Learning To Love You More




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

Madison Jane
Maryland, USA



I was born on August 28th, 1985. while my father lay passed out in another room and my mother loudly lamented her decision to have a natural birth, I entered the world as a 6 pounds 7 ounces, skinny, bald baby. My twenty-something year old parents took me home the next day to Kent Island, Maryland, where I passed the first 4 happy years of my life with my little brother before the youngest was born.
At four Katie joined our little family, and I began attending pre-school in a white building with a red bell tower, where I spent most of my time cooking world-renowned pea entrees for the teacher. I also met Alex there, a lovely childhood friend who led me to believe for many years that it really was possible for two white people to create a Cuban baby. adoption was a word, not an explanation. after that year it was on to Sts. Peter and Paul, a catholic school that lied a long 30 minute bus ride away. Mrs. Peggy drove that bus, but of course it was Mrs. Hill at school; our first-name basis a secret from those other children, if only they knew....In kindergarten I had my first taste of danger, my first meaningless rebellion at just five years old. No I would not move from the reading rug, and they couldn t make me! looking back, I suppose it was pretty obvious how one would make a 50lb child do something, but at the time I surely held the upper hand.
it was about that time that my parents decided I needed something to focus my energy on, and signed me up for kiddy soccer. I however was much more concerned with making dandelion flower arrangements than showing off my certainly flawless talent for the sport.
In second grade I had my first kiss. I wanted his snack (a ho-ho) and he wanted my innocence. a year later I would go on to show an uncanny ability to anger my teachers by rearranging the desks during class. I prefer to think of that as my feng-shui period; I was wonderfully attuned to furniture placement for the soul. this would also be the year of my first beer. Some would call 8 a bit young, but I was quite mature for my age. A funny story really: I was being taught to eat my very first crabs, which in Maryland you understand is kind of a big deal. No one told the eight year old about Old Bay seasoning of course, and my closest savior from the burn happened to be a Bud Light. Which I finished.
At ten I became a young philosopher, and was asked to leave my religion class for demanding to know why it took more than a good soul to get into heaven. And for having questions about the order of dinosaurs, humans, and cave men. And for wondering why all of the disciples were white. And if white lies were really against the commandments. Curiously enough, this was also the year that I gave myself my first panic attack by thinking what the world would be like when I died. But moving on.
In middle school I decided to re-pursue a career in sports. my life-long dream of becoming a famous gymnast was abruptly ended when the coach told me that I had no talent and should quit while I was ahead (my sister went on to become the state champion). But no matter, I could always just be a model for the leotard companies. Naturally I would need to lose some weight, I was much too chubby. And thus the first of many diets began.
In 7th grade a girl in my class named Meredith told me in gym class that my brother was a dork and nobody liked him. I told my parents that night, and they explained that a group of kids had stolen his glasses and broken them during class. Apparently this had been going on for years, much to my ignorance. The administration refused to reprimand the children, and instead recommended that Joe try harder to fit in. The priest even offered to talk to him after class about making friends. How generous of him.
After 7th grade I left the catholic school and for three months attended a very small intermission school of about 30 kids. I learned nothing of course, but had a hell of a time playing with the other kids. When I left in December (my family was moving to Annapolis, about an hour away) they presented me with a cake (my biggest vice) and a photo album that they had made of the months we spent together. Everyone wrote a letter next to their picture, and to this day it makes me cry to read it. after I moved I went to a small Methodist school called St. Andrew s in Annapolis, and graduated to go on to Gunston High School.
High school was awkward but easy, Gunston was a small school that claimed to teach students to think, not memorize . There I met Sarah, my platonic-life-mate, who taught me to live life outside the box and laugh when you don t know what else to do. At seventeen I met Aaron, a lovely boy who I shared nothing in common with but managed to date for eleven months. He taught me a lot then: how to smoke out of a bowl, play beer pong, and never trust a boy who says I love you on the third date.
At 18 I went to college in Virginia, where I lived in an all-girls dorm and rarely saw the inside of a classroom. by winter break I had broken up with Aaron after getting a bit too frisky after a party. My next boyfriend would be Tyler, a friend of a friend who broke up with his girlfriend a week before kissing me over summer break. A short month later we would stop speaking.
My second year of college was filled with the studying needed to make up for freshmen year. Goodbye were the days of staying up until four on a Tuesday, then skipping class to get brunch with friends. in the middle of that year a girl I knew was in a car accident, thus marking the beginning of what I call my quarter life crisis. I never cried for her loss, she wasn t really even my friend, but her death raised questions I had thought I knew the answers to. I was begging to know everything about life, death, and whatever is in between.
By the end of the school year I was desperate for meaning, while at home I found nothing but a grandmother with newly-formed cancer and an affair with a taken boy that always seemed to leave a bad taste in my mouth. The time had come to run away, and with $700, and old friend, and a car named Glenda we set off for the open road. For the next few weeks we would travel the South, eventually resting in New Orleans for a few days, where we would pick up hitchhikers, have short-lived love affairs, and discuss life at three a.m. with a bunch of Danes. Some we would see again, some we wouldn t, and some would go on to write novels about that time we had together.
After the trip I reluctantly returned to school with no more direction or purpose than the year before, but with every intention of living life fully and saying Fuck It when nothing else would do. In August I moved into my first house with a group of guys I didn t know at the time but have since become close friends with. Sarah moved in later; her third move of that year. I got a job, went to class, and spent most of my time planning to study abroad in the spring. Last week I came home to Annapolis for Christmas, and due to complications had to cancel the trip next spring. Last night I went to a local bar with Sarah (we re 20) where we had a friend get us some drinks and carried on like we had never tasted liquor before. Today was spent recovering.