The 1980s saw Michael Jackson's "Thriller" ruling the charts, TV viewership soared with the "MAS*H" finale, and high school sweethearts Dave and Cheryl did exactly what society expected them to do - get married, buy a house, and start having kids.
The youngest of two I found myself constantly grappling with a sense of inadequacy. Not quite funny enough, not quite skinny enough, not quite successful enough... not quite enough.
Growing up in a world where conformity seemed essential, I yearned to fit in, imitating my older sister's hobbies and obsessing over pop idols like the New Kids on the Block. However, my pursuit of acceptance often fell short, leading to relentless bullying and a persistent feeling of being not quite right.
It wasn't until seventh grade that I experienced a pivotal moment that challenged societal norms. I met AJ, a confident tomboy who sparked an undeniable connection within me. AJ introduced me to a world I didn’t even know existed. I had never...