Let me tell you more about myself: I have never been a “small” petite person, 5’3” (the same height as my grandpa) with a curvy figure. My skin has never been clear. Puberty was not kind. I keep fooling myself by saying it will get better after 30. My dark blonde, some have called it grey, hair has always been a different texture and I have enough for several people. The hair (it’s an entity of its own) refuses to be styled like most. I’ve tried but there’s no fighting it.
My attempts were futile. A friend of mine once told me kindly before practice that my new short ‘do made it appear that I was wearing a helmet. Not something you want to hear after traveling 45 minutes to a stylist, sit in the chair for a few hours, then drive back to school for practice to hear those words.
My heart has always been kind and my mouth sassy. My mind is always on the tip of my tongue but I have learned to rest it in my cheek when needed. Ok, so I’m still working on that.
In elementary and middle school, I wore non-prescription glasses, over my brown eyes, which my mom used as décor on my Great Grandma Violet’s books. Now, I really need glasses. I actually went in for my first pair in high school and since I am not driving much these days, I pass over the time I should return and get by with the old ones. Yep, that makes it 12 years with the same pair.
I also wore cowboy boots (that caused trouble at recess when I would kick boys in their private parts) in elementary school, not because I was into the cowgirl motif but because they seemed cool. I still own boots. I wore them on our wedding day.
I also wore hats, back when they were allowed. In sixth grade, I had a yin yang necklace that I kept in my locker because I thought it would provide me something-luck, patience, skill in a particular subject, etc… I can’t recall if it did. My friend later lost it. The same friend also lost my family sapphire ring, the birthstone of my mom and I, which my mom allowed me to wear. Why I let her borrow it for the afternoon I will never know.
I made it into cheerleading but only because I wanted to prove that I could; I had little sincere interest in doing it. After several games, one of the male players announced loudly in the hall, “I thought cheerleaders were supposed to be cute.” I replied, “I thought basketball players were supposed to play and not sit on the bench.” We were cool from that point on. I was also in band, second chair (never challenging the first chair-one of my dearest friends), and was accepted into a touring choir. I’ve performed and been involved in over 100 productions.
I wrote for the school paper in elementary and middle school, made it into the “upper” classes at the time where students were divided by upper, middle, and remedial levels and was involved in every school play and musical from 1st grade through highschool. I participated in an academic group that helped the elderly with snow/leaf removal and canned food drives. Each year a few of my art pieces made it into the local college art show.
Yet, I never really understood myself enough to allow others to get a true idea of who I was. Plenty of people settled into themselves but then again, I saw a good many that hadn’t. I feel like I was in my way and that it was detrimental for others to get to know me. I know that I could have been friends with people who barely knew me and I “put up with” some people that I should have kicked to the curb. Those people who, in the end, were not looking out for my best interest although, I stood beside them through their crazy endeavors and irrational moments. Perhaps, jealousy got in the way or maybe their idea of me wasn’t quite panning out and that frustrated the two of us. Either way, I regret not knowing some people better. That’s my point.
Now, I open up more but it can be conflicting with the part of me that is cautious when it comes to people. I won’t grow any taller (I might shrink actually), my eye color won’t naturally change, I still wear whatever I want and like to kick guys in their private parts (kidding…but watch yourself) but I can still grow as a person. Just don’t expect me to be less sassy on my adult path towards being the best version of myself.
One more thing, I love fruit salads. This is my second recipe for such a dish, inspired by Martha Stewart. Feel free to toss in other berries and fruit with this one.
Plum, Grape and Berry Fruit Salad with Light Syrup
Serves 4 to 6
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
3 purple or red plums, halved, pitted and cut into slices
2 cups seedless grapes, halved
1 cup blueberries
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
In a large bowl, toss the sugar and lime juice together; set aside for 10 minutes. Toss in the sliced plums, grapes, blueberries and mint. Refrigerate for up to a day or serve.