I’ve always had a love/hate thing with nostalgia. It’s easy to reminisce and get lost in the past sometimes. It can be freeing. All the people I love are there. My dad, my childhood friend, and now my first band crush. The past is where all those people still laugh and smile and hug. I do so miss my dad’s giant bear hugs. And voices. When I think about any band activity, there is my friend’s sarcastic comments and laughter. That’s where my crush’s shy crooked smile still shines. My dad’s booming voice and big laugh still rings there.
The past gets trickier and trickier to navigate, though. It’s painful. As good as it feels to look into the past, the tears eventually bring me back to Now. It’s a painful trip, but worth it.
It’s funny to think of all the people i’ve met in my life, none are so memorable as my junior high class of ragtag Catholic School brats. I joined the family in 6th grade after nearly flunking 5th. My mom was not going to have me follow in my brothers’ delinquent public school ways, so she did what most parents of delinquents do: enrolled said kid into Catholic School. I joined a class of people who had mostly gone to school together since kindergarten. It took me a little while to finally fit somewhere, but I managed. This was a tiny school in a reasonably large town. Everyone’s families knew each other and you got to see everyone’s dysfunction at church every Sunday. You could tell a lot from a family by which mass they went to.
There was the 8:30am mass family- Traditional
The 10am mass Family – late risers
11am -Spanish speaking
5pm – the rebel Catholics/newbie approachable Catholics – the only mass you didn’t have to wear pantyhose and dressy shoes to
My mom and I at some point went to each of these masses because my mom was in the choir. Well, all but the Spanish speaking, that is.
Anyway, for all the drama and shenanigans, we were a pretty tight knit group of kids. I could tell you the names and describe the adolescent faces of every single kid I was there with. High School? I could maybe remember 1/8 of the names and even less of the faces.
I don’t know if it was our age or our setting, but from my perspective, those three years made the biggest impression and the best friends. I had a massive crush on a boy and the unfortunate reality of everyone knowing – including the guy. Painful. I had a best friend whose house I walked to constantly, it seemed. She was good with the boys, and I was hoping to learn. She lived behind a big shopping center with an AMC theater, and I had my first kiss in that parking lot. Unbeknownst to me at the time, it was a dare. I thought he wanted to kiss me.
My first party was at a friend’s house. I walked there in my ruffled skirt and flats. She had a patio where I got to dance with a boy.
Our class took a trip to Sacramento together. It was my first time on a plane. So many firsts shared with people you are destined to separate from to go on and live your life.
These people will always be the ones I shared all my adolescent painful, awkward, exciting, joyful, confusing firsts with. I have to wonder if I live in their history as strong and loud as they live in mine? Am I just a fuzzy face in the background of a ‘first’, or was I a leading role?
The past can be a fun place to visit, but thankfully my Now is a pretty amazing place to live.