This post could very well continue the post I wrote yesterday, but I don’t want it to be that sad. Growing up was hard for me. I didn’t have a “normal” childhood and my adolescent years were not easy either. But I don’t want to focus on the bad, so I’ll just give you a quick description of me, throughout the years.
I was born on October 23rd, 1991. I am, indeed, a 90’s kid. I started first grade in 1997. I had never been to school or daycare before that. I spent my days with my grandmother and I was not used to being around kids at all, other than my sister, who was 2 years old at that point, nearly 3. We didn’t have cousins to play with and there weren’t many kids in the neighborhood. Even if there had been a few, I would not have been allowed to play with them. My grandparents didn’t like us to go to other people’s houses. My mom’s best friend lived near us and had a boy, he’s a year older than me. I was not allowed to play with him.
I was a quiet and lonely child. I was smart, a good student and interest in learning. I made friends at school. My best friend Joana (If you’re reading this, I love you and miss you) and I were inseparable. We were really tight until the age of 12, when my mother came back to Portugal and I changed to public school. I had the same class and the same friends from grade 1 to grade 7. Another amazing friend (Catarina) joined us in grade 2 or 3 (can’t remember) and we became an awesome trio. We played and talked about boys. We wanted to be princesses and moms and then witches. We read magazines, and believed in ghosts and had our crushes. We had dreams, so many. We were quiet and well-behaved until we hit the 12-old-mark. Then I became a little rebellious, not wanting to study, only wanting to miss classes and do my thing. We used to sneak out of school to go window shopping and buy candy. It was fun. Until I had to be held back that year, for missing too many classes and failing 6 subjects. This was the first time in my life I was really disappointed at myself. Good girl gone a little bad. And then I left my school, with 100 students, and everybody I knew, to go to public school. I moved from my grandparents house to live with my mom, since she was finally here. My grandmother was not happy about that, let me tell you.
My new school had 1000 or so students. I had never seen so many people in my life. But it turned out to be an amazing year. I met so many amazing people. I made a new best friend (Inês, who I miss and still love as well) and had my first boyfriend and my first kiss, to someone who is now, 12 years later, my best friend. We dated when we were 13 and then 15 and then we broke up for good. We got super mad at each other, not talking for a whole Summer, and then we became best friends. Until this day. (You know how much I love you, don’t you?). It was boring to have to repeat the same year, but I had great friends and great fun, which made it worth it. I kept being a little rebellious, not paying attention to school, more crushes came, boys, fun, friends, everything but homework. I was lucky to have finished that year, but I failed the next. Again, too many classes missed. I changed classes, things became a little more difficult and not so fun. I had repeated grade 7 and now I was repeating grade 8, which I barely finished, but did. I decided I had enough of my own shit. I wanted to be a good student and a good girl again.
We changed schools again, going back to live at my mother’s house. My mother was struggling to have us on her own, and so we had to go back. I was in grade 9, and started at a new, local school. They all knew each other, my sister and I were the new, private school girls. Little did I know, that year was going to be one of the best ever. I was so lucky to be in an amazing class, with amazing people. They were all close and welcomed me with open arms. I miss them all like crazy, but this is life. We obviously grew apart. But for that one year, I was happy. I didn’t feel lonely. I felt pretty and happy and loved. I was popular, I had a bunch of friends, I was in the same school as my sister, I started studying again, I was one of the best in class, maybe the best. I fell in love and had a cute boyfriend. We dated for a year and a half, something like that. Of course it didn’t work out. We were super young. No regrets and no hate at all. We are in friendly terms and say hello if we see each other. And just like that, grade 9 was over.
I had to change schools again. My school only had 9th grade and under. Some of my friends and I ended up at the same school. It was fun for a while, and then we grew apart. I fell in love with one of my best friends, I guess he loved me back, just a little? Maybe for a while. I’m not sure, though. It didn’t work out at all. We stopped being friends. I miss him. He’s also a secret, only a handful of people know about him. I’m not even sure he remembers me.
But I was okay. I was a great student, one of the best in class. I woke up super early, I would be one of the first to get to school and was excited to learn and be good and go to university some day. I met the best of friends. This was 2009 and I was 17. I met the most amazing, beautiful, unique girls and they became my best friends. They still are and I’m so thankful for that. I love them so much. They are everything to me. Alison, Catarina, Patrícia and Rita, I don’t know if I could live without you. I know that I wouldn’t have been able to go through some things if I didn’t have you.
And then I met him. Him. And then he broke me. And I was never the same. The happy, carefree girl was gone. Maybe forever? So many years later and I still don’t know.