Saturday, May 24, 2008

High School She Was That Girl

So in a random fit of Googling, I decided to look up the girls I remembered from high school with some degree of intimidation - because they were cooler or richer or artsier or existentialistier or grown-upper than I was at 15. The dark-eyeliners and the danceliners. The people I was too barricaded in my preppy, churchy, college-bound world to get to know, and the people I simply didn't care to. And the exercise was fascinating - sometimes surprising, sometimes totally validating. I discovered that the mysterious, insular girl who took the edgy photos of the artsy kids for the senior yearbook is now doing marketing and design for big corporate clients. I saw that the smart, sporty girl I always felt meek and mousy around had become a 10k-running attorney. And I learned that the girl I considered, rightfully or not, to have the worst "reputation" in our high school (no link, sorry) is getting her PhD in one of the most respected English Literature programs in the country.

Whether these girls turned out the way I expected them to or not, it was an eye-opening exercise, because whoever they became, they looked a lot like the women I know and value in my life today. It made me wish I could go back in time and get their future email addresses, just so I could write them now and say, "Hey, glad to see you're doing well." Because I am. Whether they were girls I envied or feared, I'm happy to see that my adolescent intimidation foretold the qualities that are contributing to their successes today.

Okay, maybe except for the Trojets.

3 comments:

Kristy said...

There was a girl I went all the way through elementary and high school with who I just saw as my total opposite. I wasn't intimidated by her; she just symbolized to me everything that I was not and would never be. I can remember looking at her in fifth grade and thinking "She does not have a thought in her head. She does not think about all this weird stuff that i think about." She was a little on the chubby side and had braces forever, and she was a cheerleader and an honor student and she ran in student council elections and I imagined that she had a perfect family that worshiped and spoiled her. She probably had a pink canopy bed.

I saw her at our ten-year reunion and she was thin and happy and successful and to be honest, it totally pissed me off. She should have at least been fat! And then it turned out that she was like 5 months pregnant at the time. No fair!

Stephanie said...

It's kind of creepy how well Kristy just described me as a high-schooler. I was fat at my ten-year reunion though, if that helps at all.

Anonymous said...

A - I just checked your blog, and this is an interesting entry, since I know these people too, but more so because I think you may be shocked to find out what people thought of you in high school. I don't think you were considered mousy or meek, and I'm actually surprised to find out you considered yourself as such around certain other people. I remember showing new friends in college my senior yearbook, and two people zeroed in on your picture and commented that you were the most beautiful girl in our class. This happened without me indicating our friendship beforehand. Did you know that you and your accomplishments were probably intimidating to others in high school? I suppose you do... Anyway, I'm trying to think of which girls intimidated me back then -- and this may be revisionist of me, but I really can't think of anyone specific. I can remember people I looked up to or admired (you being included), and/or was competitive with (you being included), but not so much intimidated by. Maybe this just goes to show that I was (and still am) overconfident and have a big ego. LOL. Back to your original post, I have to admit I'm curious who this "worst reputation" girl is. Talk with you later. - L