Tutorial in Ignoring Jerks

Okay, so my title is almost vulgar.  But my message will clarify below.  My son starts middle school in a week and I think I’m reacting quite emotionally to that fact.  Adulthood is far from the social politics of middle school right?  Or is it?  I remember being horribly embarrassed 85% of the time in middle school.  I don’t remember why, but I remember that god awful feeling.  I no longer experience that saturated level of embarrassment.  In fact, I’d say little embarrasses me now.  I’ve learned (through the passing of time and a few yucky lessons) to not give a whole lot of weight to other’s opinions about me, most of the time.  Some opinions mean more than others of course.  In retrospect, along with some help from a critical thinking course in college, I see my own middle school experience in a different light.  It only took 10 or so years to get there.  The overall underlying job of my middle school was to



My son will ride the bus with high schoolers.  He will be absorbing subtle and blatant messages faster than Bounty soaks up grape juice on counters.  Who he should be, what he should do, how he should act; they are going to SHOULD all over him.  I am feeling defensive already.  But some of those messages are good right?  Some will be positive messages. Right?  I just remember feeling so damn bad about myself then.  Is that all part of growing up?  Feeling like a piece of crap for a couple of years?  I’m pretty sure the jerks felt like crap too.


Part of my issue now is I feel like I have little control over the situation.  I’m okay with my son learning about camel toes, hearing dirty jokes, and learning how to use the F word properly in a sentence.  What I’m worried about are self-esteem issues.  I see him as a quiet guy who may not readily stand up for himself.  One who will take what nasty things people have to say to heart.  Internalizing it.  Blech!!!!

As a teenager things started turning around for me.  I began to embrace the idea that in order to be happy I had to be me.  So here is my tutorial on ignoring jerks:



Easier said than done for a middle schooler, but it makes perfect sense to me, twenty five years later!

I’m drawing lately.  I’ve begun an awesome course on comic book art.  I am so humbled.  Depicting the human figure in it’s natural super hero state is HARD.  But I’m loving the challenge.  It’s super technical.



Drawing is such a great way to create the life you love.  Literally, on the page in front of you.  It’s kind of like playing god, as the very talented comic book art instructor said.  He is right.  And it only takes a piece of paper and a pencil.  How easy is that?  You can take it anywhere too.


Inside joke.  I’m terrified of port-a-potties.  They invoke a carnal fear in me.  A claustrophobic, sweaty, awful fear.  Blech!!!



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  1. Lovely blog Mandy. It cannot be middle school time already!

  2. Oh yes Sandy, it is middle school time… How did you survive it all?????

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