I went to an all-boys high school where the first grade rugby team enjoyed the highest social status. Anyone who wasn't into aggressive body-contact sports got their head kicked in other ways, and boys on each level of the social hierarchy boosted their flagging self-esteem by bullying the boys on the level below. Any innate sensitivity in a boy was crushed both in the classroom and in the play/battle-ground.
Although I was highly intelligent and generally got good grades, this wasn't valued as highly as sporting prowess at my high school and being a thin, nerdy kid who was the youngest in my year, I didn't do so well at school socially.
I spent my lunch times singing in the school choir or hanging out in the computer room learning to use the new machines that the teachers didn't know what to do with. This was a couple of years before the computer revolution went mainstream and decades before Big Bang Theory made nerds hot prime-time-viewing commodities.[caption id="attachment_3288" align="alignright" width="300"] Childhood bullying can leave our adult selves feeling self-conscious and hyper-vigilant to criticism from others.[/caption]
Since I was a late developer my voice didn't break until well after high school. It was embarrassing still being in the alto section of the all-boy choir as I headed into Year 11 so I quit and joined the lighting crew in the hall instead where I could feel good about solving technical problems backstage and wouldn't have to perform in front of people and end up feeling so self-conscious.
Fast-forward 30 years to 2017 and I'm studying music full-time at a local tertiary college. My dream is to use a combination of music and comedy to teach the principles of trauma awareness and emotional intelligence to the masses. I think that would be great fun for me because along the way I'll get to overcome my remaining insecurities in terms of freedom of self-expression, and it would also give an extra dimension of meaning and purpose to what I'm doing. (more…)