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02-16-04 - 9:41 a.m.

I went to a magnet high school. I entered school with a broken ankle, and the biggest nerd, Keith -- the high water jeans wearing, Magic card playing kind Ė offered to help me carry my violin to Orchestra. When we became friends I was stigmatized for it, and only his friends and other social outcasts (a pair of identical twins who were thoroughly Christian, for example) would socialize with me.

I was not really similar to anyone throughout my high school years. I dressed in hippie clothes. I was a feminist, a pacifist, and a liberal, unlike my "friends" and had much different views and musical interests. There were rumors that I was a lesbian and that I did hallucinogenic drugs. My friends were anyone who appreciated my company. I didnít really have people to hang out with outside of class.

After Columbine, one kid thought it would be funny to write out a detailed death threat (mentioning a specific gun, a date) with the name of me and a bunch of my "outcast" friends. Although I never feared for my life, I never felt the same about high school, and ended up transferring a semester later.

I had a long distance boyfriend in Canada, Andrew. I talked to him on the computer every day through a large part of high school and I can still say he was the only person who really appreciated me. Visiting him was the main thing I had to look forward to. He made me feel beautiful. We were shameless about fitting sex into every moment possible, and we committed many, many PDAS.

I went to a very "new age" church. Rather than show faith in Jesus, we were supposed to demonstrate our love for all humans, who were considered divine manifestations. At the end of each day at retreats we would all hug each other. At retreats I was allowed to be eccentric and goofy and flirtatious. The things that have stuck with me from my experience there are primarily my ability to express affection and appreciate the universal difficulty of the human experience nad the beauty of people.

The retreats were the only places guys really showed interest in me. I was only asked out on a date once in all of high school Ė a stranger I met at a homecoming dance, Hector, who turned out to be as dumb as a rock. I went to prom with a friend who asked me four days before it occurred. Of course, a bunch of my geek friends had crushes on me at any given time because I was the only girl they really knew.

Because I went to a magnet school for the first few semesters, I ended up able to take senior level classes junior year and actually graduate a year early.

Aside from sex with Andrew, I had pretty squeaky clean adolescent years. I was opposed to drinking, smoking, and smoking pot. I didnít have friends to do crazy, illegal things with the way Bat or my sister have. I didnít cheat in school and took academia seriously.

Now, my values have changed. I am jaded atheist/agnostic. I am much more cautious about hugging people and telling them how much I care. I drink to get drunk at parties and on the weekends and I smoke every day. I struggle academically even though go to a large public school. I've met men who wanted to date me and kissed twenty-two. I have sex outside of relationships and Iíve enjoyed it with few regrets. I would never have imagined myself this way. I suppose there are things I like about my new self and aspects of my old self I miss. I suppose growing up, for me, meant an entire corruption of self.

 

 

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