My junior year of high school I went on a band trip. I know what your thinking, I mean cooped up in a hot bus on a 10+ hour drive to the goal of sleeping in a hotel with a bunch of band nerds. The only prize being a trip to the beach as compensation for the hours of horrible jazz competition music having to be played by less than competent musicians. By far not your typical 16 year old girls dream vacation. However, the chance to get out of math class for a week and play tag along with the rest of my dance team was something I couldn’t say no to. So there I was. At Orlando, Florida’s Wet N Wild Waterpark. Days of boring band competition behind me and ready to hit some slides and float my ass in a lazy river for a few good hours. I was giddy.
As a group we were rangled into the park, given locker keys and meet times, then released onto the general public. I quickly slipped off my tank top and shorts and ran out to start the fun. But as much of an eager beaver I was I soon realized my teenage counterparts weren’t on the same page as me. As I stood unashamed in my tiny red and blue bikini, my classmates, most of whom still had teenage frames untainted by the college drinking years, glanced nervously at one another. Pulled and tugged at swim trunks and tankini tops. Some even sporting one pieces and t-shirts.Standing in a group of my peers, I was alone and different. Two things you learn quickly in high school it’s not so easy to be.
So where was my awkwarness? Where was my hand reaching to the edge of my bikini bottoms to check for non existent cellutite or to my stomack to feel that extra layer of fat in a place it shouldn’t be? Where had my timidness gone? My lanky uncordination? It was there before, I know it was….
Then it hit me.
Like that moment you realise you’ve left something at home only when you need it most. Like your umbella in heavy rain or your pencil when you hear a line of poetry you never want to forget. I knew where my adolescent self -reprise had gone, but yet knew of no way to get it back in this time of dier need to fit in.
See, about a year prior I got my first real boyfriend. A family friend. Same age as me and quite attractive. Both good students. Both star athletes. Both complete VIRGINS. So of course we had a problem on our hands.
We sneaked kisses in the movies and holding hands in the back of the car. But soon our hormones caught up with us. The drive to fulfill the urge to touch each other won over the awkwardness of each others glances. Each touch was heavily weighed and always on the edge of something new. Sneaking kisses turned into below the pants explorations when parents were away. Shaking hands unbuttoning shirts and undoing bras replaced the thrill of interlocking fingers on the bus. Little by little the finger tips that lightly shook the boundaries of pubesence became the confident tools used to make the other person shiver. And for each bolder move came a more intense response till I learned how to move easily across another body and have another body do the same for me.
THERE was my high school self loathing! Shoved into a teenage boy’s bedsheets between dirty socks and sports magazines was my childhooh angst. Timid touches and shaking hands had led to eloquent movements and a confident stance. It seemed every bold move into the taboo field of my sexual desires had cracked the surface of my awkward adolesents. I felt confident and strong. And what made that so was knowing, at that point, being exactly how I was, I, little me, could make another person want me. Make their pupils dielate and their breath come quicker. And in that was the metamorphasis into what I would describe only as an overly flirtatious young adulthood.
To this day I hear my friends ask me how I can be so sure of myself. How is it that I have the confidence to go up to a guy I’ve never met and ask him to dance or wear an outfit no one else would dare? I still look by to this one occasion. Think about when it hit me. The moment I knew I had it; whatever it was.