Friday, May 16, 2008

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away....

I am about 18 months old. I was a petite child and had very little hair to speak of until I was 2. My mother says I talked early and often, and, true to the girlie girl that I am, my favorite phrase was "That's so pretty!". I used to love to hear Mom tell stories about me as a little girl. I should ask her to start telling me again.

This is senior prom circa 1988. I like this picture because it looks like I have boobs and because I have been told I look like Sheena Easton. But I don't in fact have boobs and I spent a good amount of time worrying that Stewart (the fella in the picture who many moons later became my husband and the father of my children and then my ex husband and good friend) would somehow "dent" the front of my dress and I would be inverted. I was mortified when my mother insisted I borrow the strapless bra she wore to HER senior prom rather than buy me my own. The "ew" factor lingers with me to this day.

Ah yes, my ever-so-smokin' blue suede skirt. I worked at Dillard's Collin Creek Mall for three and a half years, the only teen to not get axed when they decided to ax all teenaged employees. I think it was because I managed to learn the importance of not being tardy, and because I was a natural at retail sales. I worked the men's department, then juniors, and in my final years with them was in lingerie, which I apparently loved enough to nearly pose in it for pictures. I am sure I picked up the most risque pair of panties I could find at the time. My how times are changin'...those look rather insulating by today's standards.

The four pictures above make my heart ache the worst. I took a self defense course in college and fell in love with martial arts. I was good at it..I had good, solid legs, impressive balance and was so very dedicated. I had always been a girlie girl and I really got off on the feeling of doing something no girl I knew had done. My family was not exactly supportive. I remember I spent $40 per month on my karate lessons and sank a good $150 into that tournament gi (with the red pants), which was embroidered beautifully on the back with my school symbol, style and my last name. I don't know what happened to it. The second picture is so bittersweet and sad to me. I had just gotten injured in a tournament...I blew out my ACL completely and my family would not allow me to have it fixed. I was still on their insurance and it didn't occur to me that I didn't need their permission. I am 18 in this picture. I was so proud of those huge trophies. I found something in myself when I was sparring, and of 22 women I still took 3rd place even though I had to bow out after my leg would no longer hold me up. I didn't realize yet that my martial arts career died that day. I have not been able to do it since. I still have not fixed that knee. Time got away from me, I gained weight, I lost sight of this passion and now I feel too heavy to withstand the surgery and rehab. If I lose the weight, its one of the first things I will take care of.

The following two pictures were at our school awards banquet. Both the fellas in the picture wanted to date me, and I did date them both. One was trouble, the other a nerd. I am sure the nerdy guy is now quite rich. I already know that Trouble dropped out of school and disappeared from respectable society, at least in my world. The girl, Jessie, and I were friends and rivals. We kicked each other's ass on a regular basis.

And finally, a picture from my wedding day to Stewart with my mother. Big hair. Big dress. Big day. Big mistake. Sort of. I have a hard time actually calling Stewart a mistake. It was, but not in a bitter, mean, unhappy sense. More like watching a puppy fall off a curb. I just didn't look where I was going.

I have been looking at these pictures a lot lately. My life has been so fractioned by major events that sometimes I have trouble remembering the girl in the pictures above are the same as the girl in the mirror. Sometimes I feel if I could just figure out how to bring my perception of my life back into alignment, as being all part of the same story rather than fractured into phases, I would get some of the things together that I want so badly to recover about myself.

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