In which we consider the middle section of that stretch of life between 11 and 20. The High School years.
That would be roughly 1980-84. Not a great time for music, at least according to my darling hubby who is a decade ahead of me… It was the end of disco and the start of MTV and new wave music. My tastes ran from Billy Idol to Talking Heads, the Police to Georgia Satellites. And of course, Amy Grant. I mean, I was a church youth group kid.
I look back at some of the poetry I kept from those days, some of the pictures I still have around. Still struggling to find my voice. Still struggling to find my style. Still more interested in time spent doing and being than in crafting an image.
I still have my letter jacket from volleyball, and I treasure my Girl Scout 1st Class and Gold Awards. If you don’t know, both of them are the equivalent of the Eagle Scout for boys. I was active as they transitioned to the new award structure and had the option of which to go for. I opted to do the work for both.
Kind of like doing all the activities. Why do just sports when you can also do choir? And Student Government. And Spanish Club. And dual enroll at the university. And take on leadership in church youth at the local, area and regional level. And still feel pretty much average and mediocre, not worth anyone making a fuss over.
I guess that sums me up. Why not do all the things? And put heart and soul into all of it. Not because I am driven to personal perfection or success. But because there are other people putting their time and effort into it, too. Teachers, coaches, mentors, troop, team, group or club members…. now it’s congregations and committees, bosses and teammates, spouse and kid. We are in it together, and my part is just as important as (though not more important than) everyone else’s.
If I could whisper into my ear then from here and now…
Press on, Goober. Just press on. They won’t tell you now, but all those folks you think don’t see you because you don’t look like them? They do. And they respect you in ways they won’t be able to express until we’re all old. Oh, and that drugs/party scene… the reason you don’t know it exists is because they don’t invite you. Which, as you’ll learn all too soon, is probably a good thing.