Tag Archives: alaska

The Early Years And Losing My Smile

27 Aug

When I arrived in Alaska my expectations were carefully optimistic.  I think I was too young to realize how heavy a burden my weight would be.  Fourth grade began and I found my crowd, as always.  I did not see that it was the unwanted ones, I had been placed into the cast of characters who had been labeled as, for lack of a better word, losers.  The summer before fifth grade I gained a friend in my new neighbor, Kay.  We were the same age, living in the same duplex, and our fathers quickly introduced us.  Nichole, Kay, and I became inseparable that summer- going on many adventures in the Alaskan forests.  Kay was a spirited,pretty, little blonde girl with a squeaky voice and tenacious attitude, not to mention a sense of humor that played perfectly off of my own.

As that school year began it became clear Kay and I were not regarded as being so similar by our peers.  She was adopted immediately by the popular crowd and, at school, our relationship deteriorated.  She treated me as the rest of them did, haughty and rude to me while around her school friends.  To further differentiate myself I developed a love of poetry and ancient cultures, immersing myself in books on the subjects.  I wrote one poem in particular which my mother believed to be far above my age, and my teachers agreed.  One day as a surprise she came in to the class and read my poem to everyone.  “And you’ll never guess who this was written by,” she said, completely unaware of the undesired attention it would cause.

Summers were always good, Kay would come back to normal and we would share many laughs and adventures together.  Hiking through the various mountains, camping, walking through frigid rivers, making slushie runs to the Youth Center… it was a very happy time.  I was insecure about my looks around Kay, but away from the influence of her friends she was kind and supportive.  It remained this way until seventh grade.

The awkward phase of life had begun, I shot up to a solid 5’9 almost overnight.  I was not quite so chubby as a result, but I was by no means attractive.  Acne became a serious problem, I broke out all over my face and back and no dermatologist I went to was able to cure me.  And, to my dismay, my breasts developed at an unequal rate and they stopped growing when they were vastly different sizes.  I was awkward epitomized.  Furthermore I had decided to stop spending time with my old group of friends, through time I realized they were not a positive influence.  In their situation they had chosen to speak ill of everyone and became far too interested in crude materials.  I suppose, despite my problems, I must have been a little less offensive to behold because I was then adopted by the average group.  We had fun together, they were lighthearted and kind, and we always had some good laughs.

Underlying though, was the growing realization that I was not pretty.  Far from it, I was detestable in many ways.  At a time when other girls were obsessed with boys and ensuring they were wearing the most current fashion trend, I was obsessed with Phil Collins music, art, and english.  Everyone was experiencing what it was like to have their first boyfriends, while I could not even imagine what it would be like to be seen by a guy.  I wanted desperately someday to be in love, to have a marriage and a life with someone I cared about.  I saw the silly relationships around me and I decided to make a rule for myself: I would not allow myself to date until I was done with High School.  I wanted my heart to be as whole as possible when I met “the one,” and I knew that, only living places usually two years, I was not going to find my match until college at least.  I was happy having made this decision but it does not mean I did not find myself yearning to be liked.

After the longest time I had lived anywhere at one time, four years, we received the assignment to move to North Dakota.  It was so hard saying goodbye to Kay and the great wilderness I had come to love, but I found myself hoping that maybe I could establish myself differently with a new start.

 

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