How I Learned the Most Important and Hardest Lesson of My Life

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

We all had our struggles in our childhoods. They scar us for life and we have to grow out of the negative mindsets we got from those negative experiences. I learned the hardest lesson in middle school.

I got mobbed.

I grew up in a small town in the countryside of beautiful Austria (the one without kangaroos ;). We all live in a bubble there. People live their whole life there and only leave the country for vacation.

At some point, it is getting boring for teenagers. Not much happening. Always the same people.

Boring teenagers = cruel children. Especially if they have some kind of problems at home or insecurities.

I was the youngest in my class. I only had younger siblings and I was naive. I was the smartest girl in class. I was socially awkward which led to me getting mobbed for saying weird things, always sticking to my best friend, and not being risk-taking.

I didn’t smoke. I didn’t drink. I wore my helmet while riding a bike.

I Blamed Them

I blamed them for my insecurities and my shyness. At some point, I was near to killing myself because I didn’t have any friends. This town was my whole life, and I never experienced anything outside of it.

I decided then to go to a psychiatrist. In retrospect, I guess I was too ambitious to achieve something big in life to be able to kill myself. I wanted to fix myself to be able to be successful in life.

Moving on: I blamed those children for everything that went wrong in my life. Until I realized that I’m the one that decides how I live my life. I don’t want to think about the past anymore because this is not who I am in the present.

What I Learned

This experience showed me how to deal with negative situations.

I have to accept the past because I cannot change it. It affects the present, for sure, but I can choose how it affects me and my future. I don’t want them to have an influence on me in the present and in the future, so I accept that experience and let go!

It’s about acceptance of not being able to change it and changing what I can.

I forgive those kids because they were kids, didn’t know it any better, and changed since then and it was not personal.

In retrospect, I see that it was not about me. It was about them. They had insecurities and needed to let out their frustration.

“It’s not about you. It’s about them.”

— Clint Eastwood

I know now that those kinds of experiences made me stronger and more ambitious. I wanted to show them how smart and successful I am.

Life has a reason.

I know now that if that didn’t happen I would have had more connections with my hometown and I would drive back every weekend. They would have holden me back from growing and experiencing more of the world. None of those girls went on to study. Almost all are still living in my hometown.

The universe (or whoever/whatever you believe in) had a reason to let it happen to me.

What I Will Teach My Children

  • It’s ok to not be liked by everyone
  • If someone is mean to you, it’s not about you but about them
  • Ask for help from your friends. Be honest and tell them that someone is mean to you!
  • Don’t let your frustration out on someone else.
  • Talk with your parents about it.
  • Go out of your bubble and meet new people. There are over 8 billion people in this world
  • You are 100% valuable as you are. Be yourself!
  • You have a lot of love around you!
  • Never question yourself!

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(c) Karina Ahrer

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