Heather in high school was pretty cool (if you ask her now) and drawing back to the days of launching hormones, sexual discovery and experimental drug and alcohol intake, high school was ripe with development and exploration. Add the societal expectations to look and sound similar to the groups around you meanwhile just beginning your own personal adventures and we can see why high school is its own reality for most of us.

A day that I could go to school and leave school in my sweats without wearing a bra or any underwear was seen as a win in my eyes. On the hotter days I sometimes regretted the decision because boobs not being tightly smashed were seen as awkward, even unwelcome, as they were. I could feel this very early on without thinking much into how a decade later I'd be reflecting on the many messages of shame, girls becoming women, receive.

My second job, after scooping up cups of love at an Italian creamery inside the mall, was into the restaurant industry. I was 16, coming close to 17, entering the latter part of my high school experience. I had always been told to model because of my long body, long legs and long hair but until my job as a waitress, I wasn't very aware of how much my appearance would be up for grabs.

The first guy I crushed hard for, I met at this restaurant. Boys in high school were much smaller than me physically and I felt that translation emotionally and intellectually. I was unimpressed and simply uninterested in seriously dating or seeing anyone throughout my high school days. Hook ups, body offerings, and playful sexual experiences happened instead. People thought I was older and I didn't mind that.

The guy from the restaurant and I were becoming really close but in a best friend kind of way. He was sleeping with another girl consistently and I pretended not to care. We were just friends after all. After high school I was still working there and we began to get more romantic and as time rolled on, he stopped seeing the other women he was sleeping with and we became exclusive. The way him and I enjoyed one another was new to me and it excited me. He bit the inside of my thighs, the outside of my ass and everything in-between. During the summer, caught in a pair of shorter shorts, friends would ask if I was okay because of my bruises. I told them I definitely was and that him and I were rather aggressive together and I liked it. Once he lifted me up, slamming both of us into the wall behind and a picture, at least 3x4 ft, fell onto my head. I lost awareness for a moment, we both went to lay back down and fell asleep instead.

Throughout high school my friends and I would drive around blasting music without a care of where we'd end up. Tech N9ne was one of our favorites and I loved the words he rapped, mixed with the styles of sound he matched them with. Driving to Chico with my sister and a girlfriend to visit a friend going to college there, I put on his CD. It was late in the evening, we were winding through rolling hills and a song I listened to every once and a while came on.

"Can I take a bite of your cerebellum?
I think it'd really get me up if I could be sucking your serotonin."

The opening whispers, seemingly demonic, the entire feel of the song, eerie. I was driver so I choose to keep it playing. When seeing him live at the Catalyst while still in high school, he brought a girl up on stage and fingered her.

Throughout all these experiences, I didn't so much wonder why or how, I was just captured by performances, whether they involved my body personally or not.

As women, we are asked to be seen in the light. To be the helpers of hard workers, the angels on the field, the ones keeping it all together. A neat and tidy house with a neat and tidy woman, what a dream! Except that within those white sheets there are pieces of you that bleed. Pieces of you that scream. Pieces of you that demand to be seen. To be seen for what they are and the power they hold.

The day turns into night, over and over and over again. The sunshine recedes and we are left gazing up at an infinite abyss, lost in dense forests of nothingness, vastly aware of the darkness that surrounds us.

When entering the questions, who am I? why am I here?, one must be willing to see and be with themselves throughout the entire spectrum. You are like the night sky filled with many constellations but until you sit out there long enough, you won't find the answers you're looking for.