Once upon a time, two beautiful and adorable little baby girls were born. They were blonde and blue-eyed, and they were torn viciously away from the womb of one outstanding mother. The father was off fainting somewhere. They didn’t really know it at the time, but they would inherit his faint-heartedness. The first one to enter the real world was me. Followed by: Rachel.
I was a strange but cute kid. I was afraid of simple things like trees, butterflies, and mobile decorations in the mall. I grew up on soft pretzels, Kool-Aid, and Band-Aids. I was horribly, horribly shy around large groups of people but quite comfortable around loved ones and neighbors. As a result, I had close friends in the neighborhood and very few at school. That was all right, though, because I had my high grades and good reputation.
As I entered middle school (grades six through eight), I found solace in my new best friend. I plucked up enough audacity to introduce myself, and we bonded in that we were the shyest two people in our homeroom. (We’re still best friends to this day.) I was happy.
However, things started to change. That same year, I was tested for scoliosis of the spine, and my life became miserable. I was diagnosed with this thing I’d never heard of. I was driven from hospital to hospital so they could analyze my x-rays, results; had a cast plastered onto my torso by a weirdo doctor; felt bad for my parents because it was so expensive; and had to go through major life changes with a back brace for a year of my life. I could only take it off for sixty minutes per day. On gym class days, I was a nuisance. I needed assistance taking it off and putting it back on. People would stare. I felt awkward and weird. Like I was a circus freak show.
I started getting depressed, wrote sappy poetry and song lyrics. It was my creative outlet for all the ignorance and stupidity surrounding me. At the time I thought I was being dramatic, but looking back on it, I’m glad I found a way to release all of my emotions. I clearly needed to.
By the time the back brace came off, I was in eighth grade. I dyed the tips of my hair black, listened to My Chemical Romance on repeat, started painting my fingernails black, began cursing regularly. Wore darker clothes. Spoke in a monotone. Thought I was ugly and just didn’t care. My best friend and I were drifting apart; she met another person. I felt alone and unincluded.
I got a hair cut; I had to get rid of the bad dye job. Sorry, Mom. But it wasn’t that great. No offense. And idiotic kids laughed at me at school.
And then… I entered the magical world of high school. One would think this would put a damper on my already unsatisfied self. In fact, it had the opposite effect on me. I felt myself opening up to a whole new world. It was change I very much needed. Of course I was still in some advanced classes, and everyone was tall and old and new. But I could feel myself becoming happy again. I started to speak with emotions other than indifference. I grew closer to my friends, and I met new people.
But what really helped me through it all was photography. As silly as that sounds, and as amateur as I was or still am, holding that camera and pointing it at my face helped me begin to feel good about myself. Even starting to wear makeup helped my self-esteem so much. I thought, “Hey. I could be pretty if I wanted to be.” Of course, I don’t think I am pretty, but I no longer consider myself to be truly hideous.
I became comfortable enough with my flaws to consider them imperfections that make me unique instead. I think… no, I know that there is beauty in everything on this planet.
And of course, after all these experiences, I picked up a few languages. Like Spanish, girl talk, and sarcasm. Personally, sarcasm is my favorite. I even pretend I’m mean sometimes just to spice things up. But really I’m actually very friendly. I care passionately for things and people, sometimes to a fault. I know that things can be ripped away from you all too easily and without provocation or knowledge beforehand. Like when my only living grandparent died when I was in tenth grade… yeah, that sucked. It was one of the worst and saddest days of my life.
But I healed very quickly. I’m proud that I’m a strong individual. I’ve earned this. I’ve worked for this. I deserve to have this gift: the gift of keeping shit together when I need to and with little effort on my part. So many bad things have happened to me, but I only think: Other people in this world have it so much worse; you are lucky to be alive and well.
But it really was a damper on my fantasy parade when I had to quit college after merely one semester due to financial issues. Also known as being poor as hell. But I was a psychology major for those few months. It was tough work, but I didn’t fail any classes. I so wish I could go back, but not for psych; maybe for photography or something. I don’t know. I change my mind a lot when it comes to planning my future. But I suppose anything beats the job I have now: prep cook in a restaurant. TGI Friday’s. Good food, bad… well, I won’t name names. But their job title starts with M.
And if you’re still reading this by now, I love you so much. <3 Maybe I’ll add more interesting things, like the shows I watch or music I listen to. Just ask me and I’ll whip something up. You guys are so awesome. :) I hope you enjoy my blog. It’s another great escape.