Monday, August 26, 2013
That Girl: Do You Remember Her?
Somewhere, deep inside of me, an eight year old girl still lives. That girl who would stand on the deck of her house and wish the Rockies would stand up and trade places simply because they were bored. That wild horses ran loose in Elk Meadow. That hot chocolate is a summer drink just as much as a winter drink because it snows sometimes in July, even if it is melted by noon.
The third grader who insisted to her teacher that turning the notebook sideways helped her write; ridiculous right-handed bias against a left-handed student. That fourth grader who read the Hobbit, albeit in a month, and the Fellowship of the Ring and White Fang a year later, despite the insistence of her teacher that it was above her level and she did not want poor quiz scores to lower AR reading levels.
That girl who got an 18/20 on those reading quizzes and who was reading near college level at twelve. Who created her own world and its heritage in middle school and began the first draft of her first novel at age 13. The girl who fought through an eighth grade year of stupid boys and numerous sick days to get her only 4.0 GPA for her final quarter. The girl who moved six times across the country and around the Pacific Northwest.
That girl. The one who despised page limits. Who railed against an average vocabulary and people who did not think. After all, it's the new sexy. The girl so bookish, she could lose herself for hours and read hundreds of pages, if not a whole book, in a day. Who tried her hand at romance writing and found she was good at it, despite having no personal experience to draw from and still does not.
She got lost a few years ago.
Put down her pen.
Dropped her books.
Forgot the view.
You see, she fell in love with different stories. The wrong stories. She went against her nature until she suppressed it so completely. She loves people now. She loves their stories. She loves their lives and how they live it. She got involved in the mess. She became defensive of people, but never learned to be defensive of herself. She fiercely loves her friends, even when they do not fiercely love her. She enacted the traits she read about, the old-fashioned character that melded her upbringing.
She has learned the hard way.
Life is the same as the books she read. Full of danger and bravado. But no safety.
She has seen love in books and in life and rages at the discrepancy, wondering how people who know what it feels like, how they could present it as it is not. Who would do that? Who would tell them to do that?
She sees the epic quests. They are full of dragons and gold. But the dragons are not defeated. The gold is not reclaimed. It is becomes a constant fight in the singular.
And now she sits here, typing this, wondering at the girl she once was.
Wondering at the little girl I once was and how the things have changed.
And yet...some things have not. For I still remember pieces of her.
I still am one of the biggest Anglophiles you will ever meet. God Save the Queen!
I may not drink hot chocolate in July, but hot tea, any time, with milk and honey, of course.
And every week it seems, my book collection grows. Just today I added the complete and collected Sherlock Holmes as well as Kavalier & Clay. My time for reading goes down, but my book stacks in front of my shelves and boxes in the closet and garage are ever increasing. I have little time to just curl up and read, but when I do, God help you if you disrupt me.
I do not write any more, or have not since that one day, nearly three years ago. The words escape my head, my creativity in the throws of an extended drought. I know, though, that they are there, for I continue to write, just not like before, not like I used to. It may take some time, years even.
One day, I am sure of it. Perhaps I will be laying in the grass on a blanket, leaned against the chest of the man I love or with a child I would pull a star from the heavens for and it will begin again. The words will pour out, as if from my fingertips and I will not be able to stop them. And that first novel all the way back from 2004, it will find itself finished with a period, or possibly a question mark as its final punctuation. And because it was that child who gave me the words, it is those words I will read every night before they sleep until it is finished.
Yes, there are things about my eight year old, my twelve year old self I wish I could reclaim.
There was a lot of innocence in being that young, even with how much my family moved.
But there is one thing time has given me that I am thankful for and it is this simple:
If you had asked my eight year-old, boy chasing, insanely flirtatiously confident self if I was to be married I may have laughed at you and said boys have cooties, but I would like to think yes, if I could get past that. My answer has not changed. I am no longer insanely confident nor aware of flirtation, but I no longer think men contagious. If you had asked my twelve year old self, who fought with her little brother constantly, if I would have children with my husband, she would have flat out told you no, that children and siblings are the worst sort of thing you could inflict upon your self and the world around you. That answer has been completely replaced. Perspective changes everything.
And yes, do I fancy the idea that my Anglophile self will be rewarded with a husband with a fantastic voice and accompanying accent? Yes, on days I am truly ridiculous. Ordinarily, a great voice is more than enough and that designation is not strict, but must be earned.
I do not know how else to say it.
I am 22 years old...almost 23.
I freely admit that the sooner I get married, the better we all will be.
I also admit that it will probably have to be arranged, because I have no idea how it will happen.
I am massively introverted, regardless of how conversational I can be.
I spent years having the introvert beat out of me with constant demands for my attention. I am now fighting to beat the extrovert out of me. It does not belong in the dominance it has achieved.
In the future, any stories I write for my children or grandchildren or great grandchildren, I wrote solely for them. Publish something I write posthumously and see whom I haunt until eternity comes.
That girl. Do you see her now? Do you remember her, even a trace of her?
I remember that girl. She is still there. She is not gone. She is still me.