I am currently home for the holidays and seeing a lot of people I grew up with. The other day I was at the mall buying presents (shhh….) and saw a girl I went to high school with and her boyfriend. She said she had seen me on TV and when I was on she and two girls she was friends with that I knew from high school had a party to celebrate. There was not a lot of beer guzzling because she was pregnant however there was a lot of food. I had to laugh. It was only ten years ago we were juniors at Bethel Park. Now she had a child and the other two girls were gainfully employed as hairdressers. One is always blonde, the other changes her hair color every week. I remember them both when they were just brunettes.
Another girl I came across was involved in theatre with me in high school. She was the lead in all the plays. A few years older than me I looked up to her and hope she is still acting somewhere. She is an instructor and trainer at the Apple Store which means she is still using the gifts she was given to entertain in some fashion. She’s married too.
Then again my brother is married. My brother who graduated third in his class, went to Brown and held all the school weight lifting records. Yes my brother who when a female crushee called the house replied, “What do you want!” It was as if he were Thor and this commoner had scaled to Vahalla uninvited. Now he is married and he is like a Teddy Bear when it comes to his wife. Now it’s, “Yes little bit.”
Of course then a lot of my classmates are married and are having children which frightens me. I am not ready for the idea of children yet. There is no husband let alone a man who doesn’t have a probation officer on the horizon. If I were to have a kid I would have a nurse follow it by, “Okay, here are your options.”
But some of my classmates are on their third kid. Some of their kids are even going to Lincoln, the place I went to school! Ahhh!
Then again I guess we all grow up. My sister is in her third year of medical school. She has just finished country medicine and is now going to deliver babies. My cousin who is a nurse hated it. She said all people did is scream at them. Well to my sister and cousin, it is a friendly reminder that you are the one who has to do all the hard work and men are simply sperm donors who can flash the photo of the tike or walk away at any time. But it was just yesterday my sister was tagging along with me, running cross country and my cousin was talking about her clique the Octogons….
The other day I went to visit my old orthodontist and there was a girl across the hall brushing her teeth. She complained about how she hated it. She might have been only thirteen at most. I asked her if she was doing the rubber bands and she said not yet but they were coming. I remembered the braces, the awkwardness and how food always got trapped. However when I was done I also had a good set of teeth. I remembered being so self-conscious being my thirteen year old self and encountering other thirteen year old selves that were nothing but mean, bitchy girls who grew up into mean, bitchy women. I told his youngin it was going to be okay. Part of me wanted to give her a hug but she was a stranger and don’t touch strangers they may carry knives even in the suburbs.
I also remembered my dreams from that part of my life. I wanted to move to New York, perform with my puppets, write books, be famous.
Part of me started to feel like a failure. Not famous yet. But I am getting there one TV appearance at a time. However I still have to buy a TV. But maybe the TV appearance is coming up where I can afford one. I am on my way to publishing my book one step at a time. I am hosting my own talk show. As I said I have been on TV a number of times, met famous people, but am still hunting for the big break. In this ever mazed world as I don’t know what is next for me I know I am doing what I always set out to do. And no one from my high school has ever opened for Aretha Franklin.
The crazy thing now is that I am on YouNow and I interface with that age group all the time. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised by how informed they are. At the same time, they are very sensitive. Sometimes it makes me laugh about how they are sensitive and I don’t understand. On the other hand I remember being that sensitive and everything being a soap opera level drama from best friend dissing to boys. That’s when I become a Mother Hen and inform them that it’s not that serious.
On the other hand, it is wonderful when these kids open up to me not only about what’s going on in their world but about their goals in life. One of my little poppyseeds shared he got accepted to uni and was excited. I remember when I got accepted to the college of my choice how excited I was and how it felt the world belonged to me. Another designs websites and showed me some of his work which was extraordinary. Others have shown me their drawings or played me music they have written and recorded. I remember how important my work was to me then and still is. I also remember how wonderful it was when an adult listened and took a look.
Crazy thing is, although these kids are halfway around the world I remember their American high school counterparts. And I see some of myself in them. On the other hand as an adult I feel somewhat jaded and hardened by the world. These kids sort of melt that ice block assuring me that yes, it is okay to dream and lead with your heart.
Perhaps, although clouded with hormones, this is teenage wisdom that we all sort of chuck aside for adult stupidity. Love April