I grew up gentle.

Like most gentle boys, I got bullied for that gentleness--among other things. Things like being small, hitting puberty late, and really only playing sports because I had to in order to have a social life.

When you grow up gentle and art-minded in a place small enough that there's not enough wiggle room for the outliers -- for the kids who don't quite fit the average -- then sometimes, you get bullied. I wasn't bullied much, but sometimes I was and so it's strange that with the zeitgeisty-ness of the anti-bullying-campaigning going on everywhere, I sometimes wanna roll my eyes and say, "Geez, people... just get over it."

Maybe it's because it took so long to come out from under the depression and self-loathing. Maybe it's because I couldn't honestly start to say I loved myself until I was almost three decades old, which meant I spent almost three decades finding it almost impossible to ever really love anyone else. Maybe I just want to leave that all behind.

For whatever reason, I've been ignoring the multiple places I keep seeing this Shane Koyczan Spoken-word-poem-video online. Clicking away and rolling my eyes a little, y'know?

But today I watched it, and I wondered what my life might have been like if I had never been bullied. If I had been completely free to flourish in my gentleness, without having to fabricate so many defense mechanisms.

So, I cried a little. Not loud, but gentle.


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