Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dear Prudence,

As I started to write this post my brother sent me a text message. He reminded me of how proud he was that I had this ability to forgive myself for mistakes I had made. I find the hardest part of life in general is moving beyond your mistakes and becoming a better you. I found that because I so easily move past mistakes, that give self doubt and insecurity, I have been able to be a strong person my whole life. Now that I am older, and by now I hope I am in the “learn from my mistakes” part of life, I still remember a time when I was lost and thought everyone judged me. 
Starting in junior high I was apart of a vicious group of girls. They were considered the “popular” ones in our grade. I was constantly drawn in by their warmth and acceptance. Until I realized that the confidential things that I shared with them were repeated to others that I did not associate with. A lot of what I said to them was not only repeated but also twisted into falsity. And occasionally they would make up the whole story entirely.  
The next part does contain some mature content. (I did not even know what it meant when I was accused of it). 
In eighth grade I was hanging out in a big group of kids. My best friend was hanging out with a boy that she liked, I was hanging out with the boy I liked and two other boys were there also.  The two other boys were being very annoying (maturity difference is a little stronger between boys and girls at this age). And the two “couples” decided to lock them out of the car (not a mature move on our part). When we did this they were not happy and took there razor shooters out the back of the truck and “scooted” off. (I know eight grade was a little silly). Anyway long story short the two boys “scooted” to a junior high party that contained a butt load of junior high kids. That was the place where they decided to (here is where the mature content comes in) tell everyone that I was doing something inappropriate with the boy I was with in the car and that was why we locked them out. That was not the case at all! We actually weren’t even kissing! And why did they spread a rumor about me and not about my friend who was in the car with a boy too? Well this rumor spread to the high school and that high school spread it to their friends at other high schools. And before I know it I had a reputation, which was untrue, that people who did not even know me judged me upon. 
Unfortunately this rumor did not go away. And some people apologized about the harassment later in life, but it didn’t take back the hurt I felt for years. When I got to high school I decided to ditch all my friends and go solo for a while. Best/hardest decision I have ever made. Believe it or not they didn’t really realize I was gone. But with all the spare time I had I developed my love for design. I assistant taught the sewing class at my school, was an intern at two design firms and went away to Chicago for a summer and took fashion classes by the most influential designers in the industry. Now I am majoring in design and love every minute of it! I feel so successful and have so much self-confidence. And to my loving boyfriend of a year and a half, the reputation made in eighth grade means nothing to him, it is the reputation I am building now, and that is all that matters. So for all you readers that are going threw a hard time in junior high, high school or maybe still college, just remember that rumors eventually go away. The most important part of life is finding what you love, who truly loves you and sticking to it. 

                                                                                                        A Fellow Darling

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dear Prudence,
   Don't tell anyone, but I was watching Couples Therapy on VH1 tonight. They were doing an exercise going around and talking about traumatic or disheartening things that happened in their childhood. Near the end of the session, they showed a video that a teenage boy Noah had made and posted to YouTube. This video is so inspiring and real. Noah is so incredibly brave and honest.

Jonah's video:

I know that so many people relate to Noah and what he is going through. Some people will find anything that makes you different from them and will relentlessly make you feel that because of that, you are not worthy of their love and or respect. We all have the choice to rise above an other's hatred, ignorance or misunderstanding. We all have the ability within ourselves to find a love and respect for ourselves despite what other's tell us. We all have the strength inside of us to keep moving forward even when we have moments when we just want to give up or feel that we can't go on. It is these moments that we prove to ourselves and to the world just how strong we really are. It allows us the opportunity to learn to love ourselves the way we are and it also allows us the opportunity to learn to love others the way they are- no matter how badly they have treated us. We all have the choice to continue on this journey and to continue finding what makes us who we are and loving or accepting every piece of that. We can all keep fighting to carry forward with our heads held high and our hearts full of love and happiness. We can all do this together.

                                                                            Moved and empowered,
Dear Prudence,
   Throughout most of my youth I wanted nothing more than to be accepted and to fit in with the "popular" girls at school, no matter how mean and horrible they treated others and myself. There were many times when I felt like they were letting me into their exclusive group until I later realized that they had other intentions.

   One of these times started after school in 8th grade as everyone was waiting to be picked up. My friend Katy, who had just recently become one of the popular girls, had a super fun idea. "How fun would it be to pretend that we were in a fight Darling?" Hm well, I guess it could be fun? So she asked that I start shouting for the others to hear and act as if we were arguing. I did my best and gave a very convincing performance. I think I really added the special and final touch when I gave her the bird right before jumping into my mother's car. I didn't really understand why we were pretending to fight, but I didn't really care to understand, I just felt so excited that Katy had asked me to be a part of it. My feelings of excitement and absolute coolness soon wore off later that evening. I got a three way call from Katy, Kim and the queen bee Jane. They immediately started yelling and accusing me of being a mean and hurtful girl as Katy pretended to cry in the background. Wait, what? Why is Katie doing this? I couldn't find words, lost it and started crying until my gracious mother grabbed the phone and asked that they leave me alone. I was so confused and hurt that Katy would turn this around on me. As a 13 year old girl, I felt that I really had done something wrong and I tried my hardest to "make up" with Katy publically so my reputation wouldn't be completely destroyed. I didn't realize until much much later that she was simply using me as a pawn. She had played the poor victim card to get the other girl's sympathy and to feel loved and accepted by them. Sometimes I wonder if maybe they were all in on it for their own entertainment.

   I wasn't one to hold grudges, especially against the cool crowd, so I still stayed friends with Katy. Only thing was, we were kind of secret friends. We would hang out on the weekends and play with her rabbits and ride my scooters to the park but once that school bell rang, she pretty much acted like I didn't exist. We sometimes talked during high school but we gradually went our own seperate ways.

 I learned a lot from that friendship looking back now as an adult. I've become more sensitive to people's intentions and have tried my dang best to be true and honest in my intentions with others. I've learned to carefully choose the people who surround me and am so blessed now to have such incredible and true friends standing by my side at all times.

                                                                                         Still a little confused,

Dear Prudence,
   Growing up, I had many pure and joyous experiences, but I also had some not so good ones. Starting in middle school, I was bullied, manipulated and made fun of. It went on through high school and I still find myself in similar situations at this time in my life, and I'm sure I always will. People can be mean, really mean. I know because I've been both the victim and the mean one. All throughout my adolescence, I always felt like I was alone in my pain and my suffering. Through disheartening experiences and my naive perspective, I felt that I could not trust people and I felt embarrassed or ashamed to confide in another. Others often gave me the impression that my feelings were not valid.

   I recently have been watching my younger sister going through similar things that I have experienced. I know it's hard for her to share things with me and other's close to her. To be quite honest, it's absolutely heartbreaking to see someone you love suffer and carry this sadness around alone. I don't ever want my sister to feel alone and I want to find every way possible to help her know that she is incredible and that she is loved. That is why I have been inspired and have decided to create this blog. I want to share experiences that myself and other's have had that I think most people can relate to in some way or another. I want those of you who can relate or sympathize to offer comfort, advice, guidance, similar experiences and express anything you feel and think.

   I want this to be a refuge for those of us who feel alone in carrying our burdens. For those of us who don't always love ourselves. For those of us who don't always feel pretty. For those of us who don't feel like we belong or fit in. For those of us who feel that we don't measure up to those around us. For those of us who have need to forgive. For those of us who need to be forgiven. I want this to be a place of beauty, inspiration, honesty and enlivening. I want this to be a safe place. I want this to be a place of love.

   One last reason for this blog is a bit selfish. I have endured some really hard experiences and I want to get them out of me and share them with the world. I want the world to know that I have found strength in the dark, I have found a love for myself and I have found a voice. My hope and wish is that other's will find these same things for themselves.

   Prudence is all of us, the one who is struggling and needs to hear that they're not the only one. The one we are turning to so we can lighten our load and seek comfort and guidance.  Darling is all of us, the one who wants to share their experiences and heartache so other's can learn and find strength through them.  The one wants to be heard and who is hoping for validation, compassion and to be uplifted and strengthened.

                                                                                          Honestly and truly,