When I started 7th grade in a new school with no one I knew I was a little intimidated. It may come as a surprise to you but as a child and young teen I was pretty shy. I was uncomfortable around everyone, I was awkward, I was nerdy and I was a bit immature.
I was also very small. When I started Jr. High school I looked more like I should have been entering the 4th or 5th grade…
It was tough for me to make my way. I was surrounded by kids that towered over me (and girls that were actually wearing bras out of necessity). Times were tough. The first several months I remember crying at home after school from the weight of it all. Anyone who says their teenage years were the best of their life? I feel a mix of awe and pity for them.
I wasn’t really bullied. I wasn’t really picked on. Sure the occasional odd comment was made about how small, meek, odd, nerdy or little girlish I was… but more often than not what happened was so much worse.
I was ignored.
Other than that school was pretty normal. I came and went, I did my work, I had school photos, I went to school dances and stood by myself or with an equally ignored friend. I made it through. I survived. Even with my odd overly colorful way of dressing mixing garish pinks with bright blues, or yellows and oranges, with big earrings and topping it off with the dorkiest glasses that were available at the time, I managed to survive 7th and even 8th grade.
By the time the end of my 8th grade year came I’d even managed to make a few friends through my drama and creative writing classes. I was just starting to feel like things had improved. I was thinking that next year as Freshman in a new school I could be a new me. More confident. Memorable. I was almost looking forward to coming back after summer vacation… until the school yearbooks came out.
There on Page 24 which was filled with some of the tallest bangs I’ve ever seen, some awkward smiles and one rock star in the making, between the popular blond girl and the cocky preppy boy where my picture should have been, there was nothing.
Not a picture.
Not a name.
Not a “student not shown”.
I realize it probably had very little to do with the camera and a lot more to do with the yearbook editing… but it all ended in a missing photo so I think it fits.
If you’d like to answer this in a post on your own blog please link back to his Weekend Wandering post and leave him a comment to let him know. While you letting people know… leave me a comment to let me know as well… I’d love to see what you have to say.