It Gets Better

Guest Author: By Tara Mitchellit gets better

I’ve been watching a lot of the “It gets better” YouTube videos, which if you haven’t seen them, are an absolute ‘must watch’! The general message behind these videos, which are aimed at the young gay community, is that while times may be exceedingly difficult with bullies and questions and finding ones identity, it does get better. These videos are made by a wide array of people, famous and otherwise, and are miraculous and inspiring rays of hope.

Really though, I think it would be great to see a series of “it gets better” for all people, regardless of race, color, sexual preference, religion, etc. Sometimes we all need a reminder that while the present may be a twelve layers of the worst jive ever, the future is bound to be way more excellent than this (if only because it is a statistical improbability that anything could continue to be such a bummer).

So here is my own “It gets better story” for everyone:

I grew up an only child of a single mother. My father was rarely in the picture, aside from the occasional drunken cameo. Money was tighter than Jeggings. I was teased for being the only kid without Nikes, the only openly queer-identifying girl in middle school, the weird one. I was beat up and sustained a concussion once, simply for dressing differently than the norm (I’ll admit, I was a pretty nerdy Goth kid). Life seemed to be one problem after another.

And it got better. In fact, it has gotten so Freaking. Good! The few friends I made in middle school and high school loved me for who I was, and love me still for who I am. They have been true, honest, stalwart, and closer than family. I have an amazing marriage, and two hilarious and beautiful children, and the cutest puppy that has ever roamed the earth. I’ve got a house of my own. My family and friends accept me, but even better than that, I accept me. I’m not saying my life is always a walk in the park. But, having walked through some very dark times, I carouse and frolic through my life now.

There are some people whose fondest memories were made in high school, and who spend the rest of their lives pining to be as popular or as beautiful. My fondest memories are being made every single day.

My five year old son said to me Saturday morning, “Good morning Mama, you are beautiful like a flower!” Does it get better than that?! If I hadn’t pushed through (or dragged myself through, sometimes!) the times that were hardest I never would have been able to hear what is easily the best compliment ever!

Sometimes, things are still hard. But how can you walk away from this life? How can you take a permanent “solution” to a temporary problem, when you know that your fondest memories are yet to be made? Go out and live your life so bravely and so proudly in the face of all of your adversaries, because you can make it through anything.

It gets better.

Tara Mitchell

January, 2011

Author: Kevin Lee

In a nutshell, Kevin fesses up to the following: He's a retired youth advocate-counselor, a blogger, writer, photographer, rower, Friends Minister, grandpa of six and married to a terrific woman for 43 years and counting!

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