Fun fact! Today is a pretty special day. At least, it is for me. Why is that you may ask? Oh, because this girl is celebrating a birthday today. That’s right! On this day, 35 very long years ago, I came wailing into this world. It was quite a dramatic experience from what I’ve been told. Apparently, I was so eager to see the new world that I shot out so quickly that the doctor barely caught me by one leg.
It’s kind of funny when you think about the fact that only months before, I was so afraid to have anything to do with this world that I played dead during a check up. Yes, you read that right. As my mom likes to tell the story, when they were doing the ultrasound at my check up, they could not find a heartbeat and believed I had died. The doctor was so convinced that he supposedly tried to send my mom up to the next floor for a D&C to clean me out. Thankfully, Mom wasn’t as convinced and demanded another opinion. Obviously, they were able to see that I was just being dramatic and faking it since I am here today.
And that pretty much sums up my entire life. No, I’m mostly kidding, but is it really that much of a reach to consider that maybe I was so anxious about being born that I just shut down? What’s more surprising is how excited I was to actually be born only months later. Now that is a better representation of my life: overly excited about things but too anxious to actually deal with them.
If you were to calculate my age versus the year that I graduated high school, you would notice that the numbers don’t quite add up like you expect them to. Part of that is because when I was enrolled into school, you had to have already had your fifth birthday before the start of the school year. Well, I’m an October baby which means that I was only four at the time, so we had to wait an entire year before I could actually enroll into kindergarten.
I don’t know if this happens at all schools, but the school I was being registered for required a small test before you were placed into a class. It was just myself and a couple of personnel from the school, and I had to do simple tasks like match colors and shapes. Well, my mom wasn’t allowed in the classroom which made me super uncomfortable and anxious. I refused to speak to the people giving me the test which prompted them to place me in a “junior” kindergarten to work on my social skills. This put me yet another year behind my peers. As you can see, my social anxiety has been controlling my life since practically forever.
I mostly kept to myself all throughout school. I never attended school functions unless I was required to or tricked into it. The one and only school dance that I attended happened because I was at a sleepover for a friend’s birthday, and they all decided that they wanted to go. I went and pretty much spent the entire time sitting in the bleachers. Socially awkward to the extreme.
After graduation, I moved to Kentucky and applied to Berea College due to pressure from family members. I didn’t want to go, but they thought it was a good idea so I applied. Berea is pretty selective in their admissions because all students receive scholarships to cover tuition. They also have work programs so students can pay off their books and housing. It’s not easy to get into it, but somehow I did. I ended up rejecting my acceptance (well, missing the deadline to confirm) because I was terrified of the idea of being that far away from everyone and being around people that I did not know.
Eventually, I enrolled into Northern Kentucky University but only because I was able to do the entire program online from the safety of my bedroom. Another fun fact: I almost didn’t graduate because one of the required courses was a public speaking course which I put off until my final semester (most students take it during their freshman year) of school. I also worked very hard at keeping all other grades up so I could basically do the bare minimum in that class and still graduate. I guess some things don’t change.
Now, here I am. Thirty five years old with a lot of ideas, plans, and goals floating around in her head and no clue where to start. I know that I need to take everything a day at a time while still looking at the bigger picture. Do I have any idea what my bigger picture actually is at the moment? Not really, but I do know some of the smaller pieces that will eventually add up to make that final piece a reality. In theory.