I mentioned last week that somebody posted some high school dance photos on Facebook. I'm a little embarrassed to admit how much they got me thinking about those three weird years of my life. It scary true how much faster time goes by as you age but I remember being convinced that high school was going to last for the rest of eternity. That I would always feel awkward and unsure of myself, that I would never quite find a place where I fit, and that I would be wearing my braces until well into my thirties. My grades at the time would say that I was really good at school but my social calendar would show you that I never quite got the hang of that place. Adults would always tell me that I was probably the kind of kid that would do better in college and they were right. I do hope however that I remember how little that comforts a 16 year old girl who doesn't want to sit on the sidelines but has no idea how to get out there. I spent more time then I should have this weekend trying to figure out how to split the blame between myself and the other kids.
I've been fortunate over the years in that quite a few of the people I was intimidated by in high school have drifted back into my life for various reasons. It's always interesting to talk about how we all saw each other back then. I had one girl tell me that I seemed like a smart kid who wouldn't have wanted anything to do with the cheerleader crowd she was part of. I oten think that if I ever have teenagers, I hope they can have a better experience in those years then I did. I'm still not even convinced that I would have given up my endless months of play practice and Saturdays lost to debate meets (oh yeah people, it's like I was TRYING to drive 16 year old boys away) in exchange for dances and football games. Two thoughts kept coming back-I had younger siblings who were infinitely cooler then I was who still felt like they didn't have enough friends, or the right friends, or struggled with the myriad of other things that every teenager every feels regardless of social status (except maybe Blair Waldorf but even she has to watch out for Serena.) And two, when will I ever learn that the grown up me is pretty much a sum total of all the things that younger me had to deal with. You take away the braces and the unrequited crushes and I think you lose a lot what inspired that little girl to make a lot of plans for how her life was going to go. I hope hope hope I can remember that if I ever have a kid who isn't the picture of high school popularity. Which um, sorry potential future offspring, I pretty much guarantee is going to be the case if I've been your mother.
The truth is that fourteen years later I still don't always feel like I fit. My religious beliefs keep me a little separated from most of my peers but there are lots of things about my life that make me feel just a little bit out of the norm at church. But it's funny how that has gone from being something that made me feel so lonely to something that makes me feel lucky. Not being tied to one group has allowed me some freedom over the years and I've been able to piece together a pretty stellar collection of friends. Two weekends ago when Jed from SUU and Traci from HB came to visit and they hit it off with each other and with my current roommate, my heart almost burst from the awesomeness of watching all these parts of my life blend so splendidly. So I'll try to remember that next time I catch myself looking at someone else's glory days and feeling like I missed out.
Here's a song by OutKast that I love on the topic of being cool. Another good rainy day song on what it ANOTHER RAINY DAY IN BOSTON?? Who exactly where the crazy people that settled this place and why didn't they keep moving??