Later, I found middle school and it fit me like a comfortable shoe. At heart, I am fourteen years old. I laugh at fart jokes; I like, truly like, the music of Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez; I purchase for myself fuzzy-fabric covered journals and when the Book Fair rolls around, I always buy bobble-head pens and erasers that look like chunks of cheese. Mostly, I think early teens are pretty dang funny; in fact, I feel most tender toward awkward adolescents. Why? I remember being thirteen, fourteen. I remember feeling out of control and painfully shy and oh-so-ready to grow up, even though it meant leaving the security of my childhood.
And then my mom died and I lost my mind. I left the classroom to devote my life to beating myself up with guilt and trying to work shit out in/through/around/ my writing. I got accepted to the MacDowell Colony and got to write, undisturbed, ten hours a day in a gingerbread-like stone cottage nestled among towering trees in southern New Hampshire. I was productive and loved every single minute of my twenty-four days. I came home energized. I would finish my novel and send it off; I would enter contests and win; I would be published in bona fide literary journals, like Ploughshares and Glimmer Train.
None of the above happened. What happened was home and all the responsibilities that come with it. Furthermore, a lack of discipline and my damned ADD took over and I reverted to pre-MacDowell ways, which meant spending too much time on facebook, too much time watching Modern Family and Dr. Phil, and eating out with friends three times a week. Bad for the waistline; bad for publishing.
Sometimes, I even go in there and I write.