In grade school, I was an outgoing kid with a huge circle of friends. Somewhere in the middle school, that changed. I became much more shy and reserved. I attribute it to the fact that kids became more in tune with what was cool...clothes, hair, makeup...and I just never cared. So moving was scary and I had no idea how I was going to make new friends. In fact, it's sad, I know, but I actually ate lunch in the bathroom on my first day at my new high school.
Skipping forward, I DID make friends. Most of them fellow band members. They called me the pit chick, which sounds like an insult, but really it was just a description. I played in the pit in the marching band...the mallet instruments were my forte. Since the other band members who became friends didn't know my name, when they talked about me, that's what they called me. Eventually, they just called me Brooke. :)
Moving was hard, but it turned out fine in the end. However, when it sounded like my dad was going to get transferred AGAIN and I might have to move between my junior and senior year, I was not okay with it. Start a new high school as a senior? Graduate with a bunch of kids I hardly knew? That didn't sound like fun. My mom looked into the possibility of me graduating early. I never took a study hall in high school. I found them boring. With just one summer school class, my junior year became my senior year and I graduated with the class above mine...at the age of 16. Okay, so I was only 16 for a week or so after graduation, but still, I was technically 16 when I graduated high school. The below picture is one taken of me around the age of 17...maybe 18.
My dad did NOT get transferred and I went to a local college so I could live at home for at least the first year. Since I quite enjoyed having a quiet house to return to for studying, a mom who made meals and did laundry and read papers, and a basement with a pool table and a pop-filled fridge for friends, there was really no reason for me to move out! I went through all four years of college living at home.
I'm getting to a point with all this background information. That part of my life leads me to a lot of what if questions. What if I hadn't moved? Where would I be now? I wouldn't have attended the college I attended for sure. If I didn't go to school there, would I ever have gotten into radio? Would I have moved to Nebraska for a job after college? Would I have met and married my husband? Would I have my two little girls?
I guess I'll never know. Occasionally I'll think about that time in my life and wonder what might have been different. I'm glad things worked out the way they did, but it's interesting to rearrange life and see what might have been. I think it's my writer's curious mind that does these things. :) In fact, that's exactly what writing a book is like, only I really DO get to decide what happens.
When I write a novel, I think about a few different scenarios at times. What if I make the characters go here...what might happen? Or maybe they should do this, how would that look? Though I'm not in control of many of the what ifs from the past, I CAN control what happens to them and that is the paramount of fun! If you're a writer, you know what I mean! It's fun to mess with characters. The book "Accept this Dandelion" that I completed writing last month and am currently editing is a prime example. I actually feel sorry for my main female character. She gets lit on fire accidentally...she has an allergic reaction to lobster...her dress rips open on TV...the list goes on and on. Nothing goes right for her! But everything is just how I want it. haha
If you're a reader, you can relate as well. You might sometimes read a book and think, huh, I wonder what would have happened if the characters had done or said something else here.
Our imaginations are powerful and very entertaining. I'm so glad to be able to use mine on a daily basis. Messing with other people's lives...even if they are fictional people...can be quite a bit of fun!