A Letter to Myself 20 Years Ago

I recently attended my high school reunion. I debated going as my recollection of high school is that I really didn’t enjoy it. I was awkward (in my opinion) and didn’t have much confidence.

Back then my worries would put me into a teenage emotional tailspin.

  • Will someone else have the same prom dress as me?
  • How come nobody from my own school ever asks me out?
  • What if I get called on in class and I don’t know the answer?
  • What if one of the popular kids talks to me and I say something stupid?

I thought about these worries.

Then I laughed. Out loud.

This is what held me back? A dress, dates, saying something stupid. It seemed so important then, but so trivial now.

A prom dress? Seriously, I’m lucky to get through a day without baby spit-up on my clothes.

And I dated. Did it really matter what school the guy attended? No. I’m happily married now.

Odds are I wouldn’t know all the answers. Wasn’t I attending school to learn? And no one knows everything. And the people that they think they do are SO annoying!

Was I that concerned about what someone who was popular might think of me? Really?! They’re just people.

Why did I spend so much time worrying about what others thought of me? Unless I’m being mean to someone, which I don’t think I’m a mean person, I don’t really care about what others think of me. And I am in love with this new-found attitude!

So I went to my high school reunion with the confidence I lacked in my teen years. I was excited to see friends I hadn’t seen since big hair ruled.

I remembered the fun times I had.

  • Watching movies in a friend’s basement. For some reason, I’m specifically remembering a viewing of Hamlet with Mel Gibson. And I can’t stand Mel Gibson.
  • Driving in a Pinto listening to Inna Gada Davida on 8-track. (This was in the early 90s…long after Pintos, Iron Butterfly, and 8-tracks.)
  • Listening to Pearl Jam and Soundgarden and discussing the talent of Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell. And the potential of becoming Mrs. Cornell. (I’m not Mrs. Cornell, by the way.)
  • Insisting my friends watch “Last of the Mohicans” because Daniel Day-Lewis was a superb actor. (I still stand by this statement.)

(Just noticed I watched a lot of movies and listened to a lot of music!)

  •  Watching the sunset over Lake Michigan while having a Bonfire.
  •  Playing mini-golf several times a week during the summer. (Yet my putting game still sucks.)
  •  Riding my bike to the lake where I would eventually burn my pale skin in the sun. (Now that was just plain dumb! I’ve since embraced my pale skin.)

So maybe it wasn’t all that bad. Maybe I didn’t dislike high school as much as I thought. If I can recall fond memories of events 20 years ago when I can’t even remember what I had for dinner the night before, I must have enjoyed myself.

So to me 20 years ago:

Worrying about things out of your control is a waste of time.

Living in the moment is when memories are created.

Memories of Soundgarden and sunsets.

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