My daughter is going through a tricky time at the moment – and it’s reminded me that I found school really tricky at her age too. I have found one of the tricks to parenting for me is to really remind myself of my own feelings at the age my girls are – because I tend to be a little more compassionate!
When my eldest started Intermediate, I had a full on panic attack about how she’d find it- especially as she was at the same school I had had such a terrible time. Then she was ok (in fact she pretty much breezed through it all), and my second daughter was too – and I relaxed. It’s been horrid to watch my youngest battle with some pretty horrific personal hurdles (which are not the school’s fault – in fact they’ve been pretty amazing as a support)
My years of school during the ages of 11-13 were not pleasant – I was pretty badly bullied and abused (really there is no other way to explain it), and the teachers turned a blind eye while it all happened. I went into that school with a really strong sense of self, plans and huge dreams and optimism, and came out unconfident, with a huge lack of faith in myself, and a horrendously awful body image.
I’ve done a huge amount of work to not let that carry into my life now – after all I’m 45, a wife, a parent, and a business owner and there is a certain amount of confidence you need to have sorted before managing to do any of those things every day. And we can’t spend our days dragging around wounds inflicted 30+ years ago. There is a need to heal up and move on!
In the last few years, I’ve not only come to really like myself again, but I’ve also feel like I’ve found my niche and my tribe and my space in the world. I love being a mother of teens and preteens, (I don’t think I was a great mother during the “let’s pretend to make a cup of tea with your dolls” stage. ) I love being married to an awesome person (And actually being in a great partnership). And I love both my work, and the friends and networks I’m building. I feel strong, and I know I am in the right place for me.
To get to work with amazing clients, to be doing something I love fills me with this expansive joy I want to share. I love giving my time to people who can’t afford our help and sharing to help their business. Online and in person, I love giving help where it is asked, and sharing my knowledge – without trying to sell. (though sometimes it does result in clients jumping on board)
Tonight it came to light that there is a bunch of gossip and chatter going around about me – but all through a third party, so the accusations are faceless. And faceless gossip is hard, because you can’t check yourself, and ask “is it fair?” because it potentially has no grounds.Or then again, maybe it does – but you just don’t KNOW.
And it’s easy to feel I’m being dragged back to the end of that field again, and feeling completely lost as to what is going on – and why.
Tonight I alluded to some of this stuff in one of those painfully awful vague posts I deplore in any other person in the world on Facebook, and my friend Kathy said “Don’t go beige because someone is dazzled by your light”
And while I am not saying my light is dazzling… I know one thing is for sure – I am NOT beige. I can’t be beige. To beige out my life I would have to stop being who I am – and I can’t. I WON’T.
And I’m 45 and there is all this stuff I love doing and I just want to DO IT – and so I want to say to you faceless people who really do not like me, and are enjoying being mean girls instead of grown up women – that’s your call. But I don’t need to join in. You and I are not for the same people. You can attract all the other mean girls you want to! But I’m not going to dull what I do, because you feel my light somehow takes away from yours.
Let your light shine – and let me shine mine. There is room for both our lights to be on at the same time – I reckon we’ll attract different people and that’s how it’s actually meant to work. We don’t need to throw shade at someone else’s light to make ours brighter – that isn’t how it works!
We’re adults now. We’re not in school anymore. I sure as hell am not returning to the bottom of that field. So I say GROW UP. And let it go. And give up on trying to make me wear beige. It ain’t going to happen.
PS: The complete irony of this story is that tonight, while this stuff was brewing, I was running a session at a business on what Adult behaviour looks like. Funny how life intersects itself sometimes!