A new house, new school, and a completely new atmosphere were ahead of my nine-year-old life. I had lived in the same house for what it seemed like forever and had attended the same school since first grade. I knew everyone. From January to December, my calendars were filled with birthday parties I had to attend. Performing in talent shows with my best friends Dezerey, Jasmine, and Nykchasia were a yearly activity at Garden Valley Elementary School. The Robinson Center’s summer camp was mandatory for my big sister, Breonna, and me. I was used to familiarities like the Chihuahua that ran to the front of its gate and barked every time I rode past it on my sleek, black rollerblades. Those rollerblades made me feel untouchable, at ease and confident until I had to ride them in a new area, surrounded by new, unfamiliar people.
Close to the end of my fourth grade year, my mother told my sister and me that we were moving to Terricina Gold Apartments in Natomas. I did not think it was going to change anything. I was probably a bit excited for what was to come. I can clearly remember my first day at Two Rivers Elementary school being terrified. I believe that was when it first “hit me” that I was not at “home” anymore. My comfort zone left was tarnished. I remember having butterflies and feeling as if I was going to faint before I stepped foot onto school grounds. When I got to the blacktop all I could do was stand there in silence. The other kids were standing around in there cliques and it was obvious that the fifth graders controlled the far left gate on the black top. I remember one girl that stood out.
She looked larger than life in my eyes. She was bright skinned, tall and everyone seemed to flock to her. She made me feel small without even knowing her. I was having trouble finding my classroom number on the blacktop where my class was supposed to line up. I completely gave up after a few minutes mainly because I felt so out of place I just wanted to hide. Not to mention I am legally blind and even with my glasses I still cannot see all that well so finding my class line was a far reach for my nine-year old mind. I felt out of place and inferior so I “I took it upon myself” to run away and hide in the nearest bathroom. I stayed in that bathroom for a while, even after the bell rang. I eventually decided to take a step out of the bathroom and walk to my class.
In fourth grade I absolutely did not have any social skills. Many children lived in my new apartments. I envied their large groups of friends and seeing them made me miss my old ones. I could never gather up the courage to talk to anyone. Thankfully, I had my older sister. She is the most outgoing between us and she managed to know everyone in nearly a week of our residency. I eventually met everyone that lived in the apartments but I never felt at ease with them as I did with my old friends. I rode my rollerblades all around those apartments and they made me happy like a piece of home was with me.
I never realized that I was in fact an introvert. I suppose I had always been a timid person my mother brings up her memories of my behavior as a child often. I never realized my childhood behavior until now. I remember my mom changing my teacher’s and being too afraid to walk into the classroom even though I knew the teacher and all the students well. Moving away from my familiarities showed how quiet and unsociable I was. I did not have friends at school until I was well into my seventh grade year. Today, I am on the verge of twenty-years-of-age, and I still have to work on speaking up and being more sociable.
Before I had many friends and after I moved, I did not. I believe if I stayed where I lived before I would have been given a sense of security. Looking back, I believe I would not have gained a great number of wonderful friends. My experiences with people in my apartments are always the topic of conversation with my family and friends and they bring on tons of laughs and feelings of embarrassment. I love revisiting my old Natomas neighborhoods and seeing my old friends. We always joke saying TG (Terricina Gold) for life. I guess you can call it a family.