at least it was in a rad marithe francois girbaud shirt!Ever been to 3 middle schools from 6-8th grade before (same city)? I have!
I want to take a second and thank some friends who decided to be nice when they could have joined in the crowd of mean.
Thank you:
Bonnie W.
Leigh W.
Meredith G.
Tally K.
Simone W.
Katie K.
Sarah H.
Steven A.
I'm thinking super hard to remember anyone else... I'm sorry if I left someone out.
These people made the pain go away. Even if it was just a smile. Like a scene out of a movie, these girls took me in at the lunch table and gave me the breakdown of how stuff went down SFMS. And how, it would be okay if I didn't wear a Yaga shirt and maybe considered eyebrow, lips and face enhancement.
Are you someone that can change the course of someone's life? That'd be pretty great if you were- answer: YOU ARE!
I didn't have a clue at the time that God used these people as instruments in my life for good. And for once, I started looking forward to going to school. Like I had a chance. A respite, if you will, from home drama.
Oh and I had gotten contacts. Back when my eye contouring allowed for that.

High School:

I finally started to care less about what the cool people thought. Let me eat a snack pack everyday in my brown bag lunch and make stupid jokes if I want to. I'm not hurting anyone! And the less I gave a crap, the nicer people were to me.
I decided one day- I'm just going to start smiling at everybody. No matter how scary, how mean, how pretty, how cool, how hot of a boy, or how un-alike me they were. Well, it sank in in my junior year.

School had become, dare I say, fun. My list of chums stuck around with me up through High School. Our numbers were growing (Jane P., Katelin M., Melissa B., Rebecca D., Stephie B., Tracey C., Jose C., April K., etc.) Thanks for being kind. There were so many cliques, which makes sense. But we were just normal. Even though I had been kicked out of school twice for living out of the district- yeah I'm in counseling now- and I dislocated my hip during drill team tryouts which I made and subsequently dropped out due to said hip snap and had to crutch for 3 months- great practice for the 7 months of crutching in 2010!
This being quasi-normal thing was feeling so good that I did something so insane simply because I thought it would be fun.
I tried out for cheerleader? Yes, that should be a question. I was a mess. And...

I never bring this up. I don't want this label and I'm not bragging. But I do have to own it because God blessed me with this Cinderella opportunity. And I can't stress enough how insane this was for me to do. I didn't realize it at the time, but it was a blessing. Even though it required me to hang around and go to practices with the "cool" people (Maybe I should have thought about that before I tried out.). I realized that they were nice too. Thanks fellow cheerleaders for being nice to an unknown. And it was fun. I still think the votes were miscounted in my favor, but I'll take it!

What was the point of this mini-novel anyway?
Be nice to a dork. Do it. If it's hard for you, then just smile at someone. You never know the impact that a smile can have.
I still had to deal with crazy inner strife until I accepted Jesus, which wasn't until after college- April 2007. And now I can truly say that I feel at peace, which I guess means that I feel normal. I fit in with myself. And with all the major drama that has gone on since then, that is a big deal.

Parents:
1. Pray.
2. Don't flip flop schools if you don't have to.
3. Pray.
4. Speak words of life into your kids.
5. Be nice to everyone you can and let your kids see you befriend a person from Set 1.
6. For goodness sakes, don't be a jerk to any employee anywhere you don't know what they have going on in their life!

4 comments:

Alissa M said...

awww you have always been normal!!! you always brightened the halls!!

Leigh said...

Wow I can just picture our lunch table at Stratford! Would not go back. But you always made it more fun and interesting Gillian. And you are seriously one of the coolest people I know!

The Nichols Fam said...

Thanks for the kind words sweet peeps. I promise I didn't mean to go compliment fishing. And I have/had my share of being jerky moments. Just thought other people out there might have the same sentiments.

Sweet T said...

You were a precious kid! And you still are a precious lady! Dorks united!