Is my background black now? With a dreary font? Someone let me know.
I am fifty-five. I am pretty comfortable here, at this age. I have a ton of things I could and should do to improve myself, but I am not wracked in guilt by my shortcomings. And I don't think about the past too much, either. Why ride the crests and troughs of the past? It's fun to revisit periodically, but I don't want to be one of those people who has peaked already and can't get beyond her college or thirty-something years, and keeps dredging them up in conversation. Someone nudge me if I am.
I read a terrific blog by Louise Plummer. In her Monday post, she wrote, "Everyone has a high school failure story." I laughed at this. I seem to have floated through junior high and high school in oblivion. I think I have always been one of those people who interact by means of parallel play. (Look it up!) While all the high school drama was going on, I may/may not (most often not) have been aware of it. I was happy enough, I think, in my life.
But here is my high school failure story. Bless my teachers and my parents' hearts. They are/were all great. Girls' basketball was new to our high school, and I wanted to be a part of the team. I was very fast, but I was short and I did not have a killer instinct for most things competitive. I did not like how some of the girls hurled a basketball at me with such force. To me, that was not teamwork, that was "not niceness". Well. I became a benchwarmer, and I became pretty darn comfortable there. I KNEW what it was to be a benchwarmer. My sweet parents came to every game they could. They split their time evenly between my games, the benchwarmer, and the wrestling matches of my brother, the star of the wrestling team. I knew where they would rather be, but if there was a conflict, they evenly split up their time either watching him pin his opponents, or watching their sweet petite daughter over there, sitting on the bench, staring blankly out at the crowd of spectators.
So, I guess that was my failure story. I wanted to play basketball, but I was pretty much a non-player.
But! There's a happy side to this. I excelled in music, both vocal and instrumental, and I was a pretty darn good runner on the distance track team. And in those two arenas, I was in my comfort zone. Looking back, I hope I was careful to draw everyone into those two circles, because I knew how it was, on that basketball team, to be the outsider.
On an even happier note, just today I communicated with my former high school choir director from way back when, forty years ago. I wanted to let him know that I joined the Flint Hills Masterworks Chorale this week. We had our first rehearsal yesterday, and it was so enjoyable. College kids, retirees, and us in-betweeners. So enjoyable. And I wanted to let him know, my friend and former director, that his gift just keeps on giving.