Q: What was your proudest moment?
My childhood was very hard. My family was not in a good position financially for most of my childhood, and being a small skinny, really quiet kid with asthma I got kicked around a lot by my "friends" who were mostly older kids in my neighborhood. I was extremely depressed with no friends, and have come close to suicide many times. As I got older, my asthma went away, and by the time I was twelve I was virtually asthma free. Extremely out of shape, but no tight chest. I gradually became more active, and now today I can do 27 pullups, 206 pushups in two minutes, 214 crunches in two minutes, leg press 400 lbs and bench press 300 lbs, and run three miles in under 18 minutes. I have also lost a 38 pounds since last year. Next year, the summer before my senior year in highschool, I plan on enlisting into the Marine Corps and be in the Delayed Entry Program during my senior year. I plan on trying out for Recon, and eventually being a Drill Instructor ( Marine version of Drill Sergeant) and going MARSOC. I also plan on running a marathon and backpacking from where I live in Seattle into Idaho. Not bad for never playing in any organized sport.
Also, I struggled in school. Before highschool I got Cs and Ds, but last year I decided to do what I did with physical fitness; kick my ass into gear. Now, I get pretty good grades, As and Bs, and only missed less than ten problems on all my finals combined. In history, I have missed only two problems on all the quizzes and tests this year. Next year I'm taking three advanced biology and chemistry classes as well as AP history and English.
I'm also very socially awkward. All of my friends initiated contact, and where basically people who insisted on talking to me. This school year I made several new friends, and even got to know a girl I liked and asked her out. Note how I use the past tense "liked", she started acting crazy. Oh well, I met a new girl recently who seems friendly and attractive, we have been getting along well, hopefully it will go somewhere. summers almost here, I won't be as busy as I have been, I'm seldom at home due to extracurricular activities and going to the gym, and when I am at home I'm either working on school work or enjoying a quiet moment.
Another proud accomplishment, my friends dragged me to their Boy Scout meeting a few times when I was 14, and I decided I'd give it a try. Now, a little over two years after joining, I'm a few months from getting my Eagle Scout, and I'm also in the Order of the Arrow (BSA honor society, aka slave labor for when the local scout council is taking "a scout is thrifty" and decides not to hire people for stuff like camp staff) and I'm a cub scout den chief (kind of like a scoutmaster for little cub scouts).
Mine would be helping to take a local school's marching band from being on the chopping block for budget reasons to state champions in two years. They went through three directors in a year, the kids were anxious about the latest one to come in. I saw them at a football game and decided to approach the director. I marched in high school, and spent seven years marching in DCI. Turns out the new director marched nearly the same years I did with another corps. Same instrument too, so he invited me to come help. Last year we planned a show that took a lot of risks, and was demanding. The kids devoured it. By the end of the season the whole staff was really at a loss for what to improve. We constantly had meetings to add new material, and tweak the show. The last two weeks of the season we had to stop, and focus on cleaning it up a little. The director works them pretty hard, they practice a total of 10 hours a week. The kids have to maintain a B average to keep with the program, and soon word got around about how competitive they became. We filled all available slots for the year, and they constantly pushed the staff. They worked hard, kept working off hours together to really improve. I have to say it was the most impressive turn around I've seen, and was inspiring. They worked as hard as I did to improve not just the band, but themselves as individual musicians. After winning the state championship, and ranking nationally we got together outside the stadium, and no words could be said. We just had to sit, and reflect on the energy, and emotion they put into that last show. After scores that night were called, and they stood victors we did an encore in the parking lot. They tore it up, and had one last hurrah. I didn't record it, I now wish I had.
They set a huge standard for achievment last year, and left the staff reeling to come up with something to match this coming season. It's been a wild ride, and I hope to keep teaching and seeing this band grow. They're no longer in danger of being dissolved, and the school system is actually giving us more leeway. I'm quite proud to be a part of saving not just a band, but contributing to a positive experience for the students.
Probably graduating college a couple weeks ago. It pains me even to say that because I never thought I would be the sort of person who thought she wouldn't graduate. I had straight A's in high school (except for one B, I think, in an AP class, and I freaked out about it), did a bunch of extracurricular activities, was so creative and pretty and oh look at how great she is! Then I got to college, got Dean's List my first semester, things were looking pretty good-- until the black mold in my dorm gave me fungal bronchitis. Because I already have asthma, it was severe and didn't heal totally until the weather got warm at the end of the second semester.
Being sick caused me to miss taking some of my anxiety medications, and I found myself spiraling into severe Zoloft withdrawal that turned me nocturnal (an odd but relatively common effect of withdrawal from some medications) and made me terrified to leave my room even to eat; I could hardly even bring myself to walk across the hall to the bathroom. I nearly failed out of school my second semester-- the model student, ballet-dancing, music-writing, viola-playing, story-writing, Dean's-List-her-first-semester child of Harvard grads nearly failed out of school.
After that, I never really got back under control. Every semester I would start out okay and then get overwhelmed, stop finishing work and going to class, and have to beg my teachers to let me make it all up. I had multiple instances where problems with refilling medications caused me to go into withdrawal again. I tried a bunch of different kinds of meds, and they all helped some but not enough. I made counseling appointments but found it hard to get out of my room to get to them, and eventually stopped scheduling them altogether. I switched majors from music composition to English because I found myself physically unable to write music, and found that writing essays, even on literature I loved, was little better despite the fact that I'm one of those freaks who loves writing essays. I gained weight because, though I rarely ate, when I did I stuffed myself because I was so hungry. I discovered that I had vaginismus, a common disorder in women with anxiety disorders and my particular religious/cultural background, and was physically unable to have sex without months of counseling and painful exercises (which I was simply unable to do).
Every semester things got a little better. I still had problems and had to drop out of some classes, finish others over the summer, and do lots and lots of makeup work, but I seemed to be getting better. Then, senior year hit, and everything fell apart. My room became so messy that I started living at my boyfriend's place, and when his place became to messy to live in, I still lived there. I became completely unable to write and spent my time checking and rechecking the same webcomics, picking at my feet until they bled, and all sorts of other lovely harmful and counterproductive things, to the point that I even missed out on activities I enjoyed like weekend Dungeons & Dragons, which had previously been the only bright spot of calm, happy socialization in my otherwise painfully lonely weeks. I was too petrified of graduation, that most terrifying of Deadlines, the Big Expensive Project I simply couldn't fail. Still, I managed to pull through, somehow. I failed two of my classes and only graduated with one major despite the fact that I only needed one class to have two. I keep telling myself that that's good enough, that I graduated and that's what matters, I got a diploma from a very good school and it's not like my diploma even says what my major is. But it still hurts. I feel useless and unemployable, but mostly just ashamed.
I wish I could be like you, OP. I was given every advantage, have loving, economically stable, caring, accepting parents who have always told me to do what I love best, went to a good school, my teachers all loved me and accommodated me, I had access to all the medication and counseling I needed-- but still I was left shivering in a ball under my desk, terrified of failure, failing, and furious with myself for letting it all happen. I'm hardly even a functional human being. All that good fortune was just wasted on me. You had a horrible life, with every possible bad thing all coming together to keep you down, but have overcome every obstacle without breaking-- addiction, abuse, homelessness, and yet you still triumph. I wish I could be that strong. You're the one who deserves my circumstances, not me.
Damn, that ended up being a very long and incredibly sad post. Sorry about that. It's not really that bad, I guess. I'm getting better. I'll be able to get a job someday, I think. I'm on much better meds now. I just wish I weren't so... broken.