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Personal Narrative: The Trampoline

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I clumsily climbed onto the large circular tramp trembling with apprehension. The class was instructed to execute several acrobatic jumps to test our skill level. Frankly, I had never set foot on a trampoline before. Gym class had never been pleasant for me and this was no exception. All around the tramp kids chattered and laughed. As I began to attempt my feats, all eyes strayed to me, the new kid at the school. As I did my jumps, I became more comfortable and did a reasonably decent job. Then the moment of humiliation struck. When I landed after a swivel hip seat drop jump, an embarrassing noise escaped my mouth which sounded something like ahhhtititititi. I felt my face heat to scarlet and quickly climbed down off the tramp. Much to my horror the crowd around me erupted in snorts and snickers. Why me, why now? During the first couple of years in high school I wasn’t just bashful, I was painfully shy. I was hyper aware of my shortcomings and how I didn’t compare to others with confidence in myself. The trampoline incident added credibility to my thinking that I wasn’t as valuable as other people. We’d moved from another small town partway through the school year which was
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I was bending over to get something out of the bottom of my rickety metal locker when an older boy walked by and lifted the back of my skirt. I was mortified. One by one these incidences added to my growing sense that you had to be the chosen, beautiful, or popular one to have worth. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t ugly. In fact an older man, maybe 22, told my friend that he thought I was prettier than Farah Fawcett. Silly as it sounds that comment infused me with pleasure. Maybe I had value now. That was definitely a boost to my feeling of self-worth. A false self-worth anyway. Everything about High School seemed to hinge on beauty, or skill, or wealth, or popularity. You weren’t ‘significant if you didn’t nicely fit into one of those
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