Learning To Love You More




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

Erin Lee G.
St. Louis, Missouri USA



I was born on June 22nd, 1986 in Tampa, Florida. I was my parent's first child, their prize child. We lived in a tiny blue town house until my brother was born two and a half years later. He was a whiny child who my parents seemed to be burdened by. I spent a lot of time with my cousins, who were all younger than me. One in particular was a year and a half younger than me and liked to do whatever I wanted to do. We made up Mary Kate and Ashley skits about selling our siblings and sang songs about sleepovers. We spent entire afternoons drawing girls with every type of outfit and hairstyle you could possibly imagine, and named them names like Starry, Raindrop and Ashli. One Halloween, we watched Hocus Pocus and I stayed awake all night because I thought her mom was a witch because her hair looked so much like Sarah Jessica Parker's in the movie.
My family spent every Sunday at Redington beach at a time share called Coral Shores. It was coral colored, all of it, and it had a hot tub, a pool and a shuffleboard deck. We got there at 4 so that we didn't have to wear sunscreen, and it would usually storm for about an hour at that time. My brothers and I would patiently wait with towels wrapped around us for the lightning to get further and further away and then we would jump into the pool and have diving contests. My brother would always win the funny dive contest and I would always win the silent dive contest.
When I was 8, I flew to Atlanta alone to visit my aunt Mimi and uncle Jay. This is when I first fell in love with flying. I saw an ice storm for the first time and one time it snowed even, but the snowflakes melted as soon as they reached the ground. I loved my aunt and we would stay up eating ice cream and she would ask me questions about my family and my life that no one had ever asked me before. She had a southern accent and the best laugh I had every heard.
I only had one real friend at the time and her name was Sally. She was bossy and nerdy and liked telling me what to do. I went to her house almost everyday and her little sister would pull our hair and call us mean names and the one time I fought back, her mom kicked me out and I walked back to my house in tears. At her house I learned all about vitamins and gardening and crappy crafts you find in crappy magazines. Her mom was also our Girl Scout leader and wore braided hair, had lots of freckles and seemed really old. She would tell me when I wasn't using manners. I never comprehended manners because my family never told me when I was doing anything wrong. One time in 3rd grade, a bunch of Jewish girls started being friends with me because I was Jewish. I ditched Sally everyday on the playground to go and hang out with them and talk about clothes and restaurants and Hanukkah. I didn't like them very much but they made me feel like I had a family. Sally and I drifted apart for awhile after that.
In 5th grade, I was a traffic guard and felt so cool wearing the bright orange vest and waving on cars like I was some kind of god. One day, my traffic guard partner, Scion, was talking about boys and I pulled out this random picture I had of my 2nd cousin, Max. She thought he was so cute and I blushed because I was related to him.
In middle school when I was 12 one of my friends Amanda, who was also 12, pierced her belly button with a safety pin in homeroom. Shortly after, she became pregnant by some 17 year old boy with a motorcycle and would come visit us at school when her belly got big and show it off with tie-dye belly shirts. I never heard from her after that.
Sally and I got close again and began to go boy shopping at the water park. We'd pick out who we wanted, name them, and follow them and go on every ride they went on. Sally was the prettier one, but I was more outgoing, so if we and the boy ever got to talking in line, he's stare at her while I talked to him. It didn't really bother me.
At this time, my mom started working for Continental Airlines so that she could get travel benefits and stay at cool hotels. This made sense because my parents were social whores who like to go on lots of vacations, take lots of pictures and spend lots of money on fancy food, even though we weren't rich. My mom was also addicted to the internet and before working for the airlines, she was a home daycare caregiver. This was bad because often times when I came home from school, the kids would be scattered across the living room and the backyard with no supervision because she was talking to some guy in Australia.
Tampa was a funny place. It was half Hispanic people and half rich white people and there were strip clubs next to the grocery stores. There was this beautiful neon purple sign with girl silhouettes that I loved. I think it said girls girls girls but I'm not sure. Everyone cared about money and most people I knew were fake tanning by middle school.
After high school started, my family moved to St. Louis, MO. This is when I really felt like my life started. I met a funny Indian boy and we started dating right away. He was my first boyfriend and my first kiss and we were over in 3 weeks. I felt alive in St. Louis. I would cry when I was sad and laugh when I was happy, which is something I never really did in Florida. I met a bunch of smart girls at school and loved being the punkier/artsier/more childish/less nerdy one of the group. I got good grades and loved going to rock shows. I spent as much time as I could away from my house because it was boring and no one really cared about each other or hugged or said I love you. I started hugging and saying I love you to my friends.
I went to Ocean City, MD one summer because it was where my dad grew up selling hot dogs on the boardwalk. I loved it there. People played music on benches and got tattoos and bought hemp hoodies. I met a homeless guy who played "No Rain" by Blind Melon for me and it made me cry because it was so nice and he played it so well. I met this guy named Bryan who played dashboard confessional on a bench and we talked for hours in this wooden castle on the sand. At 2am, a cop found us and told me my parents had been looking for me since 11, and that there were cops on horses and in cars riding and driving up and down the boardwalk trying to find a short teenager with black curly hair. We 'online dated' for awhile after that but he was flirty with lots of girls and I stopped liking him pretty shortly after. One time though, he had a layover in St. Louis the same night as my brothers bar mitzvah party. My mom took me to the airport to see him and we made out under a table in gift shop before a black security guard made us stop.
One day, Sally IMed me and told me she was gay. I was happy for her and not really surprised at all. She also said she had been through some rough patches when we were friends like being addicted to cough syrup and that's why she was a bitch all of the time.
I had a couple of more boyfriends before I started liking my new friend Josh, who had a big white-boy afro and played trumpet in a ska band. He was friends with a bunch of assholes and they mostly hated me, so we dated in secret for a long time. I hated that, though, and after awhile I broke up with him on Valentines day. I felt really happy after getting the courage to do that and when he asked to date me again a couple of days later, he seemed to have changed completely and I agreed to it. We did a lot of cute things together and became best friends. We listened to each others music, read children's books and found places to feed ducks. We named a mean duck Olga, and found a baby bird that had fallen from a tree and named it Sean. We stayed up till 4am on school nights and talked and fooled around in his car. We skipped classes and went to fast food almost every day for lunch during the last semester of senior year. We fell in love. One day, he made me buy 12 balloons and write 12 inspirational quotes to put inside of them. I let them go in a park and it was beautiful.
We went to Spain in the summer and didn't know any Spanish. We drank Spanish alcohol and played Ipod games. When I left for college in atlanta in the fall I didn't think we'd grow apart, but we did and he got very sad. He went to community college and worked at Walmart. We fought for the first time ever and I would cry all night. We saw garden state at the same time in different places and I never cried more in my entire life at the end. We'd manage to see each other every 3 weeks and one time he drove all night to see me and began hallucinating on the road. I called him every hour all night to make sure he was ok. In the winter, he decided to move to my school and we made a lot of mutual friends. We still fought a lot but we had cool people to play Frisbee with. He met my friend Matt and they played music together. We didn't like the school very much because it was really expensive and really small, so we decided to move closer to home.
We moved to a college in the middle of nowhere Missouri because it was cheap, somewhat prestigious and easy to get in to. We hated it more than everything and complained about all the people that went there. We fought a lot and broke up a couple of times. I didn't have any real friends and was starting to feel depressed. I started becoming shy and barely talked to anyone.
I became a painting major and eventually became more comfortable with the people and the school. We moved into an apartment with a high school friend. I made friends with a few more people. I began to feel happier and less weak and started reaching out to strangers and acquaintances. Then I found this website.