The Best Me


In 2007, two high school students stood up for another teen who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. (Read more about how these kids mobilized hundreds of their fellow students to stop the bullying.) Since then, Pink Shirt Day was created. As a parent, I worry about my daughter being bullied and I worry about her becoming a bully. I’m not sure what bullying is all about but the object of obsession is the person who is different. What’s wrong with that? Aren’t we all individuals? Aren’t we all put on this planet with different characters, talents, tastes, and beliefs?

I spent too many years of my life trying to fit in to be loved and trying to be different (read special) enough to be noticed. And then, my daughter was born. She is my biggest influence. I don’t try to please her; I don’t try to get her to please me. I try to be the best example of a woman that I can be so that she grows to be the best version of herself, whoever that may be.

A few days ago, a friend gave me a card for my birthday. It read: “It’s never too late…to shake things up! Have a groovy birthday.” He added: “Happy Birthday. Be you.”

Me. That’s who I am now. No more trying, no more pretending, no more agonizing about what others think of me. I live my life my way because that’s the only way I can be the best me.

Since I listen to all genres, music is probably where I fly my flag the highest. So here’s a little of me. A little hard rock,

a little jazzed up 60s pop,

and some classical for good measure.

Do you have a bullying story to share? Where have you struggled in being you and fitting in? In what part of your life do you fly your flag highest?

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  1. #1 by kristylyseng on March 3, 2012 - 11:16 PM

    Excellent post, Patricia! And happy (belated) birthday!

    I was a victim of bullying during my junior high years. Sometimes I cried in the morning because I didn’t want to go to school. I remember I wore a pink shirt to school once, and overheard someone refer to me as “that moron in the pink shirt”. I didn’t wear pink again for a long time. Thankfully life got better.

    • #2 by Patricia Caviglia on March 3, 2012 - 11:31 PM

      That must have been awful for you. I’m glad things got better. There is cattiness that goes on amongst kids and teens. I wonder if it comes from parents, TV, peers or all of the above. I am still friends with my high school clique and some of those girls never belittle anyone. They may have had their opinions and shared them privately but, even then, they are respectful. It’s a good life lesson.

      • #3 by kristylyseng on March 3, 2012 - 11:41 PM

        Awful? Hm. Yes and no.Hurtful definitely. But having good friends helped. I wouldn’t be surprised if bullying is, like you said, from all of the above. Kids and teens are easily influenced by everything around them.

  2. #4 by Tami Clayton on March 2, 2012 - 4:55 PM

    I love the Pink Shirt Day concept. What a great idea and fabulous way to celebrate the all the things that make us different, unique, and special. Thanks for sharing this!

    I think I’ve always struggled to feel like I fit in social situations because I am so shy and our society really places a lot of value on being extroverted and talkative. As I get older, though, I find I am caring less and less about being talkative “enough” and I am focusing more on enjoying the 2 or 3 people I do get up the courage to talk to.

    • #5 by Patricia Caviglia on March 3, 2012 - 10:52 PM

      Maturity plays a key role on how we view ourselves and our limitations. You’ve found the approach to social situations that suits you best and that’s all that matters.

  3. #6 by aeisenbe on March 2, 2012 - 11:02 AM

    I share a wealth of bullying stories both in a positive nature of overcoming bullying and the long-term effects of bullying on my site called “Bullying Stories” (http://bullyinglte.wordpress.com).

    I have also shared the Pink Shirt story and believe it is the single most inspirational story of how school-aged kids can take a stand and make a difference. Thank you for sharing your thoughts as well.

    • #7 by Patricia Caviglia on March 2, 2012 - 3:33 PM

      The Pink Shirt story is awesome. I’m amazed at the kids who stood up for their fellow student and more amazed at how they managed to engage over 300 other students. For adolescents, the decision to support a teen is a defining moment.
      Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

  4. #8 by patriciasands on March 2, 2012 - 8:42 AM

    Pink Shirt Day is such an important day to highlight and it’s a nice feeling to know it began in Canada. When parents have a good awareness of bullying and teach this awareness to their children, they are already taking a big step towards helping to stop it. You should feel proud of how you are already teaching your daughter.We should all wear a pink shirt in our hearts every day.

    • #9 by Patricia Caviglia on March 2, 2012 - 3:27 PM

      We should wear a pink shirt in our hearts every day and stand up for each other. if we do it as adults, we are setting the example for our children.
      Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

  5. #10 by patriciasands on March 2, 2012 - 8:37 AM

    Hey! Why didn’t I know it was your birthday? We’ll have to celebrate you!

    • #11 by Patricia Caviglia on March 2, 2012 - 3:25 PM

      No worries, we will soon.
      Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

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