When I was in third grade, I had was totally, madly, deeply in love (in so far as a third grader could understand the concept) with a boy who sat next to me.
I was shy though. I don’t mean shy in that, “blushes when someone looks in her direction” sort of way. I mean “so shy I couldn’t speak.” So, while I had known him since first grade, I still couldn’t bring myself to talk with him the way I wanted… so I mustered my most artistic abilities and did the next best thing.
I embraced my Inner Space Nerd.
You see, he loved to draw space pictures… intricate ones with rocket ships and planets and stars and all the works. For context, this would have been around the time the original Star Wars was a major hit and every boy wanted to be Han Solo and every girl wanted to be Princess Leia. We all wanted to ride around in X-Wing Fighters and battle the Dark Side. (didn’t we?? Oh wait, was that just me?)
So my way of, “speaking” with him was to draw my own space scenes. We would compare them, and talk about ways to make ours better, more intricate. It made it easier and easier to talk with him and, soon, I was having an easier time talking with other kids.
To this day, I am pretty certain our teacher saw we were doing this during lessons and didn’t say anything because she could see it was bringing me out of my shell a bit. (Thank you Mrs. King)
I will never forget those moments, sitting in the back corner of the classroom, looking forward to my time spent drawing with him. I don’t know at what point we drifted away from one another (though I can honestly say he was my biggest crush all the way through sixth grade).
These days, I unabashadly embrace my Inner Space Nerd and I am happy to report, now I don’t draw these illustrations because of a boy, I do it because I love it.