Hi. I’m moving to Tennessee for a few years.
I don’t really know what you think about that, and frankly, at this point, I have already made my decision. Frankly, what matters is that I am jumping into my own fear.
I am moving South of my own accord.
Why? The answer is a bit complicated.
When I was young, I lived in Arkansas. In those formative years, I grew up thinking I didn’t matter. When I did matter, it was for my test scores, or to boost someone else’s grade, or to win or to get better. I was depressed and lonely. I saved face by pickling my own Asian face and hoping that, one day, I would be accepted in someone else’s eyes. When I left, I thought I had escaped.
It’s a bit of a stereotype to think that bullying is the worst base on numbers or statehood. Bullying is the worst based on quality or lack of quality of life for every student impacted by it. Sadly, I didn’t just face bullying in Arkansas, but also as the new kid in school in Illinois. For years, people called me ugly names and I believed them.
I am lucky. I have amazing parents and friends sent by God. However, that is not to belittle how awful and hostile a school can be. Not only did I have students (straight A ones too) make fun of me, but coaches, teachers, security guards and even counselors. The very people who were supposed to protect me in school, they tried to teach me that I was a disease, a mistake or a joke.
Who was the worst bully though? The worst bully, the one who said the most vicious things. She always stayed close, harboring ill thoughts and words that cut like razors. That bully was me. I said the meanest, crudest things to myself, to the point where several times I thought, “I don’t deserve to live.” So, the first thing you need to do, as Sean Stephenson says, is to escape “The Prison of Your Mind.”
a man of sorrows,[b] and acquainted with[c] grief;[d]
and as one from whom men hide their faces[e]
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”