Monday, December 1, 2008

Blast from the Past, so to speak

Okay, so it's still the same night and I'm writing another post, but this topic is on my mind and I want to write about it before I think of something else to address. Since it's my blog, I guess I can do whatever I want anyway, so I'm going to press on.

As I mentioned in my last post, I went to my parents' house in Idaho for Thanksgiving weekend. I had a wonderful time, and it's always a pleasure for me to be around my siblings and their families. Anyway, as much as I love the hubbub and chaos that is my parents' house, it was also nice on Saturday when just my parents, my younger brother and I were left. I had some time to burn so I went into my former bedroom (which is more of the guest room now) and happened to see my high school yearbook sitting on the shelf.

On a whim I picked it up and decided to look through it. Part of the reason I wanted to do so is because somebody I graduated with who is now married added me as a friend on Facebook. She used her married name and hasn't posted any pictures of herself, so I've been trying for weeks to figure out who she is. I guess I could just write and ask, but I felt silly doing so. I could have refused her request, but when she added me, she had just started out and only had like two other friends, so I felt bad. Since we graduated together I thought it would be fine to accept the request.

I looked through the listing of my classmates and didn't see anybody that I thought could be her. Oh well! Someday I'm sure she'll post a picture and I'll figure it out. . . Looking through the yearbook started bringing back memories of high school, both good and bad. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment because I saw all three of my junior high yearbooks and decided that I had to look through them too. I was laughing out loud as I read the very stupid things people wrote when they signed it, probably thinking they were super cool at the time. Things such as, "Have a hot summer but stay cool," "Life is like a roll of toilet paper--long and useful," "Crave the wave!" or "I bet I'm the first one to sign your crack. . ." (It sounds dirty but really means they just signed the place where the binding is.) Anyway, only junior high kids trying to feel cooler than they really are would write stuff like that. I'm sure I would be embarrassed at some of the things I wrote in other people's books.

I was surprised at the tide of emotions that just looking through the annuals brought out. I've never had a horrible life or anything but junior high and high school were such hard times for me, and I would never, ever want to go back again! I could feel the awkwardness all over again, of not knowing my place and who I really am. I could feel the me from then struggling to feel accepted and yet trying to be an individual all at once. And I could feel the loathing I had for myself at that point too. It made me laugh and in many other ways, it made me want to cry too.

As I've thought about this in the two days since then, I guess the comfort for me is that A) I never have to go back again B) Everyone else was most likely going through the same thing, even people who seemingly had it all and C) I've grown so much and changed since then that I'm very happy with the person I am now. The Tammy of today is the new and improved version, and while the junior high/high school Tammy will always be a part of me, hopefully I can always remember that I'm not the same person; I've learned from my experiences and am on a path to becoming the person I know I have the potential to become. I also hope that this reminder helps me to have empathy for others in a similar situation.

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