Seventeen and Thirty-Seven

Inspiration:  If It Makes You Happy – Sheryl Crow

Thirty-seven has a  way of forgetting what seventeen feels like.  Especially when seventeen shows up and bludgeons you right between the eyes.  Thirty-seven has a way of looking at seventeen and asking  “what the fuck were you thinking?”    At times, this can mean  just about anything from questionable fashion choices to choices that impact and, perhaps, change the outcomes of the rest of our lives.   I will be the first person to admit I did stupid shit.  At seventeen I had big dreams but was so ill prepared to meet those challenges that I chuckle now.     So seventeen smacked me upside the head tonight in the form of this photo:  (Sandra’s note:  If anyone that did not know me when I was seventeen can find me in this photo, brownie points to you.)

Senior Class Photo 1997

I no longer really keep up with the people I sat near in those days.  I naively thought they would be the kind of friends that would be around forever.   I could not have been more wrong.  I lost track of everyone.  The person I was then and the one I am now are very different people.     In a way,  I think that is how it was supposed to happen for me.  I do not mean to say my growing process was different or more difficult than anyone else’s.  Everyone’s journey is different.

I was a kid then.  A kid who could not be certain what she wanted.   A kid who was always afraid to say what she really felt because she did not trust herself.  A kid who tried too hard to make everyone else happy and tried too little to figure out what made her happy.  The kid I was probably could not have imagined me now and that’s okay.  That growing up,  I think,  started my senior year but did not really gain traction until my early twenties.  Having children forces you to grow beyond yourself.  At least, I think it should.  The girl I was could not understand that disappointment is a natural part of living,  so is failure.    That girl had not yet learned to pick herself up from those things.    She learned the hard way, to be honest.

That girl expected it all to be sunshine and roses.  I just smile at her now because I see her so often in my daughter.     I see her uncertainty.  I see her willingness to hide in her sarcasm rather than tell anyone what she really thinks and feels.   I see her struggle “not to hurt anyone’s feelings”  and hear her regret when she says things she “didn’t mean to” because she just couldn’t take it anymore and exploded.  Yeah,  I know that kid.

I  am not at all ashamed of the girl I was.   The girl I was,  in a way, makes me the woman I am.  The woman is wiser.  The woman rushes less, thinks more.   She trusts less,  analyzes more.   At times, she analyzes too much but hey,  I am only human.  So, it was hardly my intention when I wrote this to turn it into a depressing diatribe about the past.  I just find the whole thing amusing and sad at once because, in hindsight, I see wasted and missed opportunities.   When I look at it that way,  I look at my husband and think,  “Okay, maybe not wasted,  those misses had purpose and brought me here. I wouldn’t trade here for anything.”

So, to end on a higher note.  I looked up the top 100 songs of 1997.  I graduated the summer of ’97.   I look at this list and cringe a little because I am painfully reminded that popular is not always good. This chart is according to Billboard music.    So be honest readers, did any of you jam out to any of the following top twenty songs:

1 Elton John Candle In The Wind 1997 / Something About The Way You Look Tonight
2 Jewel Foolish Games / You Were Meant For Me
3 Puff Daddy and Faith Evans I’ll Be Missing You
4 Toni Braxton Un-Break My Heart
5 Puff Daddy Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down
6 R. Kelly I Believe I Can Fly
7 En Vogue Don’t Let Go (Love)
8 Mark Morrison Return Of The Mack
9 LeAnn Rimes How Do I Live
10 Spice Girls Wannabe
11 Backstreet Boys Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
12 Hanson MMMBop
13 Monica For You I Will
14 Usher You Make Me Wanna…
15 Meredith Brooks Bitch
16 Keith Sweat Nobody
17 Third Eye Blind Semi-Charmed Life
18 Duncan Sheik Barely Breathing
19 Az Yet feat. Peter Cetera Hard To Say I’m Sorry
20 Notorious B.I.G. Mo Money Mo Problems

 

I have to admit I rocked out to Meredith Brooks and still do at times.   I still love Semi-Charmed Life,  Foolish Games, and  Don’t Let Go.   Did anyone else do the Macarena at senior homecoming? For the record, I still don’t dance.  What are some of your favorite 90s tunes?    This is just a snapshot  of a year in my life.  What does your snapshot look like?

 

 

 

 

 

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