So I haven't done this in a while, so I'm going to do it again and see what happens!
So I completely and utterly love people. Like, we suck sometimes, but people just rock. That's why I love to hear their stories, where they came from, what made them who they are, whatever!
So that's why I ask again: what's your story? Tell me whatever you want, interpret the question in whichever way you feel is appropriate. I can't wait to hear your responses! (feel free to message me if you're not comfortable mentioning something publicly.)
My story's long and complicated, but infinitely growing.
So I'd like to think that the best part of my growth, of my story, is how the way I view the world has changed, as well as the view of myself.
For years since I can remember, I was very shy and quiet. In many ways, I'm still rather quiet and reserved, but I'd like to think that I'm becoming less shy and slightly more extraverted and social. I thought to myself that I would be a valuable contribution to the world by acting behind the scenes and being vital support - and nothing more. But lately, I've been growing out of that. I realize I want to be unique, special, and different, and not like everyone else. I never was fond of conformity.
I guess that realization of my "self-reliance" also paralleled the molding of my view of the world, particularly the world of nations and international relations (heh, a convenient rhyme). I see the interactions of countries and governments as not unlike the social interactions of normal people in everyday life. Some convey their sympathy for others when something goes wrong. Some challenge someone else's stance or decision if they feel it's a wrong decision. And so on. But the parallel between countries' relations and normal people's relations just reflects the overall synergy of humanity - its compassion, its friendship, its sympathy, its empathy.
Did I mention I'm very much into humanities and liberal arts? Haha.
Lots of my friends and acquaintances are going into the sciences - engineering, doctoring. But I want to someday work in IR, not just because it's a unique field for me, but because it's something I really believe in.
And that's....pretty much the basics of me.
Some more extraneous stuff about me, for anyone who may be remotely interested:
-I participated in many clubs in high school - including Model United Nations, Speech and Debate, Key Club International, American Cancer Society, and Literary Magazine. I was also a member of the National Honor Society, the Japanese National Honor Society, and the California Scholarship Federation - I even wore some regalia from those societies at my graduation.
-I won a few Commendations in the various Model UN conferences I took part in. I've never won a gavel, and I wish I put more effort into striving for one.
-I've studied Japanese in all four years of high school. 私は日本語を分かれますけど、私は日本語を早く話せない。私はちょっとおそいと思います。(I can understand Japanese, but I cannot speak it really quickly. I think I'm a little bit slow.)
Hey, I was a Speech Team kid, too! I wanted to join Model United Nations, but unfortunately never had the time. I admire the versatility in your studies. Thank you for the wonderful story and for your fascinating philosophies :)
I will tell you my story in brief. I grew up moving a lot and always being very sick. I got used to spending lots of time alone and expressing myself through music and arts when I was younger. I have fallen in love with the bassoon. You can laugh about that. It sounds silly but after all of the time I have spent practicing it has become very important to me. I like cats and other small animals. I live and work with them. I like books too. I have many siblings and my parents are wise old educators who have always wanted the best for me. Soon I will be in college. I like to make food and friends and hug my friends, but I do not hug my food. I can convince people that I am 12 years old. I like to wear sweaters.
No reason to laugh at the bassoon! I play viola myself. Orchestra=ftw! Though that may make us enemies, and orchestra is obviously better than band! ;) Thank you for the wonderful story.
I used to play the oboe and all my high school band directors attempt to move at least one of our oboe players to play bassoon instead, since they don't allow middle schoolers to play it in our district. They say it's really easy to pick up the bassoon if you're an oboe player but I've never attempted it. You should maybe try playing the oboe, too, if you like the bassoon so much! It can be really frustrating at times but since you've already gotten the double reed part down, it might be fun to try!
Someone has given me a legitimate excuse to do nothing more then brag about myself? You my dear are completely jawsome (Yes, I have completely dated myself with that little morsel of diction)
I had a rough patch to say the least, I was born 2 months premature with a condition known as Pulmatic Stenosis, which means that my Pulmanary Artery, which directs oxygen starved blood back into the lungs for a quick recharge wasn't open all the way. In a very real sense I was born a blue baby. As a curious side note, because of my heart condition I have also been gifted with 4 kidneys, take that one as you will.
As luck would have it, I was my parents first born, coupled with the fact I was also born with a heart condition my parents were completely over protective, which while completely understandable stunted my social growth. I have found it very difficult to make friends even well into my adult years and as if often the case in the life of the nerd I gave up on making friends and buried myself in books for many many years.
My love of books, coupled with a vivid imagination. I was often made fun of as a child because I narrated the lives of my dolls as I played with them, and never in the original way it was intended for. I have always love to write, in high school, I wrote angsty self hating poetry and in college I wrote about the wonders of the world around me.
While in college, I found a new venue for my love of writing, and that was forum based RPs. Primarily one a site called Gaia Online. There I joined a RP Guild called "Ancient Power" under the Character of Elias Murieta and met the woman that would one day become my wife, but at the time I knew only as Lady Bastet.
We fell in love in 2005, June 17 to be exact. The first day she told me she loved me. By July of 2007 after two very lonely years I packed my things and moved from Los Angeles to Virginia. It has been a rollercoaster of a ride this past five years with Michelle (my wife), but I have loved every moment of it.
Those are pretty much the biggies, send me message if you want to know any other specifics.
Haha thank you for the compliment! I enjoy the witty humor :) coming to terms with yourself is always a challenge, I'm glad you've discovered how. And your love, too! Thank you for the story.
I grew up in a small town.
I say it exactly like that to the few people I can trust with that information. Sometimes I get the response that they grew up in a small town, too.
Usually that’s when I know they don’t know what they’re talking about.
My small town had a population of 900. It says so on the sign you pass announcing your arrival as you approach the four corners to only set of lights we have. One time, someone crossed out the last zero and put a number one instead. The sign was replaced. With the same exact same number it had before. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember. And I can remember a lot.
I remember my best friend that lived on the main street, just past the only church.
Every Sunday, after church, we would run the few blocks to her house to clean her room so that we could get her allowance; my own toonie clutched in my tight and sweaty little fist, as I had cleaned my own room that morning and my efforts were rewarded with cold hard cash. Once our version of clean was attained: shoving anything taking up floorspace under the bed, we were four dollars strong. And ready for candy. The bait shop still sold penny candy. And bait. But it was that row of nickle and dime candy at the front door we’d eye, deciding if it was sour keys or fuzzy peaches that we would make the cut this week. Swedish fish were a given. They were a penny. One cent each. We could get one hundred little fish for a dollar, and we had four! The owner would stare us down as he watched us try to maneuver the little fish snagged by tiny tongs awkwardly from plastic container to little brown bag, counting out loud together. He’d squint one eye, and mouth the numbers along with us while smoking a cigarette that hung loosely between his lips the entire time, gathering a wicked head of ash that he wouldn’t tap off, in case we snuck in extra fish while he turned to find the ashtray. At some point he would force us to take the green ones, which we had been carefully avoiding. Because they’re gross. Once our candy, tax free, was selected and packaged away in overflowing little brown paper bags, we’d book it back to her house to pour it out and divide it evenly. Sometimes, we opted to visit the corner store instead, and chose to spend our money on tubs of icing that we would eat straight from the container with spoons from the kitchen, drinking coke at the same time so that we could get that fizzy feeling in our mouths until we felt sick and bloated and regretted not getting the penny candy, instead.
But we had few regrets.
I remember my best friend that lived on the main street, just past the only church.
I remember going to her house on the night of the Oakwood Fair. The fairgrounds were set up in and around the rec centre, the building that was probably the only reason anyone would even bother visiting that town. The entire perimeter was fenced in, to prevent hooligans like us from hopping it and getting away with avoiding the $2 entrance fee. But we’d still find a spot. Cut through two backyards to a spot we both knew, taking turns lifting the makeshift fence so we could belly under without being seen. We’d find some kids from school that were leaving, and ask them for their ride bracelets, which we would wrap around our wrists and stick on with little bits of chewing gum. The rides were rickety and poorly assembled; there were only about four so we’d ride them all several times in rotation, knowing the actual thrill was the risk we took in trusting the ride to hold out for one more round, without crumbling to the ground or having a screw come loose, shattering our experience. And our limbs. We’d gather a group of us from scouring the grounds that could have every inch walked in less than ten minutes. Most of the kids I had seen around, but didn’t really know. Eventually, we’d bore of the scene and someone would mention their dad had beer in the basement. A fence hop away, the beer was obtained, and we’d venture behind the church to the tree line where it was dark and we could overlook the activities of the fair without having to tread the same lame grounds as the families that used the fair for what it was meant for. I had heard that kids went to this spot behind the church to have sex, but I didn’t know if that was actually true and I couldn’t be bothered finding out as I worried about how I was going to nurse this beer growing warm in my hand without looking suspicious. I’d discreetly pour little amounts out on the flowers and shrubs that grew at our feet as we sat on the uneven stone wall, and wondered how long the alcohol would take to kill them, and if anyone would notice days later. Half a beer made me light headed, and I began feel sick and regretted having come out that night at all.
But we had few regrets.
Welcome to Oakwood. O-Town. Smokewood.
Who knew how bittersweet you would taste?
I grew up in a small town. Did you know?
Beautifully written. Thank you for your story and your perspective. I suppose it's hard to forget certain perspectives of life, so thank you for sharing yours :)
I also grew up in a small town... and I also meet people who don't know what they are talking about. 888 all my childhood, recently updated to 916. Small towns have their perks, but disadvantages too. :)
We lived four hours away from my grandmother's farm in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. The land rested solely on two sides of a valley, with a tiny white house and a cluster of barns in the center. One side of the valley was grassy fields that stretched up most of the mountain, the other was cut by a crystal clear stream and studded with sharp white rocks that shone in the sunlight. Cows ranged from the hills, leaving thick 'patties' that had to be avoided with careful feet. It was a child's paradise, one you would hear about in books or old-timey TV shows. We would spend hours outside, reading, hiking, playing the the woods and avoiding frightening bulls. We would explore the mysterious old attic when the rain fell, and would sip cool lemonade on the hot summer days. Our days were spent bare-foot and dusty, our nights with flashlights and jars full of fireflies. One month out of every year we would go to the 'Farm' and just run free.
Everything, however, has an end. I could feel the tension in the family as I grew older and was more able to understand the conflict that surrounded the land which I loved with all of my heart. See, it was my grandmother's farm, but she did not live there, rather it had been inherited through her own parents, and was kept by her brother, my great uncle. We paid for utilities when we stayed there, but it was really held in limbo between the siblings.
My great uncle was a great guy, but his children were not. They cornered him into letting THEM rent/ live full time in the Farm, without consulting my grandmother. When she found out, she did not tell my mother. Instead we found out during a short visit over Columbus Day weekend, by walking into a home that no longer looked like home. My mother and father tore out of the building and we took the fifteen minute drive to my grandmother's house, where they raged. After all, that farm was supposed to be, in part, my mother's inheritance. And my great uncle's children had moved in, trashed the place, and decided to stay without paying any the rent, claiming it as their's solely. I was eleven years old, and after that weekend, we never returned to the Farm. Not even to visit. My paradise had been ripped out of my hands by a conflict I barely could understand, and even to this day when I think about it I can hardly breath out of pain. Hopefully, one day, that farm will make it into mine or my sibling hands, where it will be cherished because that is how it should be. My family has had that farm since the 1600's, we can trace our lineage back to the Pilgrims and we have a deed from the King of England. I'll be damned if I let that heritage and love fade away with a bunch of drunken relatives.