I may have this inner me covered with teacher clothes half the time, and I may be in some bizarre limbo age where I don't know how to dress for my current lifestyle and all, but if I were to be honest and true, this would be it:
This was me at my best. Young, fearless, idealistic, and not about to wear a pair of nylons or don lipstick of any kind. :) In a way, I went to "Utopia High School." It was cool to be different, drive a funky old car, look like you just came in from a long day at the lake, and be a poet. Although we embraced the whole alternative, hippy spirit, it was not cool to get bad grades, be disrespectful, do drugs, or sleep around. Odd, I know. This is the kind of school I want my own kids to go to. It's the place that nurtured me into a student, an athlete, and a confident young woman. I had women teachers who inspired me to be powerful and colorful, male teachers who showed me how to treat education as one big opportunity to play with your brain and all the wonderful things there are to learn. Although it is such a cliche, I honestly was taught, by so many teachers, my potential. We were taught to think, to question, to step out on a limb and expose our thoughts and dreams. We were challenged and entertained on a daily basis by teachers who seemed to step out of the movies, like "The Dead Poets' Society."
I had a teacher let me and another student save an injured seagull from the parking lot and walk to a vets office down the road, another teacher let us play touch football in the rain and mud every time we had inside dodge ball as an option, and a "parking Nazi" give us a free pass if we brought him a burrito back from Taco Bell.
We were a class that made our teachers sigh with a half smile as they watched our many shenanigans. Like the Spring day the power went out and they tried to keep us all corralled on the football field while they waited for it to come back on. One lone student whipped off his shirt, ran towards the parking lot, screamed like a kamikaze and sacrificed himself so that the staff would close in on him, allowing 300 or so of us to run in the opposite direction. Where did we go? The lake, of course. And I'm pretty sure the teachers did the same. They couldn't quite keep the smiles off their faces as we all jumped fences, climbed in our cars and started stripping our shoes off.
We went on road trips, skinny dipped, ran at midnight, climbed water towers, argued religion and love, howled at the moon, and studied history on the old leather couches of our favorite teachers' classrooms.
I learned the joy of having a band of sisters. A competitive and feisty team of females who would support and motivate me to great heights. We ran before school, after school, and on weekends. We were proud of dusty shoes, kept cereal and toothbrushes in the locker room, and wore t-shirts that said things like "We're the fast girls your momma warned you about" or "Real Women Sweat."It was an age of impulsivity and great wisdom.
So if I were to embrace any of my past and keep it for the duration, this would be it. I would remember this version of me, be true to her ideals, and make sure to raise my daughter in this spirit. Otherwise, 17-year-old me would kick my ass if she could.
Acting your age isn't always all that it's cracked up to be. From now on, I pledge to find the happy middle ground and be "Hybrid" Momma Chae.
What about you?