It’s Not Easy Being Green

Friends, I’m different, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve always been a little weird, and I’ve never really been part of the “in” crowd. In high school, I was a cheerleader, the band captain, the year book editor, and salutatorian. I was on the Homecoming Court twice, but, bless me, I said what I thought, and I thought all the time, so I never won popularity contests. Anyone looking at me would think I was accepted, but I always knew that I really wasn’t. I won beauty contests (the judges loved me in interviews), and I received numerous awards given by the faculty, but not anything voted on by students. Consequently, they elected people they liked, but who would accomplish nothing. In Beta Club, I was not an officer, but the faculty sponsor made up a title for me – projects chairman (of a one-woman board) – so that I could do all the fund-raising and work involved in running the club. I was President of the Drama Club, but everyone in that was strange, so no one cared that I was not like everyone else. It was the same with the Chess Club.

Most of the girls were mean to me; they excluded me whenever they could. So, I always had a boyfriend. I had someone to sit with at lunch, talk to between classes, and take me to the dances and out on dates. I insulated myself against the pain of rejection. Boys were always nicer to me than girls were, and they made better friends.

Folks, there are still mean girls by the water fountain, whispering about their plans and leaving me out of them, but I’m over it. I’m fine with who I am, though I do strive to improve myself (for me, not for them). Whether or not the “popular” girls approve of me no longer really matters in the scheme of things. I’m different, and my writing reflects that difference. Some people cannot accept that I don’t fit their mold, but I would rather not be confined to anyone else’s idea of who I should be or what I should write. I will always upset the status quo without consciously trying to do so. It is not my aim to be different; it’s just the way I am.

I’d rather be a rising star than a setting sun. I hope you feel the same way. Don’t let the naysayers get you down, and never let them see you sweat.

I have come to the conclusion that God loves variety, and that He made me the way I am. He made the elephant, the giraffe, and the duck billed platypus, so I know He has a sense of humor, and He likes things that are different.

Romans 8:31 says, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

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About Robin Helm

Robin Helm has published all three volumes of The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy. She also recently published the Yours by Design Series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours. She and her husband have two adult daughters, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters, and a Yorkie Poo named Toby.

26 thoughts on “It’s Not Easy Being Green

  1. gaylelynnm

    I empathize so much with this – I too was a cheerleader but was never accepted! Even now I feel the same isolation, even at AHA but that is my fault because I lurk instead of comment!. I live in a gated community where couples are king, I quit going to church where I was treated like a threat by both the men and women because I was single and attractive (this was many years ago) and no matter how many parties I give with free food and booze, I never get the invites back. It is not all gloom and doom . I do have a small group of other ladies who are also single (widows, divorced,) which I do pal around with. I have my family and a few other friends elsewhere which is the more important group – those are the people you can call on when a problem takes over your life. .

    So I do understand and I like the not so popular people. I find them much more interesting to talk to and admire. I learn more from them than the others.

    take care and know you are tops in my book.

    gayle,

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    1. Robin Helm Post author

      Thanks, Gayle. I have decided that I really wouldn’t enjoy hanging with that crowd anyway. Snooty has never been attractive to me, and intelligent people with good conversation are the best company.

      People who are threatened by me in any way do not excite my interest.

      Weirdos, unite!

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  2. Susan Kaye

    LOL. For years I’ve been saying that I’d rather deal with men than women. (Except the JSI crowd of course.) Look at any list of what women want. It’s mind boggling and many times contradictory. Men for the most part want food and sex. The order changes occasionally, but it’s pretty simple. Even Wentworth with his brilliance and wit is a simple guy.

    Seriously, I rode around in a work truck with about 15 guys every night for a year and found that they do talk about things other than sports, sex, and farting. But, they almost never become “mean girls” in their behavior. They take personal digs in stride and get the job done. Much like we do here at JSI.

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    1. Robin Helm Post author

      Things really never change, do they? Sad that some people are stuck in high school forever with their cliques and superiority.

      I enjoy the company at JSI because we don’t mind being different. We celebrate it.

      Your statements about men made me laugh. They are so true. Even the elementary boys I teach are very basic. Most of their jokes involve bathroom humor, and they dislike drama for the most part.

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      1. Susan Kaye

        Personally, I think high school is the highest we evolve socially. The rest of our lives are spent determining how we are going to respond to our own hurts and annoyances inflicted by the other kids. Particularly, the cool ones.

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        1. Robin Helm Post author

          That’s an interesting concept. I hope I’ve evolved past high school, because I would hate to think I’m stuck there. Sometimes I feel like I live in high school – so much unnecessary drama!

          I don’t know very many truly cool people.

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  3. RitaSV

    Well, as far as I’m concerned there are more of us than there are of them! LOL I felt the same way in school although I never accomplished any of the things you ladies did. I wasn’t pretty, I was overweight, no dates. I didn’t offend anybody but I sure didn’t impress anybody, either. But I must confess, overall, I was pretty content with myself, still am. I’m pretty introverted although I like people. Good thing I’ve got this internet thing because I’ve met the nicest people that I enjoy spending time with!

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    1. Robin Helm Post author

      Rita, I would have been your friend in high school. I’ve always been an extrovert, but I love the mystery of introverts (Darcy comes to mind).

      Sometimes I wonder how my classmates remember me. I doubt that I impressed them very much either, and I know that I offended some of them. C’est la vie.

      I didn’t understand why they treated me that way at the time, but things are clearer to me in retrospect. It sounds as if your high school experience was happier than mine. The day I graduated was one of the happiest days of my life. I liked college much more than I did high school.

      I like the internet, too. I’m meeting and befriending so many interesting people – like you!

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  4. gaylelynnm

    I think the internet disolves the superficial barriers such as money, clothes, looks, etc. and allows people to meet in a whole new way. Except i think the mean girls are still the mean girls on the internet. But the rest of us are free to belong.

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    1. Robin Helm Post author

      I agree that there is much less judgment against people we meet on their internet. We become friends with people who would never cross our paths any other way. Sometimes, I feel closer to my internet friends than I do to those I actually know personally (unless they are on the internet, too).

      Oh, yes. The mean girls are still there. They inhabit the internet in droves, but they no longer have any power to hurt me unless I give it to them.

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  5. LucyParker

    Robin, you are just my style!

    I once had to give a last minute speech to my son’s NHS. I was their last choice, after their first choices funked out, but I did it anyway. It was an act of bravery for me as I Am Not A Public Speaker. (give my hub and son a spotlight and they glow. I feel naked) Anyway, my speech was “There is life after high school.” Not the speech you give to over-achieving, resume writing high schoolers at a top 100 magnet school, but I did it anyway because it’s what I knew. But the speech must of stuck in some of their heads because years later I’ll still get “Hey, Mrs. J! Remember that speech you gave? It’s true!”

    Unconditional positive regard – the best thing I was ever taught, besides typing.

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    1. Robin Helm Post author

      Most of those kids probably felt the same way I did. Over-achievers are not usually popular. Even if they are, they don’t feel like part of the group. Good for you in conquering your fear and giving the speech! Did you know that “fear of giving a speech” is listed above “fear of dying” for most Americans? It doesn’t bother me, fortunately.

      I’m giving a talk Saturday at a Mother-Daughter luncheon about the whole armor of God. I’ll have a book signing afterward. I’ve done my research – now I just have to nail down my points.

      Thanks for the comments. I am determined to be relentlessly positive.

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  6. Jakki L.

    It is so nice to know I am in good company! This is something I am still working on. Right now, I am finding that I don’t really fit in with many of the other preschool moms. I am learning to be okay with that, though. Why should I feel the need to prove myself worthy of their acceptance? Or need to prove that I can keep up with them? I just think that is the enemy playing on my insecurities and past. But it is still challenging on days. But I did have a huge hurdle I jumped with success recently! Now if I can just keep clearing the other hurdles in my path! πŸ™‚
    Love your posts here ladies! So encouraging! πŸ™‚

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    1. Robin Helm

      You don’t need to prove anything, Jakki. You are smart and accomplished, and I’m betting that you are a wonderful mother. I agree that the enemy uses our insecurities to try to defeat us. Don’t let him win, and don’t let the supermoms intimidate you. In the long run, your children will not be defined by how many activities in which you enrolled them. They will appreciate being loved and accepted far more than anything else.

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  7. Monica P

    Well said, Robin! I’m sorry that people are being mean and excluding you, but it is their loss. Not that it doesn’t sting a little but you seem like you’re comfortable with who you are, and that makes all the difference. I’ve so enjoyed getting to know you online. I often feel closer to my friends online than I do to some friends I see every day in person. I feel like they “get” me, in a way that other people don’t.

    I enjoyed high school but wasn’t active in anything but band. Got honor roll but could’ve made all A’s – a kind of middle-of-the-roader, I guess. Always had an eclectic group of friends but wasn’t popular. I still find it very easy to befriend men, though having men see me as an awesome friend is a little more frustrating now than it was 10 years ago, if you know what I mean. I wish women handled things like men sometimes – instead of sniping and hating for years at a time, they just punch each other a couple times, get it over with, and never bring it up again.

    Hugs!

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    1. Robin Helm Post author

      I can’t pretend that it doesn’t sting a bit, but I can handle it. I am very comfortable with who I am. I think we can get closer to people online because we share similar interests that connect us. All of us love to read, and we love Jane Austen’s books and characters. People outside of JAFF don’t really get it. If I try to talk about it with other people, their eyes sort of glaze over. Ha! I really enjoy our friendship, too.

      I enjoyed high school, but I was glad to leave it and go forward. I did have a few girlfriends, but they were usually younger than I was by a year or two. We weren’t competing against each other for anything.

      I wish that women were less into gossiping and attacking each other. We should support each other in this man’s world, but instead, we tear each other down and make it harder on our sisters. I agree with you – the drama gets old fast.

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  8. Laura Hile

    How encouraging to read everyone’s story. Thanks for sharing.

    I’d like to think that I was a too-tall, awkward-but-friendly (if misunderstood) high school girl. But I teach this age group, and inconsistency is everywhere! The nicest kids can sometimes be so thoughtlessly unkind! And so I must ask myself if I was not only on the receiving, but also on the giving end of the Mean Girls thing. I’m afraid I sometimes was mean.

    See, I write Elizabeth Elliot with uncanny ease, so I know.

    Compassion is learned through suffering rejection. I can always find room to improve in this area. Well, and so can Elizabeth.

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    1. Robin Helm Post author

      Very thoughtful post, Laura. I doubt that you were a true mean girl. We have all been thoughtless from time to time, but a real mean girl is that way on purpose.

      Mean girls exclude other girls in order to protect their power base. Usually it’s done because of jealousy.

      A few times my daughters were invited to something in order to attract certain guys to the event because the mean girls liked the guys. Other times my daughters were invited so that the mean girls could tell their parents my daughters would be there – giving the event the appearance of innocence. “If Mrs. Helm let her daughter go to the party, it must not be bad.” In other words, mean girls use other girls for their own ends.

      I doubt that you do that.

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      1. Laura Hile

        What I missed by having only sons!

        Oh, I can do the manipulative thing as well as any woman can, but it’s more about guiding conversations so that I can make a particular point. I don’t attempt to move people like chess pieces—that doesn’t work out so well!

        God is gracious to teach me, both though my mistakes and the mistakes I see others doing around me. I am boggled by how much I don’t actually know about building and maintaining relationships!

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        1. Robin Helm Post author

          Well, yes. I’m good at manipulation, too, and I try very hard not to do it (anymore). One of the bad things about manipulation is that it backfires on you fully as often as it goes your way. It’s not a very good way to go about things. (I offer as witness Caroline Bingley – the archetypical mean girl.)

          My social skills are not as good as I would like for them to be, either.

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  9. candymorton

    I’m so glad you are the way you are, Robin! I loved this post! I think this touches so many of us. I did not enjoy high school, I couldn’t wait to get out of there! I was not a good student and was not at all popular. I also love my online friends and I think that’s because we have the same interests.

    Fabulous post!

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    1. Robin Helm Post author

      Thanks, Candy! I actually was a very good student, but that certainly did nothing for my popularity. Other students were angry with me for ruining the curve or making them look bad. I wasn’t competing with them – only with myself.

      I love my online friends, too. I appreciate the support I feel from this group.

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  10. Susan Kaye

    I think what we learn here is that no one really “feels” accepted. It’s just that some are more adept at “fake it till you make it,” and that another, smaller percentage, fake it till they make everyone else bow down.

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    1. Robin Helm Post author

      I think you’re exactly right, Susan. Today, I asked a group of 18 third graders how many of them felt that most of their classmates liked them. Only four of them raised their hands. Fourteen out of eighteen did not feel accepted.

      When I taught high school, I saw way more kids with self esteem issues than I did mean girls.

      You will never make me feel sorry for the mean girls, though. Ha! They know what they’re doing.

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  11. Gayle Mills

    I think we give way too much power to the people around us if we believe for one moment that their good opinion matters more than the truth we hold to be self-evident. I talk with students all the time who feel left out or victimized (FB is a horrible way for teenagers to vent!) I tell them that this person that they imagine to be making their life miserable probably spends very little time considering them at all. When they make their happiness dependent on the goodwill of someone who obviously will not give it, then the fault lies with them for so carelessly giving them that power.

    I encourage them to set goals and focus on them. And I remind them that maybe there is someone in their life right now who wants their attention and friendship, someone who would gratefully accept it.

    I think Laura makes a good point. I think back on some of the things I did in high school and shudder. I don’t think I was mean, but I was certainly arrogant and inconsiderate at times.

    Truth is, no matter what your high school experience was, it’s in the distant past now. Terry is right — there is life after high school. I tell my students that all the time. I think true maturity comes in recognizing your shortcomings, learning from your failures, and stepping out today as the best possible person you can be. After all, what does God demand us? Seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him.

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Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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