This may come to a shock to some of you, but I wasn’t always this supremely cool and awesome lady. (ahem) When I was a kid, I always felt like the odd one out. Especially at school. Imagine learning to speak English in a town with a 98% Francophone population. Knowing only as much as “un, deux, trois” by the time I went to pre-K, I was completely surrounded by my peers who barely spoke a word of my language. So I had to learn theirs… and fast. I was the odd girl in school not just because of that, but also because of how awkwardly I grew up. Mom giving me an icky haircut one year and forcing me to blow dry my bangs into the perfect line for some others definitely didn’t help… love you anyway Mom!
I also felt out of the loop because of what I was interested in. While many of my friends hung out in town riding their bikes and making forts, I was at ballet classes and drama camps. I’ve had a huge interest in the arts from an extremely young age and not every kid can relate to you when you’re like that.
But one year really changed things. It was 1992 and I had a small speaking role in my local theatre company’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. I had responsibilities…I made new friends… and I sang… and I danced…
And I met a boy.
I won’t go into all the gooey, pre-teen details. However, I will say that I have nothing but awesome memories of that time. It’s that perfect and pure time. When “liking” someone doesn’t have stresses attached to it. It’s spontaneous. It’s butterfly-in-the-stomach creating. It’s new and wonderful.
Suddenly, I changed. The girl who would have lowered her head at a nasty remark by the local “tough” kids was coming up with, god forbid, comebacks! I had confidence in myself.
In the next few years, I would forge friendships that still go on even to this day. And year by year, I eventually starting figuring out who I was and who I wanted to be.
All of this because of one show.
And one first kiss.