And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Putting Away Childish Things

I was never a "popular" kid in school. I liked to learn, I followed the rules (for the most part), I was neither pretty nor wealthy, and I had funny ideas. I was a band geek, a drama freak, a nerd. For the most part I had gotten over it. After all, wasn't everyone's school years traumatic in some way or another?

Still, I never quite got over the fantasy that I'm sure most "uncool" kids in school have. You know the one I am talking about. Where you leave school to become a rock star/supermodel/Nobel peace prize winner/rich and famous something-or-other, and then return to your 10 year reunion to rub it in the face of all the girls who snubbed you and boys who wouldn't date you.

I suppose that is pretty normal, right?

Last week, I blew a tire. When I brought the tire in to get fixed, I realised I knew the young man behind the counter. He was the son of the owner, a guy I went to school with. While he never was one to pick on me at school, he did NOT run in the same circles as myself. He was one of the "beautiful people". Needless to say, I was mortified. Here I was: overweight, dressed in my work (read disgusting and stained) clothes, un-showered (I went straight from work), no makeup, with my car that has over 244,000 miles on it and a tire that blew because I drove it to oblivion. That fantasy that had lived in the back of my mind was blown to smithereens.

Then, as I thought about it later, I realised that I had it all wrong. I have done wonderful things since leaving school. I have found a line of work that I am good at and that I love. I am raising two fabulous little girls, and have helped with two more. I have a wonderful husband who loves me, and whom I love. I can provide a safe an loving environment for my family. I am a respectable member of society. I am doing my part to try and lower man's impact on the planet and save it for our children.

I may not have the big house or the fancy car, I may not be famous or beautiful, but I really don't want those things anymore. I want a simpler life. I want to be who I am, and even if I am not at the place in my life where I want to be, I know I am on my way. I can be proud of who I am, where I am, and what I have accomplished.

So I guess I have grown up...just a little.


Wendy said...

I like this post.

I had debated going to my high school reunion a few years ago (won't tell you which reunion ;). I decided not to go, because all of the reasons I wanted to go were external and rather childish. I wanted to impress people. "Look at me! I'm a mom of five. I'm a world traveler! I have a B.A. plus .... I'm a veteran. Look at all I've accomplished!" I wanted them all to be SO impressed. I realized after corresponding back and forth with a few of my classmates that I didn't care if they were impressed with my life. What was important was what I was doing with my life, right here, right now. And that's all :). I didn't go - and ended up having more fun going on a camping trip with a group of friends and my family.

barefoot gardener said...

Thank you.

Kati said...

ye gods.... I can so relate. I just had my 10 year last month. I think that all in all I did enjoy it, but I had to chuckle to myself that some of the drop-outs (2 of them "beautiful jocks") are now the most successful (3 drop-outs now own their own businesses) while the valedictorian & salutatorian are both SAHM's who don't use the educations they spent years getting. I didn't have great grades (because I spent more time reading unrequired books than doing homework) but I was a good kid (who also managed to get prego half-way through senior year & is now married to the father of that baby & that baby is very-nearly 10). I work in a "menial" job that I actually love (most days), picking up after other people in a public area (schlepping books at the largest of our public libraries).

I think it's very ironic the way things turn around on us, after we leave HS.

I'd say go to the reunion. You may be pleasantly suprized. If you don't go, whether you wind up enjoying yourself or not, I think you'll always wonder. And you'll probably be suprised at how much more mature folks are now that they're out in the real world.

It's been great to find your blog.

barefoot gardener said...


Thanks for the encouragement! I know a lot of my problem is living in the same small town I grew up in...too many memories, I guess.

I have been really enjoying your blog, too!