The day I began Primary school, I got my photo’s taken with my best friend in our uniforms looking very proud to be starting school and happy. Cut to the first day of Primary 2, my best friend had moved away during the summer holidays (and apparently my Mum forgot to tell me) I quite literally had no friends as everyone else had made their best friends in Primary 1. My parents had me later in their life, so there is 9 and 12 years age gap between my siblings and I. My Dad didn’t work mainly because he drank too much and my Mum was always ill with arthritis, in and out of hospital my entire childhood, so they didn’t have much money and I would have to wear hand-me-down clothes – so needless to say that made me an easy target for the kids at school. Everyone knows how cruel they can be and they never held back. For 6 years, they went through phases of letting me play with them at break time, making me the scapegoat for their pranks when they went wrong and at times beat me up after school. Granted not all the kids would do it, but 90% of the class would (there were about 32 kids including me in my class for most of the 6 years).
Don’t get me wrong, it upsets me to think about it now, but I managed to turn it around when I began high school. New school, new haircut (so the girls would stop pulling it), new start. In Scotland, high school is made up of kids coming from roughly 6-10 (don’t hold me to that mind you) different primary schools, and I was lucky enough to be in the same class as only 2 people from my primary school class – both of whom never actively teased me, so that was a great improvement right off the bat. I made friends both in my class and out-with. Again, I had a best friend for a whole year until we went into 2nd year, only this time instead of her moving away, we just embraced more people into our circle of friends, which was eventually made up of 9 of us, 2 of the girls were actually in the year below the rest of us. And get this, one of them became the most amazing friend I ever had, AND she was at my primary school! Which meant we lived in the same village. We knew each other before and I did used to hang out at her house when we were both little (as she lived with her Gran who was the same age as my Mum), but unlike me, she had a best friend all the way through primary school.
She and I lost touch years ago, which is a shame. I have a few friends now, none of them close, more arms length friends really, but I’m okay with that because (hopefully this doesn’t make me sound selfish) I don’t really have time for friends in my life right now. My partner John has so many friends and he keeps in touch with them on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp group chats, etc. and he makes time for them which I love about him but I wouldn’t want for a second to be like that. I have a rubbish memory so I’d end up telling the same people the exact same story again and that gets irritating when people do that haha.
As a result of my experiences growing up, I guess you could say that I don’t suffer fools gladly (probably one of the reasons I don’t instantly make friends as I tend to spot the fakers right away and most people don’t like me for it). When you spend a lot of time on the side lines you get very good at people observation and spot trends right away, especially liars. I am too honest for my own good sometimes, like when someone asks an opinion on something I’m not one to hold back, if I think something is a bad idea I give them the facts on why I think it’s a bad idea. It has made a more logical thinker which in turn has guided me into my current job in ICT, which seems to suit me.
When I do that whole “reflecting” thing on my life, I soon realised that life is about balance, Ying/Yang or Karma (a bit like in My Name Is Earl – loved that show). E.g. I was treated badly at primary – but got amazing friends to make up for it in high school; I got paid off one job but I had my amazing daughter; then the job I found after I had my daughter, was made redundant, I slogged it out in a rubbish job for a few years (and had some great laughs with the people I met there due to the high turnover of staff, not to mention I had my handsome little son during this job), then I got the job I do now and I love the complexity of my job (I’m not the most knowledgeable by far, but after 4 years everyday I learn something new). So I do believe things come round full circle, get through the bad times and don’t be scared to take the opportunities to get to the good times.
Let me know if you’ve been through something similar and came out a stronger person for it, the stories you guys send me are always an inspiration. And you know I always reply 😉