In my elementary days I was quite a bookworm(and given I was tutored by Hooked on Phonics at a young age, that much should be expected), voraciously reading any and everything I could get my mitts on-a trait still strong within me to this day. I also had quite the acting bug, and did a few school plays, including one where I played a dim footballer not only for my school, but also for one who's own couldn't make it that night.
It was around the end of 6th grade that I entered what I like to call The Smartass phase of my personal growth. I was so irritating in my general 'Did you know (x)?' behavior and did very little to endear myself to my school's society, even getting into a few fights here and there(that didn't last very long, mind you, one only going to one punch before I wept *laughs*). As it is with many boys of that age, I was also very awkward around females and found myself incapable of speech around those I found strongly appealing, including when I was threading my way through a crowd during the school festival and emerged on the other side hands first, those same hands landing on the warm and firm backside of a female classmate-one I was very attracted to then, and thankfully had the where-with-all not to squeeze *laughs*
One thing I'll always remember about my time then, though, would definitely be how dependent and needy I was on others to get what I wanted and needed, growing quite volatile when those I turned to flaked and did not fulfill what I expected of them. That neediness made me quite unfit for many kinds of meaningful relationships, and in fact ended two of them when things went south(one I ended when the girl wanted a 3 way with her male companion, and the other she ended when she no could longer financially maintain it).
Had my most recent beloved not perished doing what she loved, that neediness would've placed great strain on her, as well, as it did when she was out of contact for months at a time and left me wondering what had happened to her and if she still thought me worth the effort-one incident I remember her telling me being her encounter with a fellow drifter who wanted her to give it up and be one with him instead, who she turned down and left on the roadside.
Her passion and burning intensity for her craft instilled a lot of new feelings within me, spurring me to become stronger and more strong on my own so that I, in a day that would never come, would meet her and show her the kind of man she deserved to have as her beloved. I've grown greatly since her passing and was able to realize that if I wanted to be a lover who would fortify the one my next beloved instead of weakening, I had to be strong and capable by my own hand with my own motivation.
I certainly can't say the process has been easy, as almost every woman I've held interest in- and even those I don't!- either had a beloved of their own or had their own issues and concerns to work out. I would love to say I've left all those flaws in the dust, but they're still a part of who I am today, a fact I've come to accept more and more with the passage of time as I grow into a proper man. Still a bit of a smartass, still a bookworm, still a bit more reliant on others for what I need than I should be, but those traits let me realize I'm still human and still have room to grow and improve, both for my sake and the sake of those I care for. I know I'll gain employ and know I'll make the future I desire regardless of obstacles, and I'm without doubt when someone is there beside me, we will make each other a better individual and a strong unit. I would only hope she can endure some of my more unusual traits and fancies, though *laughs*