Twenty years ago I graduated High School.
Crap. I’m old!
It probably is not early onset Alzheimer’s at work, however, I don’t remember high school with the same kind of cliche’d fondness and cinematographic clarity that comes to past for most. I realized this as my own class of twenty years ago reflected on our years together through social media.
“Just sitting back trying to recapture, a little of the glory of, well time slips away, and leaves you with nothing mister but boring stories of glory days” – Bruce Springsteen
You know when my glory days are?
Still ahead of me … I haven’t done the most awesome things I’m going to do yet.
That’s not to say I haven’t done a lot since the commencement of my teen-aged rebellion and have many fond memories of the things I did, achieved and experienced. However, I’m not bound to them, or even defined by them.
It feels disheartening to know there are people who’s high point in life was the apex of their high school (or undergraduate collegiate) years. That’s a long time to be riding down the other side of the hill of life.
I’m sure there are some who will quickly quip in return it is because I wasn’t cool enough back in the day. They look back and remember the glory days because they commanded the attention, admiration and respect of their fellow classmates vaulting them to the social stratosphere and providing them with ample reason to review that time in their life as bountiful. Meanwhile, I was just another kid wandering the halls and never transcended into the immortal hipness of the “real” high school experience. Therefore since my time there “sucked,” my memory of it is thus repressed and that’s why I don’t have the glory day’s mentality.
The rose colored glasses they look back with it through hide the imperfections too, I’m sure. There are plenty of great high school (or undergraduate collegiate) memories for me. I cherish those, as well as the handful of friendships I maintained from that time in my life over the last quarter century.
Am I selectively remembering high school? Absolutely. I’ve made so many memories since I have not choice by to limit what I focus on. It’s not like I have an Eidetic Memory or anything.
Perhaps this is more about perspective than anything else. I choose to live in the present and look forward to the future thus causing me to find new, interesting, personally innovative initiatives and thus always creating new memories rather than dwelling on the old ones. I chose not to make the peak of my life’s living be that of high school (or undergraduate collegiate) life, but to continue to climb the proverbial hill.
Thus, were we began: My glory days are still ahead of my and I am glad to have this perspective. It keeps me guessing what I will do next? What will I experience that will be even better than the stories I’ve already accumulated? Topping some of them is going to be rather difficult, truth be told. However, this isn’t about the most extreme or unusual experience as much as it is the most impressionable. And, sometimes the strongest, longest lasting, my endearing impressions are made from the little things and not the over-amplified, puffed-out chest stuff.
There should be more to life than a four year segment of pubescent (or post-pubescent) reminiscences. Then again, there should be more to education than the four year segment of high school (or college) too and yet we know the reality for the majority of people in regards to that too.
Could I dwell in the past, enjoying what once was? Yes, but I don’t long for it’s return. It seems hollow and unfulfilling to pour over images in my head while my physical being is left, without simulation, sans stasis. It is in the action, not in the afterthought that I want to live. Nothing satisfies me more than the opportunity to continue to challenge myself and create new though evoking stories out of my daily life.
The kind of stories I strive for are ones that resonate with anyone… they are the kind everyone can appreciate, not just a small segment of humans I previously had interaction with in creating such a memory. I want to be able to tell my children (or grandchildren if I’m so fortunate), nieces and nephews and whomever else carries the family legacy I lived a fulfilling life that didn’t end with a diploma, moreso I want them to experience me still living that life and recognizing my glory days are the ones happening then, and still to come rather than some distant, faint memory of barely recognizable stories from before the age of cell phones, hybrid cars and self-checkouts.
I am glad I have those memories. I’m even happier I’m still making new ones… which means, time to wrap this up and get out there to do things!