It’s time again for an honest personal blog post. This time the topic is bullying, especially how important it is to speak up while being bullied. For this blog post, I was inspired by the song “Speak Up” written by the young American singer and songwriter Jocelyn.
Jocelyn is a 21 years old Omaha based talented artist. She first got international attention when her video for her original song “Just Like Everybody Else” went viral in November 2016. In this song, she sings about letting go and enjoying life. She plays the guitar and her biggest musical inspiration is Ed Sheeran since he manages to sell out arenas and perform only with his guitar to thousands of people. Jocelyn already had several TV appearances; therefore, she is a local sensation and now it’s time for her to go worldwide. She won the best pop artist and artist of the year awards at the Omaha Entertainment & Arts Awards.
Jocelyn co-wrote her debut single with the producer Denny White in Los Angeles, who also worked with artists like The Fray and Tiësto. She has released her debut single on the 1st February this year and was inspired by her personal bullying experience to write this song. She defines this song as:
“Speak Up is about turning negativity into positive energy instead of letting the bullies drag you down. It’s about realizing that you are your own individual, so speak up and live by example.”
I love this uplifting motivating song. Jocelyn sings powerfully with a confident attitude to her bully on an upbeat guitar-riff about why she is speaking up for herself. “I speak up so you can hear me, I speak up cause it’s my life, I speak up ‘bout to make that easy cause it’s who I am that’s right”
She definitely wrote an anti-bullying anthem, with the message to speak-up as a victim. And I know it’s easier said than done when you’re being bullied. I’ve first been bullied during 5th and 6th grade, during middle school, and during the first two years of high school. I could probably write a book about my bullying story; therefore, I’ll try to keep it as short as possible. My bullies were mostly my male classmates, who couldn’t accept me for who I am. I wasn’t a typical teenage boy since I grew up among women, I wasn’t afraid to show my emotions and I didn’t have the pressure to act a certain way to be masculine enough. Some of them were jealous of my good educational performances, they compared themselves to me all the time. They picked many different facts about me to bully me. Anyways I never felt like I fit in, this is also the reason why I almost never had male friends in school. There was always one bully, who took all the other boys to his side and told them to stay away from me since I was so wrong in their eyes. One thing I regret that I didn’t do at this time is to speak up, I felt weak and lonely I just accepted the situation and went my own way.
Now I can say to everyone who deals with bullying that you are stronger than you think, and you don’t have to be ashamed of the fact being bullied. If the bullies aren’t ashamed of treating you like this calling you things you aren’t why should you. It’s very important to speak up for yourself, it takes a lot of courage but when you once do it you will immediately feel stronger and relieved. One thing you should also do is to confront your bullies and ask them what their problem is with you. Try to communicate, defend yourself don’t be silent, don’t ignore them when they keep bullying you, otherwise, it won’t take an end. And if you’re too scared of speaking up for yourself then get help, I know it’s not easy to talk about it but try to tell your parents, siblings, friends or teachers, at least you can write an email or a letter explaining the entire situation.
If you’re being bullied you don’t have to live this way, you didn’t ask for this. Nobody has the right to treat you like this, you matter and life is worth living. That’s why speaking up is so important when it comes to bullying. You will get stronger through this experience but don’t let the bullies control your life, take the control and start living. If you don’t speak up for yourself, the bullies will just get stronger and once they stop bullying you, you’ll be left traumatized behind for the rest of your life. Just like in my case, it’s always a shocking moment when I see my bullies outside, I probably don’t even matter to them anymore but I associate many bad memories with them. The experience of being bullied will affect you when it comes to self-love, confidence, self-acceptance, and self-worth. You will have to learn that you are much better than they taught you. It will take time but once you have learned to love yourself, and to be confident and being accepting towards yourself you will realize how much stronger you have become. You will never ever let somebody else treat you like this again because now you’re a warrior.
I can say that I have recovered on the inside after four years without bullying. And it’s amazing how much better I feel about myself since then. But just last fall when I started to work part-time at McDonald’s. There was a teenage boy, who started bullying me. He came every Saturday with his friends and spent hours in the restaurant. He laughed and pointed his finger at me when I walked by. Or he would repeat what I said in a funny way. I always heard my name and I knew he was telling something about me to his friends. The second Saturday this happened and maybe for the first time in my life I spoke up for myself immediately, it took a lot of courage and yes, I was very nervous, but I did it. I went to his table and told him to stop behaving like that or otherwise he would get a ban on entering the restaurant. Even only the fact that I went to his table and faced him directly scared him, suddenly he was silent and tried to look innocent. The boy doesn’t even show up in the restaurant anymore. Later on, I realized that actually, he is the one in a pitiful state. He craves for attention and tries to get it from his friends just by belittling strangers. His parents probably don’t spend much time with him or care about him, so he has to spend his entire Saturday afternoon in a restaurant. It’s always like this when I think back of all my bullies, I can imagine that they all had their own personal problems at home. Therefore, they are the ones who need help in the first place since they have to bully others to break down their own frustration.
The biggest lesson I learned from being bullied is to speak up for yourself, for your rights, for your beliefs and opinions. That’s why Jocelyn’s song is so important to me. Please check it out and watch the music video. It wasn’t easy for me to write this personal blog post so help me spread the message. Share it with a friend who has been bullied or still is. Feel free to write your thoughts in the comment section. Thank you for your support.
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