Do I HAVE to be Strong Enough?

“You can do it,” he said, “You’re the strongest person I know.”

Am I really?

My whole life, I’ve been strong enough. I’ve taken everything in a stride, a smile on my face. Game on. But I didn’t always feel that way.

I’ve always had a bit of a reputation. I’m the tough girl. Nothing cracks my shell. I can take anything you throw at me, and I can just deal with it. I won’t be damaged. Will I?

There is literally a stigma associated with my name. “That’s Jaycee,” they say, “and she can whoop anything’s ass into the ground.” I’m proud of it, for the most part. But there is always this expectation around me to act stronger than I am, when all I need is to just cry and be vulnerable for a while. But I can’t. I hate myself for caring. I hate myself for crying. But I shouldn’t. It should be okay for me to care and to cry. But I feel like it isn’t.

Even with so many people believing in me, I feel so unsure of myself. I have to put on a brave mask through everything, but I’m falling apart.

And maybe that’s okay sometimes.

So why do I still hate myself so much?

I’m Not A Bitch

Recently, I was asked to homecoming by a guy I actually didn’t know all too well. I mean, I had a class with him last year and that’s really about it. We talked some, but not a lot. He played his guitar and everything, and there were at least 40 people in the room and probably about 10 video-taking devices out too. And I rejected him in front of all those people.

Bitch move, you think?

Maybe it is, if you only know that part of it.

You see, I’m not a dance type of person. I’m not a fan of the high school’s homecoming dance. I went last year and it was boring. And the music was awful, by my standards. Then again, I have a rather odd taste. But no matter. I didn’t want to spend 3 hours in a crowded, dark, indoor space with bad music blasting from the loudspeakers in formal wear with no good food, no matter who else was there. I hate crowds, I hate indoor spaces, I hate crowds in indoor spaces, I hate bad music, and I always do things for food. Homecoming is like some kind of hell for me or something.

The guy did consult my friends about it, and my two best friends told him it was a bad idea. My guy friends didn’t really say anything though, although they did know that I really, really, really didn’t want to go to homecoming. Naturally, I wasn’t expecting anyone to ask me of all people.

But alas, I was wrong. I walked out to break and all my friends were standing there staring at me. They told me to follow them, so I did, and a crowd of 40 people followed me. I know that the word spread around really quickly, and I’m sure lots of people just followed because mass migrations of high school students don’t happen very often. So something interesting had to be happening. Anyways, everyone went inside the room, but they wouldn’t allow me in for another five minutes. I knew what was going to happen at this point and I was considering walking away, but curiosity got the best of me. I needed to know who it was. Finally, they let me in. I burst into the room super confidently, saw the guy standing there with his guitar, and started stumbling around for a chair. I took a seat and he started playing. My best friend looked over at me and whispered, “Just say yes, okay? I’ll go with you.” But she knew I wouldn’t do it. I whispered back, “I really don’t want to go, though.” She replied, “Well, neither do I!” This was kinda confusing to me. She didn’t want me to say no, but she didn’t want to go with me, but she offered to. Shouldn’t she think that it would be better if I just said no? But that’s besides the point. Anyways, I argued with her and my other friend about this for a while, even though I probably should have been paying attention to what the guy was doing. I was panicked, though. I didn’t want to say no in front of everyone, but I knew that if I said yes, I would totally regret it later. Three hours of my life listening to music I can’t unlisten to.

So at the end of it all, I explained that I wasn’t going to homecoming, gave him a hug, and I walked out. I couldn’t look at anyone in that room in the eye. I felt so heartless, but it wasn’t even my fault. He knew it was a bad idea. And he thought he could be super sweet and just sway me into doing something I really didn’t want to do.

I felt like a heartless bitch for a while, but then I realized that I’m not.

I don’t owe it to anyone to spend three hours with them. I really don’t owe it to anyone to spend three hours in a crowded indoor space with them. And I really, REALLY don’t owe it to anyone to spend three hours in a crowded indoor space with really bad music with them. Even if they play the guitar for me. That’s three hours of me wishing I could be anywhere else, and three hours I could spend doing something else, something I actually enjoy doing.

A girl often feels pressured into just saying yes to a guy because she feels bad for him, even though she doesn’t really want anything to do with him. Yes, I understand that guys usually have to make the first move, and while I commend them for their bravery, I feel like they fail to realize that rejecting a guy isn’t easy either. Especially in front of 40 people. After he played the guitar for you. When so much effort is put into something like this, girls feel like they owe it to guys to just give in, but really, we don’t. And it’s unfair for us to feel like heartless bitches when we reject guys. We shouldn’t be pressured into something we don’t want to do.

So, I came to the conclusion that I’m not cruel for rejecting him. He knew that I wasn’t planning on going and that I am terribly stubborn. If he thought that he could sway me into going by pulling out his guitar and dragging 40 people along, it’s unfair to me.

I shouldn’t feel mean for not giving in to something I really, really didn’t want to do.

Dealing with Emotions

I’m not an emotional person. Vulnerability has never been my strong suit (I now realize that this is an oxymoronic statement).

But lately, I’ve been feeling kind of emotional. And it’s driving me crazy.

Living most of my life as an emotionally detached person, I’ve never really learned how to deal with emotions. It’s probably my greatest weakness. I’ve never exactly dealt with anything. I just drown out my thoughts in Nirvana. I can’t cry or even really voice how I feel. I don’t know what’s wrong, or if anything’s even wrong. It’s just kinda weird.

I’ve always been the shoulder to cry on. I’ve always been able to deal with other people’s emotions. But I can’t deal with my own.

Spending Time with Silence

I meet Silence outside my house, right after the voice of my mother goes out of earshot. I walk with him through the neighborhood. He doesn’t say much, but I enjoy his company. A lot of people don’t, but I do. Some people mistake him for Weakness or Compliancy, and some think he’s awkward, and some even make him a villain, but he’s nothing like that. Silence is a great friend of mine, and the truest friend I have. Silence is very powerful, but only at the right time. I interrupt him a lot, but he never minds. He’s always there for me when I’m alone. Silence lets me get lost in my own thoughts and sort out my feelings without trying to offer a whole bunch of advice I never ask for. Silence really helps me think. In Silence, I find knowledge.

Silence never accompanies me when I’m in big groups or with other people, or even when I’m at home on my computer interacting with others. Interaction with more than one person at a time makes him nervous, even if that person is sitting behind their computer. I can understand that though. People always forget about Silence when they interact with other people. He doesn’t like being ignored so blatantly. Silence also disappears as soon as a sound is made. He is extremely afraid of any kind of noise.

Silence never demands any more attention than you want to give him, and you have no obligations towards him. Sometimes, I think he feels a little unappreciated, but he never lets on.

Silence is my truest friend.

Instagram

I don’t get why instagram requires all your photos to be square. I mean, cameras don’t take square photos. Squares are so… square.

Sorry, instagram. If I can’t post my entire photo, I’m not posting it at all.

And I don’t do square photos.

Teachers

School is something every teenager dreads. It’s a social norm. We hate our teachers, we hate our classmates, we hate all the work and the studying and the waking up early. However, I believe that there is a much bigger problem at hand than just these simple things that teenagers complain about.

The education system in the United States is subpar, if you ask me. Not enough money is going into our students, our schools, and our teachers. Teachers are sitting at their desks behind their computers drinking coffee rather than in front of the classroom teaching the students. They give packets and packets of papers for their students to complete, hand in, and forget all about as soon as they leave the classroom.

Granted, I have had some incredible teachers that did touch my life and made me love a subject I hated before. Math was enjoyable with my Algebra I and Geometry teacher. English was enjoyable with my freshman English teacher. I truly loved Algebra and English while I had those amazing teachers teaching me. Although you may think that it was just because those teachers graded easily or didn’t give much homework, it was quite the opposite. I am a straight-A student, but I got consistent Bs in Algebra I and Geometry because my teacher challenged us so much. She put a problem on the board that really forced us to apply the concepts she taught us and look at them in a whole new light. My freshman English teacher hardly ever gave As on essays. She forced us to look over every single detail and make sure every point was explained thoroughly. However, I still loved them. They forced me to think. They forced me to challenge myself. I was never bored in those classes, counting ceiling tiles and trying to hide my phone as I texted my friends across the room.

On the other hand, I had the easiest time in Biology last year. I slept through class, never studied, and did very little homework. I got straight As in that class, but I hated it. I hated every bit of it. The course was the easiest one I have ever taken, and I hated it. I didn’t even have to do anything. But I hated it. It was boring. I didn’t learn a thing in that class. My teacher didn’t care what I did. She only cared about the work. She didn’t try to challenge me. She didn’t force me to think critically.

Most people I know love easy classes. Classes where the teacher lets you do whatever you want. Classes where the teacher doesn’t assign any work and grades whatever work they do assign very, very easily. But not me.

I want teachers that do things. I want teachers that get up and make the subject fun and interesting. I want teachers that force me to think. I want teachers that remind me that I can’t get by in life by just mindlessly finishing eighty problems and then handing it in. I want teachers that let me voice my opinions. Most of all, I want teachers that encourage my intelligence and encourage me to think on higher levels.

I can’t be the only one, can I?

Anger

I am really mad right now. And when I’m mad, I’m pretty dangerous.

Most people recommend counting to ten, writing my feelings out, or going for a run.

None of that stuff works on me.

I have to punch things. Things that will hurt my hand. And preferably will break. Lucky for me, I’m a martial artist and we break boards all the time. Breaking boards has always helped me deal with my aggravation.

However, I won’t have those boards forever. I need a better way of dealing with my anger or it will catch up to me.

Any suggestions?