Wednesday, February 1, 2012
My Mom decreed me "diffident." My friends called me "creative." My Nana, although she never employed the word "karma," said she hoped God visited upon me in later years that which I dished out to my family.
High school - where insecure teens have the chance to try on different suits of armor to determine which might fit when they join the jousting in "real" life - proved to be a minimal struggle for me. I was good in the "humanities" - English, History, Languages - and I had a handle on the human element, as well.
Not to give myself props, as my cherubs would say, but in high school I made a subconscious decision to shelve my insecurities and embrace the moment. I tended toward the "free spirit" element, but my best friend was captain of the drill team; I wrote poetry and fell in love more than once with Eric Clapton, but dated the son of a Jewish dentist.
Part of the reason, I think, for my teenage comfort level is that no one told me that I was supposed to be "popular." I was, thankfully, clueless on that score. So I spent minimal moments wondering why what one of my buds termed the "Beautiful People" wanted everyone to love them just a little bit more than everyone else.
High school became a smorgasbord for me - of emotions, of experiences, of, essentially, imminent domain. I claimed the space I occupied at any given moment, and was comfortable enough, I guess, to move on to other territory when I felt like it.
High school is, of course, so much better the second time around. Honestly, I'm unsure a lot the time, but as one of my teacher friends likes to say, "You're older, you're wiser. Just don't let the little people know that you're afraid."
I'm in my 18th year of revisiting my "high school experience." I recently extended my tour of duty for another five years. Don't quite know where I'm headed, but I sure am enjoying the ride.