Aug. 24, 1984 started like any other day. It was a hot summer Friday. Hair was big, music was loud and the world was booming. My mother went through the day as usual until she felt a familiar pain in her midsection. She had gone into labor. My brother, David, was born the previous year after nearly 20 long, excruciating hours of labor so she figured she had plenty of time to wait for my father to return home from work before heading over to the hospital. Unfortunately for her, I had other plans. After what she said felt like 15 minutes of labor, I made my grand arrival. From my first moments on the planet, I have always made it a point to make an entrance and those first pivotal moments have been a constant echo to who I am today.
Flash forward 32 years. Today is my birthday. It has been quite a ride.
My spins around the sun have been anything but typical and that is just how I want it. I was an awkward girl, never quite finding my place in the world as a teen. I was angsty. I was a cheerleader, I was in the marching band, I played softball, I sang in the chorus. I was sometimes a Gothic girl, sometimes trendy, sometimes artistic and sometimes just a face in the crowd. I remember in high school, a brutally honest girl named Heather said to me, “you’re not a scuzzer, or a pot head, you play sports but aren’t a jock (oh those 2000’s social circle labels) you have a lot of friends, but you’re not popular either, you’re just one of those nameless space fillers who no one notices.”
All I had ever wanted back then was to be noticed. I wanted to matter. I wanted to make an impact in some way to someone (other than my aforementioned mother) so I began the quest to find myself.
Along the way I have encountered many people and have learned so much. I have broken hearts and have had my heart broken. I have had rumors spread about me and have gossiped and spread some myself. I have been friends with people who are anything but friendly and, as I have aged, my circle of friends has become smaller and smaller. Heartbreaks have gotten more difficult with age and, often enough, the world only notices you when you have done something they dislike, regardless of all the good things you have done.
It’s not all bad. The world is a great place full of wonder and even the most mundane thing can still take my breath away. There is so much I can still marvel at. There are friends who stand by you through thick and thin. There is family who love and support you even when you feel like you have hit rock bottom. There are love stories so beautiful that they seem straight out of a storybook. There are puppies and kittens. Who could say that life is anything but wonderful when you have puppies and kittens?!
Enough rambling. It has been four years since I began writing this column. In those four years I have taken you on many journeys through my most personal moments. I have shared with you my love, my life, my child, my family and every thought that was filtered through my mind and censorable enough to put on paper.
I will continue to share, there are some big stories coming up soon. As for today, I will just close by selfishly saying, happy birthday to me.
Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live, WBRE, and a radio segment every Wednesday on 98.5 KRZ.