Please Stop Laughing at Me…

January 19, 2011 at 7:15 PM 2 comments

Today while I was sitting on the couch I started reading this book and from the very beginning it has touched me. It is so honest, and frightens me that I relate so well to the author. Am I really that girl? Am I that girl who worries what everyone else thinks of her? No, I don’t think so. But I am an underdog. I am somebody who struggles to find herself and not let go. I am somebody who wants to be more than this, more than the people around her define her to be.

The very dedication of this book made my heart cry out in a form of connection with this woman.

This book is a labor of love. It is dedicated to people who have cried themselves to sleep because they were “different”. It is also a celebration of the “inner outcast” in all of us, and a humble attempt to inspire tolerance, understanding, and acceptance.

Isn’t that the point of everything? Everything about that paragraph is love, pain, and growth. That paragraph is life, and she just dedicated life to every person who picks up her book and reads it. I hope that this paragraph touches you like it touched me, and you can find yourself opening up to ideas of loving each other. It’s as easy as walking over to your neighbors house, knocking on the door, and letting them show you pictures of their late husband that they were married to for several years before he finally passed away. When they cry, it’s as easy as you taking a piece of your time and your heart and just holding them. It’s as easy as holding open a door and smiling.

There is another section from this book that I am absolutely itching to share with you. I found myself stopping to put the book down and examine myself upon reading it. I was left there, on the couch, to breathe deeply and realize who I am and where I am going.

     The show  was a success. For two hours, I really was Dorothy. During the curtain call, when I took a bow, my dad came up on stage and handed me a vibrant bouquet of flowers. He was so handsome that day. Afterward, Terry, Jo Ellen, and several of the other kids from school came backstage to congratulate me. Though they were smiling and complimenting my performance, they seemed uncomfortable, as if they were being forced to eat a vegetable they didn’t like. I pretended not to notice. I had just experienced my lifelong fantasy of playing Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. But inside, I felt hollow.

 

I find myself having moments like this. Moments when I should be on top of the world because something incredible just happened! Times I have accomplished goals, recieved a compliment for something about who I am, or when I have tackled a fear. But what happens? I end up with this hollow feeling. I mean, SURE, ideally I have reached the top (for now, until a new top rises up for me to reach and face). I should be elated, consumed with joy, reaching out to those around me with a shining light. Instead I wonder if it was good enough for everyone else. I wonder if they really liked what they saw, or if they were only making an appearance. Sometimes I feel like crying, because I have people in my life who seem like “they are being forced to eat a vegetable they don’t like.”

And here’s another bone-chilling section.

     “Why do you use such big words?” Eddie asked me one afternoon during recess. “You don’t even know what they mean.”
     I liked learning new words, and would practice using them at school. No one had ever teased me about it before.
     “I do too know what they mean,” I responded.
     “You’re a liar and stuck up. Why don’t you go to a different school? Nobody here likes you.”
     I had an enormous crush on Eddie. “Please don’t say that,” I replied, crestfallen, remembering him breaking the pinata at my ninth birthday party and the fun we had that day. Behind me, I heard the shuffle of gym shoes one the pavement. I turned around. Two of Eddie’s buddies were walking toward us. “She’s a freak,” said one of them.
     “Yeah, Eddie, why are you talking to the freak?” asked the other.
     “I told her to go to a different school because we all hate her here,” Eddie retorted. “Freak, freak, nobody likes the freak,” they sang mockingly. “Freak, freak, nobody likes the freak,” they repeated over and over, a mantra of exclusion.

A mantra of exclusion.  Haven’t we all heard one of those before? Either one has been directed at us, we have heard it being directed at somebody, or we have been the one spitting the venom into the air with our very own tongues. Sometimes all three of those statements can be true for one person. I know my tongue has gotten me in trouble, I know I have witnessed the pain of others, and I know I have been on the side that wants to call their mom and go home ASAP. I have been made fun of before because I like words, and learning words, so this section especially touched me.

I am on a mission. I am on a mission to live with my arms, heart, and mind wide open. I am on a mission to live, love, and forgive with everything I have. I may not have much to offer, but if I never try then I can’t fairly say that no one is willing to change for the sake of love.

I don’t want to be a hypocrite.

[Hey, maybe since I am stuck at home on bed rest I will actually have time to finish reading this book!]

I believe that Jodee Franco was working to make the world a better place, even from a young age, even while she was being mocked and tormented. I believe that she is following through very well with this book.

Happy Adventures,
Burkie

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Heather  |  January 20, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    I finished reading this book a couple hours ago, and it filled me up with such a hope inside! 🙂 I don’t relate to everything in the book. I was never physically beaten by classmates to the extremes that she was, I did not have a handful of crushes (something that always made me wonder if I was normal, until I met the wonderful person I am dating who makes my heart flutter) like she did. But many of the moments in this book could be loosely edited and become crafted to relate to my life, or my thoughts. I want to meet Jodee Blanco someday, and look the woman who has had such eerily parallel thoughts as mine in the eye and thank her. I want to thank her for proving once again that there is hope! It is okay to be different, embrace it! It is okay to stand up for others, and also for yourself. And sometimes, as hard as it is to handle, being mature and holding your tongue while you turn the other cheek is all you can do. But all of these things make you stronger!

    Reply
  • 2. Jaclyn Rae  |  January 20, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    I really want to read this book after reading your description. Thanks for the recommendation! I’m glad it gave you hope 🙂

    Reply

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Reading: just about anything I can get my hands on, other blogs, and especially YA Fiction Novels. Lately I have been really into anything by SARK and other non-fiction books. __________________________________ Writing: updates for my blog, a children's book, music/lyrics, and letters to pen pals. ;) __________________________________ Singing: Warm-Ups. __________________________________ Learning: How to use my voice as an instrument, History of Art, Watercolor, how to be actively involved in creating a better community, and something new every single day. __________________________________ Hoping for: Wisdom and patience when things are hard, a smile no matter what, and a better community. __________________________________ Dreaming about: HAPPINESS __________________________________ Eating: <3 Peanut Butter Pie. Peanut Butter Sandwiches. Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies. __________________________________ Drinking: Water, usually. __________________________________ Playing: The Sims 3, Dance Central, and the Piano and Guitar. __________________________________ Watching: Christmas/Halloween movies, Who's the Boss? reruns, and crazy-cool documentaries about dead people. __________________________________ Listening to: Informative & Educational Podcasts, all kinds of music, and trying to listen to my parents (they are very wise, after all).

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