February 26, 2010

Always Been...Different

When I was a little first grader, I started to notice something. It was that I wrote with a different hand than everyone else in school. I used to sit and see who else wrote with their left hand too. I found one boy of thirty kids who was like me.

Then I started to learn piano when I was six. I loved to hear the music floating from the keys and my fingers. I wanted to learn piano because my best friend knew piano and so did some other kids I knew. So, for a little while, I was the same.

I got older. Music still held onto me tightly, I couldn't let it go. I went to second grade. I started to become different in another way, I used to play piano like everyone else, now I started to write my own songs. I made a CD when I turned eight in a little studio up the road from our house. I learned guitar as well.

Then I moved on to third grade. It got harder. My teacher who I had since first grade, seemed very unhappy. She got angry and upset easily and started to show her true colors. She would yell at me almost every day about something and I started to dread school. Every day I would cry before school and try to hide so I wouldn't have to go. Then when I was brought to my classroom, I would cry, so my teacher locked me in the bathroom for as long as four hours at a time because crying was disruptive to the class. My Mom and Dad didn't know this because I didn't tell them and neither did my teacher. I thought I deserved to be locked in the bathroom because I was throwing a temper tantrum. There was a certain boy who picked on me constantly. This teacher never dealt with it. The thing about this boy was that I think he really didn't know how to behave and didn't know how to get positive attention. Even though I was young, I had to learn that it's very important to forgive. I forgave a lot. He'd come to me and say he was sorry. I always said, "Thank you for your apology, I forgive you."

As I moved into fourth grade, things started to change. I got a new teacher, Julie. She really helped me. She was kind and very sensitive, like me. She took care of the problem with the boy who was mean to me and he started to stop being mean to me and stand up for me. I slowly started to come out of my shell.
Then one day while I was getting my lunch box, this boy stood up in front of the class and said "I'm really sorry for being so mean to you guys all of these years. And do you know what they did? They laughed at him. I came out and heard the laughter and a girl came up to me and told me what happened. "It was so funny!"
"That's not funny," I said. The teacher came and asked what happened.
"I apologized to everyone for being so mean," he said crying, "And everyone laughed at me, except Skylar." He pointed to me. I was surprised that he remembered that I was one of the few who didn't laugh. I guess because even though he was mean to me so many times, I forgave him and I'm really glad that taught him a lesson he'll remember. I saw him recently, he's polite, he remembers me and we get along like we were best friends always. That taught both him and me the power of forgiveness.

Come fifth grade, a new assistant came to teach language and grammar. New children became a part of our school. One girl I made friends with. We became very close and hung out all of the time. I became a part of a little three-way group. She invited me to her birthday, which was my first sleepover. I went to her house, she came to mine. We hung out almost every week. Then something strange happened. There was a girl with no friends, she got picked on. She wasn't small like me, she was big and tall. So, I invited her over. Well, I don't think my other friend liked that very much. She got very sarcastic and mean. She started to make fun of me and one day after recess, she came in with the seven other girls and sat around me in a circle. "We'll write on your face with Sharpy," because I hated the smell of the permanent marker. "We'll wrap you in newspaper and pour sour milk all over you." I was allergic to milk and didn't like the smell of newspaper. "We'll make you eat peanut butter." I didn't like peanut butter.

I had a small class and there were only eight girls in it. I didn't have many friends to choose from. The only person who hadn't made fun of me with the rest of them was a girl doing her homework in the corner. I knew what they were saying was supposed to be some sort of "joke", but it didn't feel funny.

I hated school so much, I quit and found a new teacher and started home schooling privately with her. I started to like learning again.

This year, I have a great home school teacher and also met a new friend. Her name is Juel. We both like photography. She's an amazing artist and is very serious about it, I'm serious about my music. We both like computers and are obsessed with Tom Hanks. We are both different too.

What I've had to learn is that everyone is different from each other but there is a "really different" bunch in the world. I'm probably one of them. And many people say, "You're weird" or they don't understand you because you're so different from them. But you know what? That's Ok.


Anonymous said...

different is more than ok, Skylar. it's down right beautiful!

have a lovely day

Katie said...

LOVE your post! It's a good message for everyone to be okay with being different! I've always been different too! We totally have something in common! We should start emailing again!

Juel said...

Aww! Thank you for mentioning me, I should post something like this too!

Francesca said...

You had some very difficult years in school Sky! I'm so glad you're now enjoying homeschooling with your new teacher. As you say, we are all different, if we don't conform to peer pressure. You have some strong passions for your age and some special talents: they are gifts.

Cate said...

i love your writing here, skylar. amen, sis! and thank goodness you're different. some times i think that the average school is one size fits all, which doesn't work for everyone. my little son might be in that boat. we'll see.

Theresa said...

Sky, Your differences are what make you so special.

I am reminded of the quote that I chose to put in my high school yearbook my senior year:

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer."
- Henry David Thorough

Joyce said...

Skylar, thank you for your sweet post. I didn't know you were part of Corner View, I just added you to my list and became your recent follower.
I read your post and it made me sad to know that after all of these years (since I left school)kids still make fun of someone, different in their eyes. Skylar you are a brave and wise young girl. As ladybug-zen says different is beautiful.

Even as an adult I find that those that pick on or give someone a hard time is because they are battling their own battle within and in their minds they sometimes have to hurt others to make themselve feel better or so they think.
Stand tall my little friend. You are beautiful inside and out. I can bet your parents are so VERY proud of you and count their lucky stars. Hugs to you and your family. I'm off to visit your friend Juel's blog. xo

PS do you have something on Youtube with you playing your guitar. My husband plays and I wanted to show him your talent.

Frau said...

Found you through Joyce on the corner view....loved your post and I feel your pain. You are an amazing and wise girl. Love your pictures!

Emily said...

This is such a beautiful, heartfelt post, Sklyar. It's so encouraging to see that you came through those difficult years with such a deep understanding of who you are and such a wonderful tolerance for the world around you.

My own daughter is approaching school age and, as a mom, I'm already nervous about what that could mean. I love that your family made homeschooling such a success! You're an inspiration!

nicola@which name? said...

different is what makes us special and unique. you are amazingly perceptive and thoughtful for a girl of 13.you are at such a challenging age of change, but are handling it beautifully!

Mirjam said...

You are very special!

And being different is more than okay :).

Mirjam (Dutch homeschool mum in the UK)

merel said...

Dear Sky I love to read your message! It's so vulnerable.I know how it is to be different. But You are a very special girl and I love to follow you. I've heard a song of you it touch me and I love your piano playing! Go on girl. You are special for a special reason...
Greetings from Holland!