Learning To Love You More




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

Barry G
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania USA



i was born in December of 1979 in cold upstate new york. My parents, who met in high school, were both originally from other countries. My mother is Panamanian and my father is English/Australian. I absolutely hate filling out forms and having to "decide" whether i am white or hispanic or what. There is never an inbetween or "mix" choice, so i usually refuse to fill it out because it irritates me.
Early on in life I was raised/babysat by my mom's mom and by a nanny/housekeeper lady. I know its very strange to say I had a nanny and not come off sounding like a pampered brat, but it was just part of the latin culture. The woman who took care of me was also originally from Panama. She came to the US with my mom's family in the 60's and took care of my mother when she was a child. She is like family to us, and today she takes care of my newest cousins. Latin culture is all about family and community.
I grew up in a middle class suburb with a mom, a dad, a sister and a dog. I learned spanish before english, but at this point have forgotten so much that its almost as if i never knew it. In elementary school I was deathly shy and quiet. Numerous times teachers would write on my report card that I didnt talk enough and that they worried there might be some "problems at home." But there weren't any problems. At home I was loud like any other kid, but at school I was uncomfortable and had trouble socializing.
I remember being picked on in elementary school, especially in 3rd grade. a bunch of times i was singled out or made fun of during recess in someway that caused me to break down and cry. another time some kid tied my shoelaces together and made me look like a pathetic idiot in front of everyone. another time some girl told me that my kmart shoes were "gay" and felt really embarrassed.
Middle school was akward and weird. I liked to draw and "do art", but was also involved in nerdier things. I had ugly gray aviator glasses, buck teeth (eventually braces) and awful unruly kinky wavy poofy hair that i absolutely hated myself for. I was active, but never really enjoyed playing contact sports with the neighborhood kids (read: bullies) as much as I liked playing with computers, swimming, drawing, and inventing ridiculous imaginary games with my childhood friend David. He was two years older than me, and very much on the same wavelength. Together we played alot of imaginary games in my basement usually with a bunch of girls while the rest of the boys were outside throwing a football and saying that we were gay. some people would probably think alot of the stuff we did as girly or sissy-ish, but we didnt give a shit. We did what we wanted to.
Years later David did actually turned out to be gay, and while this generally freaked out a bunch of people it didn't really surprise me all that much. I always knew he was different, and I think that's why we got along so well.
High school was still akward, but getting much better. I had a tight group of friends. We were geeks, but not completely hopeless. We were into punk rock, but we weren't punks. We were in honors classes, but didn't get especially good grades. I drove a 1987 nissan sentra that I bought from my aunt. That car gained me a bit of status. I would drive around with my friends blasting screeching weasel, operation ivy and minor threat. The average night for us would involve being bored, meeting up, driving around, getting slurpees, and then driving some more.
I remember one specific night my best best best friend and I thought we'd be bad asses and smoke cigars. we drove to the gas station and got the hugest cheapest nastiest cigars we could find and then went to his house and smoked the shit out of them. after that we felt pretty disgusting and could barely move. while driving me home he ended up vomitting all over himself, me and the dashboard of his dad's car. to this day he can't get a sniff of cigars without gagging.
By senior year of high school a bunch of younger girls somehow started to have crushes on me. I remember not understanding why or how this was happening, but thinking it was pretty awesome. That year I had my first real serious girlfriend. She was literally the most popular girl in school (yearbook senior superlative bullshit). She was very outgoing and genuinely friends with everyone, and it was strange at times because I was still so shy and quiet by comparison.
We kept going out during college, but eventually broke up when we noticed it was ridiculous to keep going long distance when we were both doing our own thing separate from each other. During our time together she really changed my life for the better, opened me up to new things and taught me alot about myself and other people. We still keep in touch to this day, and I'm very glad to have known her.
So then I went to college and basically majored in nerd with a minor in geek. I got into a pretty well respected school in a well respected program, and to this day I think this was based more on the fact that I claimed to be "hispanic" than because of my grades or scores. This has always bothered me because it felt like some kind of sellout.
At college I was recruited for the swimteam, which i had been doing throughout high school, but quit once i got there. i didnt want to be a jock, I wanted to do my own thing. In high school I had always been into punk rock, and now I started making more and more friends through similar activites like skateboarding and local music.
At school I had my heart broken a couple times, but one situation was especially bad and involved a really nasty love triangle. i had my back stabbed by someone who i thought was my friend. as it turned out, he was only trying to one-up me in one of the ugliest displays of machismo i had ever witnessed. So that wasn't fun, but I learned one of the most fulfilling ways to get back at someone is remove them completely from your life. So rather than dealing with them like normal people, I ended all communication with both of them. it felt wonderful knowing that they were miserable because of it. I guess its important to admit that I also broke my share of hearts, some of which I was completely oblivious to at the time.
then i met a girl who was different. In many ways she was similar to me, but at the same time she was extremely different in the very basic ways that we function and operate. I graduated from school, stayed in the same city and continued going out with her. She graduated the following year and stuck around doing some odd jobs before interning on an organic farm and falling in love with agriculture. Currently she lives in another state and is dreaming up plans to live on a farm for the rest of her life and grow organic food. We have always had a very strange, sometimes difficult relationship that I find hard to explain, and she definitively puts up with alot of my ridiculous crap.
So now I live in this big old dirty city with two dudes and a cat. Most of my friends from school have moved away, but I have a small group of people who i know living here. Far less close friends though, and sometimes this makes me kind of sad and lonely. I seem to have always had at least one person who was always there to hang out with, but lately i've felt more and more on my own.
so in closing i guess i could sum this all up by saying the following...
I get obsessed with ridiculous things very easily.
I like exploring the city, and hanging out on rooftops.
Alot of times I'm too self-conscious.
I like riding bikes. I love graffiti. I am a loyal friend.
Sometimes I have trouble concentrating at work.
Sometimes i get impulsive and eat too quickly.
I very much enjoy taking naps.
Sometimes i stay up late at night making weird songs on my computer.
I'm still a bit shy, but get warmed up to new people after about three beers or a weeks of knowing them.
I think some of the most beautiful people have no idea they are so awesome. Alot of times I get the urge to tell them and end up having a crush on them.
the end. hope that wasnt too long and/or boring.