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Monday, October 17, 2005

You can't go home

I communed with my high-school self this weekend when I was in Tyler (home). It was Saturday night and I was driving by myself down Broadway listening to the radio turned up loud (except I was driving a Ford minivan with a waterdeep sticker instead of a Ford Tempo with shoe polish on the windows). I remembered who I was then; learning to drive, working at the mall, making midnight Taco Bell runs with my friends, laughing till our sides ached. For a moment I was almost that person again, carefree with no responsibilities. Then, as the song ended, that feeling was gone, and I felt very keenly the distance between then and now -- emotional, intellectual, experiential, spiritual. It's been almost nine years since I graduated from high school. It's so hard to believe it's been that long. Those older than me are rolling their eyes, but nine years is more than a third of my life!

There's a movie (maybe Dazed and Confused?) where a high-schooler says something like, "If I ever say these were the best years of my life, shoot me!" I can't help but wonder how those couldn't be the best years of your life. No responsibilities, no bills, no (serious) worries, no regrets, wide-eyed and bold. I won't have times like that again, where I can go and do and laugh (and laugh) till all hours of the morning, then sleep till 2 in the afternoon and do it all over again. I had a great time! And it was so short. Maybe it's because I became a wife and mother so young, and didn't really have the college experience, but I miss that time. I don't want to be seventeen again, and I wouldn't trade my husband and kids, or my current life, for anything. There's just a twinge of sadness that comes over me when I remember, and it makes the adage feel very true.

3 comments:

Sealka said...

Something about eras gone by makes me sad...

I felt that way after visiting Abilene this past weekend. I know I'll feel that way years later when I visit the house I grew up in.

Mary said...

Calling up nostalgia and emotions almost forgotten are what car radios are for, in my opinion.

Tangentially (?), I miss laughing until my sides ache. It's been a long time. I don't think that should be confined to high school, or college, or youth, so how come we don't laugh like we used to?

Angela said...

I don't quite know what to say to this. Even though you and I ended up on completely different roads, I still think of highschool as an amazing period in my life. I too would like to revisit it, occasionally. Especially, when I'm in Tyler and/or picking up the kids from school.
Maybe nine years from now, you will view this period with your children as the best years of your life. (Especially since two of them will be teenagers!! LOL!)