A million reasons to be here…

Today I watched a video and shared with others on my facebook wall.

Watch it for yourself.

Then not too long after my friend, who I met during a summer job one year, shared her story. Here is her story:

Watched a youtube video about this grade 8 kid named Jonah…

Brought back some old memories…

I remember in grade 1, this older boy would tease me everyday on the bus… called me a little chinese girl…(because my eyes were small)… this hurt me… I would think in my head about how much i wanted to hurt this kid…

When I was 10, people would tell me that I acted “white”… because i had manners, because i was nice, because i have light skin, because i was the teachers pet…because i did things a certain way… I didn’t feel “indian” enough to fit in with my own people….

At the end of grade 5, a goup of girls decided to single me out… ignore me, give me dirty looks, bump into me onpurpose, make me feel like garbage… and when i would react, they said they were (Just Kidding)…i hurt inside… i missed a lot of school because of that…

In grade 6, boys would sling me down, shove snow in my face, call me fat, call me four eyes, call me ugly, called me “white” … and when I would react, they said they were (Just Kidding)…i’ve had snow balls and rocks shot at my head, at my back, on my legs…. i would have to run home a lot…. those boys made me cry many times… going to school didn’t feel safe for me…. but once i would get home and close that door, i would have a moment of relief that i made it home…

In grade 7, i was a target for bullying… this boy would say anything mean…. he intimidated me, made me feel low, called me a son-of-a-bitch, talk shit about my family…. the worst part about it… he would make others laugh at me….and when I would react, he would say that he was (Just Kidding)

High School, they called me a nerd… get mad at me for doing my work… get mad if i got a high mark… laughed in my face because i wanted to become a photographer… when i wanted to get involved with year book or photography club, I was called a LOSER…. then they said they were.. (Just Kidding)

Throughout those years i had a lot of anger inside…and trust issues… I hated the people who put me through that…. I disliked myself… for me, the glass was half empty… I did not want to be noticed by others… I was really quiet…. I hid behind my hoody sweaters…. because of the bullying, I had low self-esteem….

I was lucky enough to know that there were people who cared about me… my family (who made my home a safe place to come to), my close friends (who stuck up for me many times), my teachers (who encouraged me to go further with education) , community members (who said Hi, shook my hand, and gave a me a smile) …. without them….. I don’t know what could have happend…

What would I say to the bullies today….. I forgive you…. and thank you… because if it wasn’t for you… I wouldn’t be as successful as I am today…. yes, it is painful to even think about some of the things I’ve been through, but the honest truth is… It has made me so much stronger today!!!

Just like Jonah said in his youtube video…. “there are a million reasons to be here”

I never knew her story before having met her; however, when I met her, she was always laughing, smiling. Literally, her smile would make others smile (well it made me smile anyways). She was the most positive person I have met (and I have met a lot of positive people… she is up there).

Today, she is married, takes awesome photographs, and still has the best smile!

Seriously people, if you see someone being bullied, try to help them as best you can. Nobody should have to live life with suicide as “an option.” And like my friend Jamie highlights Jonah’s own words,

There are a million reasons to be here.

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