Monday, January 28, 2008

Past Expectations. Present Realizations. Future Predictions.

I found something.
Not something that was lost, but something I once considered valuable. Treasured it enough to make sure I packed it among valuable keepsakes.
I now consider it a porthole to a time in my life where I was full of innocence, dreams, the freshness of youth.

My highschool graduation dreambook. You know of which books I speak, those glossy, plastic obnoxiously colored binders that contain pages entitled "in five years, I see myself" and "by ___age I will be married and have ___children".

When I laid eyes on this book, I almost laughed out loud with glee. Along with the potent smell of the plastic, rushed forth the smell of my high school, the feelings of being a senior and feeling like all the world is at your fingertips. Like a tidal wave, it cascaded over me, flooding me with emotions and memories. Out fell various cards, envelopes and photos from that year.
Where did I see myself in ten years? Finishing med school. (oh, yeah. I remember that dream)
I would be married by 25 and have 3 children. Well, so that didn't quite play out now did it? At least the married part. As for the children I was blessed more than I thought I would be.

Looking through the photos, I found one of the friend I have lost touch with and have been trying to locate for over a year now. She and I had a close friendship back then, planned to live near one another and let our children grow up together, but didn't protect the bond from distance and life choices that carried us far away from one another, little bits at a time, yet more rapidly than we realized and too fast to hold on.
I came across the picture of my first love. The man I was engaged to when I was but a mere 17, naive' and nothing but a child. He was in the Navy and I thought he was the best thing that ever happened to me. But once again, distance changed that, he went his way through the world, we tried to hang on while he was transferred here and there across the country, but it is hard to grow a relationship when you only see one another twice a year. So, that too, fell away.
I saw staring back at me the face of a friend who died two years after graduation. She sacrificed her mind, body, and spirit to those strong forces of evil and before her passing, became a stranger to me despite our decade of friendship.
Lost in the moment now, I plowed through the lists of favorite songs, movie stars, and other superficial, yet *very important* information. Seems strange now, to ask a graduate favorite color, food, place to hang out. But, now through the eyes of a 32 year old, it is for these moments. Moments where we, as adults, get a chance to read about the things we forgot about ourselves. The things that were important to us, and are important to our opportunity to remember and possibly resurrect old dreams and passions.
Holding the tassel and reading the graduation announcement, I felt her. She swept past me, wrapped her arms around me, I could hear her laughter far off in the distance. She is still there, that girl. Her dreams may have evolved, her predictions may have altered, as life tends to have it's own plans and paths of destiny. I see her when i watch my daughters play. I hear her in their little voices, as they chatter and dream about, one day, being big girls.

Reluctantly, I packed my book away in its safe place, probably to remain there for another ten years. Maybe when my children are near the age I was when i wrote it, I will bring it back out and share it. Share the person I was before I was Mommy. Because she is worth getting to know too.


Family Adventure said...

What a powerful post.

I always find it a little unnerving to venture down memory lane. But it's important to look back every now and then. And remind myself of hopes and dreams that sometimes get lost in the day-to-day rush of just 'being', you know?!


InTheFastLane said...

My Jr. English teach had us write a letter to ourselves 10 years later. She would them mail them to us. I had forgotten all about it and it was a surprise when I received it. But, it was amazing how what I had to say was so right on.

ewe are here said...

It is for these moments. Moments where we, as adults, get a chance to read about the things we forgot about ourselves.

It's always interesting to look back and remember, to see what's changed and what's the same, if anything is the same.

I'm sure your children will be delighted to look at your high school history with you when they're older.

Omaha Mama said...

The way you write about your past self is wonderful. Just beautiful.

slouching mom said...

Because she is worth getting to know too.

Yes. You're so right. She is.

blooming desertpea said...

Yes, there are so many stages of oneself and every single one has some fascinating moments which are worth to remember ...

niobe said...

What you say about distance -- distances of time and of place -- is so true.

painted maypole said...

beautiful and poignant

mitzh said...

Those moments are all worth remembering. And knowing a little more about you is truly something.

Karen MEG said...

You captured the dreams and hopes of a young girl so beautifully in this post. I'm sure your children will love to see that part of you.

Christine said...

this post made me so melancholy. i was just looking at my graduation scrapbook and i seemed like such a baby with the world laid at my feet. . .i wish i could go back to talk to her.

Running on empty

Chaotic Joy said...

I didn't like the person I was back then. Even, then I didn't like myself. So like Christine, when I venture down memory lane I want to go back and knock some sense into me. However, it might be helpful for me in my struggles to raise a teenager to remember that I was once just as lost as he is.

This post was really lovely.