Wednesday: finally this week is looking to get back on track.
Date: April 24, 2013
Days Spent on Project: 66
Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC
Person I would have sent it to: Jake McC.
If I politely stated that yesterday’s Crane was being dedicated to someone I just “didn’t get along with,” today’s will be dedicated more clearly.
Jake McC was a bully.
Let me explain why I’m making a distinction between these two people. For whatever reason, I feel that I *caused* the bullying to happen with David (from yesterday); maybe it was something I said or did that provoked him to notice me and direct physical threats towards me.
This is classic abuse victim behavior, I realize- excusing the actions of an abuser.
I won’t blame myself for David’s actions. Whatever I did or said that caught his eye is no excuse for threatening to beat up or hurt or maim another 13 year-old kid. A bad joke doesn’t deserve losing a limb.
However, Jake McC was a bully. I did nothing to earn his hate or insults or jokes. Yes, his bullying was strictly verbal; it never escalated to the point where I felt threatened.
He bullied me because my voice wasn’t deep. Because I wasn’t a jock. Because I was asthmatic. Because I had more female friends. Because I didn’t act like a guy. Because my dad was a doctor. Because our house was big. Because I didn’t like to swear. Because I liked art classes.
He made fun of me for things that were, more or less, out of my control. He mocked me for being different. I was an easy target, and he relentlessly went after me.
And because it was so easy for him, it was easy for others to jump on the bandwagon.
Bullying really does have a snowball effect, you know?
In the end, I don’t know why he did this. I could theorize that he was jealous or insecure or was in a bad situation at home. I could try to rationalize this, but why bother.
Sometimes hate and ignorance are just unexplainable.
But that doesn’t make them inexcusable.
I insist that bullying does leave lasting effects. It’s cruel behavior, and it’s sad that it’s an accepted part of growing up.
Music I listened to while sewing: I’m listening to an artist called Tycho this morning. Great, calming music to have playing in the background.
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: Today, I will leave you with a quote. It’s from a book called The Actor’s Chekhov, which I haven’t read, but a friend recently made me aware of it. It’s currently on my Amazon Wish List, waiting for my next paycheck.
“In the last scene Nina says, ‘It’s not the fame, not the glory, but ability to endure.’ Now that is a very harsh statement of what life is all about if that’s the bottom line. But I think once you accept that, or once you know that, or once you experience that, then suddenly life does become happier. Once you realize that that is life, that the struggle is life.”
That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?
In ways, it’s similar to saying that life is all about the journey, not the destination. However, by using the word “struggle,” the sentiment feels more honest.
Because, truthfully, day in and day out, aren’t there things that we *just* have to overcome?
And it’s not as if we overcome them once, those temptations disappear.
I understand that I will be daily tempted to have a glass of wine with dinner. I don’t need it. I don’t necessarily want it. But my physical body assumes that it’s coming, and reaches for it.
I understand that I will always look in the mirror and wonder why I don’t look like an underwear model. And I will always doubt that I’m attractive enough to get any sort of interest from other men.
I understand that there will be days and nights where I doubt that I’m good enough. That I’m not supposed to do this. That I’m not supposed to be here. That I need to give up.
But, to succumb to those thoughts and needs (because I sometimes feel that my tendency to experience these feelings has made them a necessary part of my identity) would stop my momentum. It would stop my progress.
And if I believe that life is all about moving forward and making progress, I can’t let those struggles stop me.
The struggles will always be there. You just have to find a way to understand they’re a part of who I am now.
And not the end of who I am. I can’t allow them to end who I am.
Anyway, friends, let’s keep moving forward. There’s more to come for us.