It was my senior year at Little Girls

It was my senior year at Little Girls’ camp and my task was walking around the snack time area keeping sugar-crazed girls from hurting each other. While scanning the room I suddenly see this little girl crouching in a corner sitting in her own disparity. I was overtaken by the feeling of familiarity: I was six again all by myself in the cheer camp. I knew nobody and no one knew me. I felt complete and utterly hopeless. In my anxiety, I hid and had no one to help me walk out of the dark place.

Back in reality, I realize this was my chance to make things right. As long as I could help it, a little girl was not going to feel left out. It felt as if my legs were moving on their own as I walked over to her. I heard little girls saying things about the crying girl that my anxiety always whispered in my ear growing up.

“She’s weird”

“She’s such a cry baby.”

“Why doesn’t she speak to anyone?”

With every footstep, my anxiety pounded against my head. Visions of me not speaking to anyone flooded my memories. Images of me crying and not fitting in racked my brain. The flashbacks hit like a truck and even I found myself almost crying. Shaking this, I moved down to her level and gave her a warm smile.

Unfortunately, the conversation was lost to my emotional high I was enduring, but after the small pep talk, I watched the young girl open up slightly more. Watching from off the mat as she performed filled me with a sense of pride.It was a feeling like no other. After the end of the camp, I thought that was the last of the little girl in my life, but I thought wrong.

As mentioned, I had terrible social anxiety when I was younger and generally had a hard time fitting in with the other crowd. If someone would have told me then that I would be a cheerleader through my senior year and that I would be on stage performing a musical based on a blonde law student trying to go to Harvard, I would have laughed.

It an invitational showing only. It was also my first time ever being on stage as a named character. Here I was, embodying fitness queen Brooke Wyndham, and enjoying the stage high that I have grown addicted to. To my astonishment, I saw the same little girl in the front row of the audience. Everything stopped.

I was gazing in a mirror. My past was peering on my current self and as for me, well I was staring at a small and scared little girl. A little girl who was riddled with self-doubt and dark thoughts. As for me? I was looking at growth. For that little girl? She was looking at hope.