Thought I would share this entry from my diary from 14 years ago. I was 17 when I wrote this. I find this ever so amusing now… “I don’t want to be a boring teacher anymore” – there was a brief period of my adolescence where I thought I wanted to be a speech teacher (Mostly because that was my favorite class and Mrs. Malinak was amazing. Still is). Now I’m nearly 31, in a committed relationship with a teacher, and just re-applied for grad school in the hopes of becoming a school social worker. 🙂
There was also a period where I really wanted to go into the military. My father, his brothers, and my grandfathers had all been in the military. At the time, I was really close to my father and I wanted to make him proud of me. Had I gone in, I would have been the first female in my family to join. This period of my life was also filled with a lot of self-loathing and internalized misogyny that had been handed down to me from my father. I felt like I needed to shun anything about me that was “too girly” to be worthwhile or to gain my father’s approval.
Later that year I did follow through with these goals. That summer I made the phone calls to different instructors and started studying Tae Kwon Do and Aikido. I started trying to eat healthier – this was more of a phase 1 in that I stopped sitting on the couch eating bags of doritos. started exercising by way of martial arts, and stopped eating so many doritos. Because I wanted to impress/ not embarrass myself in front of a boy (the TKD instructor’s son), I added some new foods to the list of things I would eat. I still have no idea what is in an eggroll and I’m perfectly happy NOT knowing.
These are still basic goals that I have for myself, trying to improve myself. I’ve been doing pretty good in trying to eat healthier and lose weight – I’m at 139.8 lbs today. I’m not taking lessons anymore, but I’m still exploring new interests and learning new skills.
Dolly Stardust – My own quirky ode to a legend.
Not 5 minutes after I published yesterday’s post, I went to put it on my Facebook and learned, via social media posts from friends, of David Bowie’s passing. I’m still wrapping my head around this.
My parents never listened to Bowie and, strangely, I somehow managed to be born in 1985 and NOT see Labyrinth as a young child. I wasn’t introduced to this man’s work, or that film, until I was 13. It was a former friend who finally clued me in. I used to go over to her house and we’d hang out in her computer room and play around with this Encyclopedia CD-ROM she had (I think it was Encarta?). She would pull up the article on David Bowie and listen to the snippet of the song “Changes” that accompanied it. It was this same friend that showed me Labyrinth. It was one of her favorite movies and it is how I am most familiar with David Bowie.
There is a post on Buzzfeed (forgive me!) talking about Jareth (Bowie’s character in Labyrinth) being a catalyst for the sexual awakening of many a 90’s woman. Given my age at the time of my first viewing, I suppose I would have to agree with that. And I can’t help but admit, as creepy and as wrong (so, so wrong) as that pairing is when you really think about it, that, yes…. YES! Not long after, and with that same friend, I began to explore that undiscovered realm that was boys. Backstreet Boys and N*Sync blew up within the following months and our bedrooms were plastered with pin-ups and posters. We would have sleepovers where we talked about guys we thought were cute and make out with the pictorial representation of various members of boy bands. We started to read trashy romance novels. We’d write stories and fan fiction in which we safely explored romance and sexuality.
Perhaps it is no surprise that reflecting on Bowie in this sudden call to mourning, it is largely the memory of that friend and of those parts of my childhood that come flooding into my mind. And I am saddened… saddened at the loss of such an important contributor to our cultural consciousness and saddened for people and pieces of myself that I have lost since the age of 13.