Everyone needs their fan club. Children need their family cheering them on, “You can do it!” as they awkwardly figure out this thing called individuality. It’s trial and error, and we all need someone in the wings, applauding our accomplishments and laughing with us as we stumble gracelessly through failures.
But not everyone has cheerleaders.
Meet [Alexandra], an audiophile and scribbler who learned to be her own cheerleader. And who better to tell you her story than [Alexandra] herself? Her story. Her voice.
~ * ~
Never had any friends as far as I remember. I was too short, timid and too polite. An easy target for bullies. Starting from pre-school/kindergarten. What fun my fellow pupils must have had picking on me. The timid girl who never put up a fight or told the teachers. I always kept quiet because it was how I was brought up. Children had to be seen but not heard. Complaining to the parents was a dead end. They never listened or supported me in any way. They were just as dominating as the kids I wanted to be friends with. I was on my own. Only getting along by living by my wits and common sense. And they taught me the only one I could rely on was myself.
So I learned to stand up for myself. Step by step. It was slow progress and sometimes it was more like one step forward two steps back. By the end of High School I still didn’t have friends but I had a little feeling of self-worth. I knew I could do things. And I had a goal. Several actually. I had begun writing for starters. Something my parents frowned on. They didn’t understand. To this day I don’t know why. But they frowned on everything I did or liked. My sanctuary was music and books. There were people out there who understood. People beyond the small sheltered and controlled environment I was living in or more like constrained to live in. I needed to get out.
At the first music gig I was allowed to go to I made a promise. It was to say Thank You to the people whose music kept me going. Kept me fighting. Kept me believing. In myself and that there were people like me. Somewhere, experiencing probably the same problems. There was hope. And belief. Not belief in a religious way, just a feeling there was better to come. Years and decades passed clinging on to what little self-esteem I had until I eventually met the people whose music helped me thru my teenage years. And it was a moment I will never forget. Because firstly I did it with no help or support from anyone and secondly I finally found friends thru them. People I thought I would never find. Am still writing too and that as well found me friends. I cherish those friendships as long as they will last. As far as the people who bullied me are concerned I can only wonder what life bestowed upon them. Hope they are happy. I don’t bear grudges. They taught me how to be me. And all I can do now is passing on the lessons I learned to younger friends hoping they will learn from them.
~ * ~
Way to go, [Alexandra]! I, too, hope your story inspires many. And I wish you the best of luck in whatever your future may hold.
What do you think, misfits? Are you going to sit at the sidelines of your own life, waiting for your cheerleaders? Or are you going to pick up those metaphorical pom-poms (or real, they can be real. Seriously if you want actual pom-poms, go get some) and say, “Yeah, I can do this!” Because eventually, you will find your fan club. And the wait will have been worth it.