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A short autobiography

       I was born here in Tacoma, on January 3, 1986. My parents and brother all loved me, and Susie, our golden retriever, didn't mind me too much either. The first year or so of my life was more or less uneventful, until I dumped a cup of fresh coffee on myself when I was a year and a half. With third-degree burns, I had to spend the night in the hospital. Shortly before that, I was in for a tear duct operation. Apparently they didn't work right.

    When I was two, I entered preschool. There I met many of the people I am still friends with, like Annette, Emily and Haley. Once in a while I hear from one of my old preschool classmates. I still remember tidbits from my early childhood. That's where I learned that soap smells good, Prince Charming shouldn't bite, and that snow is really cold. Teacher Marilyn taught me many useful things. Age three was spent as Wonder Woman, and I became Super Girl at age four. I still have my costumes.

    I learned to read at an early age and entered kindergarten at Stanley Elementary when I was five. This is also when my problems with depression began. I was in Mrs. Vandervort's class, along with Emily and Haley from preschool. I met many people who would become my friends; Hannah and Krystal. However, I also got my first taste of childhood cruelty in kindergarten from Janelle and her posse. For the next five years, which as a child seems like eternity, they would plague me with taunts and cruel jokes which I was the butt of. I'm sorry to say I didn't learn my lesson from them until later, and I picked on other "uncool" kids. That's the one thing I really regret from elementary school.

     I'm glad that I had a friend like Emily at Stanley, because aside from Mawlee and the JAWS class (the other smart, "highly capable" kids), I was not liked by anyone. Children can be so cruel. In fourth grade, Mrs. Crowell's class, this taunting finally came to a head. I came home every day depressed and not responsive to my parents' questions. They decided it was time for me to get away from my problems, and moved me to Lowell Elementary.

    The first day of fifth grade was difficult. My good friend Annette was in my class, but I didn't know anyone else in Mrs. Ptolemy's class. Haley had transferred from Stanley two years previous, but her teacher was Mr. Rorem. Despite this, I liked my new school. It seemed people were friendly and it looked like there were kids I could get along with. To break the ice and introduce myself to Lowell, I decided to run for school Vice President. A boy named C.D. asked if he could be my campaign manager, and not realizing he liked me, I accepted. My dad was proud of me for deciding to run, and spent nearly one hundred dollars on my campaign fund. I made myself known and had an entire campaign committee, but was still defeated by a popular girl named Margot. Isn't that always the story? Fifth grade had its share of others making fun of me, from the "popular"  girls. I also began playing flute that year, at Mason under Mr. Sorenson. I played George the grumpy farmer in "Stone Soup", and was the backstage manager in "Pecos Bill". Thus, my acting career began.

    Fifth grade gave birth to the first idea I had that boys weren't icky and didn't have cooties. There were two young men vying for my affections, Nick and C.D. Not knowing what exactly to do and ignorant of the fact that C.D. wasn't just being friendly, I accepted Nick as my first real boyfriend, and C.D. as my new best friend. At least Nick seemed like a real boyfriend to a fifth grader. We did hold hands and I wanted to kiss him! In March, I participated in Odyssey of the Mind with the JAWS class, and in competition, we got fourth place or something like that. C.D. taught me all about nerve gases, airplanes, special forces, and all sorts of wholesome things like that. I watched "The Rock" and became obsessed with strange things like that. C.D. and I did a science fair project on mag-lev trains sometime in June, and of course, Nick got jealous, and our teacher had to resolve the whole issue. Then the trouble started, as we were all required to take sex ed. They split the boys and girls up, and we had to watch weird movies about periods which involved a model of the female reproductive system, made from pancake batter. 

    Over that summer, I went to horse camp at Miracle Ranch, which ended up rekindling my faith. I learned to shoot a .22 and a bow, put together a rocket, and ride a horse without falling off. Altogether a good experience, and I had nice cabin mates. Unfortunately, my blissful world in which I was liked had to end after a week, and it was back to cruel reality, at a new school with new people and a new dress code. Yecch. Towards the end of that summer, I met Kirsten. She and I went to the zoo together, and soon we became best friends. She was the daughter of my church's new youth director. Many days were spent together giggling over boys and discussing our futures. Needless to say, they turned out differently than we'd imagined.

    Sixth grade, I moved to Mason with many of my classmates from Lowell. It was my first taste of a schedule with six different teachers, and it was a traumatizing experience. I had P.E., (luckily we didn't have to shower) which gave me a healthy sense of insecurity about my body when we all had to change in the locker room. Once again, I was prodded and teased by the entire student body of Mason Middle School, sans Annette. I began taking Spanish the next year. In addition to my highly capable classes and band under Mr. FalskO, taking Spanish made for a tough schedule, physically and mentally. Seventh grade was the year of my first major crush, on a guy named Nathan. I admired him from afar, too shy to talk to him, until I discovered that he sat in the same desk as me in Mr. Lee's class. I was in fifth period, he was in second. We began to correspond through the desk, writing notes on it. I know now that this was time wasted, as he was a pot smoker and undeserving of me. I developed an interest in swing music and dancing that year after I attended a swing dance at Foss.

    Eighth grade was a turning point for me. I began to mature mentally as well as physically, and made four good friends. Nick, J.C., Therese, Jenny and I were inseparable that year. I was in Mason's Honor Band, which I'm proud to say was the best in the county. Mr. FalskO had left us in good hands, moving to Florida to pursue musical interests. He now is Dr. FalskO, teaching at a university. Mr. Mulkins was a good director, and we didn't drive him too insane. I developed a crush on my brother's friend Guido, (name changed to protect me) and got to dance with him at a swing dance. Naturally, this was a big event for me. I got to show him off to Kirsten, but I got kind of jealous when Guido began to pay attention to her more than me. (or at least it seemed he was paying more attention to her.) I was appeased when he began to strip. Kirsten met Shannon in eighth grade, which began the slow downward spiral of our friendship. Sure, Shannon and I got along, but she began to spend more time with Kirsten, and they had more in common anyway. 

    My freshman year of high school, at Foss, was the best scholastic year I had experienced thus far. I met many many new people, and was able to make my own friends instead of taking over David's friends. I befriended Brenda, Chris, Lia, Becca, Lexy, Roxy...the list goes on and on. Shannon was the first of our trio to find a boyfriend, a boy named Matt. The relationship lasted seven weeks, and she conned Kirsten and I into hating her ex-boyfriend. I auditioned and made it into the fall play, The Good Doctor. I played the writer. Late November marked the beginning of a love life that would turn hectic before long. My friend Kaitlin asked me if I would go to homecoming with her friend Mike who didn't have a date and wouldn't be allowed to go if he didn't go with a girl, and I said I would. December second was an interesting night, my first formal dance. My dress was simple--a sleeveless burgundy number. Mike rented a tux, surprisingly, and we kinda hung out for the evening. I ended up trying to beat him up half the night and flirting with a guy named Jake the other half. Despite my rude behavior, Mike was disappointed when he learned I wasn't allowed to date. However, we carried on something of a relationship which consisted of conversations on the bus, instant messages, bags of M&Ms, and a phone call. I wrote him a letter as well, but never got around to giving it to him. I was surprised on Christmas when he gave me a stuffed penguin, and even more surprised on Valentine's day when he presented me with a rose that morning, and a box of chocolates that afternoon. However, about a week later my happiness would be put on hold.

    I don't recall exactly what reason he gave for breaking up with me, but I don't think I still have the full story, but it isn't a big issue for me. For two days after he broke off whatever it was that we had, (I now refer to him as my "training boyfriend") I was distraught. I tried getting him back, but never told him I thought I loved him. Withholding that information may have been the best thing I did at the time, as Shannon's ex began to talk to me once more, and I decided maybe he wasn't so bad. We eventually began to like each other, and I mistakenly reported this to Kirsten. March seventh was the end of our friendship, but soon after she was replaced by Brenda and Jenny. Matt, Shannon's ex, asked me to be his girlfriend on March ninth, 2001. He left for an orchestra trip that evening, and I realized I had a boyfriend...and I felt different about him than I did about Mike. Matthais Norris Taylor was to become my complete confidant, best friend, a shoulder to cry on, and lover. 

    We had agreed to meet some friends at Starbucks the following Sunday, March 11. I acted odd towards him, not knowing what to do. Conversation followed, mainly between Chris, Peter, and Lexy. When it was time to leave, we walked a short way up the block until it was time for us to go our separate ways--Matthais, Peter, and Chris one way and Lexy and I, the other. When we came to the corner of 26th and Madison, I gave Matthais a one armed hug and started to leave, but he pulled me closer and kissed me, as Chris and Peter went on ahead. I didn't know what was going on at first, but I caught on soon enough. I closed my eyes and returned the kiss, somewhat awkwardly. Lexy was there for the whole thing, and reported that I was blushing the whole way home. I wasn't just blushing; I was giddy. My first kiss!

     I was in Guys & Dolls as General Cartwright in June, and Matthais, Jenny and Nick from Mason came to watch. Nick hung around me after the show, (I later found out that was because he was madly in love with me) which upset Matthais. I decided to make up for my awkward kiss two months earlier by dipping him. I did so, much to his surprise, and entertained Brenda. 

    That summer, I headed to Mexico with my church youth group, separated from my love for two weeks. I wrote him every day, but some of the letters got lost in the mail. Damn postal service. The mission trip was very inspiring, and provided me with a great opportunity to practice my Spanish, as the only English the Mexican kids knew were swear words.

    Sophomore year was hell for me and I'd rather not talk about it. The only fun thing was homecoming, and that wasn't really all that great. My birthday was fun--Matthais took me to Harbor Lights and gave me a beautiful sterling silver locket. Sophomore year was the downfall of the Herd, I had two math classes, and weekly psychologist appointments. I was seriously depressed for the whole year, and if Matthais wasn't there I don't know what would have happened. I was not in the one acts, I had 0 hour, and Crazy Man Colclough. However, I did appear in Anything Goes. For some reason, I ended up having panic attacks at the mention of the Curtis orchestra. Matthais befriended a girl named Kathryn, and I ended up being a bad girlfriend and getting all suspicious. Eventually, my mental attachment proved to be too much for poor Matthais and he broke up with me one fateful night, May 30. My parents let me stay home from school the thirty-first, which was opening night for Anything Goes. I found out at about four o'clock that afternoon that Kathryn had asked Matthais out, and he had accepted. A kind thing was said to me in the green room: "If she can act through this, she can act through anything." That is one of the kindest things anyone's ever said to me. Jessica held me and told me everything would be okay when we weren't on, and Robert, Sally and Brenda were extremely supportive. Everyone else just said "boys suck", which was exactly the opposite of what I wanted to hear. I got through the show, but it was the hardest thing I've ever done. One can't understand my anguish unless they've experienced it. Trust me, it was infinitely times more painful than a normal breakup. "Das Pimp" has verified this fact.

    After the show, I remember just fuzzy things. There was a large throng of people outside, and Dan was trying to comfort me. Robert was hugging me, and I remember Matthais standing there, waiting for me. I couldn't look at him...but he took me in his arms and told me I did a good job. I pulled away and, with tears in my eyes, said to him, "I tried. It was hard, because I was trying not to cry onstage! I was having a mental breakdown in the green room, you know!" He looked into my eyes and said to me, "Let's go outside. I have something I need to tell you." I followed him outside, expecting the worst, when he took a deep breath, looked at me, and said, "I want you back. I can't live without you...I'm sorry, I made a mistake. I want you back." I beamed at him and leapt into his arms. We engaged in a passionate kiss, and I have never been happier since that night. Whenever I saw anyone--Jesse, Robert, my parents, Dave, Dan, Jenny...I said to them, "I got him back! He's mine again!" Matthais was worrying about how he'd break this to his new "girlfriend". May 31 was both the worst and the best day of my well as the most emotionally straining.

    The summer after, Matthais and I--our relationship better than ever--headed with the church youth group to San Francisco for a week. Most people thought we'd get sick of each other, but the experience brought us closer. We spent the summer together and went on some lovely dates before going back to school, my junior year and his senior. This led to more new experiences.

    This year, I'm taking better classes and focusing on defeating my depression. I'm taking psych to learn about it, and pottery to appease it. I have no 0 hour, and no math classes. It's wonderful. I don't know what the future will bring, but with two best friends and my Matthais, I'm optimistic about it. I hope to attend Western Washington University with Matthais in the fall of 2004, and possibly study teaching. The year 2006 is a very important year for me, but that's a different story.

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