I am, not you… 2013 Edition.
I wrote this for my blog back in 2011, I stumbled across it on FB, reread it and decided it was time to edit, add and repost it for those who may have missed it the first time. It stemmed from an exercise a friend suggested to me, every sentence has to start with “I”.
Here’s my “I Am…”
I am Mandy and I have a past, just as we all do.
I don’t remember being born to a young woman who gave me up and a young man who didn’t know I existed. I have no memories from the day I was adopted by the DeGeit’s, but they celebrated every Valentine’s day as the day I became theirs. I knew my adopted parents loved and wanted me. I knew I belonged to them. I was raised in love, understanding, education and discipline. I had a family. I was supposed to have been content. I should have been happy.
I didn’t fit into school. I was weird, I wasn’t really pretty, I was smart. I was the kid they made fun of, the one the other kids teased.
I didn’t make friends well. I tried but I failed. I wasn’t popular and that’s a trait you need in school. I didn’t have what I needed. I just wanted to fit in but I didn’t.
I always had “problems” when I was young. I wasn’t right in the head. I was in counselling from early on. I couldn’t be happy. I tried but failed.
I trudged miserably through school, elementary, intermediate and high…
I hated high school the most.
I still wasn’t popular. I didn’t grow into anything like some did. I got worse.
I was in the school band and library club. I didn’t know of anyone else in the library club. I think I was the only one.
I don’t remember much of high school. I am a perfect example of how we block out the bad.
I was fifteen when I met him, he was 18 and said he loved me.
I believed him.
I thought I needed him.
I dropped out of school at 16.
I moved out and I left my family behind, not for myself but for him…
I know now I was wrong.
I was constantly miserable but too proud to go home.
I thought I was in love.
I still stayed with him and shunned my family.
I shouldn’t have… but you can’t change the past.
I was 16, what the fuck did I know?
I lost my mind. I was hospitalized.
I was labelled with disorders. I was medicated. I have been both uncontrollable and catatonic.
I wasn’t the person you know now, back then. I never thought I would change.
I didn’t think I could live anymore.
I’d hit rockbottom, the scars on my wrist pushed me to leave my hometown.
I had to start new. I knew I had to start fresh. I left my family and all I’ve known… I had no choice.
I walked away from everything I always was, a daughter, a student, a lover and lost soul.
I survived. I forced myself to change. I had to.
I slowly changed. I made it happen, even though the way wasn’t easy.
I could tell you about my move to Ottawa. I could explain how I got a job, moved up in rank and garnered respect and experience. I was a retail manager. I paid off my bills, I bought myself “stuff” and things. I did that.
I could tell you how I worked at a sex store for three years, selling vibrators and renting porn. I really liked that job. I did that.
I could tell you about the photographer, part-time modelling, Bermuda, endless money… and the drugs. I did that.
I could tell you about how I dated a musician and lost everything I’ve owned, but found my love and passion for music. I play the flute and have for a long time but I learned to play better. I risked it all, and lost it all, but I don’t regret anything. I did that.
I could talk about being a gypsy, just doing what makes my heart feel right. I’m still doing that now.
I could talk about how I grew into my looks. I became pretty. I formed an attitude, my attitude. I got louder, unfortunately for those around me. I wanted to be centre of attention, I still do. I became a little more “Mandy”.
I could also tell you how I STILL struggled through all of that, searching to find who I am. I am still doing that.
I want to tell you about how I am still not sure of what I’m supposed to do.
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
I want to be a writer, so I write.
I want to be famous, so I put myself out there.
I want someone to grow old with… no one wants to die alone.
I still don’t have it all figured out, maybe I never will.
I’m 35 years old and I’m still working on who I am.
I do know one thing: I am Mandy, Stronger, Better, More Me… And Now With 100% More Tattoos.
Great piece of work, Mandy.
I have a Guest Author slot on my site if you’re interested.
Hey, I’d like that a lot 😀 I’ve emailed you… Talk soon.
I really enjoyed this post. Thanks, Mandy.
Well done, you’ve revealed a lot about how you became you. Two mistakes: You say you wasn’t pretty (you certainly are, now and then!) and you missed one (The kid you made fun of.) Tonya and I decided we’re going to go to Killercon instead of the local con, so I hope I see you there!
Great exercise and nice insight in to what makes Mandy.