As my high school reunion draws near (it falls on my birthday of all days!), a little nostalgia hit me. I busted out my yearbook from my senior year and flipped through its pages. It was interesting to read what people had signed: there's a sea of keep in touches, take cares, and it was good to know yous--all good natured, but hardly personal statements. Then every once in a while: a gem. Something personal and heartfelt. I got a glimpse of the person I was and how I was perceived then through adult eyes. I regret having taken myself for granted when I was younger. I took stock of the person I was 10 years ago and almost wish I could be her again. Not want for the "freedom" of youth and carefree days (that didn't really exist for me then, anyway) but my attitude, my certainty and self-assuredness that I up until recently have I squandered and lost in adulthood.
The old me: the Esses with one "ess" wasn't concerned with fitting in or being popular. She thrived on being different and made no apologies. She was vocal about her cynicism (and everything else). She dressed funny. A non-conformist, feminist and a (tad) elitist. Highly opinionated and not afraid to let you know what she thought. A little lost but above all: Passionate.
On the edge created by the pages of my yearbook I affectionately wrote my self-imposed nickname, "The Silly Little Goirl". Back then I thought that people should pursue happiness and not dollars, that the end didn't justify the means, that individuality was sacred and conformity was akin to death, to never give in to or trust the "man". Like the wise words of MTV's Daria, my teenage hero, I thought the world was my oyster, I was just too bored to open it.
In my yearbook, I gave my future self advice (it's on the right of the picture above). I wish I revisited this sooner:
I realize now, I wasn't a "Silly Little Girl"--I've been a Silly Little Woman for having had lost my way for so long.
I'm glad to have "met" myself again--there's a lot I can learn about "us". It's good to know that I'm just as stubborn and opinionated as I've always been. And I certainly still look funny.
Of all the generic yearbook sentiments, there's one to take to heart: Never change.
There are qualities in each of us that should be carried with pride and valued, that have never changed. And never should.