Posted by: LLS | March 15, 2012

Becoming Me

When I was a child I lived in a fantasy world most of the time. I used to pretend to be a mermaid  perched on some craggy rock in the middle of the sea, searching for ships that might pass by. In my daydream one would find me, capture me in a net and I would fall in love with my pirate captor, naturally sprouting legs when lifted from the water. I would set off for wild adventures in foreign ports all over the world, my pirate by my side.  Other times I was Juliet swooning over Romeo, my forbidden lover. Only I was smart enough to wake in time and Romeo and I lived happily ever after far from our families, exploring new places and new freedom. Of course I would dress in all kinds of outlandish outfits and use props such as my 4 poster bed to set the stage. I would stand on the bed and feel as though I was on the balcony or at the ship’s rail, my suitor’s arms around me. It was an escape I can’t explain. When my brothers would come in and tease me for the towel wrapped around my head pretending it was my long beautiful hair, I paid not attention. No one could stop my fantasies.

The truth of the matter was I had the most unruly curly tangled hair, short in stature, with knobby knees and never fit in with any of the neighborhood girls. I was always the quirky one who would rather play in the creek behind her house, than with barbies and baby dolls. In the creek I was on a safari in the jungle complete with quick sand and all sorts of other dangers. When my mother (in an attempt to make me be more of a girl) set up a play kitchen in our garage,  became very disappointed when I quickly turned it into a restaurant that served bikers. This was probably due to the numerous motorcycles that were parked in our garage belonging to my brothers. She was not amused to find me serving up the fake eggs and bacon on little plastic plates to all the imagined bikers. It seemed like the only natural thing to do with the kitchen. I was raised around motocross. Grew up at the races, most Friday nights and Sundays spent at some dirt track watching my brothers vie for the highly coveted, never properly assembled, plastic trophy. I always noticed the groups of  “hippie bikers” they were the long-haired bad boy type and my mother would take my hand tight when we passed by them. Letting me no without words they weren’t safe for girls to go near. I’m not talking leather clad Hell’s Angels, not even close. These were more hippie boys. I thought they were cool. They reminded me of nights in armor, their motorcycles their fierce steeds. My head would swim with thoughts of riding off with a black night into a world of forbidden pleasure far away from my boring lonely life. I was 11 and I had a weakness even then for “Bad Boys“.

Flash forward. Still a misfit and still enamored by bad boys, I fell for my first one the summer I turned 14. He was new to our area, and to me was mysterious and beautiful. In truth he was simple-minded and a womanizer, but at 14 I could only see  blue eyes, long golden hair and tan muscular body. When we met at a local swimming pool. I couldn’t believe he noticed me, much less followed along behind me trying to strike up a conversation. He was 17 and cool, I was, well, not. I think my ignoring him was what caught his eye, when all the other girls went out of their way to speak to him and have his attention. I was avoiding him because I couldn’t for the life of me think of one intelligent thing to say and figured he would think I was a complete loser. After several awkward meetings at the pool he offered me a ride home and, biting my lower lip til it bled in contemplation, I agreed. The rest of the summer was spent with blue eyes. And the few neighbor girls that I had finally befriended hated me. I was a loner once again, but a loner in the company of the new bad boy.

We spent long days at the lake and long nights at his house or parked in front of mine. He was dark and brooding and I was captivated by his drama. Come fall our time together became less and less. I put it off to school and whatever other excuse I could come up with at the time. The peculiar thing about the whole situation was he seemed to have an entire life I knew nothing about and the only way I ever saw him now was when he would knock on my window and I would sneak out to be with him. It was all very secretive and dark and I longed for more each time we parted. Later I found out he had a real girlfriend his age, very pretty and very popular. I ran into them at the mall one night and when I went to speak to him he acted as if I was only some kid from his neighborhood. He did all but pat me on the head and gave me the complete brush off. I can still hear her laughter as they walked away hand in hand and I can still see the look on his face when he glanced back at me with a look as if to say “sorry kid, but that’s life”. I was crushed. I carried a torch for him for several years after and felt a pang in my chest when I remembered his blue eyes.

So from my earliest days I started falling for boys and later men who weren’t in my best interest. I have come to see that the so called “bad boys” were my way of treating myself with the disrespect that I thought I deserved. For one reason or another I didn’t feel worthy and so was treated as such. Now, I still find myself  intrigued by that type of man, but I quickly remind myself that I am better than that and I deserve better than that. I find my fantasies now are of happy, generous, family oriented men, who are loving and kind. I feel like with each passing year I get closer to finding my true self and loving my life and my dear friends. I finally feel happy, more than just happy, I feel blessed. What is really cool is the fact that both of my children have the backbone I never could find when I was a child. I think my constant drilling into their brains to be themselves and be proud sunk in. Both could careless if anyone disapproved of them. Both dance to the beat of their own drum and strive for creating their own happiness. My daughter would bitch slap a bad boy if he treated her wrong, in a heart beat.

A note about my blue eyed brooder. Years later after I moved away, I came home for a visit  to my old neighborhood. I walked into a pub with several  friends I’d acquired as an adult and sat at the bar. I was ordering a drink when I felt someone brush by me and settle in the seat next to me, a bit close for my comfort. I turned to see who felt so bold and low and behold blue eyes stared back at me. I took a deep breath and smiled. After an hour of catch-up it was obvious he wanted to pick up where we had left off all those years ago. I stood, shook his hand, kissed his check and stated “I have a full wonderful life in Hawaii and I can’t imagine ever being back here, much-less with you, not for a moment”. As I pulled away to leave he grabbed my hand pressed his phone number to my palm. As I neared the door I looked back, gave him a look as if to say “sorry kid, but that’s life” and dropped his number to the floor. The only guilt I felt was over littering. :)

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Responses

  1. I will bookmark your blog and have my kids check up here frequently. I’m very certain they will understand lots of new stuff here than anybody else.


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