Saturday, July 25, 2009

Do You Remember


Nostalgia. It's a funny thing.

I found a bottle of body spray (Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea) in a pile of junk in my room. One whiff of it brought back sooo many memories.

Like bam.

I was suddenly back in the math hall bathroom at St. Joe's, doing my makeup before we all went to the mall during our study hall. My friends and I loved the smell of sweet peas, and I think most of us wore that fragrance a good chunk of those four years.

Thinking of that made me flip through the mental catalog of memories from back then--some of them are a bit faded, but others are still as vivid as when it first happened. I remember dancing to Li'l Jon in Mrs. Knittel's room before Theology class started ("From the windoooows to the wall!"), breaking the crucifix (behind the scenes) in the freshman Theology classroom and putting Jesus back together with Sticky-Tac (I'm sure I'm going to hell for that one), sagging our skirts because at first we thought it looked cool and then out of necessity because we had four years worth of 3 for a $1 gigantic chocolate chip cookies at lunch...Standing in the echo circle after school and yelling dirty words and cracking up hysterically.

I actually got a little sad, because I only talk to a few girls from St. Joe's now...I know it's been five years since we graduated, and people grow apart, but...Those were some of the greatest times in my life (how can you top that choir trip to Disney World junior year or getting drunk on that nasty plum brandy with Leah and watching American Pie over and over til we almost peed our pants from laughing?), and once you enter the more "structured" adult world, things change. People grow up, go to college, get jobs. Some of us get married, some of us have kids, and then there are others who do some of these things and just tumble endlessly through life, not really having a fixed point in the world. It takes those people a while to figure out their purpose in life.

I think the hardest part of growing up is realizing that the image of adulthood you had as a child isn't always going to be what you actually achieve. I'm trying to reconcile the dream with the reality myself, but it's hard to shake off the bright-eyed idealism you had as a teenager. It's all too easy to become jaded and say that you were dealt a bad hand--I could easily say that myself, seeing as how I got pregnant right out of high school, goofed off so that I had to go to summer school and not graduate with the rest of my class (I got my diploma from the school secretary. That is classy.)...Got dumped by Nicky's dad seven months into being pregnant, had Nicky at 19, floated in and out of college several times without any real concrete idea as to what I wanted to be...Got back with Nicky's dad, got dumped again when Nicky was 10 months old, had to work 40 hours or more a week at Burger King to try to cover everything because his dad didn't pay his child support.

But it wouldn't be rational for me to sit there and give up. That's not who I am, that's not how I was raised. My parents could have thrown me out at 18, but they told me they'd like me to live at home until I finish my undergrad degree. I quit Burger King, got a much better job at the dealership doing something I enjoy with people I enjoy...I finally decided I want to become either a family lawyer or a child advocacy lawyer, and am going to get back into the swing of things this fall when I start school again. Nicky's dad still doesn't pay child support or come around, but I've gotten over that and still bust my ass working 40 hours or more, six days a week. I think it'll make Nicky appreciate things a bit more when he gets older. Maybe not, but I'd like to hope so.

I used to think that life is like water--you try to grab it with your hands, but it just runs through your fingers, completely unaffected. It's frustrating, but you have to realize that life goes on, just like the water...You can either keep trying to grab at the water or just let it go. I kept my sense of humor and grabbed a fish tank--because you can't catch it with your hands, but you can with a container. That, my dears, is the secret. Life keeps going no matter how hard we try to control it, but you can adapt to it and make the most of it.

Huh. Maybe I should write a book about all this deep Zen-like wisdom. Call it Musings of Life Over McDonald's. Could be a bestseller.

[A big thanks/shoutout goes out to Nashe from Where Did All The Pecans Go? ( for inspiring me through her last entry. Thanks!]


  1. Deep indeed. Life does teach us a lot of things as we drift through its many ups and downs. I am still in the happy-go-lucky phase of life but I see the dark clouds of more serious life looming on the horizon. Hopefully I will be as strong as you have been and get through it.
    Keep posting, your post is inspirational.

  2. Great post!
    It's always good to remember the past to remind us where we came from and why life is so grand. Yeah I said it GRAND!! lol..

    My memory smell is Tommy Girl.

    ps- American Pie is a funny ass movie!


  3. I think part of it may be the fact that our younger years were spent with less cares in the world, y'know? As we get older, some people seek out drama to spice things up. Something like that...

    Is it weird that sometimes when life gets way boring for me, I wish I had a kid to look after? I'm impressed at how you seem to be so good at the Mom thing. Cheers to that, woman!


I'm a shallow person, so I love to hear what you have to say about me...Lavish me with praise, or rip me up and make me want to cry.