As I mentioned yesterday, I will be attending my fifteenth high school reunion tonight. The proximity of this event has me thinking about something:
Who was I fifteen years ago?
I was rounder, and more selfish. Obsessed with A's and other accolades. Fond of late nights and the banter they brought. A shred entitled. More than a shred spoiled. I was innocent, naive, as yet untouched by the oft-brutal fist of Life. No one close to me had died. No one had hurt me. My heart had not yet been broken. Existential bruises were not yet there shimmering on my white skin. I had not yet lived. Not much at least. But, man oh man, was I eager to.
Fifteen years ago, I was months shy of attending Yale. I imagined myself there, swaddled in ivy. I pictured a profound transformation - of self, of soul, of psyche. I envisioned new faces, interesting and pretty, faces with eyes for seeing and studying, lips for whispering wisdom and kissing. I anticipated a patchwork of stories - of true words knit between bright beginnings and happy endings. Because the endings, I imagined, would always be happy.
Fifteen years ago, I wore a blue and green striped dress for graduation. Looking back, that dress was tacky and terrible, but at the time I loved it - the boldness of those robust horizontal lines, the happy hues. Isn't this what happens though? We look back with wonder, with judgment, with curiosity, and think: Was that really me?
And it was. It was me. Me then. And now I can't help but think:
Who will I be in fifteen years?
Will I still be here on this blog weaving words about life and love? Will I still be here in this exquisite and maddening metropolis? Will I still be here in this glorious green pasture of raising girls? And will I look back - at who I am now on this June day of 2011 and have a hard time believing this is me?
On Twitter yesterday, I wrote: Who were you fifteen years ago? Me: a naive, optimistic, foolishly confident HS senior.
And I got the following responses (that I adore):
@jkhoey: naive, optimistic, foolishly ambitious recently-divorced attorney in Toronto.
@lemead: A beer-bloated college graduate with big dreams, long hair, my first business card, and an apartment in Beacon Hill.
@cnoepagan: Me too, exactly. RT @ADonnRowley: Who were you fifteen years ago? Me: a naive, optimistic, foolishly confident HS senior.
@HeatheroftheEO: 15 yrs ago I had a Dr Pepper on my 21st birthday. I hadn't thought about that in YEARS. :)
@EloiseBates: A nervous 14yo starting my first job, never dreaming of the confidence & knowledge I would gain in the next 8 years there.
@mrspop007: 15 years ago, I was doing very little, hanging out for the summer until my first teaching job began. In other words, I was a very lazy person.
@kebmurphy: ambitious idealistic social butterfly in teeny brownstone on W 75th about to start Columbia J School to become famous writer
Who were you fifteen years ago? Come on, this should be fun! Are you the person now that you would have predicted fifteen years ago? Who do you think you'll be fifteen years from now?