Family History: Me as a Teen

(originally posted on LiveJournal)

DeDe provides family history journaling prompts every Tuesday. I’m actually 3 prompts behind. But I’m going to journal them anyway, because I think they’re interesting.

What do you remember about yourself as a teenager? What was important to you? What were your dreams?

Ever since moving back to California, to a city that is 26 miles from the house I grew up in, I’ve been feeling like a teenager again in many ways. It’s hard to describe. There is always something here to remind me of what I was doing 20 years ago. (Yikes!)

I was an incredibly insecure teenager. I loved acting, but didn’t have a whole lot of support in that arena. Sure, my mom doled out fees for school plays and chauffeured me to rehearsals. And my grandparents were always in the audience. But I didn’t have any cheerleaders – you know, people to tell me to go for my dreams. Back then, my dream was to be an actress, but I’m not sure I ever really believed it myself. I did think a lot about becoming a theatre critic. In fact, I chose my college major with that in mind.

I’m sure some people thought I was a brat. I didn’t have the best home life, and it spilled over into my day-to-day relationships. I had to be right. I used to correct my World History teacher’s spelling all the time. All I really had going for me was that I was smart.

I was a drama geek. I took as many Honors classes as I could. I took French and loved it. I hated math – any math. I did extra credit in any class whenever I could. School was pretty easy for me, other than math. Although I didn’t really like science, I was still pretty good at it. I always got B’s in math and PE and A’s in everything else. (I think I got two A’s in math in 4 years – 1 in Algebra and 1 in Geometry, because I did a ton of extra credit work about the history of Geometry.)

My friends were important to me. I really didn’t like being alone.

Theatre – drama – was important to me. I loved being in shows! I miss it. I wish I hadn’t been such a diva sometimes. But being a diva goes back to me having to believe in me, or no one else would. I had to be over the top.

Being smart was important to me. I knew that the only way to get out of a dreary existence was college. I saw all three of my primary baby-sitters, plus one of their sisters, get pregnant just out of high school. It’s funny, because I spent 4 years at CMU so I wouldn’t have to worry about money all the time, I’d have a life less stressful than my parents’ and it really hasn’t turned out that way. I’m still proud of going to CMU though, and I wouldn’t change it.

I had two boyfriends in high school, each for 3 months. Jason was my freshman year and Lyle was my senior year. I’m really not sure what I saw in Jason, frankly. Lyle was quite good looking, and we had some stuff in common. Both were very much below me, academic-wise. Max was the first guy I ever dated who was (is) smarter than I am. I had crushes on guys here and there. One of them married his high school sweetheart, who was another drama geek. I remember it took me over a year to get over Lyle, though I’m really not sure why.

I’m still friends with the most important people from the high school period. There are some people I’m in touch with via Facebook. I’m happy that one of my best friends from high school found me recently. She’s doing well, and I’m glad. I was very worried about her.

I still have a lot of what I wrote in high school, including a family project I did that includes my autobiography. We had to include a section on what we’d be doing in the future. I wrote that I was going to have a husband who was tall, with dark hair and blue or green eyes – and I do! But I also wrote that I was going to have 6 kids – 2 boys and 4 girls. Not so much. We’re having 1 of each, and that’s really probably for the best.

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