Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thirty Somethings...Thing 5

Day 05 → Something you hope to do in your life.

This one time in college? I went to class. I must've been really bored and out of weed and too tired to do keg stands and I never did own a flute or anything. So class it was. It was a writing class and I (heart)ed writing back then, too, but I struggled with it a bit while I was experimenting with various and sundry states of mind and having really DEEP conversations at 3AM with guys who wore those old man hats. Anyway, there was an old lady in this class who sat two seats behind me. She was probably the same age I am now. Right, so NOT old, that is to say. She was really annoying, always raising her hand and talking about her kids and generally attaching her lips to the teacher's ass. Figuratively, of course. She was the kind of old lady I'd probably be if I ever decided to drag my ass back to school to complete my degree. And that, my friends, is how easy it is for me to talk myself out of shit. No desire to be that old lady.

But I digress. One day the professor gave us our assignment and we all groaned in unison. Well, 29 of 30 of us did. One of us squealed and instinctively raised her hand. I'm sure you can imagine who that was because if you have the intellectual prowess to be able to navigate your way to my blog on the internet, there aren't just rocks banging around between your ear-holes. When she was acknowledged by the professor she breathlessly stammered, "Well, Ms. Professor, I am VERRRRRY excited about this assignment but I feel like it is a little unfair because all of these kids are just beginning life and won't have much to write about while I've had all kinds of experiences to share."

Commence glaring. Not one person peeped because apparently mocking assholery is too much trouble when there's only one minute left in class. The professor merely said, "I think you'll be surprised," and we all hurriedly shoved our books in our bags and hauled ass outta there, eyes a-rolling.

I recall staring at my word processor that night (told ya, I'm an old lady) as my 'minimal life experiences' flashed before my eyes. In the end, I pussed out. I didn't tell the story of being raped and having an abortion. I wasn't brave enough. Apparently bravery is only something I was apt to embrace almost a decade later. I turned in a paper that certainly told my life story. But not the whole truth. I just wasn't ready to be the sacrificial lamb on the alter of Yuh-Huh I DO SO Have Life Experiences Asshole!

When class reconvened, a few chose to read their autobiographies out loud. There was one girl who took Old Lady's challenge head on. She was the first Goth I'd ever seen, before 'Goth' was ever spoken in mainstream lexicon. She'd never spoken a word in class until that day. She pursed her black lips and closed her thickly lined eyes for just a moment and then unfolded, in vivid detail, her experience of being molested as a child and coming to terms with that through her teenage years. I can't even do the experience justice with words. It was absolutely powerful.

There was not a dry eye in the room, but for hers. She shared her story with such intensity and strength that she's more than just a little bit one of my unsung heroes of the past. She was who I hoped I'd be a decade past my shitty shenanigans of the time.

And she is who I became. I owe her. Which is probably why I'm writing this.

That is the longest preamble in the world to say that I hope, in my life, I will always, always be mindful that everyone, young and old, asshole and martyr, has a story. Something worthy of an autobiography.

Even old ladies who go back to college well past the age most people do in the interest of doing SOMETHING for themselves while sitting in a class full of snotty kids who throw the term 'old' around like it's nobody's business and scorn a genuine interest in learning while they're juggling kids, a relationship, a mortgage, a degree, and, not often enough, a vibrator. Yes, they have stories, too.

I want to spend my life minding people's stories. Which sometimes might not seem so obvious what with me droning on about mine, but it's true. That's what I hope to do. To realize that not only is there a My-ography, but a You-ography, too. We're all a bunch of Ographies. Important ones.

2 Leg Humps:

AmyD said...

"We're all a bunch of Ographies. Important ones."

And if you don't go set up a CafePress or some such shop and slap that on a t-shirt, bumper sticker and every other conceivable, stick-able, wearable - then, my friend, you are nuts.

Go now. Put a link and pic in your sidebar and post it on your facebook page. And, if you need help - you know where to find me, because that was AMAZING. And beautiful. And, this pathetic comment does not do it justice.

Thank Goddess you came back to blogging, I've missed you.

Biscotti Girl said...

Uh, Yeah Zube! I agree with Amy on the CafePress. Pronto, yo!

Your post had my eyes misting over with compassion, empathy and "wow, that is shitty and I'm a puss". But I laughed too and so thanks.


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