Since yesterday's post made it seem like I should maybe run around singing "It's A Hard Knock Life" from Annie, on a loop, I figured I'd balance that out with some of the radness that has been my past. There have been a ton of good times, and so let's have a happy time post shall we?
When I was in kindergarten they had no idea what was going on with me. I was bored to tears and totally out of control. Come to find out they tested me and my IQ was off the charts. So they had me start helping other kids in class, then they started a before school GATE program. After a few years they had a special school with an all day GATE program, which is probably one of my best school memories. You got 50 minutes for each subject, and you moved at your own pace. There were work packets instead of books. You could complete as many packets as you wanted. In spelling I moved at the speed of light and completed all the packets through grade 12 my 5th grade year. The teacher, instead of just having me help other kids, had me write a book as my spelling assignment. I still have two chapters of that book. It is very Sweet Valley High. There are pages talking about how the main character will never find a good boy to date, and some pages are almost completely descriptions of what Esprit or Benetton outfit the girl is wearing that day. It's hilarious, and I love that I have it. I just wish I still had some of the pictures my friend Brian had drawn to illustrate the book. I also find it strange that I can remember this like it was yesterday, but most times I forget half of what actually happened yesterday.
In junior high we moved out to Elk Grove, which at the time was a suburb in the boonies outside of Sacramento. This was a rough transition for me 'cause I had only one white friend in the GATE school, and Elk Grove was VERY white. Of course, I latched on to the first African American girl I saw. Turns out, she was even whiter than I was. I ended up teaching her how to dance and introducing her to a ton of really bad 80s rap and r&b like this: Doug E. Fresh - Ladi Dadi. Good lord how I loved that song in the sixth grade.
At the end of junior high and the beginning of high school is when I discovered bands like The Cure and Depeche Mode. I spent high school going dancing at goth and industrial clubs, and seeing a lot of great concerts. Toward the end of high school I got in to hardcore and started traveling even further to see bands, and got in to activism and learning a lot about world issues. I was captain of the soccer team, with half a shaved head, and was in all AP classes. I was also in zero period Model United Nations/Junior Statesmen of America. I was nerdy, when nerdy wasn't cool.
I would hop on planes with just a backpack and couch surf around the east coast. I noticed my obsessive behaviors starting to wane a little. I got to talk with a ton of people who were important to me at that point in my life, who sang in bands that talked about stuff that mattered to me. I met my first love who was a professional skateboarder and played drums in a screamo band (back when screamo was good). We would make sandwiches and drive to San Francisco to hand them out and talk to the homeless folks on the street. We would steal presto logs and drive up Highway 1 and camp out illegally on the beach. We went to senior ball at the Fashion Center of San Francisco in a convertible Mustang my mom had rented for me. It was all good.
In college I started going to raves on a regular basis. I met a ton of artistic and amazing people. I dated a boy whose room was a cubby hole above the bathroom in a warehouse. You had to climb a ladder to get in. I learned to match beats on two turntables with a mixer, and it was heavenly. I went dancing all hours of the night. When we woke up, we'd stumble over to May's on Market or Brainwash if we had a ton of money (which was rare) to have breakfast. We would adventure through San Francisco south of Market, which at the time was not gentrified, and we would meet interesting characters. I got to date a boy who was the nephew of a famous film writer, and we got to stay at one of their houses in Beverly Hills. They treated us to Shiatsu massages at Beverly Hills hot springs. His wife bought me a floral dress at a boutique that even then, had stuff I would never be able to afford today. I made road trips to Canada and hung out with kids who built lowrider bikes. We'd skateboard all over town and laugh and have a ton of fun.
I've always had a really easy time meeting people, even when half of the time in my brain I could not fathom what these people saw in me. I wish I'd had glimpses of the cute, young, amazing me that I am now quite certain I was. I am blessed to have had many life adventures. Even the bad ones, 'cause they have made me who I am right now.
Today I know artists, small business owners, food bloggers, writers and journalists, street kids, millionaires, and the rest of the spectrum of humanity that represent the people I call friends. I am lucky. I hope to have many more adventures to come. Tonight making butternut squash soup and strawberry rhubarb pie will be an adventure. Saturday going to a dark circus theme wedding will be an adventure. Next weekend going to Santa Cruz and getting to stay in a house that is built in to the side of the mountain will be an adventure. There are so many adventures, large and small, to be had still.
Happy picture of the day: my new jet black hair. Much thanks to Lauren for coming over last night to enjoy yummy snacks and help me dye my hair. Love you lady!