Learning To Love You More




Assignment #14
Write your life story in less than a day.

Sarah Bee
Austin, Texas USA
Email Sarah



I was born in Southfield, Michigan, to the parents of 3 preexisting tots. The youngest of 4 I am am. I spent the first few months of my babyhood, as the family joke goes, in a dresser drawer. I have a feeling this may not really be a joke. From Northville, MI, the fam moved over to Canton, MI, where I lived in the same house until I left for college at 17yrs old.
When I was a weejun I mostly followed my brothers around and tried to get in on whatever they were playing. My sis was 6 yrs older and so was out and about with her friends before I even had a chance to tag along. Mostly me and mis hermanos played guns , which in hindsight is a pretty weird game to play. It consisted of everyone having a plastic gun, if you were lucky the gun made electric shooting noises or had caps. We basically hunted people around, hiding out around corners, and shot each other. Like laser tag without the fancy equipment.
I first smoked cigarettes with my brothers and I was the favorite choice to take the Spree (moped) up to the gas station with a note from someone s parents allowing me to buy cigarettes. This was before there was a hefty fine for someone selling tobacco to a minor.
I also shot bb guns with my brothers. They like to shoot at squirrels mostly, but also anything that moved or didn t, including cans and each other, qualified as an apt target.
I went to Catholic school for 8 yrs. That place was mostly a bore. The best and worst of it was that you knew everyone, well. The playground was separated into boys and girls sides. The boys side was larger. If a ball from their side found its way onto our side, we had to fetch a playground lady to return it to them. IF you hung out near the girls side boys side divide for too long you could get in trouble, a demerit or something like that. I got detention a few times there. For detention they d make you read something from the encyclopedia and copy it or write about it. I had to write about grey kangaroos or something like that. It seemed like a very dignified detention. We wore blue plaid uniforms, green in 7th & 8th grade. I didn t like navy for a long time because of that. I still had forest green, but it might not be the uniforms so much as the 90s love of forest green and mauve/burgundy home décor.
I m still friends with 3 of the girls I went to catholic school with. One I ve known since we were 5 years old and I m in her wedding in April; most of my friends I have known a long time. Like my mom I build roots.
My brothers got in trouble a lot at catholic school, so they were examples. My sister has always been a model child, but I felt I was supposed to at least somewhat follow in their steps. I always had a foul mouth and once on the bus got in trouble for telling my neighbor Robbie to shove it up his ass or something like that. I had to go talk to our creepy red bearded principal about what and why I said it. It turned a standard cuss into something perverse. Analyzing it made me feel very weird. At that age it didn t have any literal meaning, it was just being tough.
In 7th and 8th grades, still at the catholic school, our drill sergeant of a math teacher would yell at me, by yell I mean yell, to go to the bathroom to wash of my makeup. My makeup consisted of neutral shaded eye shadow and I think that was it. I can think of much worse things people should be yelled at for than beige eye shadow. Asshole.
My dad took me to get my ears pierced in 2nd grade. I used my first communion money. Afterwards, me took me to a tigers game downtown Detroit. We probably didn t talk much, but it s a good memory still.
Anywho, so starting in about 7th grade I liked to pierce my own ears. I think I added a new hole every week or so. I got to about 7 or 10 in my left ear and so my science teacher took me in the hall and told me I couldn t do that, it was against the rules. The school had recently tried something new, putting out a small pamphlet of rules/conduct. I had already read it for some reason, and so knew I was not in the wrong. I told her that and she didn t much like my response or her being wrong.
So that school kinda blew. It was very sheltered. People here private school and think you were super privileged and were reading Kierkegaard in middle school. I didn t read shit. I read the Outsiders in 7th grade, which was the only book I ever remember reading there. They didn t much challenge us or expose us to much in the humanities. No foreign languages were offered. We were still doing spelling bees in 8th grade. Did other people do that? I feel like they tried to keep us as children and didn t give us enough responsibility and exposure to things. We had religion class. I would draw all over my book. I remember I drew George Michael real big across the cover. How ironic is that. I love that.
In 5th-ish grade the whole class got in trouble for writing bad words when they signed each other yearbooks. For Us Cool Kids. Always Stay Sweet. The standard cuss acronyms of the time. My parents were on vacation for the week and my Grandma was taking care of us. The school made us bring our yearbooks home and have our guardian sign them. I don t know if my grandma really understood what was going on, I thought it was funny.
I went to public high school. The place was gigantic. 2 high schools share one campus, there are about 4-5000 kids roaming around. You have classes in both schools. The year before I started you could smoke on campus. They ended that when I was a freshman but people still huddles together and smoked at the tree . I used to smoke walking through Phase III, one of the phsy ed-type buildings. I probably learned the trick from one of my brother s friends. We walked through this building to get to the main building. It was basically a long hall, maybe 100 ft long. I turned the cigarette up into my palm and walked a calm quick.
It was weird to go from lil catholic school to huge public school. Meeting people was something new and I was probably very awkward at it. I was on track my freshman year. I was pretty terrible and didn t have much motivation either. I was tall so people though I would be good. But I must have been one of the worst on the team. I joined the team with my friend (from catholic school). The coach didn t care much about us because we weren t one of his prided gazelles. So he always stuck us in the 400m race. Which was painful. B/c it s sort of a sprint, and sort of long distance, as least to my lazy ass. I think my best time was like a minute 15 or 18. I wonder what I could run it in now. So I was not a star athlete, but it was still fun to be on the team and have something to do besides go home after school, eat a Jeno s pizza, and watch soap operas, and fight with my brothers.
One of my brothers is my friend, the other is basically estranged or whatever you call it. He doesn t talk to any of us. He s been in jail twice, both for short periods of time (at most a few months). Once I visited him there with my parents and I wish I hadn t. It was really scary and depressing to see him like that, all OZ-ed out in his orange jumpsuit and fucking flip flops with socks. This is what happens when a child is angry and it never gets figured out; when he doesn t find resolution or a positive channel for his feelings.
Overall I d say my childhood was relatively fun and happy, the only dark stain is that my brother was a total fucking asshole to me. He was small, but I was smaller, so I guess it made him feel better to have someone to control. He said mean shit mostly, I m sure he d push me around, but it was definitely more mental than anything. I could probably right a book just about him. But that would not be so fun, at least for you.
So high school ends. Rah rah rah. I move into my dorm in Ann Arbor. I packed up my parents car and moved myself in. My mom says I didn t want their help, but I say they didn t try very hard. Ann arbor was basically heaven. I was housed in an overflow triple, which mean 3 people lived in a room meant for 2. but still, not living at home, not dealing with the family, having culture and entertainment, hallelujah. In high school when we d skip school we d usually go to Ann Arbor and hang out, get Stucci s ice cream, burritos from The Burro, shop at Urban Outfitters. So to actually be living there was a dream for me.
I didn t make too many friends my freshman year, besides my drinkin buddies. Most of the peeps join sororities and that was absolutely not my bag. So I hung out at coffee houses, listening to my CDs, reading very slowly, drinking lots of coffee, smoking, people watching. That was a normal day for me.
College college college
I graduated in 2000. My last class was photo. That was a fun class, a great way to end college. My teacher had a lazy eye. On the first day of class, one of the first things she told us was that she had a lazy eye, and she told us which one to look at. I thought that was really cool that she just put it out there like that. I think I was so thrown back that she was telling us about her eye, that I forgot to actually commit to memory which eye I was supposed to look at. She should have written it in the syllabus.
I studied, more like drank ate and traveled, in Prague my junior year in college for a semester. That was one of the best times of my life. The most beautiful city I ve ever been to. And hey, it s friggin cheap. Beer was like $.40. The first few times I walked over the Charles bridge it felt absolutely dreamy and surreal. All the statues along the bridge, the giant gothic cathedral up on the hill, the cobblestone streets and dirty trams running around everywhere.
So after I graduated college a girl I studied in Prague with and I decided to go to southeast Asia to teach English. She pretty much chose the area. I don t think I even know what southeast Asia consisted of at the time. We decided to go to Thailand in the fall of 2000. My parents were worried for me to just show up there like a hobo. SO they footed the bill for me to become a certified English teacher (TEFL). The school was downtown New York City, I think on 27th street, in the garment district or near it. The school itself made me nervous because it was very intensive. One month long all day 5 days a week. I feel the school took away any natural feeling I had towards teaching, and made it much more regimented. We had to teach little classes of Polish people and get graded by our teacher. It was scary. Too high pressure for me. But still fun to be doing something new and in NYC of course. I lived at the 92nd street Y in a bunker of a room. I think the room cost like $1000 for the month. There was a window that didn t open, and only enough room for a twin bed, desk and closet. There was a community kitchen down the hall but I don t think I ever used it. I guess I ate out every day for a month. Hubba hubba.
Okay, here s where I start to summarize more because I think I ve written enough.
So we went to Thailand. I taught for 1 month and then quit because I didn t like being assessed by the head of the school it made me nervous. The kids were great and the cutest. Thailand must be one of the best places on the planet. Happy place, blue water, fresh fish, tuk-tuks, spicy food. I was there for 4  months. Took the train a lot. Went south all the way down to Singapore, which I think is sort of the US of Asia. In the sense that it is a melting pot of religions and cultures. Beautiful Hindu temples, colorful and alive like a children s coloring book.
When I came back from Thailand I lived with my friends in a house in downtown Detroit. It was great to be with them and hang out, but I never really found my niche or a cool job. I worked too much. I had a crappy credit job at night, and a weird art job during the day which I eventually got fired from for being late. He said he didn t want to micromanage his employees. I cried. So I moved to Austin with my friend several months later.
Austin was for me. Being from frigid MI, the hot temps of Austin were a welcome sweatfest. Last time I rode my bike in Detroit, I saw 2 guys running out of a convenience store, one with a gun. I guess the place was being robbed. The sidewalks like to have lots of glass on them too. Riding bikes in Austin was a new adventure. swimming in Barton Springs, eating lots of Tex-Mex, it was like I was on a permanent vacation. I eventually got a job at dell selling computers over the phone. This was cool at first because the pay was good and I got to learn about the basics of computer hardware. It didn t take to long for this job to become a malignant growth. The hours were irregular and changed every now and then. Usually you didn t have 2 days off in a row, I guess so you wouldn t be away from your customers for too long. They totally pushed us to sell sell sell. The vibe of that job was entirely not me. I felt like I had to be dishonest or pushy with people to do well at my job.
From Dell I got a job at the University of Texas. This job was totally boring, but it was close to home, regular schedule, decent pay, vacations, holidays, sick days. SO it was good for a year and than I couldn t take the monotony of it anymore so I quit. And I got married to my love in the meantime so I was lucky enough that I didn t have to work.
While working at UT I d stated taking woodworking classes at our community college. So I kept myself busy with that and the house we d recently bought.
After a year or several months, I was going nutty and needed a job. I got a job through a temp agency, a boring desk job. I had no one to talk to and sat alone in my cube 5 days a week. That was a hell job. But the pay was okay and I got a lot of my wedding planning done there. I was planning our second wedding. The first was at the justice of the peace with some friends, the second was the big party for friends and family and all that jazz.
SO I quit that job after less than a year. I decided to apply to UT for the masters of arch program. I didn t get accepted and I learned from that ordeal that it s very difficult to decide something on a whim and then have it turn out completely in your favor. I was under qualified compared to some of the uberarchprepped applicants.
Plan B is where I m at now. Studying Interior design at Texas State. This is my first semester, and probably last for a while. We re supposed to move to France in February so school is on hold till further notice.
This is my life in a day.