A month before the senior class was set loose on the world, the results of our class vote were released. There were many predictable results: Sandi, our homecoming queen, and truly lovely, was voted most beautiful. But there were a few upsets. Always thinking of myself as uncool and unnoticed, it was shocking to see my name listed for three categories for the girls: Biggest Mooch, Sexiest Voice and Most Talented.
The first award, though a joke, would haunt me for many years, making me strive to prove myself and loathing to ask for help when I needed it. It also lodged a thought in the back of my head: if I were a mooch, and being an artist was financially speculative at best, perhaps I should consider something more stable.
I readily discounted the latter two awards, reasoning that the pool of creative girls was so small that I got it by default. I was embarrassed. I felt like a fraud. I was certain I was an impostor. I started college a few months later as a music major but quickly dropped the program and went into some more practical.
It was many years before I'd get back to my creative roots. High school. It leaves a mark.