Hey there, awesome readers!
Earlier this week I was at one of my old high schools (yes, “one of”; don’t ask) for a meeting regarding the planning of an upcoming event. All was going well until my collaborators and I discovered a closet full of yearbooks from the past 40+ years or so.
PS. We were not snooping. The closet door had glass panels and the yearbooks were screaming for attention.
Consumed by a sudden sense of melancholy, we poured over those books as though they contained hidden secrets from the past. And in many ways, they did.
Flipping through the pages, we found smiling pictures of our younger selves and best friends – some even still a part of our lives today thanks to both the school’s “sisters forever” spirit so graciously bestowed upon us and, of course, Facebook.
The funny thing about yearbooks is that every picture portrays a smiling, happy time. The vibrancy of our youth always well captured in unassuming poses that forever document an important piece of our personal and tribal histories.
Although yearbooks have a way of releasing long-forgotten feelings of affection – for people, places and eras – they also have the power to unleash a certain kind of sadness.
Maybe the sadness stems from a longing for our own long-ago innocence – before the impact of disappointments and life choices gone awry. And when promises of a world full of oysters still contained their cryptic magic.
As we carefully turned the pages, the ghosts (usually so quiet in the darkest corners of our brains) whispered snippets of the past into our mind’s eye:
- Fervent conversations about boys in the lunch room.
- Walking two by two in the hallways while giggling over a secret.
- And even vague memories of how we saw the world back then.
You remember your closest friends best but you also remember the quiet, shy girl that sat in front of you in math class; the one you barely remember knowing except for her repeated stream of high grades. And the oh-so popular girls that dominated the school with their confidence and pretty hair. Your opinion of each and every one of them driven by the experiences that make up a part of your very essence.
And then an odd sense of depth and profundity overwhelms your judgement as you look into the aged pictures of their youthful faces and realize that a bridge houses a lifetime between the girls you once knew and the strangers they’ve become.
And you wonder if they remember you . . .