Thankful Girl

Without friends no on would choose to live, though he had all other goods.

~Aristotle

Bare with me this round, I'm on a keyboard I'm no used to.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and it's time to reflect what it is that I am thankful for. This week is also the first 'real' vacation I've had in a very long time. I get to spend time with my sister and her family this holiday. I also am the one making dinner. I really don't know how that one is going to work, but it's what I get for insisting on having stuffing made from Grandma's recipe. (There is no other stuffing in my opinion)

I also get to see my 'adopted big sister' this round. My ABS has saved me from crashing several times. She is a wonderful person that I have not seen in six years. This is a tendency of my friendships though. I really don't have many friends that aren't at minimum 100 miles from me.

So my Thanksgiving Thanks List:
I) Family
1. An awesome dad, has done a lot for me and made me who I am.
2. A sister that doesn't get the credit she deserves and had no idea how much I look up to her.
3. A nephew who is the most entertaining thing in the world and I'm REALLY thankful he can amuse himself with my slider phone for hours because I am not the greatest of babysitters.
4. A mom who I can later blame when my psychological illnesses come out, crazy has to come from somewhere.
5. Grandparents who have been beyond supportive and gone beyond the call of duty.
6. A brother-in-law who actually signed up to be a part of our little world of weirdness.

II) Friends
1. My ABS that lets me call at any time and complain, but isn't afraid to give me a much deserved kick in the butt.
2. My Honolulu Honey that I have known since I was 12 and I lovingly refer to as my wife because she knows all the domestics that I don't (Dinner will be interesting tomorrow)
3. My photographer. The only person in the world that I trust to take a picture of me and not have it turn out horrible. True beauty knows no bounds.
4. My Wench who even after not speaking for four years was willing to take a weekend off to join me at the Ren Faire. The happiness you exude is amazing and I'm slightly jealous.
5. My blood sister, I had almost forgotten about that sleepover that we made a pact and it had been years since we'd seen each other. I'm so glad that life is going so well for you.
6. My forty year old suitor. Should probably be careful because I don't think he knows I refer to him as such, but he is someone I can count on and I don't know what I've done to be so lucky.
7. And the others that I'm reconnecting with and learning so much about and realizing how much perception can be thrown out the window.

III)My job: it has been a long time coming to find a place that accepts me for all my weirdness and lets me be myself. I finally found out what it's like to be in my own skin and not the mold I thought everyone wanted me to be in.

IV) My readers and followers: I am thankful for you and to you. I wasn't sure about this when I started. I know that there are far worse things that can happen to people than some of my drama/trauma but so far Broken Girl is fulfilling its intended purpose and that makes me incredibly happy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Girl and Her Dad Take a Road Trip



Home is not where you live but where they understand you.


~Christian Morgenstern



I wasted little time after High School. I spent two months as an office girl at a salvage yard that Dad would sell to. (Don't think I mentioned it, but Dad runs his own scrap metal salvage business.) It was great and forced me to get over my fear of incoming calls. I still hate making outbound calls and do not know where this phobia originates. I'm just really convinced that whoever I call is going to yell at me and be downright mean, so better to just not call.



Two months passed and it was time to move 1800 miles from my midwest town to the big desert city of Phoenix, AZ. Points to know: I never had been that far from home in my life and the longest I had ever been away from home was may one or two weeks and almost always with a relative, but I was moving for school and it was either Phoenix or Orlando.



Ever since third grade when I read Marguerite Henry's Brighty of the Grand Canyon I knew I was Arizona bound. Admittedly, going to become a motorcycle technician was not something I had dreamed of at the time. But deep down I just knew it was somewhere I was meant to be. Housing was prearranged through school so I didn't need to worry when I got into 'town'. I was renting a room from a lady who owned a six bedroom house and lived there were her two sons. She often rented to students from the school and Dad felt safer leaving me in her care than letting me room with four strange guys from who-knows-where (standard procedure for the housing of the school was just put people together in an apt and pray for the best).


I'm getting ahead of myself. It was the trip out west that I wanted to talk about. Dad and I hadn't really done any really big trips for awhile. The biggest thing we'd done since my parents' divorce was move Sis to Oregon and Mom was along for the ride. Talk about your awkward family vacations, they'd been divorced five years at that time. So this was an adventure to be had. Dad and I have insanely similar tempers. Genetics are probably mostly to blame but we'd also spent a lot of time together and he rubbed off on me. Two incredibly stubborn people in the same truck for a weeks time is not a good thing.






Lessons Learned on this trip:



A) Dad will do anything to avoid tollbooths. We ended up taking the scenic route to avoid Illinois. Pretty much through the map out the window at the stateline.



B) Oklahoma has some really scarey bugs that come out at night. Dad wears engineers boots that go like half way up his shins and he keeps his pants over them. We stopped for gas one night and when he got back in he felt something crawling down his leg. He squished it and it was nasty!



C) Route 66 is not the smoothest road in the world. There are areas that you actually run parallel to it because the road has been reclaimed by the desert.



D) The people of Amarillo, TX are some of the nicest in the world. Dad dropped a $100 bill in the Harley shop there and the girl ran after us to return it.



E) I cannot drive a truck with a carhauler. Dad drove most of the way and for some reason in New Mexico he decided it was my turn. Yeah, after almost getting sideswiped we quickly returned to him driving.



F) I am not that bad to travel with, honestly. AKA never start a road trip the same week you start your period. That is really what comes to mind when I think back on this trip, not the majestic scenery, not the people, or the experience, or the time with dad. I remember three days without a shower because we were on the road in vast stretches of nothingness. I would say I did very well in the not being a b*tch category that week.



G) New Mexico is now another state Dad will avoid. Although there is a gas station/casino/hotel in the middle of the desert half-way between Gallup and the AZ border that is a God send! Never was I happier on this trip.



H) I saw the Grand Canyon, something a lot of Arizona natives can't even claim and I fulfilled a lifelong dream.



I) Hot is hot. Does not matter about dry heat or humid heat, it's still hot. I found the best practice to be not to complain about it. The more you complain, the more it's noticeable.



J) Guys in large numbers can be rather nice. We went to the campus of my school after we unloaded my car from the hauler. Dad recruited a bunch of students to help him load the hauler into the truck. Now, Dad babies his vehicles, he is the one that parks in the middle of nowhere to keep all possible dings away so this was a nerve racking activity. There wasn't a single problem with this mass lift and place. The problem came when we went for an oil change and the local parts guy backed into the truck causing a huge dent. >.<



K) I don't really like being alone. Dad left a few days after we arrived and I was on my own, starting life by myself without knowing a single person in the entire state I was in. I didn't even own a cell phone yet! Dad was still supporting me financially but it was up to me to support myself emotionally and that was going to prove interesting.



NOTE: There may be a bit of a wait on the next post. I'm going to my sister's for Thanksgiving and will be in Boston for a week.

Melancholy Girl

I have never seen a greater monster or miracle in the world than myself.
~Montaigne

This post was supposed to start my tech school years, but I want to shift and get the thoughts out of my head of what's currently going on.

I opened a journal from those very years and some of the time before that and reread the entries. There was an eerie familiarity in the words. I haven't changed. My thoughts and feelings don't seem to have progressed in the seven years since high school. How can this be? How can there be so little progress?

The theme that these entries go over is loneliness, depression, an overwhelming desire to give in to the darkness in me.

I don't believe I'm meant to be happy. I think content may be the highest I can reach. The reason is I am too cynical and untrusting. I start to worry. Something is bound to jump from the shadows and keep the good from going forward.

I don't see this as a completely bad way to be, just lonely. Melancholy is a misunderstood emotion.

There is a certain darkness within the human mind that people deal with in their own way.

1) Run from it/Ignore its existence: dangerous because it can hit out of nowhere making this self-fabricated life intolerable.

2) Succumb to it: just as bad as running; because it becomes consuming and all a person knows is the dark.

3) Embrace it/Dance with it: know just how much is safe and allow it in.

I slipped deep into the darkness once. I'm not going back. So I dance on a tightrope daily. It is so hard some days. This past week has been a trial and giving up seems like a good solution. I can't even put my finger on why. I'm trying to determine if being a realist is selling myself short or not.

Control issues are something to be struggled with. It is why I drive a stick shift. Because of this insistance of control I am inadvertantly sabotaging myself. I can't let events unfold. I try to disect them and pull the strings so they go the way I want them to. Right now I am positive that I will destroy every relationship I am in. This is done skillfully and meticulously. I am trying to prove myself a royal b*tch so that people will stay away and not come anywhere near knowing the real me. If I don't want to live with me, why should anyone else?

Activity Girl


The person who wants to make it has to sweat. There are no short cuts. And you've got to have the guts to be hated.
~Bette Davis

Extracurriculars can make or break a person. It is a chance to prove your potential and show everyone how good you are. Or it's something you do because everyone else does and it's social suicide not to join.

Then again there is always the small cell that boycotts sports and other activities. This is a group that claims the unimportance of trivial challenges. All the while they have a secret desire to join in.

I'm half in that crowd. I didn't do any sports in high school. Partly because I thought dad having to pick me up from practice would be a burden, but mostly because I have not athletic ability. Honestly, I like Volleyball and I spent an entire summer trying to build my running stamina for cross-country or track. Ultimately, I didn't even try out. As for cheerleading, I don't fit the stereotype. (Even though my school really didn't hold to such standards. We had a very equal opportunity squad.)

Part of me now wishes I hadn't chickened out and had gone out for those sports; but at the time, I was safer with the Dramatic Arts and Social Issues groups. My knack for memorization was still coming in handy.

Problem is that my school was a football school. Money would go into the sports programs and new uniforms weren't out of the question but we couldn't get a stage or props. We made do with what we had and they turned out pretty well.

Part of the reason for these activities is to have a sense of belonging. This was YOUR group. These are people that relate to you. I still felt disconnected. I was proven right my Senior year. Elections for officers in both Drama and Forensics were to take place. I was one of the few Seniors who had been in the activity all four years. I was not chosen for any position. I never felt more cut off. It showed me that even with my dedication and talent I wasn't popular enough.

I lettered in Forensics all four years and two years in Academics. Now I have a Letterman's jacket hanging in the closet, covered in metals and it collects dust.

Loner Girl

We're all in this together-- by ourselves.

~Lily Tomlin



There is a sad irony to that quote. No matter the social scene one sets oneself in; a person is ultimately alone. In my case that was very apparent in high school, and pretty much continues to this day.



High schools across the world are filled with mini-social networks. Groups form all of a sudden and you're either part of the in crowd or you're out. The names of the groups are always pretty standard: Preps, jocks, goths, emos, scene, geeks, nerds, dramas, hippies, punks, hicks. Sadly some of the groups seem to mesh together, share similar interests, and half the world wonders at the differences between them. Then one day you mistakenly call a goth an emo and suddenly the definition becomes very clear.



This may not be overly surprising, but in smaller schools there can be overlap. In my school it wasn't surprising to have hick-jocks or druggie-goths.



I was a Loner.



It wasn't so much that I didn't fit in with these separate little cliques; more like I could get along in any of them. I had a wide net of friends, but didn't really belong anywhere. I felt the outsider.



Part of this may be from Sis being eight years older than me. A lot of the 'rites of passages' were introduced to me at a younger age. Certain things that my schoolmates were freshly discovering I had known about for years. A couple of examples: Monty Python and Rocky Horror Picture Show. These 'cult' classics were not new to me and I found it surprising that not everyone knew about them. I have an overwhealming tendency to disregard the fact that things that seem normal to me really aren't typical.



I didn't help my own case by being a bit of a snob. I didn't fall into the common teenager mold of designer gear or the horrible teen movies of the nineties. I had a different sense of comedy and spent most of my High School career renting old black and white movies from the library. I fell in love with classic movies and understood what a good plot line meant.



I also rebelled against all things popular. The music of the day was not going to be my thing. I had to be against it. Even though there are a couple songs that were guilty pleasures but there was no way I was going to admit to it. If I liked something it was only until it hit the mainstream and then I would back off and write it off.



All these small actions that went into creating my personality helped to alienate me. But I wouldn't take it back. I really can't say it was a bad thing.



Too much emphasis goes into these cliques. Friendships that started at age five are suddenly torn apart because one of the friends doesn't wear the right clothes or meet another's standards. This sense of being overlooked hurts. I always wondered what was wrong with me that I couldn't get along smoothly like everyone else.



I see now how wrong I was. I recently reconnected with some High School friends after seven years of 'falling off the face of the Earth' as they put it. I've listened to what's happened to them since and rehashed some of the stories from school, and I realize just how alike everyone is. The friends I'm talking with all came from those different sub-categories back in the day and now those little groups don't matter. I am surprised when someone looks me up with a friend request. I've received messages from several glad to find out I exist.



The overall point is even when you seem to be dwelling in the background, even when you don't feel like you belong, your very presence is enough. Someone will remember you, someone will think of you and wonder how you are doing.



The skills of being a Loner aren't so bad. It is a matter of blending in anywhere. It is relating to a wide range of people and seeing that there isn't much difference out there. The Loners survive because they observe and connect. Just don't detach too much that you forget how good it is to be human and connected.

Dating Girl

There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself. ~Herman Hesse

I had my first kiss when I was 16. It was in a conference room during the Forensic State Tournament and it was with a Senior from a rival school. It too three hours for him to get up the courage to kiss me. I was 20 when I got my next kiss.

My current dating record isn't the most spectacular, but my HS dating scene was pretty close to non-existent. Not that it was a bad thing, mind you; I was able to focus on my studies.

I believe that line is probably used by every teenager that has been overlooked from the dawn of time. High School is four years of wondering what's wrong with you. Wondering what the other girl has that you don't have. Are your clothes ok? Is your hair right? How do you apply eyeliner? Can I be accepted and not dress like a hooker? It is mind-numbing and time consuming and in your mind's eye 'Oh So Important!'

I was that girl. The nobody that pined in the shadows, but never was asked out. If I was, it was by guys that were even more invisible than I was, and I had to keep some standard or slip into even more obscurity. So instead of appearing desperate, I'd be dateless. This is one case when beggars can be chooses. Desperation can lead into a completely different set of problems.

It's one of the weird glitches in my head that even when I know I'm out of my league I'll take the risk. When rejection is a familiar friend, you're easily surprised. Life only happens once. The only way to succeed is to try.

I can say that I did get to go to a dance with the one guy in my class that I thought was the hottest and the coolest. It only happened because I too the initiative. I asked him out during gym class. Needless to say, I was surprised when this dream guy said yes. I was dancing on air for the rest of the week.

It was one date and it was our Junior year Winterfest. The night started out with him getting his van stuck in my snow-covered driveway-- not a good omen. It was a 70s themed dance and his platform shoes added another 3" to his 6' frame. I'm 5'4", even with heels, my arms kept falling asleep when we danced. The night ended with an awkward hug and no other dates. I was tempted to ask him to Prom, but it turned out he already had a date for that.

But I can say it happened. I got to go out with the hottie of my class.

The only other memorable date was my 18th birthday; it was also the day of Prom, Senior year. I hadn't planned on going to the dance. I had a date with a guy from another school, someone I met through Student Congress (a sign of status in my school was dating people from other schools, because, well, by that time everyone knew who you were perceived to be so better to reach out to people who didn't realize you were socially awkward.)

We went to a movie and met up with some of my friends who were going to Prom. We were having dinner in a decent little Italian restaurant. WE were having a great time. I was serenaded by a barbershop quartet who happened to be dining there as well. It was going perfect.

My date and I had determined that he'd pay for my movie ticket if I was ok paying for my meal. This was figured out long before we met with my friends. Then the bills were passed out and one of the girls asked why I was paying for myself. It isn't the girls place to pay after all. Instead of simply responding that we had agreed to this arrangement, my date replied: I'm saving up for a gold ring.

What for?

His girlfriend... We were on completely different pages as to what this 'date' meant. The ride home was silent. I went home, threw on a drew, and went to Prom-- Alone. I had a blast.

If you're shot down, then the situation isn't right. Someone else is waiting. (I'm still waiting to find mine. High School Romance is overrated. It's a time when you hardly know yourself, so how can you hope to understand another person? Find out who the person in your own head is before unraveling the mysteries of a significant other. It saves a bit of sanity.

Welcome!

Welcome to my little part of the blogosphere. I started this blog for the express purpose of proving that no matter what happens in life, you are not alone. I am sharing my stories from my school days, dating disasters, and personal trials.

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