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February 2021

Bullies are the WORST!

It’s International Stand Up to Bullying Day, and the subject is one that I have a lot of personal experience with.  I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes and thinking, “oh, she’s talking about this again? Let it go, Meg.”  But here’s the thing, I like to share my experience with bullying because you know what? It might help someone else who is going through a tough time. I know that if someone could have told teenage me what was up, I would have maybe had an easier time with things.  So, roll your eyes all you want. Here’s my story:

My family moved to Tennessee from New Jersey when I was nine years old.  Oh, and I skipped a grade that year. So imagine moving to the South as a Yankee where they were still practically fighting the Civil War in 1992 and instead of going into 4th grade like I should have been, I got to go into the 5th grade instead. (I scored high on some IQ test or something. Turns out, I wasn’t really that smart.  I just had super high reading levels.) So… that right there was a bad start. Not only was I a year younger than everyone in my grade when that actually mattered, but also a new grade, curriculum, and a school where most of the kids have been together since pre-K…yeah, not exactly a great recipe for popularity.  I definitely did NOT fit in, and it would just get worse from then on.

– Me in fifth grade, age 9 (Sweet mullet alert!)

In Junior High I managed to stay invisible, but as soon as High School started it got pretty rough. Mind you, I was 13 when I started, and I was a late bloomer, and just all-around awkward.  I had zero fashion sense, I wasn’t a great student, I was not very attractive (My parents said I was beautiful, and bless their blindness) and never would fight back when people picked on me. So, I was basically the perfect target.  Oh my gosh, I wanted to be popular SO badly.  I wanted friends, and that dream high school life that I saw on all the teen movies, but I was basically “Josie Grosie” from “Never Been Kissed”. To be fair, I was a bit of an odd duck, but I was a nice one, that never meant anyone any harm. But let me tell you, it was brutal for a few years.  Here’s a few examples of how awful kids can be:

  • Singing in the high school talent show, and having 90% of the audience boo at me.  How I ever got onstage again, I have no clue.
  • My freshman year, a table of the hot Senior guys started catcalling me at lunch and told me to come over. When I did, clearly excited about the attention, they laughed and told me they would never be into a skank like me.
  • One of those awful senior guys spread a rumor that he slept with me.  I was 13. I had no idea what he was even talking about, but to this day people still think that happened.  That rumor haunted me my entire high school career,
  • In the lunch line, one kid loved to come up and kick me in the ribs daily. This went on for weeks, until I finally told my parents, and they went to the school who then blamed me for “being flamboyant” and bringing too much attention to myself.
  • One of the Senior girls decided it would be nice to put gum in my hair at an assembly, which ended up having to be cut out. Again, my parents complained and nothing was done.
  • I can’t tell you how many times I found gross things people put in my backpack.  Rude.
  • I always hated the change of class, because people would literally saw “ew, gross” as I walked by them in the hall. This was a daily occurrence my Freshman and Sophomore year.
  • The few times I tried to show interest in a boy, he would make a show about how skanky I was, and how he’d never be into me.
  • When I tried to act and dress “normally” I would just be called out on it. “Look!  Megan is trying to be like us! Ha! Loser” I couldn’t win.
  • I’ve been told I should just kill myself on several occasions.

Those are just a few examples.  It did get better by my Senior year (not totally, but it was better) and I was lucky to have amazing parents to come home to every day.  My mother would always tell me “Birds Only Pick on the Best Fruit” and dad would say “Consider the Source”… but at that age, it was hard to really understand how right they were. I was just lucky to have them.  I can’t imagine kids being bullied at school, and then NOT having a support system at home.  I can easily see how they could go off the rails.  I don’t know what causes someone to act like a bully, or why it’s even an accepted behavior, but it’s seriously awful and damaging at ANY point in life.

-Me in 10th grade at age 14.  I wish my brows were still that thick!

It took a long time to get over constantly feeling like a loser, and I ended up having social anxiety over it for years, Honestly? Sometimes I still get it when I meet new people. It’s ingrained in me to automatically think that people won’t like me, because that was the norm for me.  And bullying goes beyond school. It’s everywhere. In the workplace, in social circles, in sports, in politics, and of course, it’s rampant online.  I’ve seen people be terrible to their co-workers because that person was simply different than they were.  In social circles, women being rude to others because they are jealous or petty or who knows what.  And the vitriol on BOTH political sides is sickening. Sure, lets express hate because someone thinks differently than you do. That sounds fun!  Can we please just stop? Take a deep breath, and remember that we are all human, and we are all going through something, and move on? Why is that so hard?

That all being said, having experienced bullying at all stages in my life- heck even now- I do feel like my experience in the end has made me a better person, and most definitely a stronger one. I know what it’s like to feel left out and hated, and I would never want to knowingly make someone feel that way.  I would never want to knowingly hurt someone’s feelings, or make them feel less than, and that’s sadly a rare trait.  Over the years, my skin has thickened, and I can now honestly say from experience to anyone who has experienced bullying that it DOES get better.  YOU will be better. It just is tough to deal with when it’s happening. But stay strong, be kind, work hard, and when your dreams come true eventually, it’s pretty cool to know that you did it, despite all the hate and negativity. You will rise above it. And it will be AWESOME.

 

New Song Of The Week 2-22-21

I freaking LOVE The Foo Fighters.

Not only are they fantastic musicians who master the art of staying relevant without having to overhaul their sound, they also don’t take themselves too seriously. Which, let’s be honest, many musicians can learn from them on this.

They recently teamed up with BBC radio to cover The BeeGees classic “You Should Be Dancing” (I’m a BeeGees fan, too. Judge away. I care not) and the end result was glorious.

LONG LIVE THE FOOS!!!!

 

New Song of the Week 2-15-21

Being a Van Halen fan. it’s only natural to want to embrace the music of the offspring of one of the greatest guitarists that ever lived.

Wolfgang Van Halen makes it easy to do that.

He’s got an album coming out with his project Mammoth WVH, and he just released a new single off of it. It’s called “You’re to Blame” and I LOVE it!  It’s got that early-2000’s rock vibe going for it, and a catchy chorus and big guitar, and I am all for it.  I can’t wait for the full album.

 

I know Eddie Van Halen is proud as hell of his son.  He should be.

 

New Song of the Week 2-9-21

 

I’ve always loved a good cover song. For instance, Metallica’s cover of Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page”, Motley Crue’s cover of “Smokin’ in the Boys Room”, Clint Black’s version of “Desperado”, Manfred Mann’s version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Blinded By the Light”… the list goes on and on. I love hearing “re-imagined” songs!

To be fair, I was kind of like, “Er, really??” when I saw that there was a metal cover floating around, but I gave it a few listens, and you know what? It ain’t half-bad.

I’m a big Garth fan, and obviously, noone can touch him, as far as I’m concerned.  But this version is pretty cool, and I thought I’d share it with you.  The song lends itself well to a rock version.  And it’s definitely getting some attention to State of Mine, so props to them!

Middle Age, I See You!!!

 

I’m 38 today, which is cool.  I’ve not been one to really cry over getting older.  The other option is way worse, so I’ll take it. And to be honest, there’s not much difference between 18-year old me and 38-year old me, aside from a few crows feet, and my neck starting to do weird things, and my back hurting when I wake up sometimes. Aside from those minor indignancies, those 20 years have been pretty dang good.  I’ve even learned a few things over the past two decades.  Since I’m a kind and giving soul, I shall pass on what I learned to all you whippersnappers.  And those who have a few years on you, you never know. You may learn something anyway.

#1: Love Yourself!

Like the great RuPaul once said “If you can’t love yourself, how in the HELL can you love someone else?”  It’s pretty profound, because it’s true.  People who love themselves (in a healthy, non-Kanye West like way) are happier and more able to keep that love going.  People who truly love themselves and have a good relationship with oneself have no need to be hateful, spiteful, or any of those non-fun things.  I highly recommend it.

Really, you SHOULD love yourself, because you’re the one stuck with yourself all day, everyday. Makes total sense to me. So, get on that.

 

#2:  Work Hard

You would think that’s a no-brainer, right?  But there’s a lot of lazy fools out there who think that things should get handed to them because they breathe.

Um, no.

One of the best things I learned from my parents was a work ethic. You want something? Great. Earn it.  You get a job, show up, have a good attitude, learn, and wear deodorant. It’s not complicated.

 

#3: Learn About Finances

I can’t stress this ENOUGH!!!!!  I’m not math major, but money coming in should be more than money going out if at all possible.  I’m going to quote my mother on this one, “Always live below your means, and you’ll never be broke”.  She gave me that advice at 20.  For once I actually listened.  I really feel like money and finance classes NEED to be a Core requirement in all high schools.  Pretty sure that would have been way more useful than the ecology class I had in 11th grade where all I had to do was take out the trash to pass.

 

#4: Don’t Bleach Your Hair

It will die. And you will be sad. And it will take seven years to grow back. True story from the time my hair got accidentally bleached at a salon in Manhattan, KS.

 

Which leads me to #5…

#5: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!!!!

I learned this one later in life.  I was always thrifty and saved money where I could.  Which is great, and very helpful…BUT some things are worth paying more for. Hair is definitely one of them as I found out the hard way.  Same goes for running shoes, toilet paper, and coffee.

 

#6: Only Be Around People Who Are Nice to You!!!

Again, a later in life lesson for me.  If someone didn’t like me, I used to freak out, wonder what I did wrong, and then TRY to make whatever tasteless human who didn’t like me, and guess what? Doesn’t work. Not everyone will like you.  But also, not everyone is smart.  So…just be around people who like you.  Life has been so much better since I worked that one out.

 

#7: Also, Love Someone Kind

Young me only liked boys who were NOT nice to me. (My sincerest apologies to all of the lovely young men who I may have hurt during my late teens and early twenties.  It really wasn’t you. It was me. I was a moron. Most young women are when it comes to love.) Thankfully I saw the light at the age of 24, and settled down with someone who is a good human, AND loves me for me. God bless him.

I highly recommend not settling down with an asshole.  I don’t care how hot he or she is.  Just, no.  Trust me on this one.  Happiness is fun.

 

#8:  You CAN be nice to someone even if you disagree with them.  I think that 96% of the population forgot this one in recent years.  Really, to dislike someone because they have a differing opinion than you is not only stupid, but childish.  And if you must be angry at them for this, then just ignore them instead of being rude on social media all the while misspelling half of the words.  Which brings me to my NEXT life lesson…

 

#9: Grammar is Your Friend, People!

Learn it.

Use it.

And for the love of GOD, if you’re going to argue on social media, spell and punctuate correctly.  Or your post will be automatically dismissed. At least to me it will.  I’m not the brightest crayon in the box, but I know what a comma is for!

And if you send me your resume, please don’t e-mail me saying “R U looking for an employee?”

No. I’m not.   Not until you can spell out the word.  And that actually did happen more than once.

 

#10: Forgive

People will always disappoint you, as you will them. It may take a while, but forgiveness lightens a heart and gives you less wrinkles. At least, it should.

 

#11: Don’t Drink Two Glasses of Wine and Do a One-Handed Cartwheel on a Hardwood Floor

I just learned that two weeks ago. And I have a badly sprained shoulder to show for it.

 

#12:  NEVER buy the screwtop wine.

You’ll thank me for this, kiddos.

 

 

Cheers to living, learning, getting older and kind of wiser.

Be kind, love one another, bad grammar and all.