“October 25, 2007: I need to practice my stag jumps more. Bryan and some other dancers helped me a little.”
“October 27, 2007: In dance, since we were there for two hours, we worked on our pirouette turns. I did okay, but the self-conscious thing is not working. Yesterday was Caleb’s last day here because school was conflicting with being a professional. I kind of wish I knew him more, but I’m glad I stopped myself from having a huge crush on him.”
“Today is Savannah’s Halloween party. I’m gonna be Jada Smith from Matrix Revolution. I’m going trick or treating with Lynn and Shelly, I hope. I kind of wish we had more people. I should recruit some. Maybe Jo.”
“11:09PM: Hannah’s party was fun. Her house was decorated really cool. There was probably around 30 people there. We hung out in the backyard and played glow volleyball. We blew glow bubbles in front of the black lights and splashed each other. We ate nachos, candy, carrots with ranch, and crackers with cheese. We danced in the dark with black lights and glow sticks. There were about four guys and one other guy who was making out with his girlfriend periodically throughout the WHOLE party. K.C. invited me to his party but he said I might not know anyone. True, but I did fine at Savannah’s party. I’m trying to develop better social skills. Oh! I was Nairobi from the Matrix Reloaded. I’ve never seen it before. She’s Black and has bantu knots on her head. Tonight was my first official High School party and I’m so proud of myself. I had a lot of fun. Wow. I couldn’t help wishing I had a boyfriend when I was there. I just really want a guy to hold me and make out with. Whenever a guy gets close, especially behind me, I get this relaxed comfort feeling. Then it’s gone when he moves away. That’s what happened when K.C. was reaching for something and he was behind me. He kind of leaned on me and I felt that magical comfort feeling. When I have my first boyfriend, it will be so special. I hope.”
Spoiler alert. It wasn’t. However, that wasn’t until my senior year of undergrad.
“November 3, 2007: This was my first time driving somewhere without my parents. About 12 people from U.R. went to an African dance performance. It was good, but we left at intermission. I think I’m starting to like Adam more and Bryan less. No one knows that but me. Adam sat next to me!”
We were not supposed to leave the performance early, but I had to leave because my ride was. The dance company we went to watch was local and knew that we were attending that night. I believe they knew and were in communication with our dance director. The next day at school, the director came up to me and asked what happened. Naturally, I got scared. The memory is fuzzy, and I can’t remember if I folded and told her we left early, or lied terribly because the older kids told me to. Regardless of which one it was, she knew we left.
“On Halloween I went trick or treating with Lynn, Lexus, Silver, and Cam. Also, Lexus’s boyfriend Dre and Dre’s sister were there. Lynn’s new boyfriend David came as well. He drums, plays guitar, and piano. According to Lynn he’s good with his hands, on instruments and her body. It was hard to hang out with her because they were attached the whole time. He was really trying to stick with her, I could tell. He couldn’t stand to be apart from her. It was really fun, but it made me wish I had a boyfriend to have a good time with too.”
“November 5, 2007: It’s 10:57PM and I’m on my asthma machine right now. I’ve had some lung problems. When me and Alice were leaving rehearsals, these football players said hi and asked me for my number. I saw and heard these two Black guys talking and one said “Would you go out with her?” (me) and I almost panicked. It’s not that I hate boys, I just don’t want to be put in the situation where I have to say no if someone asks me out.”
I’m not sure if the guys that asked me for my number are the two boys I overheard talking about me. It was stressful not being able to engage in normal teenage interactions with boys, due to not being able to date. I was also restricted from activities like going on walks, visiting friends, going to the mall, etc. without prior approval from my mother. I was not allowed to have a cell phone, so I could not text or call to ask permission for spontaneous social opportunities. Naturally, a lot of teenagers did not want to deal with my parents or calling our house phone. My mother also wanted to personally know the kids’ parents I wanted to hang out with. It’s unrealistic to set up a meeting with every kid’s parents that I wanted to be around. These rules and requirements caused me to avoid boys and people who had more active social lives. Some students, even people I considered friends, avoided me and did not invite me to things because “I wasn’t allowed to do anything”. In fact, in a previous post, I mentioned how my long time friend Mo didn’t invite me to her birthday party. When I asked her why, she said it was because they went to go see a movie she didn’t think my mom would allow me to see. I thought that was bullshit (she could have at least asked about the movie), but there could have been some truth to it. Perhaps the awkward girl with the overprotective parents wasn’t someone others wanted to be around.
“November 11, 2007: I got a long teal shirt that I can wear with leggings. It droops on one shoulder and has a hole in the other shoulder. I’m taking my asthma nebulizer right now. Having the mask strapped to my face makes me feel like I’m in the hospital.”
“Happy Thanksgiving. We’re on our way to our cousin’s house. This month U.R. performed at a huge parent teacher conference downtown.”
“November 30, 2007: I had three auditions this week. I am in four dances that are guaranteed for mainstage. I tried out for Vanessa’s dance too. It’s a religious one. She was mostly looking for emotions. I didn’t have that and the moves were hard to remember. It also seemed repetitive. I didn’t make that dance. I auditioned for Ms. Roger’s dance and I made it. I need to think of weird bird movements. I auditioned for Mason’s dance today. It was hip-hop and I did okay, but I was nervous and I didn’t really freestyle. I did horrible. It’s not that it was hard, I just didn’t have much energy and I was too nervous to have fun.”
For the majority of the first semester we prepared for our dance showcase called Mainstage in which our company and a few guest studios and dance groups performed in the school’s Performing Arts Center (PAC). Towards the beginning of the school year, there were a lot of auditions, followed by rehearsals during class and after school. There were about 20 dance numbers in the show. It was quite the production.
“The other thing that I wanted to tell you about was my subscription to YouTube. Right now, this is my deepest darkest secret. I’ll summarize because I have to clean the kitchen. I made an account and had some cool videos on my playlist. I watched some lesbian videos and met a lesbian subscriber who’s 19. I talked to her about sex and dirty lesbian fantasies we imagined ourselves being in. I went out with her starting yesterday night. I broke up with her this evening. I’m done with that. I did replace the other cool videos on my profile to all lesbian videos. I’m kind of in contact with a girl whose username is Lesbi1234. She’s 18. I still love watching lesbian videos. I’m just scared that people will really want me to have sex with them. I’ve been asked by a guy and two girls already. That’s what I get for pretending to be a 22-year-old who loves sex.”
I did exactly what you’re not supposed to do on the internet by pretending to be older and talking to adults (who could have also been teenagers pretending, but that’s beside the point). I did not have a safe way to explore my sexuality so I believe that’s why I was engaging with late teens/adults in a sexual manner, and practically addicted to lesbian make out videos. I knew that my parents believed, and still do, that any romantic or sexual attraction that is not the traditional cis man and cis woman heterosexual relationship is sinful. I had no one to talk to about this part of me, except my journal. If I had been “allowed” to have an interest in girls, maybe there would be more journal entries of me obsessing over some hot dancer girl I was in love with instead of pretending with online strangers.
End of Part 2. The final part will be posted soon.