Here’s something people might not guess about me: I was wild in my youth.
Not wild wild. I never had any desire to drink or do drugs (though there was a phase during my teenagehood that I considered planting a pack of cigarettes in my bedroom just so my parents would think I was wayward, thus making anything “bad” I did afterwards not seem so bad after all. [I never did follow through with that notion. I guess it wasn’t such a great idea. They probably would have shipped me off to Dr. Phil’s boot camp]).
No, my wildness was fairly mild. [That’s right–I was a mild wild child.] Basically I was just…off the walls. Hyper. Enthusiastic. Passionate. Enigmatic. Psycho.
Adults hated me, essentially.
If I–as an adult–had known me then, I would have hated me. I mean, just look at me:
I was the girl who made even the most stalwart primary teachers beg to be released (there’s a true story to back me up on that one). Every time I run into someone who used to be in our ward, I cringe–they always start out saying, “You’re Camille? Camille Strate? Man…I remember when…”
I was the Marky Davis of the Maricopa Stake.
As most hyper, enthusiastic, psychotic children do, I got in trouble a lot. Most of the time, “getting into trouble” was no big deal. I’d get sent to my room. I liked my room. It gave me time to think about what I’d done and look at my rock collection. [I named my rocks. (Like I said: psycho.)] But occasionally, I would get in trouble and it would really stick. I knew I’d crossed the line. I knew I was busted. And I hated it.
Like the time I was shimmying up the palm trees at Lincoln Elementary and Ms. Hinshaw, the P.E. teacher, came out and gave me 3-day detention. I guess climbling trees wasn’t allowed–unfortunate, since I had such a knack for scaling tall edifices.
And the time I got my good friend’s bike stolen. Oh boy, was that bad.
And the time I skipped Mr. Buck’s Junior AP U.S. History class to addend a boy’s volleyball tournament–which Mr. Buck just happened to attend, also. That was a big-time bust. (Though I distinctly remember getting in less trouble than Sadie Babbott*, who did the same thing and lied about it. At least B and I told the truth…) But it was nevertheless bad.
There have been more recent escapades, too. Right after high school graduation, for example, I went to England with my good friend and got into a nice heated debate with the bobbies. We’d been misbehaving, naturally. I was so ashamed of myself.
I still get in trouble occasionally; only as an adult, I can’t simply go to my room. As an adult, “going to my room” would mean I’m just running away from confrontation. I suppose part of being an adult is 1) not getting into trouble anymore, and 2) owning up to it if I do.
I got in trouble recently, and it was bad. I could feel the confrontation brewing just like granny can feel a storm coming on; I could feel it in my bones. And in my blood pressure. My heart beats faster. My hands shake. My eyes dart about the premises, frantically searching for the nearest escape–anywhere but “here” will do. That is me in the face of confrontation.
I am such a little girl. 21 years old, and I might as well be a toddler, for all the “growing up” I’ve done.
These kinds of realisations are most unpleasant… When I was a little kid, “saying sorry” was such a good solution–the natural solution–to all of my tight spots. It worked every time. My question now is…am I past that? Is there anything that we adults are supposed to do differently–anything more sincere than “sorry?” And if so, why don’t they teach a class on that in high school? It would have been substantially more valuable than most of the other blather I sat through…
*Names have been changed for privacy’s sake*