Thursday, 10 April 2014

Living a life without feeling the need to 'get' one.

There are many things about Facebook that give me varying degrees of rage. Poorly punctuated cat memes, updates every five minutes about how someones baby is feeding/sleeping/talking/making noises/having a poo.....However, I have recently experienced the oddest yet; the friend request from someone who made my school life a bloody nightmare. Not only a request but also a message, just saying hi and hoping all is well, I probably don't remember them but they saw my profile and thought they would catch up and it looks like I've had a very interesting life.
I am now a [fairly] well adjusted; 34 year old wife and mother; and yes I have had a fairly interesting life but just seeing that picture of her sitting grinning just made something rise up inside me; something I cannot explain.
I have always alluded to the fact that I was bullied as a youngster (just saying that makes me feel old), but I have never really expanded on that; to be honest I try and block it out and pretend it never happened; but here it is looking at me uninvited in my own home.

It is quite fortuitous really that I got this request as I am about to write a book. As I am approaching my mid life crisis; it occurs to me that all I may be remembered for is being a fairly nondescript suburbanite. However; during my 20's I finally managed to step out of the shadow of my former self and live my life. Grow up, travel, get some experience. Now in a bid to show there is more to my life than work, cupcakes and playdates I am putting pen to paper....well, keyboard to kindle and getting it all down.

As I look at my first draft then look at my former classmate it hits me. As much as this book is about funny/interesting travel experiences; I can't shake the fact that it is, in its own way, a big two fingered salute. A giant "up yours" to the people who called me fat, called me ugly, made fun of me because my reading choices were different to 'Sweet Valley High', that I listened to Green Day and not Boyzone and went to the newsagents for comic books and not Smash Hits. All the people who made my life a bloody nightmare; whose favourite put-down was 'get a life'.

Well, I may still be the comic book reading nerd I was when I was 12 but I have made peace with that. I am happy and confident and have had an amazing and interesting life without feeling the need to conform to the boy-band loving stepford Barbie that defined my generation (who are all now strangely a bit like the 12 year old me; wearing 'NERD' t shirts and thinking they are cool because they have watched 'Thor' - but that's a whole other blog post).

Have to go and start proofreading now, but before I do, I must adjust the privacy settings on my Facebook page.

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