I shamelessly stole idea from My Lena, over there.
Ten years ago today I was excited about turning eighteen in two days time. I planned to buy porn even though I don't watch it, cigarettes even though I don't smoke, and go to a strip club just because I legally could. I did two of those three things, as I couldn't find a strip club near by because I lived in bum-f Ohio.
My ideal weekend was a concert or a rave. Or a concert and a rave. Or several concerts and several raves, depending on how much money my friends and I had. I would dance for six hours straight.
Unrelated, I spent more time in the hospital than I did in high school.
Speaking of high school, I was buying same-sex tickets to Prom. Before it was hip. The school didn't want to let me, but they did once I assured them we weren't actually lesbians. You could only buy tickets to prom as a couple and my friend April didn't have a date. She really, really wanted to go. So I took her, even though I could have gone with a boy. Dress attire required, she wore a black gown and I wore a white one. Underneath my dress my stockings were Polka dotted. She and I don't talk anymore. I don't know why. She just disappeared one day with no explanation. There was no bad blood between us.
I got rides to school from Kym, who would randomly not show up sometimes. Or show up late. I spent most of my lunches in detention for tardiness or truancy as a result of this. Kym also disappeared mysteriously, though not until after high school.
Without social networking tools it was really easy to lose touch with people.
I had a pager, it was neon yellow. A numeric page of 333 meant, "I love you," between my friends and I. A numeric page of 187 of course meant quite the opposite. 411 meant, "Call me asap, we need to talk!" Payphones were everywhere. They only cost twenty-five cents to use. Even so, we would often call eachother collect and instead of saying our names when prompted, we'd just say whatever we needed to really fast or leave the call-back number for the payphone and hang up. This meant no one ever actually had to accept the charges. Payphones could receive calls from outside lines for free. Unless you were at a payphone in a different area code, then long distance applied.
Long distance charges were absurd.
While most of my friends were looking forward to leaving their parent's houses, I enjoyed living at home. Probably since for a while there, I didn't have one. I lived at Morgan's, Ashly's, Sarah's sister's, amongst others. So being back at home, feeling like a kid, seemed nice. I rebuilt the relationship with my mother that had been needlessly strained by the d-bag she had been married to. Things there were good.
I got my first tattoo on a whim. Designed it myself. Drew up the stencil in the car as we were driving there. I planned on getting tons and tons more -- I'm glad I didn't. While I do not regret my tattoos, and would even get another right now, there is a such thing as over doing it. Everything in moderation. You don't need to be covered head to toe in ink to express yourself. A little here and there is quite sufficient.
My hair was black and purple. It was also over three feet in length. By that summer though, I would cut it for the first time: A shoulder-length bob. The stylist would cry as she did it, not able to fathom why I would ever choose to cut it all off and terrified that she would do an unsatisfactory job. It seemed all-in-all a bigger deal to her than it was for me. I donated it to Locks of Love.
My long lost family from Michigan was still long lost. I missed my sisters on a daily basis but had absolutely no way to reconnect with them. Even though they were only three hours away, across the state line, they may as well have been in outer space. Several years down the line, I would find them on Myspace and we'd meet face-to-face for the first time in over twelve years. Finding them again still stands out as one of the best days of my life.
Lena drove a seemingly crappy Ford Taurus. But I'm convinced it saved our life at least once. After driving nose first off of a thirty foot incline, after sliding on an icy road at 50 mph. We almost collided with a forest at one point and a telephone pole at another. We were not wearing seat belts. I have no idea how we walked out of there okay. Well, okay in a general sense. I broke several bones, but nothing serious.
I learned to always wear my seat belt.
I made friends all over the world, thanks to the growing popularity of the Internet. I'm still in touch with most of them today. Despite the stereotype that the internet is full of creepers and predators, the only truly offensive people I've ever met have all been offline -- in real life.
My dream job was to model and I landed not one but two contracts to do so. I however quickly learned that modeling was far from a dream job as it required two very key aspects: lots of traveling and very little sleep. Traveling is great until you realize if you want to work full time as a model you need to be doing it twelve out of every twenty-four hour day to get from one job to the next. You want to know why most models are so skinny and sickly looking? It's not drugs. It's not anorexia. It's having to go straight from an airplane to work, to another airplane, to more work. Eating nothing but airport food.
I realized another key thing in my days of being a model: I don't like attention. Especially not attention from strangers. Not at all. I thought I'd love to be famous, but I had never been more wrong in my life. The idea of fame quickly became not just unappealing to me, but kind of appalling. Having someone all up in your business every second of the day is obnoxious. Particularly when it isn't someone you like.
I considered disappearing off 'the grid' to live a modest life in a cave some where with stolen internet and electricity, living otherwise off the fat of the land. It's probably a good thing I didn't, as I very likely would have died out there and no one would have ever found out.
If an Inari falls in the forest and no one is around to hear, does she make a sound?