Not Perfect, Not Enough

Pre-k

I started my education at a small school down the street from my grandparent’s house. I made friends that I would eventually lose because we went on to two different schools.

 

One day I lost my favorite Dora pencil. Before I lost it, we had an assignment to write numbers. With that pencil, I went to write the number eight. When I had made the final loop, it wasn’t perfect. So I decided to just shade in the eight to cover the flaws. My teacher did not like my little fix. Her face became red and she growled her mouth like she had rabies, as she angrily marked my number with her red pen and yelled for me to do it again. The only red mark I got all year.

 

Not perfect, not enough.

 

Kindergarten

A different school district, different people. Not the greatest situation for the awkward shy girl. I went to school on the yellow bus and just blended into the class. I wanted to be different, I had the same short bob with bangs haircut forever. So I took some safety scissors and chopped off my bangs. Not a good idea. My parents tried to hide my flaws with a bright colored barrett, but it wasn’t enough.

 

Not perfect, not enough.

 

First Grade

I finally had friends. I felt like I had a place, everything was perfect. I felt like I was enough. I was smart and I was popular, what more does a young girl want?

 

Not so fast. My home life wasn’t as enjoyable. I was sitting on the staircase by the backdoor when the yelling and screaming of my parents became louder. They were now in my face.

 

“Hailey, if we got divorced who would you want to live with?”

 

I nervously pointed to my mother and watched them continue to scream at each other. I wasn’t good enough to have a normal family.

 

Not perfect, not enough.

 

Second Grade

I started to enjoy school even more than before. School became my escape from my home life but every day at 3 p.m. I’d be returned to my reality and every Friday I couldn’t escape it

 

Every other weekend I spent with my dad in a trailer as I watched him struggle to make a living for himself, let alone shared custody of two kids. He dropped us back off at our house on Sunday night but he came in with us this time. Next thing I know, he pulls out a bottle of alcohol from behind the couch.

 

I was not enough to keep my mother sober.

 

Not perfect, not enough.

 

Third Grade

I was living with my grandparents now, and spending every other weekend with my dad. It was a step up, I was actually able to bare the pain of the end of the school day.

 

I was a goody two shoes and a little bit of a geek. But something that year made me want to rebel. I was smart, but I wasn’t the best and I wanted to be the best. I got a little sneaky and started the timed multiplication test before the teacher said to. Then the blonde haired kid who sat across from me snitched and yelled: “Hailey is cheating.”

 

Standing in the hall outside the door, wishing I could sink into the brick wall. This is where the bad kids are sent. My teacher comes out and I avoid all eye contact and mutter the absolute minimum amount of words possible. I am ridden with shame, so much so I feel like I’m going to throw up. I hide out in the nurse’s office for awhile but in reality, I’m not sick at all, just embarrassed to say the least.

 

I wasn’t even good enough to be bad.

 

Not perfect, not enough.

 

Fourth Grade

The school district discovered that I was no longer living in the district since moving in with my grandparents. My grandparents offered to pay tuition but ultimately I ended up the new kid at the small school down the street from my house. I went in for my first day to find a one hallway elementary school with discolored white walls and beat up baby blue tiles.

 

I had a best friend that lived across the street from me that also went to this school. However, before my first day of school, we were hanging out and jumping on the trampoline in her backyard. We sat down and started talking and she told me not to talk to her during school because she was one of the popular girls and I was a dorky new kid. Little Hailey, so desperate for people to like her, said okay.

 

Not good enough to be her friend at school.

 

Not perfect, not enough.

 

Fifth Grade

I was not an athletic kid but it wasn’t my fault that I was born with severely pronated ankles. In other words, I was disabled. Despite that, I played sports constantly even though I lived a life of being picked last in gym class. I didn’t care because I knew one day I’d be able to be like the rest of my teammates.

 

Well, that day came on my last day of fifth grade. On the last day of school, I spent my day in surgery. I had to wait 12 years for this day but it finally came. My doctor removed some bones from my hip and put them into my ankles, then sewed me back up. I spent my summer in a wheelchair and had to give up sports for a while to recover. A summer like this for a girl who didn’t have friends was rough, especially for a kid who just wants to move around. During the summer I had to be picked up and put on the toilet. If that wasn’t weird enough, I also got my first period during this time. It was an interesting time to say the least, but maybe I’d be good enough now that I was like the other kids.

 

Not perfect, not enough.

 

Sixth Grade

The day before my first day of school, I was back to the hospital. One of the doctors took me into the casting room finally cut off both of my casts. When that cast was split in half and my foot could finally breathe, my foot was covered in dead skin and felt so naked. At that point, those cast were practically a part of me. I went to take my first step, and nearly fell. I can’t even explain that feeling, it was like I had forgotten to walk.

 

On my first day of sixth grade, I refused to take a walker with me to school because I wanted to be liked and no one wants to be seen around the girl with the walker. Pre-teens are shallow, no one cared about what was in the inside. I never wanted to believe that statement, but that day it was completely proven to be true. My classmates would call me frankenstein behind my back as I limped around the halls just trying to get from class to class. No one wanted to associate with me, so much so that I would sit at a lunch table with people who never talked to me. There were some days that I would not eat lunch just to be sure that I had a place to sit, I just wanted to fit in.

 

Not perfect, not enough.

 

Seventh Grade

All along I had a couple true friends hidden between the lines that I failed to see. These girls let the outcast into their group because popularity doesn’t matter, they saw me for who I am on the inside. Also, people started to know me, but not for me but as “ZP’s little sister.” My brother would describe himself as a “legend” back when he was in high school. Whether or not he was doesn’t matter, he was a senior on the verge of not graduating.

 

In our family, I have always been the studious one. My brother wasn’t completely dumb, he just didn’t care. Grandma would constantly be on his case and in the end, we got to see him walk across the stage. He managed to scrape by with just enough credits to walk, but he had yet to earn a diploma.

 

My family instilled in me from a young age that I had to get good grades to get into college and my mediocre grades were not enough. Now that my brother was through and I was nearing high school, they made sure that I knew that being an honor roll student wasn’t enough. While they wanted the best for me, deep down they wanted me to be the successor of my brother. I had to be better.

 

Not perfect, not enough.

 

Eighth Grade

My mind set of unreachable perfection got to my head very fast. I dreaded coming to school and I didn’t know why, turns out that all the pressure created an imbalance of chemicals in my brain. My few friends barely wanted to be around me because I was so irritable, we were fighting every other week over nothing. Everyone is a self-conscious mess at this age so it was an endless cycle of all of us blaming ourselves for everything that happened and I hated it.

 

I didn’t know what was going on with me, until I did. I didn’t struggle with much in school, besides for the body unit in health class. Memorizing bones, muscles, and all the functions was my worst nightmare. One night my family realized that I was failing the class, and it wasn’t pretty even though it was still the beginning of the quarter. I knew that I couldn’t afford a bad grade on the unit test. I crammed and crammed until I was sick, literally. I was in my third class of the day and one of my classmates notices that I was a little pale and tells me to ask for a pass to the nurse. I ask my teacher for the pass but I am unable to give a reason why. At this point, I was starting to hyperventilate so my teacher gives me the pass, and written on the reason sent line is “anxiety.”

 

The nurse helped me through my anxiety attack and kept me calm. She helped me study and quizzed me as a perfectly recited the study guide. I took the test and earned an 89% even after I was so shaken up. I freaked out over nothing, but that day I learned that anxiety does that to your brain. Later that year I started seeking help and was diagnosed with high-functioning anxiety, all for that perfect mark.

 

Not perfect, not enough.

 

Ninth Grade

I had so much hope for my high school career as I was finally starting to figure out who I was. Very soon my spirits are crushed and I’m put through so much agony. Losing my parents was tough but my adolescent brain wasn’t old enough to really process what was happening, but my 15 year old brain felt this loss for sure. In November one of my best friends was taken away from me. Haley and I met in pre-school and were attached by the hip until I went to a different school district. When I moved schools back in fourth grade, we reunited on the basketball court and recognized each other like we didn’t miss a beat. Things never changed between us, even during the times that I had no one, I had her. I failed to see that before it was too late.

 

The news hit me hard and I couldn’t help but think of all the things that I should’ve done. We were best friends forever even when we started drifting apart. It tears me apart inside that it took me losing her to truly realize that she was the best friend that I could ever ask for.

 

Not perfect, not enough.

 

Tenth Grade

I try to not remember this year, it’s so painful to talk about in detail. I had many dark thoughts circulating my brain and I almost did go off the deep end but someone broke through and saved me.

 

Not perfect, not enough.

 

Eleventh Grade

This was the year that everything was supposed to start working out and falling into place, it just didn’t. I was trying to get my life back on track and I just wanted to be happy. I had a great first week of school, then it all fell apart. I had someone who should have been building me up, but instead, broke me. She watched me grow up and she has always been there for me. She watched me grow stronger and overcome my demons. So while she didn’t know my whole battle, she knew that I was weak.

 

I do not blame her for everything that happened, I don’t even know if she knows what she truly did to me. She made me give up on my dream because I was tired of fighting this endless battle. It used to be my escape from all my problems, so when it became my problem I didn’t know what to do. I let it destroy me. A lot of this was all in my head but I was falling back into my old self.

 

I tried to talk about it but in the end, she watched my cry and didn’t make a valuable effort to help me. She watched me fall.

 

Not perfect, not enough.

 

Twelfth Grade

I’m a fighter, but I was exhausted from being so strong all the time. I never did give up and I finally saw all of my hard work pay off. I did achieve that perfect 4.0 GPA but I wish I could go back and do it differently. Stop myself from falling and replace all the pain with joy. I recovered from my surgery and became the athlete I always wanted to be. I got accepted into my dream school and was awarded the huge scholarship that my family never let me forget about. I found my best friends and made sure that they always knew how much I love them. I achieved my dreams despite the mental abuse from my coach. Most importantly, I don’t want to die anymore. I wake up every morning excited to live life and make an impact

 

I walked across the stage and as I reflect on my education, I almost let it destroy me. But between all the pain was so much hidden joy that I just had to find. I’m not a valedictorian, but I’m good enough for me.

 

Still not perfect, but I am enough.

 

I made it.

 

3 thoughts on “Not Perfect, Not Enough

  1. Sister, you have been perfect from the start. The biggest problem that we humans often face is that we feel as though we need to be completely in control of everything for us to be enough. NO! Before raw gold can become fine gold, it must go through a hot furnace. But guess what, raw gold and fine gold have the same value, just that their form is different. Yes, you have been through the pain, so that your form and perspective can change. Sister, there are things that we cannot change, but that we badly wish that we could. I know that you would be more than happy to have your parents and Haley back. I understand how painful these things can be. I am so sorry to hear about these experiences. One thing you should do though is look to the future, and not to the past. Many things have happened, and each for a reason. Now, you have a new outlook, and a new form, the question is, how do you intend to use this new weapon to conquer the odds?

    If you do not mind me asking sis, do you by any chance believe in the Lord? You see, it seems as though you have had a fair share of life’s struggles. However, here is the catch: you do not have to go through all of these things alone. When we pray to the Lord, and build a relationship with him, he is more than happy to help us. No matter the situation, pray. if something does not feel right, pray. If you are sad, pray. if you are happy, pray. if you do not feel energetic, pray. Pray about everything. Our heavenly father is never tired of hearing from us, and he is always looking for ways to bless us. However, he sometimes will not give us things that we did not ask for, we need to learn to ask him, and believe in faith that we would receive what we asked for. God is real, and prayers work. I am also convinced that the Lord led me to your page for a reason, he wants to connect with you. He is ready to hear from you, he is ready to help you, the question is, are you ready for him?

    God says in Isaiah 41:10
    “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand”.

    God says in Jeremiah 29:11
    “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”.

    The Bible says in Philippians 4:6
    ” Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done”.

    It all starts here sis, a relationship with the Lord starts here. It begins with faith in the Lord, prayers to him, obedience to the word of God, and a passion for Christ.

    If you want to know about God in more detail, you can find further information here https://christcenteredruminations.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/a-few-things-that-i-have-learned-about-god/ And Here https://christcenteredruminations.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/how-to-build-a-relationship-with-god/

    May God’s blessings be with you, Amen. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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