Saturday, March 5, 2016

Big Changes

It seems like I went to school about a million years ago at times. Retirement is a mixed bag. I retired early to take care of family. I saw myself eventually going back to work. I now know, it is not going to happen. Besides, all of my references have or are retiring too.

Around 2000, I taught one child whose mother kept making references to playing basketball for Northside High School which was my Alma mater. When I was in high school, participation in any of the athletics made you popular, big time. But I didn't remember her. Such was my fascination with the basketball team.

My sister who was six years younger remembered her. Her memory is that the woman thought very big of herself back then. It is with a little snicker we had a laugh at her expense. Snobbery does not pay. It had been twenty years but membership on the basketball team apparently carried a lot of clout in adulthood.

I later witnessed the same woman having to eat a large piece of humble pie which was quite humbling to me. Braggadocio often masks a lack or a sheer unknowing that we all have feet of clay. I wanted to dislike her, but I couldn't after that. I knew she had been aggravating in school. A co-worker who had taught her maintained she was much older than me. The fact that I had gone on in school before she started did not stop the image. Beauty certainly is reflected in how people treat you.

Pride can make you do disastrous things to maintain appearances. Pretensions come across as being a phony. We buy items we can ill afford to keep up with the Jones.

What got me on this topic was a blog hop looking for what you would write your teenage self.

It was so long ago but the memory still lingers nearby. Moving back to my hometown, I meet former friends and enemies of my schooldays. I ran into one woman where I exercise. My first thought was to avoid her. We were frienemies in school.  Then I thought, that is silly.

Her mother would hold me as an example of how she would like her to be in junior high. Her mother died when she was a teenager. I always understood the hurt she felt from her mother.

I was the sort of kid that adults loved. If they only knew what a pain in the arse I could be to my own set of parents. I held a job, did chores for my parents, made high grades in school. I talked back to my mother at home. My dad would often talk to me about not aggravating my mother so badly.

I approached my former schoolmate, and she pretended not to recognize me at first. She had done some nasty school girl things to me before life moved us in different directions.  I know the laugh I felt inside had to explode from my eyes. Then the relaxation when she knew I came in peace.

Squabbles that occurred 40 years prior materialized in her mind the same way they were in mine. We weren't those teens anymore. If we could remember specifics, we would have had a good laugh.

What would I go back and tell my teenage self is nothing. Some of the worst things in my life have helped me grow as a person. You just can't really know what you haven't experience.

I had someone tell me I was not a good driver because of my complaint that a car with a manual transmission are bad to roll backwards on a hill when you go from a breaking position to moving forward. Several years later, they called me to move a truck they had allowed someone to park in their driveway. They could not drive a manual.

I feel very lucky to become a senior citizen. So many people did not get the opportunity. To say I have had disappointments in life in an understatement. Those experiences have allowed me to know that I have had a lot of good in my life. I would have never understood that paradox as a teenager.






14 comments:

  1. I don't know why people say high school was the best time of their lives; for many it is the worst 4 years dealing with this and that. It is wise to just put our teenage years into perspective of what they were, a learning time, a time we often made bad decisions but learned from them, and also a time where we probably treated people differently than we would have now at our age. It is good to have the opportunity to make amends or at least be friendly to ones we might have treated poorly in that season of our life. I personally haven't maintained any friendships with people I went to high school with (graduated 1975) but it wasn't because I chose not to, mainly moving around so much even in the best of intentions, people do lose track of each other.

    I think I would tell my teenage self now to not be surprised where life takes you.

    betty

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    1. Growing up are not always the best of times. I enjoyed my high school years and classmates. However, I never expected to meet back up with many. The surprises in life are so true. I never knew I would have some of the opinions I have today.

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  2. Yeah, a lot of crap done in teenage years doesn't mean squat when we get older. But we have to be careful how we act and what we say, as it can come back to bite us.

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    1. Particularly if you run for elected office. lol

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  3. I don't care to talk to my teenage self either. That era is long gone. It's interesting how some people still cling to the past, to their glory days so to speak. Life goes on and it's important to grow with it not live in the past when "things were better."

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    1. So true, moving on is good. Living where I grew up, I encounter some I grew up with. In someways, you feel close to people you barely knew. Rarely, you meet lost in time folks. It is a shame to have your greatest 15 minutes fourty years ago and not possibly tomorrow.

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  4. All that stuff as a teen holds no weight when you reach an adult. Those who cling to it remain in a very small pond.
    As i told Stephanie, the only thing I'd tell my teen self is to hold on to those rock star dreams. And have faith you will find a really amazing and beautiful woman to marry.

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    1. Having been a teacher, I can agree about high school is no guide for measuring your life. But dreams are so true. A big part of your spirit dies when you no longer dream. You are so blessed to have a wonderful wife to travel through life with.

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  5. If I thought I would listen, I'd tell my teen self to forgive faster.
    I think it was Confucius who said "holding a grudge is like taking poison
    and waiting for the other person to die". Such a waste of precious time.

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    1. Diedre, that is so profound. I think that is worthy to tell myself.

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  6. A haughty spirit never served anybody well.
    Now, I pray that I don't forget to walk with humility each day.

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    1. Words to live by. Humility is truly a blessing.

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  7. I'm pretty much in the same way. If I were to tell my teenage self something that I thought to be good advice I'm sure my teenage self wouldn't listen. I know me.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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  8. Very perceptive post, things to contemplate. I probably would go back and tell my teenage self anything because she would be ragging on me for what I let happen to her strong, athletic body! Besides, we both have authority issues!

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