When was the last time you picked up one of your high school yearbooks?
Last night, I opened the padded white plastic cover onto my junior year. Flipping through the photos of my classmates, I skimmed over the faces that I did not remember at all; focusing on those I did. How young and innocent we all were. I studied the face of the girl who out of the blue moved to the east coast; the boy who would later murder his wife; the chum who went on to become a doctor living and working in Africa, and all the girls who got married right out of high school and settled down to start families.
Many of the candid pictures did not have any captions or names associated with them, so I had no idea who was in the photo or what was so hilarious. I strained, trying to force the memory. Perhaps it was too late at night after a hard day at work, or I really moved in a small circle; either way many of the pictures were meaningless.
Equally vague were all the notes people wrote in my book. One of the highlights of getting the yearbook was carrying it around so friends and classmates could write in it. I read all those penned sentiments, twisting the book this way and that as I followed the scrawls, clueless as to which of the Marys wrote what note, who Jess was, was I really Mr. Brunswick favorite Biology student, and why some friends had not written at all.
Who was this person they were writing about. How could it be me? I pondered the girl that treasured that book. I did not recognize myself; yet in the midst of those notes, there was a hint of who I would become. I closed the book, happy to be able to visit my past and terribly glad I am not in high school.