My Tail.

Having lived nowhere else but the small town of Milaca, Mn I have fallen into the rut

of expectations. I know what to expect at the store, at church, at school. However, in as little as the first week of my senior year I was thrown off quite a bit. In a small town school students don’t get away with breaking unspoken social rules without the entire student body hearing about it by lunch period, and if they do bravely wander into uncharted territory those bold choices come with an extreme amount of teasing. To my surprise this year I saw not one, but two girls wearing bushy fox tails to class. My peers wore those unruly tails to school even though they knew they would be teased. They made one very large fashion statement, and they made it holding their head high. That is what I want.

No, I don’t want to wear a tail; the fluffy extremities are far from my idea of taste, and I have confidence in my personal style. I just want to make a statement in the way I live. I consider myself a fairly well rounded person, but I don’t have my thing. My tail if you will. I’m not a ridiculously talented singer, and I’m not beauty pageant beautiful. I’m smart, but I’m not ingenious, and I’m athletic, but I’m not Olympic worthy. It’s not that I don’t give 100% every time I jump into the pool, step onto the field, or begin a test, it’s just that I haven’t found my niche. I haven’t found a place that I am clearly meant to be.

Every day I see people with confidence in their futures that I envy, and spending the next ten years of my life bewildered by where exactly I fit is an extremely terrifying idea to me. Impacting the outcome of students lives. Students that will go on to do great things that could change the world is what I dream of. I want to be an exceptional teacher, coach leader, and mentor, but achieving that goal is far from near. Years of hard-work, dedication, and even some ambivalence will lead me to the unshakeable confidence in my field that I so badly yearn for right now. I am looking for a certain answer in an unpredictable future.

I don’t want to be a nonconformist. I don’t dream of becoming the class valedictorian. I don’t want to think about what I want to do, or who I want to be. I want to know. I want to feel it with every muscle in my body, and every neuron in my brain. I want to wake in the mornings, get dressed and put on my tail. I imagine myself walking across a campus and making a statement. Walking back into a school as a teacher, and know that I will own my job. I want people to look at me and believe that I am one of those people who knows what they are destined for. One day I will stand tall on my pedestal.

I wrote this at the begging of my senior year of high school (and edited it now). That was almost three years ago. At the time I thought I was going to be a lawyer. I have now been through almost two years of college at two different universities, changed my major, and become more and more confident that I am walking towards my destiny every day. 

Sure, there have been days when I wonder if I’m doing the right thing. There are days when I hate my classes, and my current job working at an elementary school. But the moment that a light goes off in a kids eyes makes it all worth it, and more. The moment when I know I am making a difference in someones life, and lighting a spark of interest in in school for a teenager, that makes it worth every hard test, every late night studying, every assignment. 

The worst first date idea in the history of first date ideas.

Let me first start by saying that I am greatfully fearful of interactions with boys. I spent the last year and a half of high school with the same boyfriend, and yes. I grew comfortable.

*Flirting: If you don’t practice this on a regular basis, you’ll forget how to do it. And the only thing worse than not flirting with anyone, is attempting to flirt, and failing miserably. On a side note, if you’re in a relationship, never stop flirting with your significant other. That is a devastating costly mistake that so many make. *insert sad face here*

Now, I’m not the type of girl that is never single, and when I am single I’m not sleeping around with whatever boy happened to check me out at the party I was at last Saturday. However, there does come a time when being single just gets boring. When all your friends are going out on date night with their boyfriends, and you simply don’t want to sit inside and watch the 176th episode of Greys Anatomy by yourself (thank you Netflix). I have reached this point.

So about a month ago I decided to change out of my metaphorical pajamas, and slap some mud on my face (makeup). Why not talk to the boy living down the hall, why not chat up the cute upperclassmen from Exposition? Here’s why. I AM AWKWARD.

I’m not really shy or reserved, and by no means do I have a wall built up. I just don’t behold that unwavering rhythm that some girls have. I always imagine these girls as the short, skinny, blondies, that generally have a flock of boys following them. In reality lots of girls have this trait. I just happen to be a 5’6″ phony redhead with curves, and I lack the ease that others have when they meet new people. Don’t get me wrong, I have this type of chemistry with lots of people. Those people just happen to be acquaintances I went to high school with and I have known them since I was a tyke in kindergarten. College is different, a whole new playing field if you will.

So here I am stumbling about, attempting to contain my awkwardness, and figure out what makes this guy tick while simultaneously trying to decide if I’m actually interested in him or not, when he texts me and asks if I want to “watch a movie” when he’s done with work? Dear lord. First let me tell you how much I hate texting. I’m 19 and I will be the first one to admit that texting and social media have ruined the love lives of billions of my generation. Second, watch a movie? Why the actual fuck does this have to be a young mans #1 go to when they want to hang out?

So many things can go wonderfully in your favor when you watch a movie with someone you’re interested in, but here’s why its a BAD idea for a first date: #1 Let’s say that it’s very clear that there’s little to no chemistry cooking, and there is clearly awkward tension in the air. Neither of you really wants to continue sitting in the dark watching a movie that, let’s be honest, you’re not actually that interested in. Where is your escape? Interactive date ideas offer you a way to ignore the awkwardness even when the date is clearly steering in the direction of a cliff. Movies don’t come with an emergency exit button.

#2 Let’s say the movie is going great. Here comes THE move. You know it’s coming, but when? Forget about remembering what the movie was even about because chances are you will be more worried about when this guy is going to hold your hand or put his arm around you. Have you ever tried to subtly scoot closer to someone without being obvious or coming across as too forward? It’s actually quite near impossible, but have fun trying.

I don’t even want to talk about what happens if no one makes a move, because I’m not sure what’s more disappointing.

And then there is the quite realistic chance that tonight I will watch a movie with this guy, who I might possibly be into. He’ll hold my hand, and I’ll be completely content with it. I’ll leave his room, go to sleep in my own bed, and think back to why the hell I was so nervous in the first place.

But the point is, all of this could have been avoided if he wouldn’t have asked me to watch a movie. Save the movies for date 2 or 3 for goodness sake, and in the meantime save your girl a heart attack or two.