When the Mean Girls Won't Let You Play
I have met the adult mean girls and, unsurprisingly, they have forbidden me to play in their reindeer games. I thought that bullies were something that I'd put behind me years ago. I met them in every shape and form in my middle school and high school years.
Adolescence is traumatic for everyone. You want to fit in. You want to belong. You spend hours agonizing about how you look and how you can be just like everybody else. One of the easiest ways that teens find the feel better about themselves is to make others feel worse.
If there is a name for misfit, I have had it directed at me: "Freak", "Weirdo", "Nerd". I've heard them all. I never fit in. I did uncool things. I enjoyed drama and band and Academic Decathlon. There was no way that I would ever fit in to their boxes.
I've processed all the old pain and trauma. I came to realize that being a misfit is the source of my strength, my creativity and my resilience. I became comfortable in my identity and in my bubble, thinking those kind of people wouldn't exist in my adult world.
Then I joined a "support" group for new YouTube channels. We can give advice and provide a boost for one another. We can try to help each other cut through all the noise of the billions of other videos on YouTube.
Initially, it seemed to be going very well. My views and subscriber numbers have been going up. Then, one day, I noticed that one of the members specifically stated no "Tarot videos" which is most of my channel.
I shrugged it off because I know there are always going to be haters and it was just the one. There were still many other people for me to interact with and support. It's not as if I like all of the videos in the group, but it's a support group, not an "only things I like" group. I kept going forward and then this morning it happened again. Another member forbid "Tarot, occult, and witchy videos."
I'm the only ones that posts those. That is definitely directed at me. I have met the mean girls and they don't want me to play their reindeer games. In their eyes, it's a support group, but only for people exactly like them. It hurt for a moment but I know that I'm a misfit. I don't fit into most boxes. I'd just forgotten about the mean girls.
I'd gotten comfortable and secure in my little bubble and hadn't expected to meet with their small mindedness. I'd forgotten that people hate that which is different and that which they don't understand. They are comfortable in their little box of hate and judgment, sneering down at the misfits.
At the end of the day, I know about the wider world now. I know that I'm not alone and that I'm not the only misfit. We are many. I'm not isolated and cut off from the wider world like I was in high school. I don't have to play your reindeer games, mean girls. I don't need your approval or support. I never did.
Maybe someday you will grow outside your judgment and open your eyes to the weird and the wonderful. I've come to realize how delightful it is to be a misfit; how welcoming and warm the people are that never fit inside your boxes.
I'm not feeling hurt anymore just a little disappointed. Shine on, my fellow freaks, my wonderful weirdos. We can play our reindeer games and, if the mean girls ask nicely, we will gladly let them play too. There's room in this world for everyone to play.