In high school I was a cheerleader. I loved it. I really wanted to be a gymnast but I went to a small school that didn’t have gymnastics and it was too expensive for my ‘kinda big for the 80’s’ family of four kids, so cheerleading it was.

I was small framed and this meant I got to do cool stunts and be on top of pyramids and stuff. I wish I could say I was lithe because I fucking love the word ‘lithe’ but aren’t lithe people tall?

Ahem, did you see what I did there? (With lithe?)

Anyway, I was surprisingly daring for a shy kid. But I was also fairly determined when it came to perfecting things, stunts among them.

It’s funny, when I started blogging in 2004 I carried on for nearly three years and stories would vie to make the great escape to the page. I feared no criticism, I was extremely transparent, and I even had a little crew of haters to call my own. Someone took the time to find my address and send me a bible with an inscription of my maiden name on it. I was married at the time and thought it was hilarious.

Meh, maybe I was kind of an asshole. I was in my twenties though. I’m not saying all people in their twenties are assholes. Not in the least. Just that maybe when you’re in your forties and contemplating yourself in your twenties, ‘asshole’ might be among one of the top ten words you use to describe your twenty-something self. Along with ‘stupendous’ and ‘awesome’. Perhaps.

Anyway, in 2007 I had a baby, but still, I hung in there for a while. Then I had another baby and some things shifted and Pluto conjuncted my natal Moon and transited through my 9th house which affects, among other things, publishing and philosophy.

A shadow lingered punitively behind me whenever I sat down to write. It’s been that way for twelve years now. But it’s like it’s finally beginning to dissolve. Which is interesting because Pluto is nearing the end of that (now that I know what I know, pretty brutal) transit. He’s been teaching me some things. Some things about power and control. And who’s the boss of me. And rebirth. And Phoenix. Not the city. The bird. Or something like that. Because that’s how Pluto do.

I’m looking forward to 2023 when he’s done doing what he do. With me anyway.

Let’s rewind back to high school and there’s a pep rally in the gym. The evening before I kissed a boy. I knew he was dating one of the other cheerleaders, but we ended up hanging out and he told me they’d broken up and he was a senior and I was a sophomore and, well, yeah. I was a little starry eyed. And gullible. And geeky. We kissed.

Found out the next day in school they were not in fact broken up. It was all very dramatic and traumatic at the time, and complicated by the fact that at the pep rally that night the girl I’d betrayed was my base in a pyramid.

And I fell. In front of the whole school. At the last pep rally. There’s a not so small part of me that thinks I may have been dropped, but it really doesn’t matter. I was humiliated. So was she, I’m sure. I had done an asshole thing. It served me right, honestly.

But all that’s in the past, we’re friends on Facebook now, she and I. Also he and I. Because, well, high school. In fact I’ve stopped writing this to crack up a few times.

She graduated that year and somehow I managed to survive even though my parents refused to move or send me to another school.

The next year I was back to climbing up on pyramids. I even fell a number of times, too.

I mean, life goes on, ya know?

Even when you’re an asshole.

So maybe writing is like that. It’s just another one of those stunts I’ve always been so brave about.

Spirit Week Photo from FHS 1990
(I bet I was crying under that mask!)


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