Tag Archives: high school

The One Time Someone Stood Up for Me

7 Sep

I guess I can only say as much as I know, so if there was ever a time when someone stood up for me when I wasn’t there, I can’t really say (that isn’t usually something you tell a person). I can only think of one time in my 26 years that someone has stood up for me when I was present, though. I should be thankful for that, and I suppose I am, because if you always require someone else to fight for you, you’re not doing a very good job standing up for yourself.

That one time was when I was 16. It happened on the football field, of all places, and it happened between two fellows who just so happened to have the same name. I was football manager at the time, and being wet was apparently a requirement for the job. Leaking water bottles, leaking Gatorade jugs, melting ice, and the frequent enough squirt from a bottle (intentional or otherwise). Most of the season was hot, so it was a fortunate side effect.

This particular story takes place on a very warm end-of-summer day. It was more than likely August, and while it was still the beginning of the school year, we all knew each other anyway. That was the side effect of small town living.

The details are a little foggy, as I can’t remember if it was the beginning or end of practice (end, perhaps?) and how physical the altercation was between these two football players I can’t say for sure.

I do remember that I was wearing a red ribbed tank with a black flame on the left side and jeans. Always jeans. And I remember standing on the east side of the field, near the bleachers. More than likely, there was a water break that started it. More than likely I was collecting bottles. More than likely, this guy stuck around a little longer than the rest not for an “extra sip” but because he had a major crush on me (the likes of which he had professed several times).

He turned to me, made some off-handed now-forgotten comment, and poured the entire contents of the water bottle he was holding down my shirt. Things like this happen to me more than I should probably willingly admit, but this time was different. This time, another play came over. This time he yelled at the guy who had just poured water all over me. He told him never to do it again. I think there was some pointing, and I think he very much got in the others face. I don’t think he grabbed his shirt, but the possibility exists, I suppose.

The sheer force of his words defending me and standing up for me was impressive. The look of fear on this other guys face was probably even more impressive.

And that was the one time someone actually stood up for me. While I don’t suppose I would be much different had it not happened, but I am oh so thankful to that man for doing that. It was one of those moments that fuels your faith in humanity, however minute, and regardless of how much you know about things like the bystander effect.

Have you ever stood up for someone? Have you ever been stood up for? 

 

The Art of Forgiveness

1 Mar

Anyone who says forgiveness is anything less than an art has never had to forgive someone of something monumental.

Forgiveness. It comes in many forms, and sometimes comes with “forgetting”, though I don’t know if that part is every truly enacted. Acceptance is probably better to do than forget, because if you accept you no longer have to feel the pain or frustration or whatever emotion is tied to the forgiveness.

Sometimes, we will forgive someone almost instantly. Say someone accidentally trips me, or smashes my hand in something…acceptance is almost immediate, and forgiveness isn’t even questioned.

Then, you find yourself in a situation similar to myself.

A very long, long time ago I had a friend, who I cut out of my life. It was partially intentional, and partially just the course of life. There weren’t any single events that caused my decision to do this, but rather a series of events that showed me how unhealthy our relationship was. No matter how many times I would forgive her, I could never fully accept the state of things. Thus, they kept piling on one another, as did the emotions tied to these events.

It was almost sudden, how our friendship ended. And I know that I made the right choice, because the time following were wonderful and amazing, and I didn’t have any of that toxicity in my life.

But now, older as I find myself, acceptance has brightened my past. I no longer feel the emotions that were once tied to all the things I kept forgiving. When and how that happened, I am unsure. What I am sure of, is that while I can look back to that point in my life and no longer feel pain, frustration, and guilt, I can still look back and feel the pleasure of when times were good. We shared some really good moments, and I know that I owe part of who I am to this former friend.

With this almost rose-colored view of our friendship comes a subtle desire to re-connect. I don’t know if she would be interested, and I don’t know how similar we are to our former, high school selves. Without her in my life, I do lack the ability to reminisce on what happened to be so many nights with just the two of us. But opening that door is scary, too. Obviously, there was a problem with our relationship, as I never forget. It’s hard to say if that problem would still exist and if having her back in my life would be healthy.

I just want to open the door slightly, and peek inside, but I don’t know if there is a way to do that. Something tells me this is either all or nothing.

Do you say “forgive and forget” or another variation? If you’ve cut someone out of your life, do you ever let them back in? Why? What do you think of the saying “if there was a problem then, there will be a problem now”?

Facebook Friends: The Breakdown

13 Dec

I went through my Facebook friends when I realized I have 257. That is way too many. I reach a point, though, when I can’t decide who I should or should not keep on the list.

I also thought it would be nice if I made it a point to actually interact offline with everyone on my friends list. I realized that was a little difficult, because honestly, I have no desire to be friends with so many of my Facebook friends.

I broke down the numbers into categories, which I’m sure you can all relate to. It’s interesting to see how many folks are in each category.

First of all, I categorized people by how I know people who are on my Facebook, with no regard to if it is a desirable reason. Here is what that looks like:

Family – 55
We Work Together – ll
We Went to College Together – 29
We Used to Work Together – 28
We Are Both from the Same Town/High School – 95
The Internet – 11
You Know Someone I Know – 19

Then, I broke it down even more, and categorized people by why. It makes me feel like I have a LOT of deleting to do. Here is what that looks like:

People I’m Good Friends With – 15
People I’m Friends With – 11
People I’m Acquaintances With, But Would Like to be Good Friends With – 15
People I WAS Acquaintances With, But We Never Became Good Friends, and I Will Likely Never See or Talk to Them Again – 37
People in the Right Place/Right Time or Who I Have Friends in Common With – 11
Family – 54
People I Work With or People I’ve Spoken to a Few Times and It Might Be Awkward if I Delete Them and See Them in the Future – 18
Internet People (Regardless of How Well I Do or Do Not Know) – 11
People I Was Okay Friends with in High School, but We Aren’t Now – 34
Random People from High School Who Just Added Me – 39

The categories in bold are those that are safe from being deleted. Of course, things change and their categories will change. People from the ‘acquaintances’ category often move down into ‘likely to never see or talk to again’ because we never made it past acquaintances. Family is a give or take…I’m unlikely to delete them, but if they consistently post things I don’t like to see, I will remove them from my feed (frequent pot posts are a big one, here). Random people from high school should probably be the quickest to delete. We weren’t friends then, you are never going to ask me to hang out, and thus…why are we Facebook friends?

The ‘was acquaintances’ is a toss up, too. That is really a transition category to ‘awkward if I delete you’. I have to wait a grace period to see if I will actually ever see them in the future, or not.

So 41 people are safe. Plus 34 because I will probably see those people when I go home, and we will make small talk and enjoy ourselves but not keep in touch otherwise…that makes 75. Add family, because…family. That is 129 people. For funsies because the only way to keep in touch with internet people is the internet, that gives us 140 people. That is 117 people up in the air. We know I won’t delete them all. I might delete like…5.

And that isn’t to say that I dislike 117 people of 257. It just means that 117 people probably don’t have enough of an interest in me to hang out and be friends, or vice versa. To be perfectly honest, I’m sure most of the 117 people I actually do like, but for whatever reason, our friendship will never blossom. It shouldn’t matter to you what category you’re in, either. Either you really like me and make attempts to show me that, or you don’t. And if you don’t, then why are we Facebook friends again?

Isn’t it interesting the break down of why people are actually on your Facebook, and how you met them? How many Facebook friends do you have, and how do you think your numbers break down?

High School Girls: A Story

24 Nov

DSC00858edit

That picture? Took it myself. No idea what year in high school (this story is not about any of those girls, just in case you were wondering!).

It’s been a fair amount of time since I’ve been in high school, but for whatever reason this morning on my way to work, my mind was suddenly drawn to my high school experience.

First, I’ll say that I don’t give two craps about what people ultimately think of me. I’m strong like that, and that has been an intrinsic characteristic of me since before high school.  Someone without this characteristic might have felt bullied, or might have given in, but not me.

Definitely not me.

Before I tell you my story (that has probably been long forgotten by these girls), let me give you some background about who I was in high school.

First, I’m extremely uncoordinated, introverted, but very outspoken and strong-willed. That’s what I’ve been dealt, and so I didn’t play sports in high school, but I was in everything else. I managed boys basketball, football, and track. I was in Student Council and held positions (including Pres) for all 4 years. I was class pres, yearbook editor, in FBLA, did philanthropy work, and took college classes. This isn’t even the whole shebang…but really, the point is not the things I did, the point is that I was in everything and was nice to everyone and somehow, these girls still hated me. My thoughts? You respect me, and I’ll respect you. But never, ever think I will fear you, and don’t ever think that I should want you to like me. Honestly, like I said, couldn’t give two craps.

So, let me tell you a story.

A long, long time ago I was boys basketball manager. I was with the team for 4 years, and was with many of the same guys (small school) in football the season before, and track the season after. I traveled with them every weekend, did stats, made sure they were hydrated and had gum, fixes [minor] injuries, and made sure they had everything they needed. While I wasn’t close friends with any of the major jocks, I was much better friends with any of them than I was with the girls basketball team.

The problem? The teams often traveled together.

For whatever reason, the girls thought it was their right to sit as close to the guys as possible. You see…the bus was “segregated” so that boys would sit in the back one week, and girls would sit in the front. Then it would alternate. I always sat in middle-front or front of the boys team. Why, you ask? Because I was on that team. I wasn’t friends with any of the girls, and it didn’t make sense for me to sit at the front of the bus just because I was manager.

Me and those girls…well…we didn’t see eye to eye.

Not sure why they needed so desperately to sit next to the boys. High school girls, I suppose. Blow jobs in the back of the bus, anyone?

One very memorable trip, I sat where I always sat. One girl, who was in a group of girls who generally just hated me, told me that I needed to sit at the front of the bus, because managers sat in the front. She wanted my seat.

As I’ve told you, I’m not one to just give up. So I told her no.

That didn’t make anything better, of course, but that is just what I expected. She continued making a fuss about it, but I held to my guns because I was sitting at the front – of my team. Like I said…it is the principle of the manner. I see no reason why she needed the seat more than I did.

Generally, this is how high school girls treated me. This is probably the reason why I still hate women’s basketball. And the same reason why I still have bottled up feelings about volleyball spandex.

The great thing about it all…she didn’t get her way.

What was your high school experience like? Ever have similar interactions with your peers? 

The Consequence of Denying a Letter of Recommendation

25 Sep

Way back in high school (which really wasn’t TERRIBLY long ago), I was applying for a full-ride scholarship. I made it quite far in the application process for this prestigious scholarship, but I needed to get letters of recommendation.

Unfortunately, a person I thought would support me and my endeavors as far as I sought to take them denied my request for a letter of recommendation. I was appalled. The reason? Apparently, I spread myself too thin.

Six years later, I still believe with all of my being that had I gotten that letter of recommendation, I would have been awarded that scholarship. I could have focused on my studies instead of having to work. I wouldn’t be smothered in overwhelming debt. And all of those things I did in high school were to help others out and to make my high school a place people actually wanted to attend.

I sit here today, writing this, and while I could never do anything like thank this person, I can sit here and say that yes, she had it right.

But that is who I am. I live for multi-tasking and projects…I thrive on being versatile. Right now at work I’m working on so many things that aren’t exactly my job because I want to boost morale. I want departments to work together. I want people to enjoy coming to work and feel like it doesn’t haven’t to be so cookie-cutter monotonous. I want to reward staff. I have so many skills and so many ideas that the exact reason I got denied my letter of recommendation is the exact reason I should have gotten that scholarship.

While the big picture is important, the details make up that picture. I’m a woman with a lot of ideas, and as long as I have the ability to nurse and foster those ideas, I’m going to run with them. I’ve never done more than I can handle, and I’ve never done more than I want to. And if I decide that my big ideas aren’t worth stressing over, and aren’t worth putting the time toward…I won’t.

Do you have someone who shocked you with their views about you, but in the end were exactly right and just didn’t make the proper interpretation? 

30 Day Letter Challenge: Dear Deceased

22 Jun

Dear Ty,

Yes. You get to be called by your name.

I think about you. Not every day, probably not as often as I should, but here is proof that I do. I talk about you, too.

There is one thing that I look back on every, single time I think about you. It’s kind of weird, but I long for an answer so much and I know I’ll never get one.

What is it, you say?

Let me tell you a story.

One day, the [female] manager of a football team of a small, podunk town was putting away pylons. A really nice boy was helping her. 

He wanted to ask her a question, and being naturally curious, she of course told him he could ask her anything. With a pause, the boy said 

“what’s your name?”

It was obviously not what he had wanted to ask, but no matter how much she pressure the boy to ask her his real question, he continued his strange behavior and refused to ask her the real question.

Ty. What did you want to ask me that night? Had I been less socially awkward and better able to read people, I would have handled the situation better, but I wasn’t and I couldn’t so I didn’t.

Of course I have my speculations. The only thing I could think that someone would be afraid to ask is if I would date them. That’s super scary. I’m pretty forward with my questions, though, so it probably could have been anything.

I think back to that moment a lot, and I wish that if that was what you were going to ask me…that you had.

I would have said yes.

And thinking about that always makes me think of so many other memories I had with you. There was the day when you poured a bucket of ice water on me. Or the day when you gave me a ride home, and out of habit I tried to kiss you on the cheek and said “I love you”. And way, way back in kindergarten, I defended your choice of underwear when the other boys made fun of you because you wore briefs, not boxers.

Oh, Ty. I’m sorry. But you’ll always be in my thoughts.

Always, Me