I had this dream last night about returning to my elementary school. There was a little boy standing on the roof and everyone was trying to get him to come down. I thought he was so young to be on the edge like that, and then I went inside the school. For some reason, I wasn’t worried about the boy — I knew he would come down soon. The principal turned out to be a guy I grew up with, who, in real life, was always a little mean to me. Sometimes he was nice, but most times he laced the niceness with meanness. So he was the principal and we greeted each other like old friends. I asked him if I could take the boy on the roof out to dinner once they had convinced him to come down, and my apparent old friend, the principal, said, of course! He thought it was a great idea.
There are other parts of this dream, like my gym teacher telling me I was his best PE student ever. In real life, there is no way this could be literally true. I disliked gym so much that even in junior high, at the age where every little thing that happens to you is humiliating, I was willing to risk that embarrassment by letting my male gym teacher know I was “on my period.” In those words.
My point is that I rarely remember my dreams. When I do, I take it as a sign that I’m going in the right direction, that I am doing something right. I haven’t entirely parsed out what each part of my dream might mean. Maybe that little boy is my writing life. Maybe my old friend the principal embodies my relationship to my weird childhood: once contentious, now like an old and dear friend. Maybe the gym teacher… I don’t know what he symbolizes. Maybe he’s just a gym teacher.
And so, here I am.
Some things to know about me: I grew up in rural Nevada with an entomologist father and a mysteriously green-thumbed agronomist mother from the Philippines. I’m the oldest of the kids in my family, and I’m also the only girl. When I was small, I wished fervently for Barbies and instead got ant farms and chemistry sets from my botanist grandmother (I am incredibly thankful now for both). I watched Power Rangers too much and staged fights in the backyard with my brothers. My first black eye was given to me by my youngest brother, who was a toddler at the time. We’re very close today.
Now, I live in the Midwest. I miss mountains and the desert intensely, but I’m trying to love this skyline, too. I write poems. Poems remain the best way for me to express my inexpressible things. I read my ass off — blogs, novels, short story collections, poetry, YA fiction, graphic novels, sports writing, memoirs, whatever. I’ll read it all. I watch television more than I should, but there’s so much good stuff out there that deserves attention and discussion (and just as much bad). Some favorites: Freaks and Geeks, Arrested Development, The Vampire Diaries (I ain’t ashamed!), Grey’s Anatomy.
I will also say that I have been so, so inspired by Janet Varney’s podcast, The JV Club. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve listened to her podcast and nearly wept because she and her guest are discussing something I thought had only happened to me. Unpacking the stuff of growing up is so important and so…okay. Putting words to those weird and formative experiences is absolutely necessary. Looking back helps me see The Now more clearly, and that helps me go in new directions, move forward with life and who I choose to be.
So, there it is. I’ve been thinking about starting this blog for a long time, and the time feels right. So, here I am. And whatever happens, happens.