It would simply be wrong to not include this next story when speaking of "life-changing moments." I warn you that this story will cause absolute shock and wonderment. Please read at your own risk.
At ten years old, I was slightly "mature" for my age. For example, I was about a foot taller than anyone in my class and definitely out weighed even the fattest kid on the playground. My Mom, always being an astute observer, realized I was on the brink of womanhood and decided one innocent day to inform me of what was about to happen. I'll never forget my Mom turning off my afternoon cartoons and pulling a mysterious book from underneath the couch. I had never seen this book before and I've never seen it since. For all I know it was the greatest magic trick of all time. Anyway, this magical book explained in a very elementary way the tragic experience of a girl's period. I can still hear my Mom's calm voice as she explained what was about to happen to my body. All I heard was "bleeding," and the fact that my life was shortly going to be over. After thirty minutes of the most awkward conversation, my Mom gave me a hug, which sort of felt like a final goodbye, and disappeared with the magical book.
It wasn't two weeks later that, while staying in a hotel in D.C., the magical book's prophecies came to fruition. I'll never forget my Mom taking me into the bathroom and welcoming me, "To becoming a woman." I didn't understand, and really still don't, as to why she was so happy. All I felt was a little man stabbing me in the back and the urge to cry and lash out for no apparent reason. These were the wonderful fruits of becoming a woman? No, thanks.
That next day I went to school absolutely terrified that something embarrassing was going to happen. You know, I pass out because of the loss of blood, someone finds my new accessories in my book bag, that little man returns and stabs me during math class and I cry out in agony...the possibilities were endless. I just wish the magical book had discussed what to do the "next day." So much information - and yet, so incomplete.
The only close call I had to something embarrassing happened right before lunch. As usual, I went to the bathroom with some of my friends and then realized I had to do some "womanly business." I'll never forget one of my friends asking me, while I was nervously sitting in my stall, if I was unwrapping candy and if she could have some. Candy. Sure, that's what I was doing.