This was a tough one to write because I feel vulnerable writing about the past. However, it's been on my heart a lot lately so here I go!
If you're like me, you learned a lot from your past experiences. High school and college were big teachers and even though there were difficult circumstances in each, looking back, I am thankful for them all. Growing up, I was always the young girl who was in charge of the "club". My friends and I would start a lemonade club, babysitters club, bible study club, you name it. And I always wanted to be the one in charge. One thing each of these had in common was that the "popular crowd" made fun of these and laughed at us. I always included whoever wanted to join, all the kids who were mistreated or didn't fit in. I didn't think much of it at the time but looking back, I realize that. People were always just people to me, I didn't separate them based on social status, color or popularity. That's to the credit of the way my parents raised me. When my best friends and I were in junior high, we held bible study at lunch each day, many of the cool kids laughing the background. Later, these same kids would tell me how much they admired my friends and I for our beliefs and bravery.
I don't know how to explain where I fit in. I was not unpopular, but I didn't hang out with the cool crowd. I was friends with everyone. I hung out with my parents on most weekends if I wasn't playing sports. I won Homecoming Queen my sophomore year. I dealt with a ton of jealousy during basketball season. We all know there are mean girls and well, I was surrounded by them. I was defeated often and didn't reach my potential because I let their meanness hurt me. Sports taught me SO much about working hard for a goal, being tough both mentally and physically and accomplishing goals through teamwork. Looking back, although painful at times, most of my lessons learned came from a basketball court.
In college, I was in my element. I was friends with everyone, played all the sports available and was a part of everything! I even won Homecoming Queen during my sophomore year at SWOSU. I loved school, I loved the activities and I loved being a leader. However, there were definitely some mean girls and once again, I let them run over me more than I should have. Fast forward.
Now, I am thirty and thriving. I learned so much from sports, including overcoming jealousy, standing up for myself, being confident in who I am and just believing in my purpose. I have chosen to let the past fuel me. And you know what? It's freeing! I have achieved so much now that I don't worry about jealousy or what others think. I am strong, independent and confident. And those mean girls? Ha! Who's laughing now?
I encourage you to let your past fuel you! Let it be your teacher. Let it make you better.