One of my favorite things about Facebook is the opportunity to “friend” and catch up with those who were significant during the most influential part of my life: junior high and high school. It is crazy to think how quickly life has passed – I am dumbfounded when I contemplate how long ago that “time” was and how much has happened to me during my journey here, to the present. Attending reunions, grabbing dinners, sharing pics and stories, and messages of good cheer, sympathy, or congrats from long-time friends often line my social media walls and for that, I am grateful.
Remembering My Youth
In a flash of memory, I am an adolescent again and walking home from junior high. If I close my eyes, I can even hear Steve Ruiz and Doug Peterson yell out to me as I walked on the opposite side of the street from them, “Hey Rayanne, did anyone tell you that you were a Surfer’s Dream?” I tried to ignore them, honestly, I tried – every day. I heard that one for a couple years… Apparently, I was a Pirate’s Dream, too - complete with a “sunken chest.” I was twelve, I was thirteen, and even so, my self esteem was crushed by one too many careless comments. And like so many others, I kept it all in. But I cried when I was alone. Awww…, the cruelty of adolescence.
Our Youth is Never Really Laid to Rest
My mom’s career was as an Activities Director in Nursing Homes. She often shared with as many as would listen that as people age, there comes a point when they long or ache for their youth, they think about siblings and close friends, parents and grandparents, and they even remember things they had long forgotten and yearn to share stories and memories from their youth. There comes an age when your mortality is real, when one’s life becomes perceptibly shorter. That is the age when forgotten tales become crystal clear – we were once young, smart, and beautiful – “let me tell you what it was like…”
The Awkward Years
Today, I thank those friends often and hug them when I can. And I am happy to remember being thirteen and those awkward years that followed. It is easy to let the past get in the way of the present, if you let it. Whenever I feel that ugly purple puberty monster rear its hateful head – even today, I am now able to push it back to the cave to where it’s been banished thirty plus years. That monster can’t handle my new attitude and self-igniting thrust toward a good life anyway.
A Lifelong Fight
Getting Past the Past is one of the most difficult tasks we could ever hope to accomplish in life. Some people never do. I am guessing it may even be a lifelong fight for me, myself, and I – even though I don’t want it to be. Every step forward takes me further away from dreadful walks home from school, PE locker rooms, and heartbreaking crushes. Somehow, those few years stay with us more than others. We can look back at these battles and still learn life lessons by remembering our thirteen to seventeen year-old self and maybe even close a few yearbooks for good.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” - Soren Kirkegaard
by Rayanne Thorn