We all know what it's like to anticipate a new school year. To most of us, just the mention of "September" evokes a host of of emotions: excitement, fear, hopefulness and uncertainty. I wish the Ancients had set the start of our calendar (or the first school boards) for September instead of January. As children we viewed the start of a new school year as a chance to (finally!) redefine who we were. I remember several points in my life where I really wanted to pronounce my name in French (Beauchamps) rather than the pedestrian "Bee-chum" as I was loathe to accept.
With every binder, pack of pencils and new outfit that we bought in those days leading up to the first day of school, comes a promise and a hope: we can be whatever - whoever - we want to be. I remember going through some old papers and finding a "new school year resolution" of sorts that I had penned sometime in high school. In it, I charged myself with all sorts of lofty things - most notably "having $5 in my wallet at all times." Looking back, it became clear, I had such a distinct vision of who I wanted to be. I didn't have the vision to see who I was, however.
We are an aspirational species, us humans - always trying to achieve, accomplish, establish and assert who and what we are. But as I think about it, I'm not so sure that's exactly what we are doing. Striving for a better version of ourselves is something in which I truly believe. But I also believe that we tend to ignore or - even worse - deny who we really are. Google Maps needs to to know my current location in order to get me where I want to be. Somehow, our inner navigational devices tend to skip over that important question.
True story (well, all my stories are true): I was about to enter 9th grade - the first year of high school! It was Sunday afternoon (the day before school started) and, earlier that day, I saw someone wearing what I thought was the perfect outfit: white denim shorts with a button-down blue shirt (it was the early 90s after all!). After a fair amount of pleading, my mother and I went out shopping on Sunday evening to find this "magical" outfit for my first day of high school. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the right size of shorts but persisted, nevertheless. My first day of high school was painful. Those white shorts were so tight and uncomfortable - nevermind that they were white and I was afraid to even sit down! - that I never wore them again. On Tuesday I wore something that I felt comfortable in.
Isn't it time we stop trying to fit into clothes that we will never wear again?
My thoughts and reactions to the world in which we live...completely biased and unfiltered.