The Power of Exclusion

Being left out is never fun for anyone, however it is something that we will all inevitably go through; some of us much more than others. Exclusion was my worst enemy growing up. The thing about it is that it is the kind of bullying that no one does anything about, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. Whether it was gym class or a game of hide-and-go-seek tag with my closest friends, I was always chosen last. I don’t think I can ever recall a time when I wasn’t chosen last, even when it was an in class game. I was the smartest in my class, so you would think people would actually want me on their team, but I was still always the last chosen when it came down to it. After a while, being everyone’s last choice (is it really even a choice? It’s more like whoever is stuck with you) should become expected, and it did. As soon as it came time to pick teams, I knew I would be the last one picked. Many times I can laugh it off and pretend that it doesn’t hurt. But yet, even after all these years, it still stings each and every time.

So what is the point of this melancholy post? I can promise you it isn’t simply to whine about how “hard” my life has been (I use quotes because I am quite aware that many people have much bigger problems than I). There is, surprisingly, a lesson coming up. Today, I was once again chosen last. The girl with no sense of team spirit was chosen before me. The girl who has been to one practice this season was chosen before me. As much as I am used to this, it still stung. More than usual, because I have had a horrible last couple of days, but also because I thought I had finally found a team that saw me as an asset rather than a burden. Perhaps that is true, however it didn’t feel true this morning. The lesson here is that it may not have been personal- it may have just been the luck of the draw, or maybe I’m just cursed. It probably wasn’t met to hurt me, or to be taken so personally. However, to me, and others that have been excluded all their lives, it is always personal. It hurts every single time. Think of that person and how it feels to be everyone’s last choice next time you are lining people up to pick teams. Even if it isn’t personal for you, for that person picked last, especially if they are picked last most of the time, it is always personal.

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