Learning To Love You More




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

Kitty Cookies
Redmond, Washington USA



I was born in a hospital somewhere in Walnut Creek, California sometime in the afternoon. It was Easter sunday, my dad almost named me Bunny because of that. And I've always been a little disappointed that Easter has never been on my birthday since. But I was always glad I was born on Sunday, because of that poem about what you are if you're born on a certain day. I don't really remember what the poem said about children produced on any of the other days but I remember mine and it says 'but the child that is born on the Sabbath day is bonny and blithe and good and gay'. I always thought that very nice, it made me feel like a ray of sunshine which wonderfully became one of my many endearing nicknames, Sunshine.
When I was one year old my mother and father divorced. They had been together for about 5 years though, and even had a child before me but it was still-born. They named the little dead baby Angel, and I've always wished she was alive. I've also always wished my parents were still together. I've never seen them fight, and it seems like they really loved each other. But my mom has told me that he was never very responsible for me or for her. His actions that I've observed while I have been alive have proven her statements true, even though I still think he's a pretty cool guy, and I'm glad he's my dad. So anyways, after the divorce, which I don't remember, it was just me and my mom and it was wonderful.
My first memories are jumbled and I have no way of knowing which one came first. I think I remember my very first step, and I'm pretty sure everyone thinking I'm lying or making it up or something, but I ran the story by my mom and it seems like it could be true. I had a babysitter and I would spend the day at her house, presumably while my mother went to work or divorce court or whatever. What I can recall that at the infamous moment I was sitting on the kitchen floor playing with a lovely blue scarf, for some reason the babysitter took it away and put in on a chair not far from me. I wanted the scarf, so I got up and went for it. when I told my mom the story all she could say was that she was so sad that I took my first steps but the babysitter and not for her. I don't know about other babies, and whether or not they're conscious of whom they're walking for. But for me it was only about whether or not I wanted something, and I never would have got off that floor if someone was asking me too, and for me personal motivation has always come first.
After that I remember playing a little toy piano with my cousin Cami. Her full name is Camrin. I loved Cami, she was born only a month after me and for the first 3 years of our lives we were best friends, and probably for some years after that too. Then, Cami was smaller than me, she still kind of is, and had lots of curly dark hair and big brown eyes. I had straight, blond hair and had big blue eyes. I remember that in the morning she would always wake after me and was very grumpy, she's never liked to wake up. I would wonder if she was mad at me when she was that way, but she never was she just wasn't instantly sparkly in the morning like i was back then. I worry often that people are mad at me if they are not sparkly and bright, maybe that's selfish, i'm not really sure.
Until I was 3 my mom and I lived with my Grandma. After I outgrew my crib my mom got me a full sized bed which I loved and actually did not get rid of until I turned 19. I still miss it. I don't remember a lot about grandma's house except for going to the park, which was my favorite.
When I was 3 my mom got remarried. And we moved to southern California or more specifically, Garden Grove. My new dad's name is Steve Mertens and he's the complete opposite of my real dad. My real dad's name is Fred and he likes tattoos, cigars, cadillacs, golfing and gambling. When i was a little girl he would take me to pool halls and golf courses to teach me something. I'm not very good at either of those things now but i have fond memories. Steven is a conservative republican from a mid-western catholic family and he likes reading the paper, science and the food network. I never compared them like this when i was a child, they were both alright by me. I was an open and loving child; I had no time to be scared or to judge. I think my mom tricked me into moving by spending less time in the bay area. I remember we took a trip to Maui and even visited Steve down south while he bought the house. Some things I remember from that time are as follows; the beach, red overalls, fig newtons, yellow curtains, a cookie monster cake, and a purple ballerina outfit. I still look upon all those things very fondly.
After we moved I was enrolled in preschool at a Montessori school. I like playing with the blocks. I liked the pink blocks that started huge but ended smaller than my palm. And I also liked these blocks that some sides were colored and others were black. You had to put them together with the same colors touching and when they were all together all you would see is black. I remember feeling really thick when I did this. And I don't mean thick like stupid, but like my body would kind of feel like a rubber tire. It's hard to explain, later in life I started associating that feeling with admitting something about myself that I had been denying for a long time. I also liked to paint and draw pictures of flamingos, girls with hearts on their shirts, and mermaids on rocks.
Around this time my mom was still working full time. I love my mom more than anyone else in the entire world and when I was younger, parting from her was not really something I could fathom. When she had to go to work early in the morning I would cry like I would never see her again or something.
I was almost 5 years old when my mother informed me that she was pregnant and was going to have a baby. I was furious with her. I hated the idea of a baby. I screamed at her when she first told me. And after that whenever she brought it up I told her that actually she was not having a baby and she would definitely end up giving it back to the hospital. I don't remember what specifically I did not like about it; it's not that I hate babies. at the time I did not know just how selfish I was being, I was really angry at my mother and I'm sure that didn't make her feel good. When Tommy, my brother, was born I didn't feel so mad about it anymore. There are lots of pictures of us holding each other and playing. Which is paints a mildly inaccurate picture of reality, but I know that's how he really feel for each other inside.
Elementary school was alright for me I guess. Most people say the humiliation starts in junior high. But I've always felt like being with a large amount of kids my own age is anxiety ridden no matter what. I wanted to be cool and I wanted people to like me. Your destiny in the social hierarchy of public school starts as soon as you enter 1st grade. Okay maybe not that soon. I'm going to go with 3rd grade. Girls are incredibly mean to each other, and I've always been sensitive. I was very silly and loud growing up and I guess those traits aren't considered 'cool'. until about 4th grade I dressed in leggings, flea market t-shirts and converse. I had long straight hair that I don't think I ever brushed it. I had big eyes, a goofy smile and lots of freckles. I was also ridiculously tall, and remained so until all the boys caught up with me in like 9th grade. Being tall is nice when you're older, but being taller than everyone else in your 5th grade class is natures of telling you that you will be the odd one out for the rest of your life. Nature was right.
In the middle of 8th grade I moved to Redmond, Washington. My dad got a transfer and more money. It was bummer because I had just started to have lots of friends and I was really happy. When we got there it was winter and I don't think I had ever really owned a jacket before then. I was the new girl, it sucked in every possible way. I befriended this girl Subi and we bonded over the desire to be really punk. One day she stopped being so nice to me and i told her that i was really sad that she was ignoring me and wanted to know why. apparently i was "annoying" and her other friends thought that when she was around me that she was annoying to and they told her that she should stop hanging out with me or they wouldn't want to hang out with her. I said that i really wanted to be friends that i felt hurt that she would want to not be friends. She said my feelings were not very punk. For the rest of my school days i had an enemy.
I had a boyfriend too, his name was Ryan and he was in a punk band. He was the first boy I had ever seen cum and until I got with someone else I really thought that it was only supposed to take 30 seconds to cum, poor Ryan. I was 14 by now and I still can't believe at 14 I was so sexual. Now that seems way too young to be doing things like that. Anyways, Ryan and I lasted for about 9 months off and on. We were 'in love' and had lots of issues, mostly his emotional issues. I don't mean to make it sound like all his fault because i was no pure soul but he had serious anger problems. One day after school I told him I couldn't come over because my mom wanted me to come straight home and he smashed a trash can outside the junior high that was made out of cement. Then he went home and tried to commit suicide. Both our mothers said we couldn't see each other anymore. I don't even remember anything about that relationship, I just remember it was intense as hell and sometimes I didn't want to do it and sometimes I did. After we broke up every ex-girlfriend of his i talked to said he always talked about me, which i found more sad than endearing or flattering.
In high school I developed severe depression. I dropped out in sophomore year and tried to home school, but I mostly just read a lot of JT Leroy and cried. My boyfriends that year were Gordon, Jesse, Evan, and Jason. There were others, but they weren't boyfriends, they were just people that i made out with. I went to a psychologist, and eventually had to go to a psych ward, twice. I was diagnosed with lots of things; bi-polar, mildly scizophrenic, borderline personality disorder, whatver you name it they thought i migh have it. Mostly i just couldn't handle life at all. I wanted a way out of the responsibilities of life that seemed to breathe down my neck constantly. I never would have admitted it to anyone but deep down i knew i wasn't really crazy. But, secretly i think i hoped the crazier i seemed the more chance i would have to get put away forever. Eventually I realized that life was kind of rad, even though there are scary parts, and it's totally worth living because of all the amazing things you can experience. But mostly I was still a bummer to be around until college. I did about 5 months of home school until i realized i had no self-motivation to graduate. I did running start (part-time high school and part time college courses and the community college) just to stay sane.
I did a lot of theater when I was in high school. I did an actor's intensive with my best friend Laura. And because of that I was in my first professional play. it was called "Elemosanary", i don't remember who it was by. I played a 14 year old spelling bee champion with a neglectful mother and an eccentric grandmother. It was really amazing, but I was still grappling with a lot of 'demons' I guess. Senior year was super stressful for me. Mine and Laura's 2 year close relationship was on the fritz, since junior year I had about four boyfriends (still not counting random hook-ups) and I thought I loved but then it turned out I didn't know what I was doing, I had a huge senior project that killed me, I was directing a play, I was in a play, I had to apply to college, my mom and I couldn't stop screaming at each other, I didn't have a job, I still hated myself and life and everyone and I developed an eating disorder which was mostly a perverted way to deal with stress and social anxiety and I got over it once i started smoking.
Then, after a very relaxing summer with my real dad who had moved back to his hometown in Alabama, I went to college. I had been 'conditionally admitted' to an alternative college in Olympia, WA called The Evergreen State College. this college gave no grades and had no majors. I thought I was ready for that kind of learning but I really was not. My mind was still very unsure of itself and very negative. I started with a class called 'Friendship', which could have been fine but I totally was not ready for the kind of reading that we had to do and I was very distracted but I was smoking a lot of weed. When I first got there I was a general slut for the first few weeks until I did some mushrooms and found Pavel. He was the main shit weed dealer on campus and for the next year I smoked alot. I also tried a lot of other drugs, which i don't really regret because it helped me see things from a more accepting, kind and open point of view. And it was in a positive environment, Evergreen is the second biggest college in the States but it is mostly untamed forests. Those forests were magical and soothing and i soon lost alot of the pretentious attitudes i gained from trying to feel every so punk and scene all the time.
I don't really look back on being in Olympia with very fond bias anymore. Even though i had a lot of fun at the time, i was not thinking about how my actions might effect me long term. I mentioned Pavel before because i fell in love with him. After i was no longer going to evergreen i stayed in the dorms so i could be with him. It seems kind of silly now, i felt like there was some kind of family unit that i had found, but there wasn't. Now I don't talk to any of the people i knew when i was there, i wanted to stay in touch but i guess all those warm feelings i had were some kind of illusion because once i moved back home it didn't seem like my presense had ever mattered to any of them, including Pavel. Over the summer of 2006 he broke up with me over the phone. I was heartbroken, but more than that i was confused. I listened to alot of mariah carey and was convinced that he was going to come back to me, but then i realized that he wasn't and that was even harder. I made alot of intense phone calls and wrote alot of really drippingly emotional letters. I couldn't really keep it together at all. And so my 19th year was super depressing.
After the evergreen letdown, and during my painful heartbreak, i shared an apartment with a friend. i really liked her, but i don't know if it was that we were different or that i was reclusive or what but it just didn't work out so good. she had a trust fund and wore mark jacobs. I held alot of strange and terrible jobs for minimum wage, and wore her mark jacobs when i could. I walked around Seattle listlessly and very depressed. I went to alot of parties. I became friends with lots of boys, fun boys but very dangerous boys considering my delicate emotional situation. I became aware the bulgarian black market and their willingness to sell nuclear warheads to whomever. I tried to go back to school but i started thinking about destruction and death, and looked at everything like it might be the last time i would ever see it. it was 2007, winter and i was sure the world was going to end soon. I had a really high level of anxiety.
The good things that happened were, I made some really good friends by the name of Rachelle and Carrie. I'm still friends with them, and i feel lucky to have found girls that really understand me. I also held so many cashiering jobs that my math skills got surprisingly better! and i read alot of good books, and got to know seattle pretty darn well. I tried really hard to figure out what i was really interested in, almost too hard because that's where i think some of my anxiety came from. At evergreen i thought i wanted to study cultural anthropology, which is interesting and i believe i am capable of that but in the long term i don't think all the studying would really float my boat. I realized that my whole like i loved to draw and paint, i started doing alot of that and i want to eventually go back to school and learn own to draw very well. I read a lot and has inspired me to write a lot as well. i started a band with Carrie named Little Apey. sample lyric "if it's not about boys, it's about the universe. if it's not about the milk then we're out of cereal." don't steal that bitch i'll cut you. I like food and i like to cook. I love vegetables and fruits. top 3 fruits: Starfruit, Bartlet Pears, Avocado. top 3 veggies: Potatos, Asparagus, Eggplant...even though that might be a fruit but i'm too lazy to look it up. I started reading the tarot and i'm not bad at it. I can make an astrological birth chart and can tell you what it would mean if your Mercury was in Capricorn in the 3rd house. I learned that spending time alone, getting to know yourself, is really sweet.
After that terrible winter i decided that i was tough enough to go on a hitchhiking road trip. I had become close this DIY punk girl named Amalia and my end of the world anxiety was telling me that i needed to be tougher and more self-sufficient, i guess. I remember sleeping by some train tracks in Eugene, Oregon next to an oatmeal factory being so scared. I also remember making a campfire on top of a hill while a hippie sang grateful dead songs to me, the only time i really appreciated hippies or the grateful dead. i made in to San Francisco. i got a job there and stayed for a few months. i know that city pretty well too now and had some interesting experiences. Summer in the bay-area is very nice and i got to spend alot of time with my grandma and my dear cousin Cami and her younger sister, Arielle. i came home because i missed my family and friends and i didn't have any money. living the life of a punk squatter is just not in the cards for me at this time.
When i came home some part of me was wondering if maybe i should feel like a failure after all the mistakes i've made. but i really just felt like everything was finally going to be okay. I'm almost 21 years old and i'm living at home from the first time in 2 years. I guess i thought that if i was living on my own i would be not a screw up, but for the first time in a long time i actually feel like i'm on the right track. After bad grades in high school, no grades in psuedo college, obvious drug use, and general poor choices Steve and are not that close. My mom recently admitted to me that she had done acid before. I'm learning alot of things about my mom that i did not know, it's kind of like we're friends now and i like that because i know that i'll always have a friend no matter what. She does things for me that no one else ever would. And i've also realized that not every persons mom is so generous, forgiving, and supportive as my mom is. My little brother is 14, almost 15 and he's a really cool kid. I don't really know how to feel in his interest in primus, but i'm positive that after these troublsome teen years we'll be able to be closer than ever. My family is disjointed but we love each other and i feel lucky.
When i came home i knew i still wasn't ready to go back to school. I needed to find a job that i wouldn't hate going to everyday. So, I work with kids now, i'm an after-school childcare counselor. I get to play with clay, do tie-dye and watch hannah montana for a living, and i don't want to sound cheesy but it's really special. I had very little experience in childcare before this job so i feel really lucky to work where i do. Mostly I just think about what it was like to be a child myself, and since deep down i feel like i'm still the person i was when i was 5 years old it's not that difficult at all. Also, when i got back i started hanging out with this friend i knew since Middle school, his name is Alexei. But somehow we but through all the bullshit and we've been dating for almost 6 months now. It's so funny, he admits to me in the 9th grade he was in love with me and brought his accordian back from his home in moscow just for me. He likes computers, cell phones and technology. He listens to bands like Botch, At the Drive-in, The Sword and Battles. He's teaching me how to speak Russian, and how to do all the math i should have learned in high school but was too stubborn and sad to. He's dark, stocky, lots of thick brown hair and a intense stare that sits under a heavy brow and on top of a handsomely large nose. He seems very aloof when you first meet him but is actually very sensitive. We have problems sometimes, we joke that he is the girl and i am the man because he's always texting me that i don't pay enough attention to him and i usually loath to deal with another emotional ordeal. He's teaching me how to feel again.
I don't know why i thought happiness exsisted so far out of Redmond, Washington because when i came back is when i started feeling like a real, sane person. Of course, if i never went far away i never would have known that being here, at home, in the town of my high school and immediate family actually makes me feel calm and safe.