I wear many hats. I am a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, teacher, writer and wedding planner. Today, I have decided to reflect upon my role as a friend and sister. A couple of months ago, I began a new journey as a sorority sister of the best sorority ever created and my membership into such is just another staple of how my life is continuously changing and how my roles continue to change as time goes on. As a high school teacher something glorious happens every single day that I enter the school where I teach, I get to go back to high school without reliving the trauma. Sometimes I really feel for my students because I know how hard and tumultuous that time in your life can be. I would never relive high school for all of the money in the world. Yet it did have an impact on the person that I am today. No matter how different my life is from nine years ago when I graduated high school, I can’t help but to reflect sometimes. Cleaning out my closet and making room for my new sorority paraphernalia, I came across two high school relics that allowed me to reflect heavily on the past.
Relic #1 Senior Yearbook
The high school yearbook is a strange and familiar staple of our adolescent years. We take pictures of every single person in the building, over half of which we have no real relationship with and we try to commemorate every major event of the current school year. One of the traditions of the yearbook is to have our friends and faculty sign and leave words of wisdom or reflection about yours truly for years to come. Looking through that yearbook, I can only come to one conclusion. I surely was clueless back then.
Relic #2 Senior Memory book
If your parents could afford the senior portrait packages for your graduating year chances are you received a memory book where you put tons of pictures, cards and stories about your senior year and what made it great or unique. My memory book is bursting, it’s almost torn up and needs major repair. Just glancing at it lets you know that I had an interesting senior year and from it I came up with one conclusion as well. I surely was clueless then.
So from both relics I discovered that as an adolescent human being I didn’t know squat. I didn’t know how hard adulthood would be, I didn’t know how difficult finding love would be and I didn’t realize that all of these people that I spent every waking moment of the day with would soon become a relic of the past as well.
One of the great things that I can attribute to myself is that I have never been obsessed or stuck in the past. When it’s time to move on and never look back, that is exactly what I do. I went to college nearby without letting my hometown surroundings suck me back in, I left when it was time to do so and I am able to go back frequently without becoming lost in what was or what could have been. I’ve never backtracked with an old boyfriend or tried to resurrect a relationship that I allowed to die graciously. However there is one thing that has bothered me since leaving my high school alma mater. The issue that bothers me is that some of my friends who I loved dearly and whom I worked hard to continue communication with while I went off to college are no longer a big portion of my life anymore. Sure our lives went into different directions however my friends have always been important to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I have tons of new friends, some old as well, two of which I’ve had every since I was 14 years old. This issue bothers me because I feel like the outcast. Did I have children? No. Did I get married? No. Do I still live in my hometown? No. Do I still go back and visit our high school? No. Do I have a desire to go to our class reunion? No. I answer “No” to all of these questions because this is not who I am, it’s never been who I was even way back when. They knew all of these things and they loved me then… What has changed? Hmmm.
Well I could be depressed about the fact that I have accomplished milestone after milestone and they aren’t around to wish me well but bear witness to my victories from afar however dwelling on the past just isn’t my style. Instead I look at them as just more relics of the past. Reminders of who I used to be and what I left behind.