As with most kids, I think, the junior high years for me were the worst of my life. A combination of deflated expectations, puberty, waist-bloat, and… well… everything else that comes with being in junior high. My junior high experience cast a pretty long shadow and though I don’t think about it much now, it influenced the things that influenced the things that influenced the things that influence who I am today.
Things had started to improve by my 8th grade year (Delosa schools have middle school from 6-8 and high school from 9-12) through, among other things, bribery. And in high school I discovered an online bulletin board system (BBS) that would change my life. It’s interesting to note that only once I started getting better did I realize how bad things had previously been.
I remember a girl in my sophomore year that I took a bit of a liking to. She and I would talk every day before and after our mutual English class. I, of course, was trying to figure out if she liked me by every possible means except direct inquiry. I remember at one point I was watching her intently interact with people that were my social equal or lessers in the high school caste system. I remember quite explicitly thinking that she might be interested in them in a way that she probably wasn’t with me because they were “real guys”… humans… and I was an ogre.
But progress was nonetheless being made. I may have been an ogre, but somewhere along the way I’d become a dignified one. I was actually talking to this girl. I had actual, bona fide female friends. This, of course, blew my ogre friends away. As some of them started sliding deeper and deeper in to ogredom, I was getting out.
But I wasn’t out at that point because, among other things, I was still hanging out with ogres and I was still one among them. However, I was really at the head of the pack. I look back at that experience as being the Ogre King. Not quite human, but the ogre that all the rest of the ogres looked up to.
It took my losing about sixty pounds, breaking a couple of hearts, and keeping and maintaining a human girlfriend for a couple of years before I finally really broke out of that mindset. Well, broke out of it to the extent that I ever will. At some point, I think, your experience diverge far enough from the typical path that I don’t think your perspective will ever be able to merge with everyone else’s. But luckily, as you grow older, medieval fantasy race stops mattering quite so much.