I do not belong in your box.

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I grew up knowing I was different.  I loved words and books and music.  My mind wandered often and built complexities that no one around me understood.  From Dr. Seuss books, to hours at my desk, to the headphones that accompanied me often, I moved gradually through my childhood toward the love of words.  No one seemed to appreciate the way that I was. I didn’t want to be outside or play sports.  I would rather collect worksheets than toys.  I loved voicing my opinions and articulating my thoughts to everyone who would hear me.  I was stared at, laughed about, and picked on.  I was pushed toward the things that other children enjoyed, though my disdain for being like everyone else was clear.

In sixth grade, that love of words came together on paper.  I discovered poetry and loved the flow that it allowed for all those thoughts that flew at warp speed through my head.  This was my outlet, my voice.  My differences with other children, as well as my own family, did not exist when I was writing.  I felt complete with every word that tipped from that pen and cemented itself with its companions.

And, my talents did not go unnoticed.  My teachers, as well as my peers, were drawn to the words that I had transcribed.  They may not have completely understood who I was, but my writing opened that door to all that was unspoken.  It was the clarity that I needed to connect with the world around me.

As I entered high school, the writing became stories, more complex poetry, and an overall outpouring of my beliefs.  When my mind wandered now, I knew that it had a purpose.  I kept paper with me on almost every occasion and played off of the sparks in my thought process.  Those sparks were my drive.  I knew I had to find a way to make writing my future.

My family never got it.  I never fit the mold that was expected of me, and I was made to feel ashamed for my gift.  I was told that there was no income with a writing career and that I needed to be realistic.  It was constantly suggested that I become a teacher or a secretary.   Those were not my dreams, and I could care less if writing put money in my pocket.

I wanted the world to hear me, to see that I was special.  I had so much to say and so many stories to tell.  I longed to see my words in print and know that they would not be laughed over or trivialized.  I craved to see those words grow to something amazing.

I should have fought them.  The school of my dreams was too expensive, and there was no alternative within the budget so I caved.  I gave into life and what was expected of me and went to school for a run-of-the-mill profession that was thrown away in the end anyway.

It has been 16 years since I began to write poems, and guess what?  It wasn’t a phase.  I am now a stay-at-home mom to two wonderful little boys.  I have a successful husband, a beautiful house, and a zoo of rescue animals.  One would see this life that I live and say that it was nothing short of a success.  But, I never let go of my writing.

A binder of my poems has tagged along with me through this life, and is now splitting at the seams with thoughts dated back to my 12 year old mind.  For years, I have put my heart and soul into a story that has never been seen by anyone else.  And, I have this blog.

The criticisms never stopped.  I was elated to have the chance to share my writing with the public, to finally be heard.  But, in no time…I faced the same harsh words of my childhood.  When my family finally took the time to read what I had to say, their first reaction was disgust.  Regulations had to be put on my writing.  How dare I mention them?  Why would I discuss this?  My truths did not fit into their box, and they were once again ashamed of my writing.

I am here to defend the words that have been threatened from me for so long.  The verses, the stories, the feelings—They are mine alone.  My life is my own, and the writing belongs to me.  If you are a part of what I have to say, then that is because you were a part of the life that I lived…but it is still my story to tell, as uncensored and as raw as I need to.  The purpose is not to hurt you; it is to relieve my own aching for the words that were shut away to live a life that was expected of me.

Writing allows me to fly.  No matter what is happening in my life or what demons haunt me from my past, this is my tool to spread my wings away from the realm that admonishes me.  I do not belong in your box.

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The Writing in My High School Yearbook…Almost 10 years later

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As I was cleaning the other day, I found myself dusting off my forgotten yearbooks from high school.  It has been almost 10 years since graduation, and these books have moved with me through the countless residences I have found myself in.  Though I have made it a point to hang onto the memories hidden behind each book’s bindings, I could not for the life of me remember the last time I let myself read the words that were inside.  Sitting in the living room of my now stable household, with my husband at work and my kids at school, I opened the pages that would bring me back to a place that taught me so much about myself. 

  As adults, it’s so easy to get caught up in life’s stresses. We lose ourselves too often, and our world is filled with endless tasks and responsibilities that bury that person we once were.  My yearbook relives my crazy antics, my caring personality, and my talented writing.  It is raw; it is humorous; and it is sentimental.  I learned that I was not afraid to be myself, get crazy, and love uncontrollably.  There are completely inappropriate references, but they add to the story of a girl who was never afraid to get out and live life to its fullest. 

  I couldn’t help myself from copying many of the quotes from my yearbooks, all the way from 7th to 12th grade.  I left out names for the most part so I guess I’ll leave you to wonder.  Ten years later, I am finally ready to pack these babies away.  That day in my living room reminded me of myself, something that has been so hard to hold onto through the years.  By sharing this special part of my life with everyone, I hope that I can encourage some of you to dig out your own memories from early on.  Like me, you may find yourself laughing, startled, or even in tears…but you won’t regret a second of it.

 

7th Grade

    • “Have fun for the next 4 years of CHS! Don’t get too many guys!”
    • “Hi I hope you don’t go nuts!”

8th Grade

  • “Have as much fun as you can when you can alright.”
  • “Hey good luck in school, yeah right! Good luck w/ guys. Just have fun.”
  • “You’re a good friend, even though you can be a little weird sometimes. Have a good year and get good grades. And don’t get into any trouble!”
  • “Stay out of trouble, but have as much fun as you can this year!!!”
  • “Hey doll! Keep having as much fun as you do + never forget all the crazy times we’ve had! (you know what I mean) I hope we’ll always be Matt’s (Lamont) “close friends”!
  • “FU, Try to stay out of trouble! Good luck in plane G and enjoy your time @ CHS…”
  • “Stay out of trouble or at least don’t get cought. Have fun”
  • “Have a good year and stay out of trouble!”
  • “Good luck with you and Brian or Josh. And luck with school.”
  • “Hey we’ve had some great times together (don’t forget)”
  • “Have a good year. Have lots of fun. Try to stay out of trouble.”
  • “What is up my sister? Hope you have a great couple of years at CHS. Remember when we went nigger knocking in Leroy. And don’t forget sneaking around in Josh’s house (hehehe)”
  • “I hope you have a great freshman year and we don’t fail Bio. Haha! She’s so boring. Stay weird + be good!! I MEAN IT!!”
  • “Samantha, a lovely young lady”
  • “you’ve always been there 4 me, even if you were drunk! Lol, But I hope we stay friends through out the rest of our lives + I wish you a wonderful life for your next 4 years here at CHS!”
  • “Reach for those starz and STAY OUT OF TROUBLE! (Like you would get in trouble, right?) ;)”
  • “Take good care of your breasts. Good luck in Bed. Make your partner ware a condom you can never be to careful.”
  • “Don’t do nothing stupid!”
  • “Trust me—4 as long as I live I will never ever forget our wonderful times in LeRoy! Bushes, dirt bikes, small children, not so small children, Pedro, you kno what I mean! We’ll always be friends + no matter what I’ll always be there 4 you + so will Krista.”
  • “I hope you have a great 4 years at CHS. And good luck w/ your poems, who knows maybe someday I’ll see your name in Barnes + Nobels J”
  • “Hey it’s me. I know we’ve had our good + bad times, mostly good times. Never forget all the things we’ve been through together, because I won’t. You’re the best girlfriend I ever had, the best looking one to. Just remember no matter what happens between us that I loved you + I will always love you from this day until the end off my life.”
  • “Don’t ever forget the times in LeRoy and playing Hide + Seek with the gang. Keep writing those poems of yours.”
  • “You will always be mashed Potato Head! P.S. Remember to always, always, always to wear underwear!”
  • “Hope you don’t end up in jail (j/k) Don’t 4get LeRoy + Hide + Seek or the dugout. Keep writing those poems.”

9th Grade

  • “You are my everything I love you with all my heart This will last forever Love forever + always, Your Matt”
  • “Youre an awesome sis. J We have a lot of memories together. 😉 Never forget when I was a ‘stupid 7th grader,’ and you taught me and my friends to ‘grind’ @ the dance! J HAHAHEHE! :p Thankx 2 you + Tits, I don’t have virgin eyes anymore! Thanx 4 bein there 4 me!”
  • “Hope you have a fun year. And remember to bring an extra pencil to History class.”
  • “Well, you are such a smart, beautiful, and kind person. You should be very proud of yourself and all your accomplishments.”
  • “Word of advice Don’t step into a pile of shit.”
  • “Hope you have fun the rest of your school years. Don’t forget to PARTY!! Just remember my knee at lunch”
  • “Hey hun never forget about LeRoy + our *Baths*. I love you! I hope you + Matt have a lot of fun together don’t do anything I wouldn’t do *No limits* *Sis for life*”
  • “Thanks for all the lotion during algebra!! Because of you, I don’t have dry skin!!”
  • “I hope you have a good time, you always do.”
  • “You and Matt are cute together, good luck with that! + I suppose I’ll leave you with one Leroy rule…*Swim in your bathtub, it keeps you in touch with the world down under!*”
  • “Have a good one-sexy (Shawn)”
  • “Nice mink! Good luck w/ everything! (Geometry in particular) + keep yourself outta trouble!”
  • “Never forget the times in Geometry when we were taking tests/quizzes and we bet each other who is gunna fail! Lol! Priceless! Heehee Well, don’t get caught! Lol!”
  • “Remember all the good times in LeRoy!”
  • “Have a good year and you’re a little princess”
  • “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times-It was pd 1 Geometry! MWAH! Love ya 4-ever and a day!”
  • “I love you more then anything in the world Your Bubba Geometry must be hard”
  • “Have fun and remember everything you did. Also remember everyone. Hope you have lots of fun. Good luck with Bubba. (lol)”
  • “remember all of the good times in chorus! And our army crawl! Never forget me! Have fun! Wait you always do!”
  • “Have fun with whoever you F***”
  • “You’re a cool person and I hope you enjoy your last couple years at CHS!”
  • “I won’t say ‘have fun’ because I am sure you will. J Keep working hard. You are a very interesting friend.”
  • “Hey lady hope you have a great summer! And keep the hook-ups to a minimum! J/K Have fun with whatever or should I say whoever?”
  • Behave! (Nah!) Just be yourself, have fun, try not to get in too much trouble. Stay away from psycho white bunnies. Try not to get Amber in too much trouble either! J But hey, it’s all good!”
  • “LeRoy Rulez
  • “Be safe on your bike!”
  • “Hey wats up, hey have fun this summer + maybe we’ll hook up”
  • “Have fun with the guys! (lol) Have fun the next few year at CHS! Try not to get into to much trouble! (yeah right)”
  • “Yo-What’s up have a good summer remember way back when? Lateron”
  • “You are a good friend and a super sumo wrestler! Have fun!”
  • “have a fun summer, and try to behave with the boys! J”
  • “You a bad girl. Don’t change”
  • “Sam, (F.U.) Good luck with the guys, don’t murder my boyfriend, invest in plastic surgery for your cat, but most of all-have fun. Don’t get into trouble + pass geometry, ok?”
  • “Have ‘fun’ w/ Matt! J”
  • “You’re the awesomest! (even if you are a little weird J)”
  • “Stick to your goals + stay out of trouble!”
  • “You have a great life ahead of you!”
  • “Have fun w/ Bubba, Peeper, + Nate! You sweet skanky bitch! Lol”
  • “Good luck in all that you do, you’re a very sweet girl! Friends Always!”
  • “Hope you have a great year. And don’t forget about our boob grabbing fests or the secret organization. We have lots of good memories. You are a very good friend. Your friend forever Tamara”
  • “BS, I don’t wanna hear bout your lesbian activity. *Ahem* Keep your pants buttoned + wipe your face. Watch out for cats.”
  • “Keep writing your poems, you are good at it!”

10th Grade

  • “Never forget all the things we did in World Lit. Stay your weird lil’ self.”
  • “have a good summer and don’t forget me HAHA”
  • “Show Choir with you is my only association with you, thank God! Kidding, you are great!”
  • “Your awesome to work with!!! Gotta love Subway! Stay cool chicka”
  • “don’t let Matt P. get you____you fill in the blanks”
  • “You’re a great friend!”
  • “Remember all the good times in World Lit.”
  • “Look at the kitty.”
  • “You are a very talented person, but you already know that. I can’t wait till ‘Eternity’ is published so I ca tell everyone that I used to know the author. Lol. Anyways, good luck and stay unique!! I love Mrs. Wynne”
  • “Have fun this summer + don’t get into trouble. J”
  • “Ya, have a good one up on the hill. We are almost our of here! Can’t wait.”
  • “Remember all the good times skipping class and making fun of everyone. I’ll always love ya!”
  • “Good luck w/ Matt + everything else. Rock on at Subway!”
  • “Never forget the ‘great’ times at Subway.”
  • “Enjoy the rest of High School, be good, pass math, go to college, name a child after me…ok, Don’t name a child after me-It’s a bad name. BTW-Sorry about the chocolate on the back cover ;)”
  • “You are so cool + I love talking 2 u about our love life!”
  • “I love you!!”
  • “You rock!”
  • “We’ve made it this far, looks like most of LeRoy will actually graduate!”
  • “I’m going to jam my thumb in your butthole now! Now that is gay. Lmao I love you with all my heart and I will never stop loving you. Love, Bunny”
  • Albino What can I really say bout ya…hmm…TAKE A DAMN MIDOL!! J When you’re not spazzin on me for bein a “skank” I guess you’re ok. Good luck w/ Mateo. Do me a favor and spare me w/ the stories of “zeus.” It’s wrong. Never 4 get all the times on the good ‘ol bus #17. Wait. It’s GAY. J Don’t 4get to introduce me to sum hot guyz… ;)”

11th Grade

  • “You’re definitely one interesting cookie”
  • “Video Tech would have sucked without you!”
  • “Hey HEAD, Whats goin on, hope you have a good year Shaggy Monkey”
  • “You are a great person.”
  • “Big Daddy Gowin”
  • “Hey, I love you! We had some great times getting drunk, playing strip twister, and our trips to Charlies. You’re an awesome person…I’m gonna miss you after graduation.”
  • “Borderline Midget, The memories we’ve had I’ll never forget and remember if everything fails my love will always be hear for you”
  • “Now you know we all love Subway. You have a lot of talent w/ your writing, I think you will be very successful in your career. You’re a very unique person…Never change!!”
  • “We’ve had some awesome memories together! Our homemade twister board, Barclay Cemetary, me calling Sabrina. Oh boy, you n’ me getting scared so easily. We have to have more + think of more ways to torture Sabrina. Haha We will have fun. Im glad we have become such good friends! Your awesome, never change! Always keep the mooning + orgasms going!-haha-“
  • “I hope to many hot + steamy times in chorus w/ you!”
  • “You’ve been wonderful to me! Thank you so much for being such a fucking sweet heart. Always remember you are a wonderful + gorgeous person and don’t ever EVER let a boy make you feel any less about yourself, even your boyfriend.”
  • “have lots of fun with Mr. Snufflelufigis”
  • “My arm will always be here for you, with lots of love. I will always love you, your personality, and of course…the sex! Lol SMF Love forever and always Your Matt”

12th Grade

  • “Remember, don’t play with dish soap or flour-filled balloons!”
  • I’ll always miss ya and our Leroy times! Stay true to yourself and behave!”
  • “Good luck and remember all the fun ‘in and out trips’ to Acorn. Be yourself, good luck, and behave!”
  • “You are you and that’s a good thing. Never change + never forget your own worth.”
  • “Leroy 4 ever. Have an excellent life chicky.”
  • “Hey hun don’t ever forget me.”
  • “Hey it’s been real.”
  • “I’m so glad I got to have class with you because you make it so much fun!”
  • “You’re awesome, don’t ever change!” “I hope that all your dreams come true.”