Sunday, October 15, 2006

yearbook

When my parents came to visit a couple weeks ago, they brought a box of my old things, including my high school yearbooks. Flipping through them has put me in a somber state of mind. I'm not exactly sure why.

It's funny that I was always wearing camouflage, because it seemed that I was truly invisible. Now that I think back, I realize it's not true. It is true that I've always had an ability to disappear, but in retrospect it may have been a talent I developed out of need.

In my graduating year I was the president of the Inter-School Christian Fellowship (how far I have fallen) and as such was in charge of leading meetings, performing administrative tasks and attempting to keep people pumped about Jesus, so to speak. Some of you know exactly how suited for the job I am NOT. But you know, even on the pages dedicated to the club, I am hard to find. Always behind someone, or face hidden. The only clue that I am in the shot is a camo-clad arm, or the back of a shaven head. It always seemed like people wanted to put me in front, but I wanted to melt away into the crowd, and for the most part I did. But now as I remember those people in school.... the people I was afraid of, or intimidated by, and I remember their faces as I passed them in hallways, I realize that it was not derision or contempt that I was seeing, it was something.... attentive.

As teenagers go I was probably more self-realized than most, but not so much that I was able to rise above my self consciousness. And what a strange thing, to be a completely different human being, paging through this book full experiences that I couldn't wait to be rid of. I hated high school about as much as I hated anything at the time. My strategy was to drift through like a ghost and materialize on the other side, only a vague memory in anyone's mind, the one whose name escaped recollection.

The reason I bring these things up is because it has something to do with the things we believe, and the way it affects how we live. As a teenager I had a lot of very deep and negative beliefs about myself, rooted in my parents divorce. I truly believed that I didn't matter, that I wasn't just capable of disappearing, but that people WANTED me to disappear. I didn't have any idea about just what I was doing, but I did indeed fade away.

The reality of the situation was that I was not invisible, nor was I meant to be. In fact, I probably had the ability to speak to a lot of the pain and hurt in my fellow students, if only I had seen my own worth. This is how our false beliefs about ourselves rob the people around us.

I'm sure that there are still similar beliefs festering in my insides, but I don't know what they are. But I will tell you one thing, the path of self-realization definitely leads to some hot destinations.

I'm trying to figure out where my brain is at. I can't believe that in just a couple years I'll be due for a 10 year reunion, in the event that they can track me down, and the thought fills me with an old, familiar apprehension. I'll just be the unmarried, childless, dead-end job crazy dog lady with not one published book to her name. "So, what have you been up to the last decade?" "Oh, I've been using all my evenings at home alone to cultivate high-resolution wordy relationships with complete strangers I'll never meet while achieving barely passable mental health."

Beat that.

3 Comments:

Anonymous geo said...

Your mental health is PERFECT! As are you!

Peace
Geo

October 16, 2006 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Blair said...

Wow,
I remeber my 10 year reunion.
When the invitation came, they asked us to send in pictures of our kids-so of course they got one of the pooker. It amazed me how the then narrow minded people are still so, holding down their jobs at the Co-op and us "fringe" folks were the ones who had lives.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

October 16, 2006 7:15 PM  
Blogger doxasky said...

I know I met you a few years after you graduated, and only briefly at that, but through your writing and the one conversation we had you had a pretty big impact on me. That being said, while I'm sure there were untaken opportunities to speak into the lives of certain fellow highschoolers, I am also sure that you had a greater impact in some people's lives than you think.

October 18, 2006 3:12 PM  

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