We sat on the floor of the common area of the Margaret Nance dorm, and I pretended to listen to the residence hall director talk about whatever she was talking about. I was intrigued by the pretty girls sitting next to me with the naturally curly hair. They seemed reserved. Artsy. I was wearing an oversized sweatshirt and my hair was pulled back in a headband. A cheerleader. I wondered if that's what they saw when they looked at me.
That night I broke the ice. I knocked on their door, which was right next to mine. "Do you have any sharp scissors? I need to cut my bangs." I'd been growing them out all summer and I'd had enough.
They had scissors. I found kindred spirits.
Even now, I'm impressed with how well they knew me. How well they saw me.
That year, they gave me a theme song. One by Tori Amos that goes:
She's been everybody else's girl. Maybe one day she'll be her own.
It seems like they understood the journey I was on, better than I did. It seems like they—even then—knew what I'd become.
My own girl.