It’s been a while since I’ve spoken to anyone in my hometown, and it’s been even longer since I’ve visited it. That, however, wasn’t an accident. As soon as I managed to get away from that place, I tried to distance myself from it as much as possible.
Honestly, I had a pretty rough experience with living there, especially because of its residents. This is a letter to the people who judged me in my small hometown.
I Know That I was Always Different
Every single day that I spent there, you all made it abundantly clear to me that I was an outcast. In many ways, I was different from a lot of you. I listened to different music, wore some strange clothes sometimes, and enjoyed doing my own thing. All those things combined made me stick out like a sore thumb in a town where everyone seemed like they just came out of the same factory.
Trust me, I tried to fit in as much as I could. I tried to wear the same clothes, speak the same way that everyone else did, and hid my interests. Most notably, I even tried to do my makeup the same way that all the other girls there did too (which, by the way, was extremely unflattering). In spite of all my efforts though, I could never quite fit in.
There’s no denying that I was different. It was clear to everyone from my peers to my teachers, and even to people I had never met who seemed to know me. No matter what I did, I couldn’t be like you all, but that doesn’t mean that I deserved the treatment that I got.
You Could Never Accept Me
Sure, I couldn’t relate to anyone, but I was a good person. I was always kind and considerate and tried my hardest to make other people like me. The sad thing is that no one cared how good of a person I was. None of you cared if I invited you to my birthday parties or complimented your new haircut. All you could ever see was someone that stood out from the crowd, and you couldn’t accept that.
I’m Trying to Move On
So, eventually, I gave up. I decided to expect that you would always look down on me and there was nothing that I could do about. Although you all judged me even more when I started to let myself be who I was, It stopped bothering me so much.
I won’t lie. I still have a lot of confidence issues because of where I lived and the people that I met. From time to time I still try to fit in, to hide who I really am. Sometimes I’m even too scared to introduce myself to someone for fear I’ll be judged all over again. Despite that, I’m learning to move on and be stronger.
To the people who judged me in my hometown, I want you to know that I forgive you. I know that you were just taught to treat people that way and that maybe you didn’t really hate me. Although there’s no way to go back and undo the treatment that you gave me, we still can change something. Learn to be more accepting of other people and teach your kids the same values. That’s the only way to right the wrongs that you’ve done in the past.
Do you know someone who grew up in a small town? Share this article with them and find out how their experience was.