As most of my readers have come to understand by now, I have a couple of people who inspire me and who I admire more and more each day. One of those people (the one I mention the most) is Mat Devine of the band Kill Hannah. Mat has gone and outdone himself again, posting an It Gets Better anti-bullying message.
And in true Mat fashion, he has inspired me to offer my own message. I am a 31-year-old (in three weeks) struggling writer, blogger, and independent publisher no one has ever heard of and therefore no one anyone should want to listen to. But even now, as an adult, living in an adult world, I have days I feel like a failure, feel bullied (although, happily, I am no longer in the situation where I felt it the worst), feel under-appreciated, ignored, and in the way. I realize this doesn’t sound like the best way to start a message telling troubled kids that their lives won’t always be a day to day struggle to survive but here’s the thing…
I have friends. But more than just friends they are my family. I have people I can turn to whenever I want to just crawl in my sock drawer and close it on myself and disappear and they will make it better. I have days when I don’t know what I would do with out them.
I have my words and my art. Whenever I need a way to get things out into the world, I can crank out a poem, take my camera out or draw a picture.
I have music. More from Mat, I have this quote on practically every social network profile I have and it is the gospel truth: “In times of crisis, when I felt unloved and alone, when others would turn to prayer, I’d put my headphones on.” Sad, angry, frustrated, alone, whatever, I can turn on the music and all the trouble will all melt away. Likely it will come back again later but for a while, I can lose myself in the music, the lyrics, the emotions the songwriter felt when they wrote the song.
It will get better. If for no other reason than your ability to withstand will grow stronger. You will find the people who will want to help you stand instead of wanting to knock you down. You will find the thing that makes you you, the thing in which you can be confident, the thing of which you can be proud.
Unfortunately, some of the people bullying you now, will never stop. They’ll find a new target but they will always be bullies. It is in their nature but it is in YOUR nature to be courageous, to be strong, to be who you know you are supposed to be. You are already doing that now, that is what got their attention in the first place.
You will encounter bullies for the rest of your life but take pride in knowing they target you because they are intimidated by you. They hate you for your courage, for your confidence, for your art, for your intelligence, for whatever it is that you have and they do not.
Hold on, be strong, and know in your heart it gets better.