Things I remember...
The past month has brought on a lot of introspect on my life in general. As I write this article, the graduation/end of school season is in full swing... It's a shock to my system to realize that the passing of this graduation marks a whole year since I went through the very same process.
On the other hand... was it really only a year?
A year ago I was still trying to hang on to a boyfriend who really didn't love me. I was surrounded with several people whose friendships did not prove to be worth my time since. I was very insecure, having no idea what to expect or where to go next.
What did I do with all the time since? And when did things back home get so unimportant? I know I have changed a lot and become much more secure in who I am and what I am doing, but how did that happen? Well, I really don't remember...
In fact, I really don't remember a lot of things that I probably should. I hear people say that graduation, for example, is the most important time of your life, and relatives who say they remember every minute of it. Well, I don't. If someone asked me who spoke at my graduation, I could give you my best guess, but I really have no idea what he or she said. I even played piano to accompany one of my friends who sang, but without digging out the CD to find the song title, I don't really remember that either. The only thing I do remember is four of my best friends screaming for me when my name was called, which started a trend among most of the seniors behind me and shocked the school board members standing there to shake my hand. Later that night, I remember driving to my college orientation and crying over some really lame song on Delilah.
I remember a lot of silly, quirky things like that through my life in the past year. Like one day when I decided (in mid-February, mind you) to show my boyfriend our family cottage in the woods outside of a nearby state forest. Almost needless to say, we got my car stuck hopelessly in the snow and had to call my grandparents to come and help get us out. I started to cry (as I sometimes do a lot of...) but my boyfriend was wonderful about it. We walked around some of the grounds and I showed him my childhood tree house. It turned out to be a wonderful afternoon, even though doing something as stupid as driving a car through about 9 inches of snow is an experience many would like to forget...
I remember a time I went to McDonalds with my cousin and I spilled my drink while carrying my tray to the table-not just once, but twice. I remember trying to use my mother's make-up to cover my very first hickey back in 10th grade (from a boy, no less). And, I will never forget the night my friend Monica got her fake nose ring stuck while we were at a local restaurant. We all laughed quite literally until we cried. I remember something as dull as stopping at a rest stop late at night with friends can be one of the most fun experiences you can have! (And I still have the pictures to prove it)
As I remember all of these silly things that happened in the most mundane of circumstances, I realize that I remember them because those really are the things most important. Most people have a graduation, go to McDonalds, and have car trouble... I've learned that the things that make our lives unique-the crazy or even odd ones-are the things that we often would love to forget, but are also the best memories to keep. The things out of the ordinary are the things that make our lives real, and the things that can teach us a real lesson.
This isn't to say that graduation isn't important, as any life changing event is going to hold some significance. But, we tend to focus on creating some perfect moment we will always remember, when in reality, the crazy, spontaneous moments that we aren't expecting are what will go down in history. Like last summer, while I was on vacation at the beach, I met a really great boy. One night, we ran down the beach alone after ditching his and my cousins (we were both there with extended family), I guess trying to recreate that special "beach moment" you see in movies. We of course then threw our arms around each other and began making out, which turned out to be very awkward, and it was really hard to breathe since we had both been running so fast. We backed up and laughed a little at the whole thing, then just held each other and laughed some more... Then we went back to the boardwalk and carried on with our business...
I don't remember that experience for its passion; I remember it for its realism and clumsiness. I learned that a first kiss really shouldn't be after running a long distance!
Even though beach boy and I never really had a relationship (I guess you could call it a fling, or something along those lines) it is something that I won't ever forget. In fact, a picture of us is still on my dresser, even though I now have a wonderful, beautiful new boyfriend. Even so, that is no reason to forget an exciting experience that happened in the past. It turns out that that attempted beautiful, passionate moment turned out to be a little silly, but a life defining moment nonetheless. We both learned a lot that week-not sexually or anything like that, but just about living in general. I got an email from beach boy recently saying how much he thanked me for being there for him on that vacation and how it really helped him be receptive to love and life in general. He now also has a wonderful boyfriend and told me it would never have been possible had he not met me.
So, my challenge to you for this month, is not only to "cherish every moment"-as I seem to have heard a lot of in the past season-but to be a little spontaneous. So much of the time we look forward to the really big things in life and don't just stop and enjoy things. Remember those silly things that you may wish to forget sometimes. Those are the moments that will keep you warm at night!
There are also some things that I hope I have the opportunity to remember soon. I hope I have fond memories of coming out to my parents (something I totally am going to do this summer!). I hope I get to remember my mom telling me she knew all along anyway and that she has been waiting for me to tell her so we could check out guys together or something like that. More on that next time though.
By the way, my personal life the past month has been pretty boring... just working and going to class... So, that's why I'm not writing anything about that... Also by the time you read this, I will have spent a week at the beach, so look for stuff on that next month!
Rob is a sophomore music education major attending Clarion University. You can send replies/ responses/ whatever to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can see his web page at http://www.geocities.com/zekefreke and you could reach him on IM at cuchoirboy. Ciao!