Part One: Good to be Different?
I was such a perfectionist, I was the little girl crying at her desk whenever we had a writing assingment. Not because I didn't want to do it, but because I didn't think anything I could possibly put on that paper would be good enough. I just remember sitting there yelling "I don't know what to write!"
Soo, I thought I hated writing. Took me a while to realize I didn't hate writing itself, but writing on other people's terms.
Basically, I became a writer because I was a weird kid.
I was always daydreaming, always in my own little world, making up stories with my dolls, inventing new games with my sister, and seeking out anything that was better than reality. But at that age, I thought, all kids are imaginative. That's what childhood is about. I'm nothing special because I made up stuff.
But I still felt different. I had almost no friends in elementary school, and no one who I really connected with until about fifth grade.
Everyone else (mostly adults) said it's good to be different. "Why fit in when you were born to stand out?" was on a poster across the front wall of my fifth grade classroom. And I didn't really want to be like the others in my class.
Was I really different, or just really shy? Maybe I could have made connections if I had accepted my new home sooner. I spent most of my elementary school years wishing I could go back to where I was before, that I'd wake up and my new school would be just a dream.
Middle school was, oddly enough, a wonderful new beginning. I found friends, confidence, and I wanted to showcase all that I was: a proud weirdo. Everyone said it was good to be different.
I started to develop a world called "Strangeness." My name was "Little Strangeness." I invited all my friends to have a part it in. We made maps, where everyone contributed a city. We played our games in the music room when we were supposed to be practicing. Just about everyone in the school knew about it, and about me. Maybe they were laughing at me behind my back, but I was far too happy to care.
Strangeness was the beginning of Crossworlds, even though it had none of the same elements. I started writing down stories about Strangeness, and found immense joy in creating a new world. I loved being known for it, whether I was amazing or insane. And far in the distance, I saw a new world beginning to form, a world that was mine and only mine.
In my mind, I saw two planets connected by a bridge. One was Strangeness, well formed, and well populated. The other was unnamed, and mostly empty, but I knew it was full of potential. I knew Strangess was a phase, and that it only belonged in middle school.
This other world, however... That was meant to be mine forever.