The year was 1993. I was entering into the 7th grade and my world
was full of promise. After all, I had a group of girlfriends who I gossiped with on the phone practically a million times a day. My grades were doing well and my family loved me. What more could a girl ask for in life?
Then, during my first few days of school that year, I noticed something very strange was going on. Whenever I sat down at my regular lunch table with my so-called girlfriends, they gradually moved away from the table. If I said something to them, they’d ignore it. I wondered what I had done wrong and why it was suddenly so not cool to be sitting next to me.
After a week of spending half of my lunch period traveling to other tables and trying to get my friends to speak to me, and the other half sitting alone at my table eating my lunch. I finally gathered the courage to go up and ask one of my friends why they weren’t sitting with me? Her response was one I’ll never forget. “We’ve been busy but we’ll be there later.”
Little did I know then, my relationships would be over. None of my friends would return to that table, that day or any other following it for the rest of my time in school.
The abandonment by my friends made the biggest impact on me because I learned to be self-reliant. This was a good thing. However the bad part of that situation is that I became very lonely and mono focused on my schoolwork.
There was very little opportunity for a social life. I was and still am unable to drive and I’ve mostly lived in rural areas where there is little to no public transportation available to me. So there were hardly ever any opportunities to do any activities where I could meet other people outside the school campus. That is why I became interested in becoming a writer. I could do all of the jobs on my own and it gave me an outlet to express my anger in a safe, productive and creative way.
My life is different now. As I’ve grown into a young woman I’ve developed many wonderful long lasting friendships. I’m no longer that lonely girl at the lunch table I’m authentically me and for the first time in my life I’m completely comfortable with who I am and what I stand for.
As for those isolating memories, they are quickly becoming just a little school daze that fade into my memories as just one more chapter in the book of my life as it comes to a close.
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