Genie, Genie, Genie, don’t make me write about high school. Please. I’m so conflicted about this month’s “Living Out Loud” theme. So much so that I’ve put off until less than two hours before the deadline to start. What’s the topic? I’ll quote our blog co-op mistress directly,
“Tell us about your high school self. In the Breakfast Club version of your school were you the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess or the criminal? Are there people you would love to find from high school? Others you’d love to forget? How do you compare to what you were then? Would your English teacher recognize you? Would he or she be proud of you?”
Here’s my response: No. All of the above. Yes. No. Not sure. Yes. Yes.
There. Am I done?
I could skip participating this month but, in case you haven’t noticed, lately my only blogging has been to share in the “Living Out Loud” project. For that, Genie, I’m so grateful. My biggest goal in life is to write more often, whether I’m afraid of a topic or not. Having a deadline and an assignment is a gift.
Perhaps one place to begin is to ask myself why this topic instills fear in me. For starters, there’s the accountability factor. Most people I remember from high school are my Facebook friends. We associate online now regularly. They remember things about me I’ve long forgotten. If I remember myself one way and I’m hugely off base (a) do I want to even know and (b) how embarrassing. Then there’s the privacy factor. I remember things about my classmates that I have no business writing about publicly. Sure, the post is supposed to be about me, but I wasn’t howling at the moon running from cops at midnight ALONE.
The thing about me and my high school years is that I messed up. It was an age-appropriate time to do so, sure. But I thought I had everything under control. And the whole time, I was laying the ground work for a nervous breakdown. I don’t discuss the details publicly because I don’t want to give the impression of condoning my mistakes to the young people in my life. It’s complicated because I’m not the parent of any of these teens. I’m a mentor. An Aunt. A Godmother. It’s not my place to determine what topics of conversation are appropriate….so I try to keep quiet.
This is what “fiction” is for.
But Genie asks, “Tell us about your high school self….” Sigh. Only one hour left before the deadline. All right. I’ll try.