3rd grade was a weird time for me.

I remember being utterly obsessed with the idea of being a tomboy. No, I wasn’t particularly good at sports or video games, and I definitely wasn’t friends with any of the boys at school, but I didn’t think I was pretty or fashionable or popular enough to be a “girly girl.”

Once, an older 언니 — family friend, middle schooler, v. hip — painted my nails for me. They were glittery and pink, and I loved them. The next day, my classmates caught sight of my fresh manicure and couldn’t believe their eyes, it seemed.

“I thought you were a tomboy?!”

I lied through my teeth. Told them a scary older girl had forced me to play Barbie for her. She’s in sixth grade, I couldn’t say no —

“14th grade,” and I walk to the salon and get my nails done every other Friday. I wear makeup, love hearing my heels clack on the linoleum in school hallways, and sometimes, I even wear dresses.

I still wear my brother’s old hand-me-downs. I don’t know how to curl or braid my hair, and sometimes I resent my big ol’ butt and legs because I can’t pull off boxy t-shirts or baggy jeans.

Still feels weird.

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