We are not all on equal playing fields.
Life isn’t always fair and, for some, it will never be fair.
I observed this pretty early.
The summer between 7th and 8th grade, my parents moved me and my younger sister from private to public school in my hometown of DeLand, Florida.
Speaking from experience, the middle school years can be especially tough for adolescent girls. Probably tougher than high school. Already trying to figure out who I was and navigate my way through the world, I was now faced with starting from scratch at a new school where I didn’t know a soul.
I was terrified and didn’t want to be “The New Girl.”
The week before school started, I had my parents take me to the local mall so I could find a trendy Yaga t-shirt (which was actually too big) and Vans shoes (that looked ridiculous on my skinny legs) so I had something to wear on the first day that screamed, “I’M COOL. BE MY FRIEND.”
The first day of eighth grade was a success, mainly because I met a girl named Michelle in homeroom.
Introduced herself, acquainted me to other classmates, and made me feel at home. By lunchtime, we were already exchanging notes in class (we had three together!) and talking about which boys we thought were cute and how we hope we didn’t have to “dress out” in P.E. since it was just the first day.
Michelle and I instantly became best friends. We would even sign our notes “BFFLAENMW” which is middle school shorthand for “Best Friends For Life and Eternity No Matter What.”
It was the beginning of a serious friendship.