It may surprise some of you but this time last year I had no clue. I was suicidally depressed, in limbo at my parent’s home, not eating at all, and it was a daily struggle to not go for the nearest knife and end it all. I honestly thought I was trash.
I think if I had known about blogging then, I’d have started up immediately. I was treated like a leper, as a failure, and other than Tinkerbell I had no one who really understood that I needed to just talk. I owe her my life.
Slowly I began to pull myself together. An improved Kendall, at least I think so. I’m only now starting to believe people when they say I am strong for not giving up. For not shutting Tinkerbell and later others out.
I have been through so much in my life. Rape, homelessness, depression, death, neglect and that’s just what has directly affected me. Indirectly, if you name it, I’ve more than likely tried to help someone with it once in my life.
Now I am quickly approaching my 21st birthday. I have found love, a family. The people in my life, despite sharing no blood relation to me, give me faith in humanity every single day and I am blessed to know them.
I have learned to love myself.
I have learned to accept myself.
Now I need to work on forgiving myself. The hardest thing of all.
I am a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill. I am the boyfriend of a Duke nursing student. I am quickly stepping into the role of father to her 4 year-old. I am the teaching assistant to a truly amazing group of first graders. I am a Sunday school teacher who long ago hated God. I am a waiter whose coworkers have accepted me wholly. I am a friend whose friends are more family to him than anything.
These are my parts, but I am more than the sum of them.
I believe in second chances.
I believe that love can and does last.
I believe that there is no such thing as a “friend”, there is only an acquaintance and then there is family for life.
I believe in taking life as it comes.
I believe that I was put on this Earth to help people.
I believe that your word is your bond and you should never break it.
I believe that as long as you have faith in something, that is all that matters.
I believe that children are something to be protected and nurtured but also that they are often capable of understanding more than we give them credit for.
I believe that to teach someone how to garden is to teach them how to care.
I believe that a great book is one you are sad to say goodbye to when it’s finished.
I believe that the sound of a child laughing is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world.
I believe that great cooking moves from the heart to the hands.
I believe that love is love is love, whether it is heterosexual or homosexual.
I believe that teaching is going to be one of the most challenging experiences of my life, and one of the most rewarding.
I believe in smiling through the tears.
I believe that there is always hope for a better tomorrow, we just have to be willing to fight for it today.
I am the odd duck.
These are my fears, dreams, tears, laughs, failures, and triumphs as I go through life.
These are my confessions.
1. Where did your blog title come from?
I was always the weird kid in elementary school and would often refer to myself as the ugly duckling. When I was trying to think of a title (originally it was Odds & Ends From Carolina) I saw a picture of a yellow duckling squawking at a bunch of black ducks. Tada, Confessions of an Odd Duck was born.
2. What is your current living arrangement?
Me and one of my best friends, The Bait, rent an apartment just outside of UNC’s campus. We now have my puppy living with us as well.
3. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Until I was 8 I wanted to be a cook or chef. Then I learned to grow comfortable reading and writing in English. From then on, I wanted to be a writer. I’ve also wanted to be a florist, comic book artist, pediatrician, and journalist.
4. What is your dream job?
I have two. One is to be a college English professor and the other is to own a restaurant.
5. What is your favorite movie?
The Nightmare Before Christmas, hands down.
6. Do you use the correct keys when using a keyboard?
I got a typewriter for my 13th birthday and taught myself then. Sadly, I still have trouble texting without looking on my phone. Need to work on that.
7. What was your first car?
A blue 1986 Nissan Maxima that me and my friends nicknamed The Blue Thunder. You had to use a screwdriver to change the radio, people thought the trunk was possessed, and the gear shift would often slip. It died in my junior year on my way home from Chick Fil-A.
8. Chocolate or Vanilla?
9. Favorite board game?
Monopoly, DVD Scene It, and Taboo.
10. What book are you reading now?
Needful Things by Stephen King
11. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully with my MA in Education and maybe English, happily teaching, possibly married.
12. What is your favorite sport to watch?
College basketball. It’s a genetic thing.
13. Who in your family are you closest to?
I was closest to my Nana (maternal great-grandmother) and was devastated when she died last spring.
14. What is on your nightstand now?
My iPod dock, a sudoku book, some pens, my alarm clock, and a dictionary
15. What are you currently listening to?
If You’re Reading This by Tim McGraw
16. What is your favorite book of all time?
Wicked: Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
17. Who is your favorite actor/actress?
Robin Williams from Mork & Mindy to Patch Adams
18. Favorite fruit?
19. What are you afraid of?
So many things…small spaces, becoming my dad, losing control, and being lonely
20. What is your favorite quote at the moment?
“When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.'”
21. Favorite food?
When I actually eat, french toast. Mmmm.
22. Favorite drink?
Tie between hot chocolate and apple juice, I’ve been bribed with both.
23. Describe your childhood.
Childhood? What’s that?
24. What language would you learn besides English?
I’m bilingual as it is but I do want to learn French or Italian, maybe German.
25. What advice would you give to yourself from 5 years ago?
Those you love never truly leave you, not so long as you remember them and what they taught you.
26. One year ago?
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
27. What would you want your epitaph to say?
He Proved Himself Wrong
28. When was the last time you cried?
Hearing a very close friend cry got me going
29. What was one thing you tried in the last year that you never thought you would?
30. What was your least favorite subject in high school?
Calculus, my friends have quoted me often as saying “el calculo es el diablo”
31. Who was the last person you hugged?
My lab partner as she was about to have a panic attack
32. Your strangest physical feature?
Either the fact that my toes curl up or my eye color. It’s a hard pick.
33. What was your favorite thing to do as a child?
Take care of the flowers in my Nana’s garden, even singing to them.
34. If you could have lunch with any famous person, living or dead, who would it be?
I want to say it’d be Robin Williams, Charles Schultz, or Maya Angelou.
35. Have you ever met a celebrity?
Tim Tebow, Roy Williams, Mick Foley, and Maya Angelou
36. What was the last concert you went to?
37. Who was the last person you kissed?
38. What TV show do you watch that you feel ashamed to admit?
The Hills. It’s like a train wreck; I want to look away but I can’t.
39. Have you been out of your home country?
Yes, I have been to Italy and most definitely intend to return someday.
40. What is your most acute sense?
Smell. I have crappy hearing and eyesight.
41. Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
I am currently looking for a tattoo and does planning to get a fake earring for Halloween count?
42. What would happen if you didn’t speak for a week?
Those who know me would think the world is ending if I’m quiet for 10 minutes much less a week.
43. Have you ever tripped someone?
I’m a former wrestler so yes, many times. Plus I am tempted to whenever I see kids on heelies.
44. What is one of your quirks?
You expect me to pick just one? I suppose it would be my accent which gets more pronounced when I’m sleepy, stressed, or…distracted.
45. Would you ever consider getting married?
If I can learn to fully trust myself, then yes.
46. Would you consider having children?
I’ve caught myself claiming Daybreak as my daughter 3 times now so yes
47. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
Can they make me laugh?
48. How would you describe your inner circle of friends?
They’re all nuts in their own ways…just like me.
49. What was one of the most needlessly uncomfortable things you’ve done in the last 6 months?
That’s easy. When I was invited to go with Eva and her family to Myrtle Beach over the summer.
50. What is your view on religion?
What is most important is faith, everything else is inconsequential.
51. What is your favorite smell?
Foxgloves after blooming.
52. What was one of the most embarrassing (but now funny) moments of my childhood.
Again this one is easy. I had just transferred to a new elementary school when I had a slight case of culture shock. I go up to one of the white girls, rub her arm, and say to the teacher, “it’s not coming off.”
53. How much do you normally tip in a restaurant?
As someone who has worked as a waiter throughout high school and since coming to Chapel Hill, I am a pretty generous tipper unless the service was absolutely deplorable.
54. Is the glass half empty or half full?
It’s twice as large as it needs to be.
55. Worst experience on the internets?
56. Bugs Bunny or Mickey Mouse?
I’m a Disney kid so I go with the mouse.
57. Worst line ever said to you during a date?
“Oh, I didn’t know you were black.” Never going on a blind date again.
58. Favorite word?
Lovely (used sarcastically), lusty, and sweetness
59. What is your favorite curse word or phrase?
Fucklet, thanks K-bro!
60. Favorite card game?
Egyptian rat screw, Texas Hold-Em, Uno
61. What is your favorite sitcom?
Will & Grace. Anything with Jack & Karen together was instant hilarity. A scene with Rosie as well was just plain made of win and awesome.
62. Who is your favorite president of all time?
Franklin D. Roosevelt or his cousin, Teddy.
63. Where do you get your news from? The News & Observer, The Daily Tar Heel, or The Daily Show/Colbert Report
64. What movie can you not watch without crying?
Wall-E, Old Yeller, Little Women, Bicentennial Man, Frankenstein, The Elephant Man, A Muppet Christmas Carol, Jack, To Sir With Love, Saving Private Ryan, Forrest Gump, Terminator 2, I Am Sam, the Land Before Time movies (every time I hear “yep, yep, yep”, I start to tear up…), Freedom Writers, Pursuit of Happiness
65. What was the last truly kind thing you did for someone?
Comfort someone who I dislike because they looked like they needed it
66. What is an odd pet peeve you have?
I despise dish washing machines.
67. What kind of drunk are you?
I’ve never been truly drunk (e. g. trashed) but I get hyper and affectionate.
68. What is the most vivid memory of your childhood?
Something I wish to God I could forget. If it’s a good one you’re asking about, it would be my grandparents dancing in their kitchen to Hello Dolly and then teaching me and my sister.
69. What do you currently have that has a greatest deal of sentimental value?
A book of sheet music from Rose that Mami sent me in the mail
70. How do you cheer yourself up when you’re feeling down?
I cook or I sing. Usually both.
71. What do you bring to a friendship?
Laughter and a good ear.
72. How would you define true friendship?
One heart in two bodies.
73. What is your favorite holiday?
74. What makes you angry?
Hypocrisy, bigotry and/or ignorance
75. Would you defend a friend?
The scar on my knee says yes
76. Are you a morning or night person?
I can be either. Usually, morning person.
77. If there was a one guide on how to live what would it be?
Considering how divisive the Bible is, I would have to say “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”
78. What was the first book you ever read?
Without wanting to cry, Green Eggs & Ham
79. What are your bookmarked websites?
Facebook, the UNC homepage, my blog, Fanfiction.net, The Onion, the Huffington Post, Pandora, Youtube, Enclyclopedia Dramatica, Wikipedia, TV Tropes, Twitter, and Watch-movies.net
80. Do you look more like your father or your mother?
My father with my mother’s skin tone. Eyes came from my great-grandpa.
81. Do you believe in luck or fate?
I believe we make our own. “There is no fate but what we make.” I also believe everything happens for a reason.
82. What song has a message that you love?
Lean On Me (Bill Withers), Live Like You Were Dying (Tim McGraw), When I Get Where I’m Goin’ (Brad Paisley), Keep Ya Head Up (Tupac Shakur), and For Good (Idina Menzel & Kristen Chenoweth)
83. What is one landmark you hope to see one day?
The Globe Theater
84. What do you love about the city you live in?
It still has a small town atmosphere despite being a large university.
85. What is/was your college mascot?
Ramses the Ram
86. Do you still have your wisdom teeth?
87. What food do you like that you shouldn’t?
Peanut butter cookies, I’m allergic to peanuts. You see the problem here, don’t you?
88. What is the best birthday gift you have ever received?
Unless they decide to be stubborn, Los Gemelos Nuevos will be born on or around my birthday.
89. What is your favorite song to workout to?
I just put iPod on shuffle and listen, don’t have a preference really
90. What stereotype do people often make based on your appearance?
I lost count of how many times women have scurried away when I’m walking at night.
91. Can you name one person who cleans the building you work or take classes in?
Yes. I was waiting for a test in the education building when I struck up a conversation with one of the cleaning ladies. Her name is Grace, she’s 53, and is one of the best storytellers of ever.
92. If you’re sure of what you want to do in life career-wise, what put you on that path?
The rush I felt when Skittles (one of my first graders) started being able to read with confidence, that moment killed any doubts I had about teaching
93. Describe your dream house.
Large sprawling yard, backyard containing a flower/vegetable garden, pool, and fire pit. Must have a porch swing, hopefully a wraparound porch.
94. What was your first pet?
A gorgeous mixed breed named Lady. When I was about 4, she crawled under our neighbour’s bushes, lay down, and died.
95. What was last movie you watched with your significant other that you both enjoyed?
96. If your friends could change one thing about you, what would it be?
My lack of self-confidence
97. What is one talent your significant other appreciates that you have?
My ability to give a good massage and serve as a general source of warmth or my ability to tell when someone is bothered and do what it takes to help them
98. Does the internet ever scare you?
Dude, see #55. If you know the Rules of the Internet, you know what site I’m talking about. The one God-awful enough to warrant TWO rules on that list.
99. What was the funniest moment you’ve ever had at a movie theater?
I have two. One was when a former friend saw someone coming and says loudly, “Is that a man?” He gets smacked and we realize that he’s talking about his girlfriend’s mother. The other is more recent, I was with my girlfriend and we have a comical argument over the women in The Spirit. The ushers were even crying from laughter.
100. Who is your favorite T. V. show character and why?
Xander Harris from Buffy. I am the goofball with a good heart so I can relate. We also both use laughter to mask our fear at times. Both have abandonment issues. And we both have far more female friends than male.
101. Describe your relationship with your birth parents?
Both were pretty much non-entities until I was 15. Me and my mom are still working on it, while my dad is another story entirely.