Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The History of Kelli - Part Deux

In the last post I covered the really early years. Though I did leave out the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel.

Ok, so I am not that old, but I figured we already knew that and it didn't need to be covered. *wink*

So moving into my pre teen years, things really started to stand out. First I was always smaller then everyone else. Add to that the fact that I wasn't as strong as my direct peers.

These things always confused me.

Now as I rolled into the double digit age group my thoughts really stood out. I knew I was a boy (at least genetically) but I liked girl things quite a lot. Sticker collections were all the rage around this time. Well guess what? I had my own collection. Traded with other girls all the time. Again I was becoming aware that other boys didn't do some of these things so I learned not to talk to them about it. Fortunately for me word didn't really spread.

Now bring in the older brother, He is eight years my senior, uber macho, hunts, fishes, into sports, you name it.

Now don't get me wrong I like my brother alot. When the time to transition comes telling him well be the most difficult. Simply because I don't know how he will react.

So I had a strong male presence on the scene. Was trying to blend in with the other boys. I did a fairly good job of this since I had someone to watch and observe. Still I really didn't feel that I fit in anywhere. Not entirely with the girls and not entirely with the boys. Junior high was a really interesting time as I spent most of my mornings clustered outside the school with a group of girls chatting. Previously I had been involved with the Jazz band and 6th and 7th grades were spent early at the school practicing. So when that disappeared during 8th grade (we lost too many instruments to high school) I had to look elsewhere so I hung out with the girls who I was in drama class with and most of their friends.

I liked it but I still felt a bit like an outsider.

The other issue was gym class. Talk about uncomfortable silence. I really, really had a hard time changing in front of others. I found it awkward for a number of reasons. I don't think sexuality enters here since I really didn't know at the time I just found it equally uncomfortable around either sex most of the time. But compound that with having to change clothes in front of others. *gasp*

I just did my best to play the part I thought I was supposed to.

However I still felt out of place. I was an active child and would have been regardless of gender I was actually born. I would have played sports as a girl, but would have wanted to dress nice and look my best when I wasn't. The best example I have of this was a close neighbor of mine who was about 3 years younger then me. She has a black belt in Karate, but never has a bad fashion day otherwise. Getting the picture here.

I had an interest in clothes but due to my issue, I avoided things like shorts for a long time. this would be because shorts back then were really short. To me they felt girlish and as soon as I put them on, well imagine the torment and turmoil I felt. Which was why I avoided them. (I was saved when long brightly colored bermuda shorts became all the rage in the early 80's) Now it wasn't that the feeling felt wrong it was just that I knew by now I wasn't supposed to feel like a girl. So I tried to avoid clothing that did just that. I didn't want that constant reminder of what I wasn't.

Things like that lead to me keeping my hair very short of a long time among other things.

But very late in junior high, I did get curious. It was at this time I started to explore the clothes my mom had. Granted these forays were very limited I just wasn't at home alone much at this time. That even though I felt right and wonderful, there was that nag that I wasn't a girl and this was wrong. I think I mentioned it before. Shame.

So there is where I will leave it for now. Tune in next time, same Kelli channel.

Besides it could get juicy we'll be entering the high school years.


alan said...

I came by to thank you for your kind words to Becca...I hope you don't mind!

As one who was around for the "bang", along with fire and the wheel, I've seen a lot of changes in the world. Many that give me hope; not nearly as many as I'd have liked!

I had thought by the time I had grandchildren that no one would have to fear the "jocks" anymore, or the stereotyping of gender roles in the school system. Since that obviously hasn't happened, I'll have to hope that it will change by the time my 9, 7, and 5 year old grandkids have their own children!

I see glimmers of that world on occasion; the hope that perhaps we can actually let people "be" without forcing our own standards on them...I had expected things to be so different by now.

May you find your way in this world without having to fear others, be they co-workers, neighbors or family!


Kelli Ann Bennett said...


I have two people reading my blog!! Does this mean I qualify for rock star status?


Thank you so much Alan I hope to for the same thing.

The biggest issue I have is there are things in the world I don't care for that people like and are into. As long as they aren't hurting anyone else I'm cool with the fact that that is their thing.

But even if I don't like it there is no reason to express my dislike of it onto those people. That is where I draw the line. If I can let it go why can't others do that for me?