always leads me to deep thought. And luckily, nearly 9 hours of not-too-long and not-so-winding road this weekend was plenty to allow for quite a number of meanderings and musings.
I thought about the past --- mostly trying to answer the question: "If I could go back and say something to my 14-year-old self (when I was a freshman), what would I say?" Well, first would be to lighten the hell up! Next would be to lighten the hell up! And then to lighten the hell up! Yes, I was Miss Serious, where my world revolved around my studies and extracurricular activities. Think Tracy Flick from Election, only I didn't sleep with any of my teachers. In the years hence, all that activity amounted to jackcrap; it looked good on my college application, and that's as far as it went. I haven't done a damn thing with the 5 math credits I struggled to earn (and believe me, I might have been in AP math but it was a mountain to climb). I loved literature with all my heart, but I don't purposely dissect stories or poetry anymore. The graphic design skills I used on yearbook staff are the ONLY thing I did in high school that has remotely carried over to my adult life.
Then again ..... I think I wouldn't go back at all, even given the opportunity. You know -- that whole space-time continuum thing Doc Brown warned about. If I changed even one thing, it would disrupt my life in the present, and quite possibly in a way that I wouldn't enjoy. So best to leave things as they are and enjoy the valuable lessons learned, especially those learned the hard way.
All that being said, it reminds me that within a year, they'll be planning the 20-Year Reunion. Oh God, please, in Your great mercy, make sure it's a good one. No lame-o stuff, or I will develop a bad case of anal glaucoma -- meaning I can't see my @$$ going to it. I know You understand where I'm coming from......
I also did some thinking about some things from my adult life. In particular, I thought about two important events of my adult life that changed my whole perception of life itself.
The first situation was when someone ripped out my heart and walked all over it. I have come to realize that I share in the blame of the first situation .... but not for the reasons originally given to me by the Heartwalker. No, my share of the blame was there from the onset. It came from not being true to myself, and for stifling the me that I had discovered and grown to love in my college days. I sacrificed that wonderful person for someone who never would have appreciated or even understood her. It has taken some time, but I have forgiven myself for that.
Most importantly, that event taught me to say "never again!" When I was betrayed by another supposed friend, I was able to stand up and declare "NO! I said never again, and I mean it!" I could not have survived the second without having survived and thrived after the first incident. I had to rebuild my entire life, my whole foundation of who I was, what I thought, what I held to be real and true, and what could be discarded. As a result, I have come to know myself again and love myself much more than I ever dreamed.
Both incidents -- horrible as they were at the time -- have served to make me even more resilient. They have made me more open-minded and open-hearted than I would have ever dreamed. I think of it as giving up the trinkets that you are clinging desperately to -- so that God/the Universe/whatever can give you real treasure far more abundant than you could ever imagine. I am absolutely astounded when I think of all the laughter, love and life I have experienced and shared in all the past few years, that I would have missed out on had things turned out the way I thought they should have.
Sometimes I really do thank God for unanswered prayers.....