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  1. 1. I was born right here at Cabell Huntington, January 31st , 1994. It was an early Monday morning, so it was pretty much destined that I stay sleepy all the time. From there I grew up in a trailer park with my mom, sister, and dad, until they got divorced. It’s okay though, they’re much happier now, and I was too young to really know what was going on. Soon enough, I made my way into school, being a little teacher’s pet, making the school work look like it took no effort. I even had the big glasses to match. I had plenty of friends, but I never really considered someone as not a friend back then. Talking to people was incredibly easy, and if I wasn’t goofing around with someone at school, I was with my grandma goofing around at the playground. Since my mom worked, my sister and I usually ended up being left at one of our grandparents’ houses to be taken care of. Unfortunately, that grandparent was usually our nana, my mom’s mom, who played some really obvious favoritism. With her, she always favored the older child, which if you couldn’t guess with the last statement, I am not. It’s hard to say how many times I had been cursed at, yelled at, or simply mistreated by her. My favorite example of her actions though to this day would still be the Christmas she got my sister a brand new DS, and I got a jar of cookie mix. Needless to say, this wasn’t abnormal behavior for her when it came to the two of us. However, there was one bright side for awhile about going to my nana’s. My pawpa always was good company for me, taking up for me quite when nana would try and blame something on me or pick on me. Not only that, but it was so nice to spend the day watching television with him, or playing checkers, just about anything was fun with him. Pawpa was pretty much the only thing there that kept me from getting up and running off all together.
  2. 2. Sadly enough, that time didn’t last very long though. In 2004, when I was in 5th grade, in the middle of class in fact, I was pulled out of class by my other grandparents and taken to their house, informed that pawpa had had a heart attack. I cried plenty, I didn’t know if he was okay or not, but knowing he was in the hospital was enough to make me upset. My sister tried her best to cheer me up, but it didn’t work. We weren’t at our grandparents for long before our mom stepped in red face and puffy eyes. Even for a 5th grader, it wasn’t hard to guess what had happened. That was really my first experience with a major death in the family. Plenty other deaths had happened that I dealt with, but most of them were relatives I hardly ever saw, not one I saw on a daily basis. Still today, the thought of not seeing a person’s face that I usually see all the time is still the strangest feeling for me to wrap my mind around. Moving along from the sad memories, I have my other grandparents. These two are my grandma and grandpa, my dad’s parents. It’s more likely that I picked up more habits from these two than my other grandparents. If I ever got the change to go to their house, I would usually take it. I looked up to them, admired them, and generally just loved getting the attention they gave me. My grandma was always sweet to me, and loved to make food as well, and wanted to make sure I stay healthy, even if that means waking me up at eight in the morning on a Saturday to make me go on a walk with her. The two of them together is just as good as any comedian act, with my grandpa being some sort of jokester that just liked to say whatever he wanted, and my grandma loving to hear her own voice. Middle school soon came around the corner, and it was awful. Okay, no it wasn’t really awful, in fact it was probably some of my better years, but looking back on it I just want to
  3. 3. smack little me around for a while for being so annoying and generally being a middle schooler. It was middle school where I made many of my best friends, still today. Also, it was middle school where I found where my interests lied for the most part. Boy, I was annoying though, but weren’t we all? A nice walk down this painfully embarrassing memory lane reminds me that within the first couple of days of school was when I one of my friends, who I’m still good friends with today. We hung out a lot that year, and she introduced me to another one of my friends, who in turn introduced me to pretty much the last of our little original group of friends. Somewhere in between all of this though, to dull the pain from having to spend every day at our nana’s house still, we made a friend that lived very close by in the neighboring trailer park. Her name was Brie, and she quickly became mine and my sister’s best friend. It was uncommon for her to not be at our house. Literally, she would stay weeks on end, and if she wasn’t over at our house, then we were simply hanging out at her place watching tv or planning some kind of costume for an anime convention. That brings me on to my next life point, which is when I went to the local anime convention, Tsubasacon. I’ve been to it about six times now, but the first time was absolutely amazing. I was still young, like I said fresh in middle school. I dressed up, but my costume was less than great, I was mostly with my new friends, my sister, and Brie the whole time. I remember being incredibly sad when we left, and already making plans for next years costume. For the next couple of years, hanging out with Brie, and making plans for the next convention was pretty much a daily routine, up until the very end of 2008.
  4. 4. That summer, I was invited to a friend’s dad’s house in North Carolina to hang out for two weeks. I was given permission to go, so the couple nights before I went Brie came over and we did goofy things and just talked mostly. We made videos, planned costumes, tried some crafts out, and finally did an Ouija board. Brie wished me luck on my trip, as I did her as well, she was going to North Carolina as well with her dad and brother to the beach. So for the next two weeks I spent it in North Carolina with my friend and her dad’s family. It was amazing, and I felt so free. We swam in pools, we went to the beach, we bought fireworks, and played with them on the fourth of July. That was the first time I ever used a sparkler, my mom always thought they were dangerous, I used roman candles, which turned to be my favorite. It was literally a blast, even when we did get the bright idea to strap a toy soldier on a rocket, and didn’t realize the weight of it on one side would send it spiraling back down to hit her brother. The next day we spent the whole day conducting a bunch of stupid experiments on what was left of our fireworks, from blowing up a duct taped altoids can to simply lighting up multiple multicolored smoke bombs next to each other. Easy to say, it was a pretty awesome two weeks that I’ll never forget cause it was awesome. However, it wasn’t so awesome when I got home. Almost immediately afterward I was informed that Brie’s dad had died while they were on their vacation. I went pretty hysterical after that. It’s a long story I don’t want to get into, but in short, he drowned saving Brie’s life at the beach. The next couple of years were pretty rough, as far as the situation with Brie went. Her parents were divorced, and her mom lived in Wayne county, and didn’t like us, and we didn’t like her. She allowed Brie to live with her Aunt and Grandparents to finish up the year before
  5. 5. taking her away for good. Now, I only ever really see Brie at the anime convention when it comes up. Tsubasacon, the convention we went to, was the source of many new friendships to be found for me. I made plenty of friends there, strengthened some and lost some even. It’s a pretty physically demanding weekend, surprisingly enough. It’s even where I met my current boyfriend. Then, between my couple of friends, it’s the one thing we can all get incredibly hyped about. I continued going to this convention during my high school years, it was difficult to time manage though with marching band going on at the same time. I did nothing to try and make it easier as well, attempting to play flute and learn to play French horn. It was fun though, and probably one of the only good things about High school. High school was, and still is probably the absolute worst time for me. After experience so much heart break from everyone I know and love leaving in one form or another, it was pretty difficult to get me through a day, and still kind of is depending. (sorry for missing so many days. <<this would be my excuse) I was finally diagnosed with depression, and saw a counselor every week to cope with these feelings and my family. My family couldn’t seem to wrap their minds about what depression was. No, there wasn’t hardly anything they could particularly do to make things better without actually changing who they were. They caused plenty of anxiety, what with having a little brother ten years younger than me that they’re “too tired” to actually take the time to raise. They didn’t think counseling was working at all, mom asked me if I wanted to just drop out of high school, and pretty much seemed to give up on motivating me in general. I doubt they ever learned that
  6. 6. counseling wasn’t supposed to make me like them, but to make me learn how to deal with how they acted 99% of the time. Around my final year of high school, I had this sudden urge to get a rabbit, which with a little time and money I did. I named her Olivia, and still love her to death. Every day I’d get her out to let her run around, and she’d do her best to stay as far away from me as possible. I’d try and pet her and she’d smack my hand away and snort at me. This was probably the funniest thing ever. After so long and the same routine, it started becoming a little less hilarious. I started wondering if maybe she was lonely or sad. This led me to buying another rabbit, naming him Teddy. Sadly, this did not solve the problem of her being grumpy all the time, but she was fixed so it was okay. Teddy was the complete opposite of Olivia. He loved to be pet and loved and wanted to be around me all the time. In fact, he became incredibly annoying when I’d try to go to bed and he’d rattle his cage begging for attention. At this point I didn’t have so much time in my day to allow them both out at the same time separately. Between school and life and chores, it was impossible. I ended up giving Teddy away to a little girl who loved him, literally, to death. I was incredibly upset, hearing that Teddy had passed on, but at the same time, happy that he died having so much positive attention. Oddly enough, around the same time, Olivia has warmed up to me and absolutely loves when I pet her now and wants attention all the time. Around the end of my senior year, I was invited to go to Japan on a trip to help with the tsunami relief. After taking four years of Japanese in high school, I gladly accepted, with a lot of reluctance from my mom.
  7. 7. Two weeks I spent in Japan, with twenty-three other students from Cabell County. It was by far the most two exciting weeks of my life, sightseeing, and finally testing out my Japanese. We went to an old style inn, and called the couple who owned the place by mom and dad. They in fact treated us like their children and told us stories and made us all food. They were so nice, after I had a short conversation with mom, she even gave me a kimono for absolutely no reason. I will always cherish the memories I have from there, and plan to go back and repay for all the kindness I was given. Once I got back, it was time to focus on college. The college I had originally decided to go to shut down completely, which left me with little time and even smaller options. My plan that whole time had been to simply find somewhere to go that was far enough to get away from my family, and those plans seemed to fall through horribly. This is how I ended up at Marshall, in a terribly far, but not too far to have to live on campus, place.