I've debated whether or not to do this. Would people even care? Then there is the debate that is recently in my head: should I continue posting here? Why am I doing it? If I don't continue, why do a landmark post. Maybe a landmark post should be a goodbye post. If I do a goodbye post I won't come back.
I need to write, not be on Hatrack, says me to myself. But Hatrack contains a group of people and communication that I hold very dear, says myself to me. It feeds a part of me that I get nowhere else, a part that yearned for years.
I remember things from when I was two. I remember living in Sesame Street apartments, playing with clay with a friend, being near a beach. At that time we lived in San Diego where my dad went to professional diving school. When he finished we moved to Louisiana.
In Louisiana there was lots of moss and cockroaches. I was three and four. I made friends with the cockroaches. I got upset when my mom killed them. We were in a hurricane and the only thing I remember is the very beautiful, large, dead dragonfly on the pathway back to the trailer home we'd had to temporarily evacuate. In Louisiana a pipe fell on my face, scaring it and leaving a discoloration that I didn't notice until I tried to put blush on for the first time when I was about 14.
My dad blew his eardrum out, so he couldn't dive anymore, and I was about to go into school. Louisiana is not the place to do this. My dad's family was starting a construction company, so we moved to Utah.
In kindergarten I couldn't express it well. I could only see that I didn't have very many friends, and that I was left out of a lot of things and I didn't know why. In first grade, the teacher emphasized this by putting me at the table with a group of kids that were constant trouble to her. This was very upsetting to me because I'd always tried to do what other people wanted. I wasn't rowdy or loud, but school was just sometimes so boring and the teacher just got frustrated when I asked questions. She pretty much ignored the table except to yell at us. I didn't tell my parents until many years after the fact.
I had a speech impediment and I had glasses.
I was officially and on the school playground labeled a misfit by the time I was 6. I won't go into all the details, except that it ruled my school life for the next 11 years, both in and out of the classroom, except for a few shining teachers. I wasn't stupid. The tests clearly showed that. I wanted to learn, but they were going so slow. I was bored, highly disorganized and easily distracted. With the kids, a girl who liked math, science, and books was weird. I often read in class rather than listened to the teachers. And there were problems at home. My mom's health wasn't very good.
OSC once said: "Don't cultivate weirdness, you are going to be weird anyway." I tried very hard to fit in, but I couldn't find a place anywhere. It was about the summer of my sixteenth year that I think I realized that I'd actually have to not be me to fit in, and that really wasn't acceptable, because despite the pain of not knowing my niche, I liked seeing the world as I did. The world I saw was beautiful and full of wonder, there to be discovered. I wouldn't give that up for the cliques in school who's membership was so uncertain and based on a set of rules that I found very difficult to grasp at that point.
I was just beginning to find my place in high school when we moved to Idaho. Boise High School was fine, and they had a pretty decent science program. I got in a university chemistry class in the summer that I loved. But in my senior year, I went to a different high school, surrounded by farmland, with a bare basics science program. And suddenly I was weird again, in so many different ways. Because of an incident I was innocent of and had no control over, I was called a Mormon whore in the hallways of that school. It was only by one group of jerky misogynistic boys, but still it was painful for a girl who has her whole life held her chastity as a precious gift.
It would have been unbearable except that I met someone (from a different school) who thought I was beautiful, inside and out. And he was a good man. Even at my age, I say man, because at eighteen he'd gone through stuff that makes my whine-fest here look fun. He'd grown through it and he was good and responsible. It was a remarkable experience for me. This was the first time a person my age had known me so well, had connected to my intellectual, emotional, creative and spiritual sides of myself. From him I learned that I was beautiful.
After we graduated high school, he went to BYU and I went to the University of Utah. We spent our weekends together. But in January he went on a mission.
I said I would wait for him. I even had a promise ring.
There is one thing I regret in my life, and that is how much I hurt this man. If by any chance he happens upon this (and I did do my duty and introduce him to OSC, and he is something of a fan) I want him to know how very very sorry I am, and that I still hold a lot of love for him. He is married and has at least one child, and it is one of my deep hopes that he is happy.
He didn't want me to stay home alone. He wanted me to have fun, go to the dances. So I did. And that was another kind of cool discovery. I really was pretty anyway. Every church singles dance I went to resulted in me giving out my number. Of course, I was still myself so many of those were only first dates. Then there was this guy with a funny accent.
At that point, it was really more than an accent. Vladimir could barely speak English. His first words to me were "Excuse me, can I dancing on you?" And that was after asking a friend how to ask a girl to dance. He would dance with me a couple of songs, ask a couple of questions, not understand my questions very well, and then excuse himself. A little while later he would dance with me again. He had been going to his friend asking how to say things. Eventually he got around to asking for my number. He called me the next morning to invite me to a dinner party he was putting on for his friends. He'd be cooking some Russian food. I later learned that he only planned the party as an excuse to meet me. I came. I went to his baptism the next day.
Of me he now says that at the time he hadn't known that such a thing as a geek girl existed and when he knew this about me, he knew that he must marry me. In six months we did get married. Should I end, and we lived happily ever after, because we did? It's just a lot of hard work.
But that isn't the end of this story. This story is about my struggle to fit in. I still don't, entirely, so I come to Hatrack to get the eclectic mix of conversation and the sense of a community that I'm naturally a part of. So that is why I'm here, and why I figure I'll stay.
What a picture of me. I feared too much length so I've been far too sparse with my palate. So let me tell you some other things about me. My parents are wonderful caring people who helped me keep my natural vision of the world. The world is a good place, populated mostly by good people. It is beautiful, with a sky full of clouds and stars, a never ending yet not infinite universe, flowers and butterflies, books, civilization, the giggles of children. It is a painful place with war, misunderstandings, genocide, skinned knees, famine, death.
Perhaps you are beautiful on the outside, I've never seen. Beauty on the inside, however, we all see in you. Don't deprive us of your presence.
The thing about being a misfit or an outsider is: As you get older, you learn one size never fits all and that we're all on the outside. Find the spot the fits you and there ya go, you're on the inside of something wonderful. Seems that you have.
Posts: 2848 | Registered: Feb 2003
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quote:What a picture of me. I feared too much length so I've been far too sparse with my palate.
And yet, you managed to write a beautiful and insightful post. I'm constantly amazed at how willing people are to open up, and no less so with your post. It takes guts to be so vulnerable, but we all become a bit closer every time we do.
Amka, its always been a pleasure to read your posts, and to meet you. You were the first Jatraquero I met, and you seemed really into what I had to say that night, wanting to know about me. Talking and meeting with you and Vlad has been a highlight of mine, and I wish I could have stayed longer that night. You are a sincere, friendly, spiritual person. You make everyone feel like they are welcome. Thank you, Ami.
Posts: 9752 | Registered: Jul 2002
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