I was an incredible nerd in junior high. My home life, always abusive, was at its all-time worst. The details don't matter: mine is a pretty common story, and it is one on which plenty of ink has already been spilled. Here is what matters: I don't think it would be possible for a person to feel worse about himself than I did when I was in seventh grade. Naturally, I tried to do the right things at school, but I failed miserably to fit in. I was easy picking for bullies; I was the low hanging fruit. And they had a field day with me. Being bullies, that was what they were supposed to do. I don't remember why, but I signed up for football in seventh grade. When I walked in for the first meeting, one of the aforementioned bullies said, "you'll never make it," and stuck out his foot. Why is it that the stuck out foot always trips nerds? I was not a bad athlete, but nonetheless, I went down. Maybe I simply knew my role.
In the movies, the nerd usually wins in the end. Everyone stands behind him and laughs as the bully walks away a beaten man. I don't expect that to happen to me. I don't care if it does. I spent a fun evening last night with my neighbors. After they went home, it crossed my mind that I was lucky to have them as friends. Then I thought, "well maybe it isn't luck that I have so many good, smart, funny, successful friends. Maybe I am doing something right." Anyway, I have paid my dues. I love my life. And if I ever run into the above-mentioned jackass, I will tell him that he was wrong so long ago. There is no question that I have made it.