But everything changed as I grew older. My body changed and my confidence plummeted. Fitting in became the most important thing. I wanted to be just like everybody else. I was bullied, as I’m sure that we all were. At first it wasn’t a big deal but each incident planted a new seed of doubt.
In grade 8, I transferred to a new school and everything fell apart. I was bullied, relentlessly, the entire year. I hated those bullies but, more than that, I hated myself. There was something wrong with me, I was certain of it. So I hid. I withdrew inward and tried, desperately, not to be seen. I lived that way for years.
It took me nearly two decades to realize I wanted more.