The First Child is ALWAYS an Experiment
In the middle of the week, on a Wednesday near the end of the summer on August 19th 1998, I decided to pop out of my mother. I’ve always been told by my mother that I was “the ugliest baby” and I will not lie, I actually agree. Well anyway, I was the first child born to my young parents and like most first born children, I was the guinea pig of the family. I was put in a variety of activities, all of which were: dancing, modeling, acting, playing the piano and cello, swimming, girl scouts, hockey, and ice skating.
“I’ve never been one to dance”
Anyone who has seen me dance, absolutely KNOWS that I cannot dance. When I was still a little nugget, I dreamed of becoming a ballet dancer, so naturally, being the first brat, my mommy enrolled me in ballet AND tap dancing. I was so thrilled to be a ballerina. (Not so much tap dancing, but the shoes were pretty cool). We twirled a lot with ribbons, and I think we did some spinning too, I’m not even sure, all I know is that I’ve got two left feet and am the most ungraceful “ballerina” I’ve ever known. (You can probably tell from my horrible posture in the photo already).When I was 10, I wanted to be like the rest of my friends and participate in the after school program where we learned Hmong dances. I was always embarrassed to practice the dance routine at home in front of my family, so ultimately the only time I ever practiced was well…. at practice. I could never get the hand flipping correct, nor could I sway my hips elegantly, but I adored all my friends who made it look so naturally easy for themselves. Not to mention, during all my years of attending school dances or participating in activities requiring movement, I was always told my body was too stiff or I was too shy, and I totally agree! I’ve never once been able to loosen up, even now as I type this!
I Was Adamant I Would Become FAMOUS
Maybe it was the Pussycat Dolls and their song, When I Grow Up, (which I still embarrassingly listen to on the regular and can still horribly sing ((Yeah, I also can’t sing)) all of the words ten years after it was released) that I am actually still adamant I’m going to become famous. LOL!!! But, when I was younger, like 5, I was really sure I would seriously pursue modelling and acting, because honestly, idols like Britney Spears and Hilary Duff were my life!!! I honestly wanted to know what it was like to be Lizzie McGuire for a day. Anyway, my parents spent a lot of money to put me in the John Robert Powers Agency (which I hear is actually a scam, lol.) so I could begin pursuing my dreams. My mom invested a lot of her time (and my both my parent’s money) in making sure that I was only the best of the best. We spent a lot of Saturdays out in Bloomington, where the agency was located at, and while I took my acting and modeling classes, my little sis got to spend her time at Camp Snoopy/Nickelodeon Universe while they waited. Wow, looking back I would rather be her!!!
I spent a week in fabulous Los Angeles where I met a lot of other famous people I didn’t actually know their names. (I still don’t) It was for some convention with the acronym I.P.O.P. (which I also hear is a scam LMAO). But as a kid, I honestly had a really great time there! Who would’ve known it was a “scam” then?! We did an eggroll fundraiser so I could afford to go and my mom as chaperone. (bc everyone eggrolls are one of the best ways to fund-raise if your eggrolls are some of the best)
I also won this fancy award for Best TV Commercial or whatever. I did a lot of those TV commercials. LOL, one of them went something like this, “Soggy sandwich, cold soup, why does this always happen to me?!” it was about some little kid who was upset about the lunch their mother packed them and wanted something better, I think it was Lunchables. (Which is honestly still better than said lunch in my opinion). I also learned to recite a lot of Frosted Flakes, Pop Tarts, and Hamburger Helper commercials.
My mom was my personal photographer who took all these cute pics of me, but let’s be honest, I still love the camera, but the camera has never and will never love me back. We took a lot of pictures to build up my portfolio and even some super expensive head shots too! My head shots weren’t that impressive, only because I had bad teeth so you could see my cavity fillings, and my hair was parted kinda funny while my ears stuck out.
Spending lot of time taking pictures of myself are some of my favorite memories. We would go all over the Twin Cities and got some really pretty snap shots of… myself! We even went down to the train tracks, where I was super shy to pose with my swim suit on. Like, what person doesn’t have any self-esteem issues?! I know for a fact I’ve always had a lower self-esteem. I was super insecure about my belly, but I mean (peep the picture at the right) Wow! Moms really do make a big difference in your self-confidence. These were some of my favorite pictures I could find of myself dug up from old family albums. I cannot believe these are over 10 years old!!! Little me was super cute.
I never did get any actual callbacks, I had one small modeling gig that was for a children’s magazine advertising for smokers to stop smoking …. or something of the sort, but does it really count if my entire body and face was blurred out? LOL. I used to joke to my friends back in high school that I wanted to become a model for 3M, which is already half true because I just found out a picture of me was used to promote the program I was in and sent out in a company wide email! (Super embarrassing, but I’m flattered. Haha.)
Figure or Failure?
Now, here is a funny story to my child prodigy journey. It started when I began hockey which I initially was told it was figure skating. I really did have dreams of becoming the next Christina Yamaguchi. My dad didn’t know the difference between the words figure and failure so he used them interchangeably. I guess one would say what he tried on me was reverse psychology, but which I’ve come to learn, it doesn’t work on me. He would jokingly say to me “Don’t be a figure now!”, and I would cry and say “It’s FAILURE, not figure! I’m not a failure!” LOL, this went on for years.
When I played the cello, I would sit in the basement and practice as best as I could, but our house was small, and I sucked. My dad would sing along at the top of the stairs with whatever tune I played, with the lyrics of “My dooooooog just dieeeeeed!.” We didn’t have a dog then, but man, those lyrics would just make me scream at the top of my lungs and want me to smash my cello as if it were a guitar.
When I did swimming, my dad played a joke on me and said there was a dragon in the pool. Yes, the pool. It scared me so bad, I didn’t even make it into the pool when swimming lessons came around! I eventually taught myself to swim when we moved into a house that had a pool in the back yard. I can’t say I’m a great swimmer now, but I’m self taught so that’s something, right?
I wish little me had understood Dad Jokes like I do now. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so afraid to make something of myself.
There are some skills that I picked up from all this “prodigy searching” and “hobby-hopping” through childhood that have managed to stick around. I, for one, am a pretty decent roller skater (and ice skater, but it’s been a few years so I wouldn’t count on that).
I’ve always wondered how different my life would have turned out if I had an “IT FACTOR” to back me up. Could I have received a full ride scholarship off of my talent? Could I have actually become famous? Maybe even…athletic? It never hurts to ponder the what ifs and the maybes.
A lot of my “adult life” has also had me wishing I had actually developed a hobby along the way instead of overly frequent clearance hunting and laying in bed a little too often. I spent quite a bit of money searching for different hobbies I could maybe get in to. I bought a pack of oil pastels, but I’m not artistic and I hate getting messy. I bought a bunch of new pens, washi tape, and stickers thinking I could try the new trend of bullet journaling. I bought some yarn and crochet needles, but couldn’t get past 4 rows until I realize it was too tight and uneven. In all honesty, I’m still searching for a hobby or something that makes me, well… me. I’ve come to terms that it’s okay to not have a hobby or talent too. However, the next time someone asks me what my hobbies are, my go-to is definitely going to be clearance hunting. I live for and breathe clearance sections. (I’ll have to do a blog on my clearance shopping routines soon!) This blogging thing seems to be going pretty good too. I have so many topics I want to blog about!!!
I love joking that as a failed child prodigy, I am the reason my siblings were never able to do the things I did. However, I’m very excited to share my little brothers are finally going to try something out. I’m hoping they excel at it.
All in all, if your child isn’t a prodigy, life will turn out okay for them. Look at me, I’m living in my mother’s basement and I turn 20 this year. (This is the part where you LOL in your head). It’s also okay to fail… even if it’s at a lot of things.
Thanks for reading! I know this was way too long… don’t forget to follow my blog for more interesting thoughts of mine.