I know I already praised this woman up and down, but there's one thing I left out and I have no idea how.
When I was a kid, my grandma ran this program called "Achievement Days" for the kids in our neighborhood. I don't really remember what activities we did, but I remember only going because it was at grandma's house. Backstory: There wasn't one person in the neighborhood that didn't know about Brooke being a bully. Quite a few of the adults would catch it occasionally and just let her have it. Grandma was one of them.
Anyway, my grandma (among so many others) talked about how getting away from here would be helpful for me. Get out, go to college, do military, just something away from here. I know that would help, but, in my mind, I'd return a different person and everyone would notice and either stop bugging me, or become a friend. My dream was crushed the other day when I heard someone saying this (Side note: I have edited it because, well... grammar.):
[He] tells the story of a young man... who, for many years was more or less the brunt of every joke in his school. He had some disadvantages, and it was easy for his peers to tease him. Later in his life, he moved away from his community. He eventually joined the army and had some successful experiences there in getting an education and generally stepping away from his past.
Then, after several years, he came back to the town of hos youth. Most of his generation had moved on, but not all. Apparently, when he returned quite successful and quite reborn, the same old mind-set that had existed before was still there waiting for his return. To the people in his hometown, he was still just old "so-and-so"-- you remember the guy with the problem, that idiosyncrasy, this quirky nature, and did such and such. And wasn't it all just hilarious?
Well, you know what happened. Little by little, this man's effort to leave that which was behind and grasp the prize that [was] laid before him was gradually diminished until he died about the way he had lived in his youth. He came full circle: again [...] unhappy and the brunt of a new generation of jokes. Yet he had had that one bright, beautiful midlife moment when he had been able to rise above his past and truly see who he was and what he could become. Too bad, too sad, that he was again to be surrounded by those who thought his past was more interesting than his future.
Give those around you the benefit of the doubt. You never know how they have grown and changed. Do not gossip or spread rumors. Do not judge. Be kind, be open... see in the heart. Look for the good in others and remind yourself of the good within you.
I think I'll just end with that.
"Over You"~ Miranda Lambert