I am not a rags to riches story. Sure I left college with $30,000 in student loan debt, and now I make enough to graze the top of my interest in monthly payments… but I’m no hot shot. For me life is all about circumstance, and I’ve been pretty stinking lucky along the way.
It was always clear that my parents worked really freaking hard and brought home not that freaking much. Their bills were always paid, and my sister and I always got what we needed to succeed. But it became evident at a young age that while my friends were shopping the new arrival Limited Too printed tanks I was primarily shopping on the sale rack. The thing that became apparent later in life was that shopping on the sale rack still made me much more privileged than most.
Don’t get me wrong, I own my parents my entire world. They have fought for me since day one. Listened to my incessant antics and allowed me to bloom into a straight up maniac with dreams larger than the headache induced by my hot pink childhood room (which my father so gracefully painted with his own two hands). They are the first and foremost reason I know it is not actual circumstance that will make or break you, but what you do with the circumstance you are given that does.
It all started back in sixth grade, when I moved from the comfort of an elementary school where the principle said I would be the first female president and my best friend lived two block over, to a place where they didn’t even wear Limited Too.
It might be true, that my pastel blue two piece jeans and collard shirt get up is still to this day hanging in my parents closet. Thank Jesus I thought enough to wow everyone on the second day, not to blow them away too hard from the start, and didn’t wear it on the first. Talk about middle school suicide. In a sea of Abercrombie my tail was going to show up in a daunting two piece my lovely mother spent oh so much money on… sorry mom, but that was one mortification I couldn’t bear.
So there I was, a few weeks into school and this really cool girl Megan asked me to her house. My palms were sweaty, and my weak arms were heavy, but there was no vomit on my sweater already. If you don’t get those lyrics then there are no words, I’m a transparent white girl and know rap (Is Eminem still considered rap?)
Either way, there I was approaching her front door ready for the judgement of my life. She warned me that another girl in her group would be joining. And that said girl, Allison, was quick to chose friends so if I didn’t impress her these Total Request Live watch parties were going to be short lived.
Not even five minutes into the FBI screening we decided we were hungry. Well, really they decided they were hungry and I was not going to object. Of course I had eaten right before my mom dropped me off because there was no way I was going to go in on an empty stomach and spend this friend date panicking for someone to bring up food.
“Lets make ramen,” Megan said swinging open a pantry door so large I could die. My hood was known for its “Quaint” homes and interior accessories. But being new to this whole scene the homes in a neighborhood which sign would later be vandalized to read “Mill Hood” instead of “Mill Wood” seemed like a land full of mansions and princesses to my hopeful eyes.
“What is ramen?” I ask without thinking.
“You. Don’t. Know. What. Ramen. Is.” It was not a question, but a statement directly from queen B, or shall we call her queen A’s mouth?
My mind went into immediate panic. How could I be so stupid?? How could I not know what ramen is? Perhaps it was a sandwich? Or if it’s contents were being produced from the pantry, some kind of trail mix?? Why were my parents so ignorant as to not feed me this meal upon birth? Did she want me to have no friends? Was she dooming me to a life of Saturday nights at home even before I could SAY ramen? It seemed most certain that was the case!
I stood there in silence frantically avoiding glances with Allison and begging Megan for forgiveness with my panic stricken eyes. I wanted to run. Or cry. Or both.
Thankfully for me the ramen incident was overlooked and life moved on. Allison, Megan and two of their other test passing group members Kaylyn and Kayla went on to become my best friends of all time. Literally all of time. Allison read a study that said once you have known someone for a solid 10 years you are stuck with them forever. Or perhaps it was a Pinterest gif. Either way, both sources are pretty accurate.
They would become the girls I spent Friday and Saturday nights with. The girls who’s hair and make-up I would fix to prowl high school football games for hot boys with. Or more accurately to watch Friends and go through the What-A-Burger drive through (thanks to my hungover sister) with. The girls I would tell all my secret to. Would go to college with. Would selfishly loose touch with for two years then start right back up where we left off with.
These are the girls I would hold hands with through funerals, and stand by through weddings. The girls who know me better than I know myself.
Their personalities and walks of life would help show clearly how lucky we all are. How our parents raised the perfect concoction of daughters to one day meet. Girls who were meant to be together. They taught me how to love unconditionally, and never let go of someone you know is meant to be in your life. They are the reasons I know I got lucky when it came to circumstance. And the reason I spent most of my middle and high school days chocking down ramen noodles.