|My high school graduation! Do I look the same?|
I don't hate my memories from high school (there are definitely many fond ones), but there are many memories that, as a young adult, I wish I could hide in a box with a lock. We do some ridiculous things in those years when many of us are searching for an identity.
Don't you remember that time? You wanted to be like something. Everyone was categorized and typecasted to make it easier to become that role. Some people changed their identities overnight; some even changed their entire circle of friends just as fast.
I was probably a pretty typical upper middle class high school teenage girl.
I remember wanting so badly to be pretty and to be skinny. I experimented with skipping meals, playing with the fire of anorexia. I wanted to be attractive to boys.
I remember wanting to be as smart as all of my friends.
I remember wanting to be as musically talented as my friends.
I remember wishing someone would notice me like they seemed to notice everyone else.
I remember wanting to be a writer and hoping that something I wrote would impress someone. And I remember clinging to that identity of a writer.
I also remember not knowing what I wanted.
As much as I wish I could have told my younger self to just stop with the pretending and to embrace the person who I was, I also know that those years of searching and wanting inconsequential things helped me to find who I wanted to become. Because who really knows who they are in those adolescent years anyway?
Your history is important, even if you regret it, even if you are ashamed of it. Those steps we take in preparation for adulthood and "the real world" (whatever that is) help to shape us into who we are but at the same time, cannot dictate our future. However, they do leave a mark, whatever that may be, and we have the choice of how to react. That's why I find it ever more increasingly important to acknowledge everyone has a past, even ourselves.
Soli Deo Gloria.