Looking Back - High School

1986ish - Me, A neighbor of Tammy's & Tammy in Florida.
Please avert your eyes from my hideous "O-Tay!" tee shirt.

A few months ago husband and I went out for drinks and dinner with with an old high school friend Tammy and her husband. Actually, she and I were best friends in high school. We kept in touch through college and then marriage and babies entered the picture and we drifted. But laughing together at dinner made me remember all the reasons that we used to love to hang together. She's got this awesome throw your head back laugh. A raunchy sense of humor and down to earth outlook. Since then we've gotten our families together for lunch, and are planning to do so again in February and I'm really looking forward to it.

I never thought that I would want to meet or talk with anyone from high school. I remembered it as being a time filled with anxiety and nerves and had no desire to revisit it. I never felt like I quite measured up. Mom was struggling with some deep depression and dad was at the limits of his temper. (Which I suspect, might just be a normal phase of parents with teenagers after having kids of my own.) Just not my favorite time in life.

But hanging out with Tammy made me realize that I was just remembering all the negative stuff. That I actually had a lot of fun. Spring breaks with Tammy and Dee at her dad's house in Florida. Putting on makeup at her house before school started. Meeting husband and all the thrills that went with passing notes to your crush in the hallway. Giggling with my sister in our bunk beds and having family pizza night.

Anxiety really twists perspective. Yeah, there were some bitches in my school. Maybe they are lovely now, but at them time they pretty much sucked. But I let my anxiety make them larger than life. A looming fear pounding in my chest as I rode the bus to school. And now spoiling my fun memories. And I also I think the ADD I recently figured out (I refuse to call it ADHD since I'm the opposite of hyper) added onto the nerves.

I do remember that husband was an anchor for me during that time. He was just an oasis of calm and confidence and being near him somehow made me feel less stressed out. It's still the same really. Our little family is always happier when he's around. And that Tammy and I laughed a lot and that meeting her at our locker between classes was always a lifesaver on some days.

I'm actually not feeling regretful, more reflective. Trying to look back at how it felt when anxiety was pretty much ruling my life. Relieved, that for the most party, she's not kicking my ass all the time now. Just sometimes. And less and less so as I get older I hope.

6 comments:

Memoirgirl said...

I think many of us see our high school years as fraught with anxiety and loserdome while people liked us just fine. I find that to be so for me now that I am reconnecting with people through FB.

Glad to see you are finding the past a nice place to visit.

Lotta said...

Well said Memoirgirl!

chocolate and steel said...

oh man, I'm right there with you. And facebook has sent me into a panic because there are doors I don't want to open. But my cousin always insist that I'm remembering it all wrong. I'm not sure how that is possible but I guess there were good moments.

Lori said...

I ♥ Buckwheat! I still have that shirt!!
It's NOT hideous! :)

angelashupe said...

"Anxiety really twists perspective. Yeah, there were some bitches in my school. Maybe they are lovely now, but at them time they pretty much sucked. But I let my anxiety make them larger than life. A looming fear pounding in my chest as I rode the bus to school."

Yeah, that was me in high school too.

At this point, I don't think high school will ever change. If only we could have realized it really wasn't that bad while we were there! :-)

Kathi D said...

I had anxiety and panic attacks long before I was diagnosed with ADD (no H for me either) and I firmly believe that ADD caused a lot of anxiety, especially when I didn't know what it was.

Having those little voices in the back of my head reminding me of all the things that I should be doing and the things I might be forgetting and the things I'm putting off, well, that's anxiety-producing, isn't it?