Growing up, my life was pretty easy. Sure, I had the occasional homework that I had to stay up for. My friend and I argued a lot, but we always made up the very next day. We were inseparable. In addition to her, I had several other friends, and was very open with myself. Smiling was easy back then. But bit by bit, my life became harder.
Moving to California was the first step towards the hardships I suffer nowadays. It was not all too bad, seeing as nearly everyone was kind, funny, understanding, forgiving, selfless. The kids there managed to break my walls and bring me out of my cocoon in less than one day. They were incredibly nice, and didn't exclude me just because I was the new kid, or had an accent that they were not used to. Everyone there taught me American customs. I learned school games like tetherball and handball. I taught myself how to master various types of monkey bars. I ran around with some amazing people, and I was happy. Of course, there were people who didn't like me, though later, some became my best friends. The last situation was relatively the same when I came to Texas, but with one difference. The haters-turned-friends weren't very nice.
At the time, I thought stepping into that fourth grade classroom was the worst day of my life. But oh, was I mistaken. The next one and a half years of my life were intense, and awful. Two girls in particular hated me the most. Eventually, I managed to befriend them. They were horrible, really, one less so than the other. I kept my mouth shut in the hopes that things would change. They never did, and I think I knew that they never would, no matter how much I tried to tell myself otherwise.
I let myself get pushed around, and rarely ever stood up for my rights. I bottled up everything that I wanted to say, knowing full well that no one would listen. I was all alone.
One thing in particular that I noticed about the fourth grade girls (and in fifth grade, the year after, as well) that was not the same about the boys was that you either had a group or you were lonely for the rest of the year. I suppose I was different in that aspect, a sort of violation to that code because I was part of a group and weird.
Weird was one of the many insults fired at me, but it was the only one that I took in stride. People just found me even more weird when they realized I liked the "insult", 'cause no one thought weird was good. Maybe it was one of the many reasons that I was a defect in their eyes.
I gave up on those two girls halfway through fifth grade, deciding I was better off playing by myself, which I was rather good at. It was a skill that I had gained over my time in Austin. I slowly began to heal, though never completely. I found that my own company was enough for me most of the time, and that was very satisfactory. As I became a happier person, I made two new friends, who were worth the tears and the pain, the frisbees taken to the jaw and limbs. I have never thought about those events in a bad way. Rather, they are a topic I frequently revisit to tease my friends with and laugh my head off. Those two genuine friends were with me every step of the way, and still are now.
My sixth grade year has been better. I have more friends, I can smile and laugh more comfortably. I'm finally free! I've pulled myself out of the dark years of 2016-2018. But somehow...
Somehow, I doubt that I'll ever be able to let go of the past. That I'll ever be completely okay again.
The paragraphs looked a LOT longer when they were written in my notebook. Just saying.