I want to slow things down a little bit for this post and share a story about how I got to where I am today – and where I plan on going to next. I want to apologise in advance that my timing is out of whack – I have tried to forget my Highschool years.
My past is my past, it made me who I am and I have no regrets, I wouldn’t change a thing. – So what exactly is my past? What bought me to this very place I am in right now? Let’s find out, and let’s start from the beginning.
I grew up in a small tight family, two older brothers (Twins) My mother, and my father. Other than my immediate family, I have never been close to any of my relatives as they are all thousands of miles away and across oceans. When I was just a child my family moved from our beach house in South Africa to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. – Though this was a difficult and financial struggle for my parents, I will never be able to thank them enough for doing this. Australia really does have an abundance of opportunities over South Africa. If it weren’t for my parents decision to get up and leave Jeffreys Bay I can’t even imagine what life would be like.
My father is a minister, and yes – as the old game goes, we did have the ‘Minister’s cat’ ironically with the name ‘Naz’. Being a minister’s child has never been easy – especially when it came to making friends in school. Through Primary school, though I don’t remember a great deal, I do remember that I never had a large amount of friends. My parent’s were very involved in the life of the school, doing weekly religious education and being involved in things such as school fetes.
Going onto High school, I had a large trouble with finding my true identity – like I am sure most pre teens do. Year seven came around, and while it started brilliantly I eventually lost all of my friends along the track. The next two years involved constant twists in friendship groups and never feeling like I particularly belonged anywhere. People knew about my upbringing as a Minister’s daughter and most would assume I was, as they call it, ‘A goodie two shoes.’ – Which I don’t deny, I probably am to some extent, but that is because I have been raised by my parents – who happen to be a minister of a church, to be a respectful, strong hearted, kind young lady, but I hadn’t quite noticed this yet.
In my first years of High school, the most important thing to me was popularity. I wanted to fit in, and I wanted to be noticed. – I disregarded everything that I had learnt from my parents and from church. I began to assume that the bad kids, the one’s who were bullies had friends, so why didn’t I? I made the decision to change myself. I began to wear makeup, because that’s what the pretty girls do in movies. I began to swear like a sailor, because that would make boys like me, right? I began to ignore my school work, create interruptions in class and eventually speak down to every one of my teachers. I spent most of my time in the principles office or in detention. Mind you – this was only in year 8 and 9, but these things got me noticed, and I liked the attention.
To my dismay, nothing positive came out of this – my popularity didn’t increase for the good reasons and I was still shoved in the halls. My ratty hair extensions were still tugged on and my school books were still knocked out of my hands. – I remember one girl in particular who spent her days tormenting me, following me around and mocking every move.
Toward the end of year 9 I met a group of people, one year older than me, who I can truely say were the greatest friends I ever had at that school. They had a wicked sense of humour and I am sure if they are reading this right now they will know exactly who they are. While I was still unhappy and still following my usual ‘bad girl’ physic, I had finally felt like I fit in. Then – my parents said we were moving to Queensland.
To be honest I was sad to leave my friends, it was finally as though things were coming together. However, I was excited for a fresh start. No one knew me where I was going and I had the opportunity to be whoever I wanted to be.
We moved soon after, it was mid year and getting me into a school proved to be difficult. We were rejected by school after school, No one seemed to want me as I had such a terrible attitude. My eyeliner was thicker than a McDonalds thick shake and my hair extensions did not match my hair colour at all. Eventually, a school towards Brisbane City took me in, as they weren’t allowed to say no as we were in catchment- and my mother called Education Queensland to argue my case. Things started off okay, but I was still trying to be that cool girl who spoke down to teachers and didn’t do her classwork. – Eventually I had a falling out with my principle there. – I had turned into a horrible girl, and i needed out. My parent then moved me to another school.
My time at this school was probably the worst in my life. I moved there in year 9 and I had some amazing groups of friends at first, I still had a bad attitude on me but I wasn’t as awful. However, somehow, I always seemed to be in the face of Drama. I don’t remember my time at this school very well, it was all very traumatic for me and I constantly repress memories of things that upset me. If you ask me what happened here I would only remember a few small things – and that is what comes next.
My first few weeks in this school were excellent, I met some great people and really felt like I was fitting in. People seemed to enjoy my company but I suppose that happens with every new girl in the first years of High school, they are always the centre of attention. – and I loved it. I met a boy in my grade who soon became my boyfriend – we dated for 9 months. I remember being very insecure within our relationship. I then posted a video on Facebook in 2013, to my surprise this got over a million hits and my Facebook was blown up with fans, this was a reason for people to dislike me though I suppose – maybe it made me stuck up, maybe it made me mean, or maybe the problem wasn’t me, it was them, maybe they were jealous. After this, I don’t really remember anything. It is crazy how something so small, and so untrue, can create a ripple – and then a wave of what seemed like endless torment. The only thing that reminds me of what happened for the rest of my time at this school is my ASK.FM website. Which I still look at from time to time, to help me fill in the blanks. This had been the most traumatic part of my life. My ASK.FM website reminds me that rumours were spread about me – I don’t remember what they were. It reminds me that people who had never spoken to me before didn’t want to be my friend because of what others told them, that people used to throw things at me during class, and when I was doing the one thing I loved – performing, people would laugh at me in front of the entire school. My ex, who was once so important to me – suggested that people throw food at me while I performed in Grease. That hurt. I don’t perform anymore. It reminds me that I would be called a ‘slut’ as I walked through the halls, and people would constantly pick on my makeup and hair extensions – which I wore because I was trying so hard to fit in. – and when I did once post a photo of my natural face I received comments like ‘ahhh cover it up!’ or ‘I am going to have nightmares!’ This really affected my self worth. It reminds me that I was told constantly by anonymous that I should kill myself. There was once even a meme created of me that did the rounds on social media. I would come home after school every day and cry, I fell into a state where I never thought anything would get better and ASK.FM reminds me that because of all the bullies, I myself turned into a bully as well. I don’t think that teenagers truely understand the extent of what they do, and just how much it can hurt someone.
“Do you have a box fringe to cover your massive as f*** forhead?”
“No one likes you”
“You look like a 6 year old whos been neglected by their parents and put up for adoption in a pet shop.”
“Your facebook page is cancer, jump off a bridge.”
These are just some of the comments that were left for me from anonymous posters from my High school. I sought out help through all correct channels, from my teachers, my peers, my guidance counsellor – but there was nothing they could do to help me. I wasn’t the nicest person in the world, who is? I am the sort of person who would respond and in the end probably make things worse for myself, and I guess that was my fault. – actually, no. I take that back. It is never okay to bully someone.
In the summer of 2014 I met a group of friends who I still cherish, they went to the same school as me but we had never spoken before. My friendship with them was immaculate compared to any other, my time with them though short really helped me to find myself, I went through a stage where I dyed my hair – I went a little crazy, and I could be 100% myself. But eventually my insecurities got the best of me. I don’t remember a lot about this, because like the rest of my time at that school – I repressed it – but I do know that losing them hurt a lot. The only thing that reminds me of our friendship are the photos I still have on my phone. Once we stopped being friends I deleted my Facebook account, because it seemed to give people a reason to hate me, and I didn’t want the spot light on me anymore.
My parents have always been my number one – they always helped me to achieve what I wanted and although my moving schools so often added to the bills – they did it because they knew I was unhappy, and I will always appreciate that. in 2014 I had stopped going to school all together. I was in a terrible mental state and would spend most of my time in my room replying to the cruel things people said to me on social media. The terrible thing about cyber bullying is that it follows you wherever you go. There is no escape from bullying that is capable or reaching you even in your very own home. I was addicted to responding to the hate, because it made me feel worthless, and to be honest – I felt worthless at this point – so why not egg it on I thought.
I enrolled at another High school – which I never had the pleasure of going to. Before I had the chance people from that school were messaging me on anonymous telling me they didn’t want me there. I knew that in order to have a fresh start and to grow myself into the person I longed to be, I had to move somewhere were no one knew me.
When I moved to another school I decided to lead with a different approach. I didn’t want people to know who I was in the fear of being bullied again. I kept a lower profile and spoke only to my closest friends, which I had two of, and the people I worked with in my classes. I tried so hard to focus on my school work but it was too far gone and I was too far behind from the years of neglecting it. Unfortunately I didn’t complete school the way I would have liked. I would have loved to go to University and get a head start in life. Luckily for me, my time at this school, especially my final year helped me to heal from the rest of my schooling and I grew into a confident, kind, good hearted person. I am now proud to say I am who I am. If you are reading this right now and knew me during my schooling – which it is likely you do. Heck you could have even been one of the ones sending me messages on ask.fm. I want to say thank you. Thank you for making me stronger and making me follow my dreams.
I graduated at this school, hand in hand with two of my best friends who I am still close with today. While the school did forget to put me into the graduation video and forgot to send me my graduation certificate stating ‘We don’t know a Robyn Thomas that went to this school.’ I still had a fantastic time and this school helped to mould me.
After I graduated I found my passion for travel. Straight out of school I began studying and was quickly offered a job in the field I had always dreamed of being in – There is something about making people’s dreams come true every day that fills your heart with such joy. I love having people of all ages coming in, whether they have saved all year for a week holiday to Tasmania or whether they have just retired with millions and are wanting to embark on a cruise around the world – I love being a part of creating something beautiful and memorable. Travelling is a dream I think many have, I am sure if you are reading my blog right now you too have a wanderlust.
I have worked in the travel industry for over a year now – although sometimes stressful, I love every minute of it.
My passion for travel then grew into something more, I have always had a passion for creativity and I consider myself to have a creative mind rather than a logical one. I wanted to be able to share my experiences and have a creative outlet, which is why I started my Youtube channel and Blog. I love being able to sit by my computer at the end of the day and immerse myself in creative thoughts. Sharing my personal experiences in travel and life is something that I am very passionate about and wish to continue doing.
I am a true believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason. I don’t think that anything is an accident. If i had never moved to Queensland, I would have never moved schools, and I would have never met the people who I now consider my closest friends. I may have never been bullied but in return I may have never grown strength in myself and truely followed my dreams. I can honestly say that every single person has had an impact on my life, from my best friends to my bullies, to my teachers and colleagues. Nothing is an accident.
So where to next?
I have no idea, but I know that God has a plan for me and I am excited to see what that is.
Until next time.