Nostalgia is a little more prescriptive at some times than others.
It is a downright predictable feeling over the past week, what with the emails zipping about regarding the ten year high school reunion occurring in a mere two and a half weeks. It certainly doesn't help that a few of the more adolescent traits have returned with this reminder, with the with-children arguing with the without-children about venues and alcohol consumption, sprinkled with a good sized dose of sarcasm and small seeds of resentment that have somehow remained over the past decade.
My flight is booked. I've decided to avoid asserting the seemingly ubiquitous distaste for everything associated with high school, and rather uncooly admit that I actually didn't mind high school so much. I've also firmly decided to avoid the social comparison pre-requisite that is seemingly petrifying others. Why should the fact that I am unmarried and still renting matter any more to me on this particular day?
But, yes, emails from names you have not seen in print for a long while certainly do get you thinking. It was under this reminiscence that I pulled out an overstuffed photo album from the back of my closet, planning to flip through as I made dinner, thinking "I can't believe it's already been ten years."
This is the photo album, really, containing the most detailed picture of my late adolescence except for perhaps the handscrawled diaries hiding in a box in my parents' attic. It spans from my surprise 16th birthday party all the wall to just past my going away party, at 19, when I left my small hometown to move to the big city.
I flip through the pages, and there I am.
There's me with blonde hair, orange hair, red hair, brown hair.
There's me smiling, back against the heater in my high school.
There's me, arm in the air, proudly brandishing a giant bottle of Baby Duck sparking wine.
There's me, my arms around my best friends on my parent's reclining couch.
There's me, sitting on a boy's lap.
There's me, rushing into the icy water for a New Years Polar Bear swim.
There's me, dancing.
The thing that can't help but notice is just how young I truly am. My eyes look so much bigger, my posture more awkward, my arms slight, my clothing just that little bit askew. Occasionally, there is a photo of me stretching, unaware as my flat torso peaks out, so much less conscious of my body. I am so much littler than I remember. I can't believe this young girl thought she was so very grown up, was having sex, was behind the wheel of a car.
It's a little shocking, to feel like those memories were just yesterday, then to see the physical realities of how long ago they really were. It is certainly provided a quick jolt reminding me that I am, in fact, really an adult.
I can't believe it's only been ten years.