Wednesday, June 23, 2004

this is your life

I was born in Springfield, MO. I lived in a trailer. My parents like to claim this was a hip college-y trailer crowd, but I find that oxymoronic.

I moved to Chicago at the tender age of "baby-ish" (all kids under 3 feet look the same to me and yes, this applies to myself).

I grew up on the mean streets of Chi-town, in university housing provided to married and child-ridden grad students. There were alley cats in the neighborhood, that we nicknamed "Scuz-bucket" (he was way ugly) and "Low Rider" (he walked on his belly). In the summer, my mom would scrub out one of those huge green trash barrels, fill it with water, and we used it as the local pool.

At seven, we moved to Maryland. I had no idea where Maryland was at the time. I called it "mary-land". We found a nice home in a quiet neighborhood in the suburbs, I made a friend down the street, and we video-taped ourselves singing along to our favorite Tiffany and Debbie Gibson hits- a tape she has threatened me with to this day. She had an awesome round wire brush that would get tangled in my hair, and then I would have to walk all the way home with that damn brush dangling from my head. I did this walk of shame more than once, not because I'm stupid, but because I am stubborn.

I was in the mid-level third grade class. Somehow, I got put into the second-dumbest fourth grade class. Then, in the fifth grade, I was in the "honors" class. Don't tell me that schools don't segregate students by intelligence- I totally knew what was up and so did everyone else.

I hated my fifth grade teacher. She was pregnant with her first child and one day had a hissy fit about the irresponsibility of fifth graders. She demanded to know what we would do if we walked into the bathroom and saw our gym teacher lying on the floor, knocked out from hitting his head. Everyone said things like "tell a teacher" or "go for help" but she yelled everyone down and kept screaming, "what would you really do?" I thought this meant that you had to get everything in the correct order, so I raised my hand and said, "first you have to see if he is breathing. Then, you apply pressure to the wound, then you.." and she interrupts, "thank you, Florence Nightengale." The class laughed, I hated Florence Nightengale for the rest of my life, and that teacher.

Middle school was hell, but I made a group of geek friends and we survived.

The first day of high school, I was nervous, and scared. I walked into the building and found myself in the middle of a huge crowd of people- my high school has four feeder middle schools, 1500 students all together, and I had a total flash of insight: whoever had been popular before, whoever had been cool, it fucking didn't matter! There were millions of people here! I was free!

The second day of high school I began my "hippy phase". I also went grunge, metal rap (korn and other band tee shirts), skater (oh yeah, I had the Jnco's with 26 inch circumference legs) goth, punk, and by senior year, evened out to black shirts and jeans. I had, in order, red hair, blue hair with kool-aid red stripes, slightly green-ish hair with kool-aid red stripes, black hair, purple hair, long hair, short, brown, henna- red, purple-black, and then a return to my natural brunette.

My first boyfriend was locked up into a psychiatric facility two weeks after we started dating. After another two weeks, his break out and "on the lamb" phase, we broke up. A year later, we dated again, but he wasn't as cool so I dumped him.

Many of my boyfriends were remarkably similar to him. The four weeks we spent together was the longest relationship I had until college.

I smoked pot, drank, and skipped school, hung out with the drug crowd, picked up a cigarette habit, wrote bad goth poetry and even went into therapy for two years- but I got straight A's, was in honors and AP, and got accepted to all of the colleges I applied to (9).

I went to the northeast for college. At 18, I refused to allow my high school years be the best years of my life. At 24, I refuse to let college be the best years of my life. In between, I made friends with amazing people, had amazing times, and amazed myself. In between, I had a severe depression with a side of panic attacks , went back into therapy for another 2 years, and just realized that if I continue at this rate, by the time I am 30, I will have been in therapy for just under ten years of my life.

Today, I am no longer depressed. I still have a lot more anxiety than you, if you are the "average" person. I call my cat rabbit-face, even though she doesn't have one, and I wish there was a way to knit while reading. Today, I formally gave my resignation. I'm moving back to Maryland, to go to grad school, and to be closer to my family.

Today, I officially gave notice. I have one more month at this job. I'm not quite sure what to do with that. I guess I'll go to lunch.