When I was about 9, my grandmother (mom's mom), said that if I kept up at dance, that one day I'd be a stripper in Vegas. Well we all know how that turned out. Out of dance, and not a stripper! If I would have continued to dance and then stripped, I would have never wound up morbidly obese in my 20's, that's a fact. :)
My parents started me at that time with voice and piano lessons. Music was always an interest....since Im that artistic Pisces I told you about. For the life of me, I cannot remember the woman's name that gave me lessons, but she was beyond eccentric. Half the time, she did know what she was talking about, and had recitals often. Then, one Christmas, I was convinced to sing in front of the church we attended - solo. That was the beginning of my actual 'performance' days. I suppose I sang well for a 9/10 yr old. I always had stage fright. Things would get off to a rocky start, but would progressively get better. When you're that age, its cute...if you do well or you mess up.
About a year later, in 5th grade, I was asked to pick an instrument to play for orchestra. I always wanted to play the violin. But my parents thought of the most unique instrument they could, and I played the oboe. The oboe is a beautiful, distinct instrument...but if not played well, sounds like a dying duck. You can imagine how bad I played for the first few years. :) I continued to participate in choir and recitals for my voice lessons. Music was quickly dominating my life. I loved it though. SPOTLIGHT (jazz hands)! I really knew how to ham it up when it was my moment.
I had a few very close friends. My bestest friend was Tricia. We met in the 3rd grade in the cafeteria...she asked to see my retainer. She also played the trumpet in band. We were pretty inseparable the next 15 years. I have always been the type of person who never needed many friends (still that way), just a few people that I can be myself with. For the most part, I always ended up in trouble with Tricia if we did anything outside of school. My mom always said we were a bad influence on each other. To correct her, I was a bad influence on Tricia. Tricia and I always laughed a lot and could tell each other anything. We'd spend hours on the phone at night, planning out what we were wearing to school the next day. Towards the end of elementary school/before puberty...we were looking pretty awkward, as most kids do at that age. We were really excited to go into junior high though.
At 12 it was immediately BOYS BOYS BOYS...although, we were completely innocent. The hard part was making everyone else around us (adults) believe it.
My teen years got a lot more interesting (the stories are actually very funny, some tragic), and I can say I got through them without ever doing drugs, ever getting pregnant, and having less than a handful of cigarettes or beers. But we'll leave the gory details for Part 3...and I promise it will get a lot more entertaining.