Friday, July 6, 2012

The person that people could count on...

I wish I was the souvenir you kept your house key on
I wish I was the pedal brake that you depended on
I wish I was the verb 'to trust' and never let you down
(pearl jam, 1998 - the year I graduated)

It is 4:30 in the morning here.  I went to bed last night completely dead to the world, with barely enough energy to trudge into my bedroom and climb into bed.  Now here I am without a single ounce of sleep left in me.
It might have a little to do with the fact that the sun is up already, or that my husband has a hard time giving 80% of the bed to a giant pregnant lady.  But I can't really blame either of those factors. 
You see, I woke up from one of those "thinking dreams".  Ugh, the dreams that force you to lie awake for at least 45 minutes afterwards, analyzing every aspect of its existence.

I've been surrounded by high school aged students all week.  This seems relatively harmless because  I spent the previous 7 years of my life surrounded by high school kids.  The difference is that those high school kids were in my classroom.  These high school kids are having this wild adventure learning about themselves and forming memories outside my window until the wee hours of the morning...literally.  They're sitting in workshops discussing bullying and stereotypes, are going to dances every night, and are finding boyfriends and girlfriends.  When you think back to school, how much of what defined you as a person happened inside the classroom between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.?
So that is the only excuse I can come up with as to why I awoke from a well-deserved slumber at 4:00 in the morning - because I was having one of those collage dreams, where your mind replays many small scenarios in your head that you never thought as significant, but really they are the things that made you into who you were - and a bit of who you are.
If you've been reading long enough (God help you), you might remember this post from many months back.  I wrote it for my students about the things I wish I would have done differently in high school.  Even looking back on that list I cringe a little because of all the things I would change - almost two years later.
Friends, there were things I did right.  I swear it.  A lot of things.  They're just hard to remember at 4:00 in the morning.  Instead I remember the tiny instances I would love to snatch back and change.  I think about what would happen now if I went back to high school (God help me) as the person I am today.  Would it make any difference?  Would people's lives be better because I am a different person?
I don't think I was cruel, but I don't think I was the fore-runner in building up the underdog either.  And that sucks to think about.
Because I want my kids to have perfect lives.  I want them to make perfect decisions, and choose perfect friends.  I want them to not wake up at 4:00 in the morning when they're 32, haunted by how they could have been better... done better.
That's totally realistic, right?

In my early-morning, horizontal, sleepless thinking I've come to the conclusion that none of us were supposed to be perfect in high school.  What then, would be the point of living this long and forming life after high school?  If I didn't make mistakes in my teenage years, what sort of a parent would I be for my kids when they get to be that age? 
I'll bet you're all wanting a big and juicy list of the things that have kept me up now for almost an hour and half.  Trust me, you wouldn't be interested.  In hindsight they are silly things - things that others have probably forgotten already.  Things some people never even realized I thought about.
Let's just put it this way.
I wish I had been more of the person that people could count on...
  • count on to stick up for them.
  • count on to stick up for myself.
  • count on to be selfless.
  • count on to build them up.
  • count on to rise above.
Simple enough, right?  Tell that to my high-school flannel wearing self.