I remember the first day I felt alone.
We were all giggling around the lunch table, the popular girls and I, and we were looking at our other classmates, laughing and telling jokes and mostly just being kids.
And I remember laughing — I have a ridiculous laugh sometimes, one that stops people in their tracks — and snorting and making all sorts of bizarre noises … and then I remember the tables turning.
My best friend leaned over to The Most Popular Girl and whispered in her ear, staring at me all the while.
She whispered, they both looked my direction, and they both just died in a blow of giggles that left me feel bludgeoned.
I sat there and stared right back at them, as I couldn't avert my eyes from the train wreck happening right in front of me: the one that was taking away my spirit, the one that was taking away my innocence, that was quickly chipping away pieces of my vulnerable self.
They snickered and cackled and pointed and I couldn't stop watching them just be mean.
It was the first time I felt alone. I felt abandoned by the ones I let myself love.
I realize now that children can be mean, that it’s not just in the Popular Crowd, that it’s not just in high school or in clubs or in college. I realize it happens all the time.
I realize that I am, even today, tangled in the messy weave of gossip and of “I just have to tell you this story,” and of “Did you see what she’s wearing??”
It’s all so insanely catty and ridiculous. It hurts my heart to think of the things that I’ve said out loud about another woman, another person on my team, a fellow soldier in the ranks.
And because of this awareness, I am caught up in the beauty of this community.
In between tweeting, reading books to my daughters, and [not] burning mac n cheese, I am the Founder + Creative Director of Blessed is She women's ministry + community.