Bobby and his mother came to see it. My parents of course were there. It was an intense day for me and I remember it vividly because I don't enjoy being the center of attention. Everytime I get an award, I want to hide behind someone. That type of recognition is the worst for me. So giving a speech inspired by Bobby was paralyzing. Oh and my school was pretty fucking fancy...Bobby's mom showed up in sweatpants. Way to make an impression... So I was clearing out old hardrives the other night when I stumbled across this gem from second semester, 2007. Nothing like being 18 and insecure. Enjoy! (writing isn't the best, but this was 10 years ago so hush!)
My Double Life
I have a confession to make. It is something that I have waited four years to get off my chest. It’s something I have been hiding from everyone at Hillcrest…even my closest friends, and today I have decided to let you in on my secret.
From the outside looking in my life seems like any other 18 year old girl. I attend school everyday, I hangout with friends on the weekends, and I participate in extra curricular activities…nothing strange about any of that. But there is a big part of my life that nobody in Maryland really knows about…I live a double life. You may be wondering, how is it possible to live a double life? What is a double life? My double life is complex and a bit difficult to explain, but I can try my best to make you understand.
I was born and raised in Orange County, California. Majority of my father’s family resides there, and it is a place that has always been close to my heart. Around the age of six I was forced to leave my beloved home and fly off to a cold, desolate place called…Michigan. I lived in Michigan for about five years, and then I decided I needed a change of scenery, so I chose to move in with my father in the beautiful, sunny, immaculate place most commonly known as Ohio. Then, when my Dad decided to take a new job, I ended up on the East Coast with all of you, at Hillcrest. So you might be wondering, so what? How is that a double life? Well, the double life part hasn’t really come into play yet.
Since I moved from California, I have visited every summer for 12 years. During these summers, I spend time with my family and friends. The double life begins to take shape here. My entire family in California is 100% Persian. So these summers aren’t spent like you might imagine. They consist of dozens of immaculate Persian parties. These parties are the essence of my childhood in California. Everyone speaks Farsi and listens to loud foreign music, and dances around while enjoying delicious Persian cuisine. The best part of the parties is my friends and my cousins. In fifth grade I was introduced to a group of Persian girls, from that day on, we were all best friends (bestie#1). The interesting part about our friendship is that they are all four years older than me. But somehow the age difference has never gotten in the way. I look up to these girls for everything, and any free time in the summer is spent with them.
In the summer I am part of an exclusive group of Persian girls, being a part of this group is what I look forward to most about coming back “home”. In California everything about me changes. My fashion, my attitude, my confidence, my friends, and my lifestyle. Back in Maryland, I am a completely different person. I feel that the reason I am so different in each place is because my Maryland life and my California life have never intermixed. Not once has a family member or friend from California come to visit Maryland, and not once has a friend from Maryland come to California. There have always been friends who have wanted to come along, but somehow it never seems to work out. I partially think that this is my fault. I am scared of what might happen if my two worlds meet. Who would I be then? My friend would no longer know who I am if I am immersed in my California world of family and culture. And what if my family and friends came to Maryland? Would they think I was crazy for wearing a polo shirt or a wearing a ribbon in my hair? They don’t know that side of me. The preppy, conservative, private school girl.
I know that one day soon my two lives will meet and I am not sure what to do when that day comes. To tell you the truth, I never really thought about what would happen if my double life came together until a friend harshly said, “Elle, you are only Persian when it’s convenient for you!” These words hurt at the time, until I realized he was right. But that brings me to another point, is it ever really “convenient” to be Persian in today’s society? Especially in the community I live in which lacks diversity in every sense. I am a proud Persian girl when I am in California because I know I can be comfortable with all of my family and friends surrounding me. Many people feel like they truly know me, but do they really? There is a whole other half of me that only comes out for about a month every year, and this is my way of opening up so that my friends at Hillcrest can feel as if they truly know me now.
So Bobby is the one who told me that I was "only Persian when it was convenient for me". What the fuck does that even mean? It's never been "convenient" around him to be Persian. His mom treated me like completed shit becaue I wasn't Irish/Italian/Catholic. What the FUCK does that mean? I guess it's good he married an Irish/Italian/Catholic red-head, that was probably quite "convenient" for him.
I think I only remember the good parts of Bobby but the more I've uncovered lately, the more I see it wasn't always so rosy.
Anyways, this goes to show -- somehow being "myself" never seems to be acceptable. Ten years later, looks like not all that much has changed. (Looking at you, Armenian fucks)