Do you feel like you know me by now? Are you wondering about the woman behind the acne treatment website? Who is she really? What has shaped her into the person she is now?
Well, maybe you don’t care. Even though I am the context for this website, this website is actually about you. You and your skin and how you can get clear.
However, I know that in my experience, if I am taking advice from someone, I want to know about his personal life as well. It’s the same if I watch a movie I enjoy, I tend to want to go find out where the lead actress is from, who she’s dating, and some general fun facts. I just want to somehow bring her to life and feel like I know her.
So here it is: Tracy’s magical life journey split into three parts. Take it or leave it.
I was born on a Sunday in April, 1987 in a town called Powell River, a town approximately 20 thousand rich in residents, and in close-ish proximity to Vancouver, BC, Canada.
While this town is not an island, or on an island, it is enclosed by mountains and inlets and it’s necessary to take two ferries to get there. So we are kind of like an island, but without water on four sides. It’s a gorgeous town in the summer, with the ocean there and the mountains of Vancouver Island in the distances. It is teeming with outdoor activities. The town itself is a glorious mixture of hippies, rednecks, and retired folks. It is the type of place that you can have the time of your life, or the worst times of your life, depending on who you know and the time of year.
It’s a special place to me, as the west coast is. Even with all the rain, there is something that draws me to this magical part of the world, and particularly my hometown. I return to it every summer because I can’t seem to find anywhere else I’d rather be, as much as I’ve tried.
I grew up in a standard nuclear family with my mom, my dad, and my older brother of two years. There was plenty of love; maybe a bit of negativity and stifled emotions on one side of my family… I think I turned out pretty well rounded anyway, but maybe a psychologist might disagree (I’m still trying to dissect my seemingly innocuous childhood to find if there was anything traumatizing I am hiding away from myself in my subconscious).
I was a quiet, well behaved child. I liked drawing and creative projects, as well as studying our picture atlas of the world – my favourite pastime. We lived outside of the town where there weren’t a lot of other kids, so I learned to enjoy my own time. I was also somewhat of a tom boy as well, preferring to climb trees and play Nintendo with my older brother, rather than with Barbies. In school, I did quite well and continued to get good grades all the way through high school.
I’ve always been a somewhat strikingly small person (I’m still only 5 foot nothing and weigh less than 90 lbs). Growing up, this meant that I never heard a shortage of the word “cute” being thrown in my direction. It’s not like this is a bad word and I’m sure no one meant it that way, but as a small child trying to prove that I was a person too, I simply did not want to be “cute”. (Note: I’m perfectly cool with being called that now.) At the time, the word felt not like a compliment, but like a word to describe something agreeable but lesser than – like a puppy.
I remember when I was in grade 3, there was this girl in my class named Lecayle. For some reason, this girl decided that she was going to make me her own personal ragdoll. Every single time she saw me, she’d make a huge scene. She would run up to me, pick me up off the ground in a giant hug, and kiss my face all over. Muah muah muah muah muah muah muah. “Tracy, you’re soooooo cuuuuuute. Oh my god. Youuuuu’re soooo cute”. This happened all the time, and every time I ran into her, no matter where we were. I became quite upset with her for treating me like this and began getting verbally angry with her so she would back off and realize I didn’t appreciate it. If I tried to complain though, teachers would never do anything since she was not *technically* being mean to me. Therefore, she was allowed to continue treating me like this, and I had no power over it.
To me it was embarrassing. She was a peer and treating me like I was nothing – just a doll to her. I knew that I was a smart and capable human being.
Needless to say, I developed quite a complex about this. Slowly through my early years, I began to believe that despite my capabilities, I would never be taken seriously if people thought that I was younger than I was.
Either way, I still had a fairly easy going life throughout school – through all the ups, the downs, and the sideways. I had plenty of friends and flew under the radar as we wove our way through boys, classes, and puberty.
Grade 5 was when I got my first pimple. I had a huge one under my nose, and my “best friend” at the time, so kindly pointed it out. I started getting regular acne in grade 7. I ran to the store and bought my first acne face wash – Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash. It never got beyond mild – fairly normal for kids at the time. Of course, having acne never helped when it came to my complex about looking young.
Click here to read Part 2!