If the person I am today somehow went back in time and hung out with me in high school…I don’t think we’d be friends. Obviously everyone changes over time; maybe you’re taller, different hair color, different friends, different goals…I just didn’t think I would be so fundamentally different in just a few years.
Here are some things I cared way too much about in High School:
- What I wore (or outfit repeating)– In the beginning of high school I cared so much about what I wore, what brand, and how many times everyone saw me in a particular outfit.
- Now? If it’s clean and it fits…It’ll do, I’m late.
- Drill Team-I was on my school’s drill team (dance/kick line) and I took it way too seriously. Why was I so stressed out about who should be cut because they didn’t know the routine well enough, if the routine was cool enough, if we all did it perfectly in sync, if our kicks were high enough, who was invited to get ready together, was everyone’s hair uniform?…etc. etc. You would think we were the Rockettes and our dancing careers were over if we missed a count.
- Now? I would look at that girl I was and say “Wow Abby, it must be nice that you have something fun to be involved in and to look forward to. How cool that you have a team who is also full of all your friends. You know it’s only the parents of the other kids you go to school with watching the performance right?”
- Having an “I Don’t Care” Attitude- I have no idea what the reason was behind this one…but I had this persona in high school who was uncomfortable with displaying emotion with my friends. In no way was I emotionless (ask my family), but I have high school friends who will tell you they’ve never seen me cry or that I didn’t care about x or y…that I would be uncomfortable if they said something sentimental to me or even if they hugged me too long. Again, I don’t know what the “thick-skin-I-don’t-care-about-anything” facade was about because I do care, I care a lot…about a lot of things. I cared if you had something funny to say about me, it hurt my feelings just like it would hurt anyone else’s feelings. I did care about the friends that I lost or fought with in high school, no matter how much I acted like you didn’t affect me. I always cared about my friends, even though for some reason it was too uncomfortable for me to hug you and tell you regularly that I was grateful for you and happy that we were friends.
- Now? Careful what you say to me because I’m fragile, comfortable with my emotions, and I might cry (happy, sad, or angry). I care, I’ve always cared…but now I don’t care if showing my emotions makes me look weak or embarrassing or whatever I used to think. If you knew me in high school, you might not recognize me now. Show me a wedding proposal video? I’ll cry. Hurt my feelings? I won’t laugh it off, I’ll obsess for days over why you don’t care about my feelings. If I miss you or appreciate you, you’ll know because I have no problem telling you. That girl who “didn’t care” or was “cold”, yeah…me and her wouldn’t be friends today.
- Plans– I cared too much about being included and involved in plans my friends made. If it was unreasonable or even a bad idea but all my friends were gonna be there? I was going. If it was just another summer day at the pool, I’d go even if I hadn’t been home in a few days. The problem at the time? My parents were stricter than a lot of my friend’s parents. The responses I got from my parents were frequently: “No, it’s a school night”, “No, curfew is 10:00”, “No, you didn’t clean your room this morning.”, “No, you have things to do at home”,”No, you haven’t been home all weekend”… and so on and so forth. I usually didn’t accept no as an answer right away, at times I would argue until I got myself in trouble or I would throw a tantrum…also getting myself in trouble. I always thought I was going to miss out on something I guess.
- Now? First of all, I don’t live with my parents so I don’t ask permission to make plans anymore…but sometimes I wish I could say, “Sorry, my mom said no. I didn’t clean my room this morning.” That’s a better excuse than, “No, I can’t hang out tonight. Because of who I am as a person, I’d just rather spend time with my cat.” Of course I like to hang out with friends, I’m not the Grinch, but it doesn’t bother me if everyone is hanging out without me now and then. I need my personal time, people can be exhausting and there are times I would rather watch the Great Gatsby for the millionth time than socialize. Sue me.
- Maroon 5
- …I still care a lot about Maroon 5, we’d still have that in common.
And a few more notes I would give my past self if I could go back in time and talk for a minute:
First of all, chill out.
Stop trying to box dye your hair blonde, it never works out. Forgiving doesn’t always mean keeping someone in your life, stop giving 4th and 5th chances to people who walk all over you. Your boss may want you to work downtown the day of the Cavs Championship Parade, do not go..I repeat, do not go. During finals week in the fall of 2015 you are going to fall asleep on the couch watching Walking Dead, please set your alarm for the 8 am exam you have the next morning. The friends your mom is warning you about are the ones that will help you wind up in the principal’s office, grounded for prom and homecoming, escorted home by the police and they will not be in your life in less than 4 years…so listen because she knows better than you. People are still going to think your crazy for not believing that Michael Jackson is dead, don’t let them discourage you. Stop bottling in your emotions because in the end you always end up blowing up; it’s always public, embarrassing, uncalled for, overly dramatic, overly emotional, and ends “friendships”. Stop fighting with your brothers because the phrase “payback is always worse” is not just a meaningless cliche. Stop falling to pieces over anything that goes wrong, you spend too much time getting mad and this is why your family calls you a drama queen. The world won’t stop turning if you don’t please everyone.
There are a lot of things I see differently now than I used to. There are a lot of things that I value now that I used to take advantage of. That girl I was? She messed up a lot, she got angry too quickly, valued the wrong things, and she is not a reflection of who I am now or even who I am going to be. That being said, I’m grateful for every mistake I’ve ever made because it was a lesson learned. The list above doesn’t even scratch the surface of the aspects of life that are different to me now; I’m amazed at what has changed about my life and my outlook just since I was a freshman in high school. Also, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate who I was…I’m just not her anymore but, I love who she has brought me to be.