Three weeks ago, I moved to a whole new place. I moved from Vancouver, BC, to Portland, Oregon. Since coming here, I’ve noticed that the kids are much, much different. I’m not quite sure if it’s a good or bad thing, but all I know is that I stand out. I’m not very normal in my group of friends. My weirdness is a blessing in disguise, although to my peers I pretend it’s a curse. Now, you may be wondering, “What makes you so different, Mikaela? You seem pretty cool and awesome to me.” Yes, those things are obviously, unmistakably and undeniably true. My problem is that I have issues with doing things that make me a teenager. I don’t want to get drunk, I don’t want to get high. I don’t like romantic situations in which a boy has to have some sort of physical contact with my body that goes beyond my limits.
For a while I’ve been oblivious to the fact that many of my classmates are getting high in their basements while their parents are at work, getting drunk at parties, even some having sex and other weird sexual things that make me want to pull my hair out. I know it’s just not me that is completely frightened by this stuff, right? Yes, it actually is. Even the kids who aren’t necessarily doing that stuff aren’t completely bothered. That’s what I’ve finally realized. That’s what’s normal for the kids here.
I am THE poster child for being a responsible teen. I’m not going to be a teen mother. I’m not going to be the girl who over dosed in 10th grade. I’m not going to be that drunk girl at the party. Adults may love that, and I sometimes love it too, but I also sometimes hate it. After many frustrating days at school where people are talking about boys or partying and not things I want to talk about, I’ve come to the realization that it is indeed me the one who is being weird, not them. I’m the immature little girl in middle school. I’m not anxiously awaiting my first kiss, I’m not hoping that I’ll be invited to a party where there’s alcohol. I’m avoiding all these things while my peers are looking forward to it. It makes me feel like I’m not normal and weird, but I’ve already embraced that awesome part of me. Sometimes, though, I wish I was just normal like everyone else, and I could just fit in.
Look. If I decided to have a boyfriend, I wouldn’t care about holding his hand or hugging him or even kissing him. Like I said, I don’t think boys have cooties. But I’m not going to full on make out with him the second we’re going out and secretly have sleepovers with him so we can do that stuff… I’m 13! I still haven’t completely gone through puberty! I still secretly play Toontown when I’m bored! I’m not a kid anymore, but I’m not a 25 year old woman. I don’t want to grow up too fast, so why should I be wasting my time doing stupid stuff when I could be doing more important things like writing for HelloGiggles? There’s honestly nothing cooler than that.
I think the reason why I’m so afraid of these things is because I constantly have to be in control. I need to know that everything is okay. Which makes me think: am I actually afraid of these things, or am I afraid of the day where I’m going to be offered these things? What’s going to happen in a few months when I enter 8th grade and the real parties start happening? Kids are going to be passing out and throwing up, and girls are eventually going to start getting pregnant. I think I’m just afraid of how I’m going to deal with it. How I’m going to tell someone “no thanks” to a drink without looking like a complete loser. How I’m going to tell my boyfriend that I’m just not ready to this and this and this without him thinking I’m immature. I’m smart enough to know to ignore these things like drinking, drugs and sex, but I don’t know if I’m smart enough to avoid it without looking weird. My current solution? Today at the dinner table, my Mom, my Grandmother and I thought of a grand master plan . Here’s the story: “I went to a wedding in November, I had a half a glass of champagne because everyone else did, and I had horrible alcohol poisoning. After going to the hospital, the doctor said I’m allergic to alcohol and probably should never ever drink it ever ever again. Although I’d love to drink just one beer, I can’t go against doctor’s orders!” Little will they know, I’m lying, and actually just afraid of alcohol!