24: Talk about something someone told you that meant a lot.
Hmm. I remember a couple of years ago I was at screenwriting camp, and our teacher (named Kris) told us a story about the first time he wrote an action screenplay for school.
The professor took him outside and pointed to the sky. The professor said, “Kris, look up there. Imagine two assholes. Now imagine them both opening up and pouring forth shit all over your screenplay. That would have been better than what you just gave me.”
I like the story not only because I find it funny, but because I know I’ll run into that too in my professional life. Kris now looks back on the story with a fondness, and I know I will do the same with my own similar life experiences.
27: Talk about your favorite part of someone else’s body.
I’m gonna get sappy here and say my favorite body part from someone else is egalitarianjake ‘s hugging section. So like arms, torso, you know. Because he gives perfect hugs and I’m an insatiable cuddle bug. Of course, you’re the one who asked this question, too. ;)
40: Talk about the end of something in your life.
When I was young, in elementary school, I became a synchronized swimmer. I was a part of a prestigious club, the Santa Clara Aquamaids. I had pride in my team and myself when I was younger. I then moved up the proverbial ladder and joined the 13-15 age group. Previously, in the 8-12 group, everyone was pretty much shit. But 13-15′s (really more like 13-18) were the ones who ended up getting picked to go on to even more meets and experiences. My coaches had gone to the Olympics. My friends who moved up with me were suddenly better than I was by far.
I felt dysphoric about my body (while not even knowing that’s what it was) while swimming. I made myself hate makeup because we applied it so thickly during meets. I was fat, which was weird because I was going to 4 hour practices every day of the week except for Sunday. I felt miserable and never wanted to go to practice. And yet, the friends I made there were the only people I truly thought could be my friends.
I continued to not improve despite my efforts, and as my friends became popular and always had prime spots on the A team, I was always dead last for the C teams. My last year, I wasn’t even put on a team. It began to feel like my team (meaning friends, coaches, everyone) didn’t care about me as much as I cared about them. Because while I despised getting into the pool every day and being forced to hold my breath until I choked and moving my body in ways that I never thought it could move, I loved the people I met. I loved my coaches.
And yet, I was consistently kept at the bottom rung of the ladder. The coaches never gave me time to practice, instead giving the time to the girls who knew what to do already. I was kept on the sidelines as everyone else practiced. I wanted to get better, but I was never given any chance to improve.
Once I graduated from middle school, I stopped going to practice. My parents stopped paying the monthly stipend to keep me in the club.
None of my friends even noticed. None of them said goodbye to me.
A couple months later, another girl quit as well. She was my duet partner at the time, and we were about the same level of skill despite myself having nearly 3 years of prior experience.
Everyone noticed. They posted long, public messages of good times spent together and how they would never forget her. Our teammates clearly didn’t care about me as much as I cared about them. And that’s when I really started having complex feelings about the sport.
On one hand, I love it. Synchronized swimming is beautiful, and I have so much respect for the people that I know who have continued with the sport. But on the other, the people I loved did not love me. I poured my heart into that team for five years, and I didn’t get a single goodbye.
It’s been four years since then and I’m still pretty bitter about it.