You know what I’m really scared of? Getting shot. Not with a gun. Or one of those creepy high-tech crossbows with the camo on them. Or with a regular bow and arrow. I’m scared of getting shot with a comment. It sounds lame. But honestly, I’m terrified of it.
Remember how I told you about that girl from when I was fourteen, and what she said about my nose? Her name was Carly. I still remember that, even though I only saw her once. Once was enough. She changed my life.
It only take a few words. A few really mean words. And there are a lot of people out there who are willing to be mean.
That’s the thing about being fragile. You only have to drop a glass once, and it’s broken. So you have to make sure you never drop it. Or you surround it in bubble pack. Or make it bullet-proof. But bubble pack never matches any of my outfits, and I don’t know how to bullet-proof myself. Not my ears, anyway. So I walk around the world incredibly fragile, knowing that at any moment someone—a stranger, an acquaintance, a homeless person, a pilot in a low-flying airplane—can call out something that will break me. I am in constant danger.
These random people who I don’t know and will probably never know, the people who I haven’t even encountered yet—they have so much power. Just in their potential ability to say something cruel. It’s like walking out of your door and knowing that everyone you see has a concealed weapon. Most of the time, there’s absolutely no reason to use it. But it only takes one bullet.
And the mess is all mine to clean up.
Everyone: How do you protect yourself against being hurt by other people’s words?