In 2004, I was entering my senior year of high school. Like virtually all well-adjusted teens, I resented my parents deeply for continuing to treat me like the child that I legally was, and I subsequently lashed out by spending as little time at home as possible.
At age 15, I acquired two jobs. I hoarded leadership roles in student organizations, and then I joined more organizations. I started programs. I pathetically wrested responsibilities from other leaders, insisting that they were less devoted than I was and that I would do the job better.
This was true, but I was also a complete and utter piece of shit about it.
It was easier for me to do these things, since I had mostly stopped sleeping. I carried No Doz with me at all times, which was reassuringly advertised as “safe as a cup of coffee!” Each morning, I made myself a latte with several shots of espresso, frequently burning myself during this quotidian ritual. I paired the beverage with a first caffeine pill to start class, and then a second one near the end of class if I still felt tired. I continued to take them throughout the day. I only began to scale it back when I noticed that my pulse appeared to have developed a very hip (and wholly irregular) backbeat.
This is all to say that, as seventeen-year-olds go, I was quite busy…
I am blessed with no shortage of excellent family members, but my cousin Kim is very very very high up on that list. This story is just a taste of why.
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