Photo is from the St. Scholastica’s College website . It is called St. Gertrude but we all called it the High School Quadrangle.
It’s my high school reunion tomorrow. I am looking forward to it. I have made arrangements to see some of my friends, bosom buddies and acquaintances. I reserved place at the private function the girls are having after the big show at school. The facilities of our school have expanded but the basic structure was remained the same. I visited it some five (5) years ago and felt all my memories rushing in. I am wondering what to wear because the girls usually want us to have a theme so we would recognize those in our senior year from afar. Its funny, I went to an all-female Catholic high school and back then we wore uniforms and grumbled and now we are trying to find a uniform for ourselves.
Photo from Pigtails by Jazmin Cruz
Looking back, much of what I am or the life I live, I had a foretelling in high school. I sensed I would have difficulty finding a partner but felt mothering was natural to me. This predicted my current status, a single parent with child. I knew I would be taking care of my aging parents and I promised it and kept it. I knew I would be living in a smaller home and I am. I live in a lovely townhouse on Gingham Lane. I always felt lost in the grand mansion of my parents, the spaces and the gaps were symbols of luxury but it gave me a feeling of loneliness and isolation. I also knew that I would make my deepest friendships at this time. The people who celebrated my 16th birthday with me cheered me on my 46th year as well. I knew I would be deeply involved in my family business and that I would contribute something different from my siblings. While I was in high school, I felt I didn’t know anything about the world, about myself and about life. It seems though that everything that truly mattered was known or learned before I graduated from high school.
As young adults, we believed what others may led us to believe — that we didn’t know our true selves. I realize this idea is totally false. It was probably conjured up by controlling parents, footnoted in a science journal and then published as a parenting book that school administrators were required to read. I believe young adults evolve. Teens have the basic structure of physicality and social elements already. However, the changes in environment would alter that structure but in small degrees for most and great upheavals would only happen triggered by unusual phenomena. (maybe hormones too) To me, young adults are not older children who are growing. They are evolving. It was for me valuable that my father in particular respected this process and calibrated his response to my triumphs and failures accordingly. This is perhaps one of the most important factors that made the teen years so pleasant: acceptance and guidance.
If I could have spoken to my younger self, I would probably say
“Enjoy. You are the right weight. Your waist will be the smallest it’s ever been. Have another serving of marshmallow nut sundae, they will phase it out in five (5) years. Don’t worry about the nasty girls. They will always think wicked thoughts and they will be absent during your high school reunions. Consider that difficult college course that others think you cannot complete. Do what you want to do rather than that which you feel you are good at. It is more important to figure yourself out than wondering what the boys think of you. Make more adult friends. Smile more. Laugh often. Spend more time with funnier friends. Take a moment to think and decide. Pray and hope more. Fear and despair less. Most of all don’t overly be anxious about your future — you are already your own person and you already know yourself, but by your 40s you will just be better-dressed and well-groomed. If ever feel anxious remember this will get you through ——-ORA ET LABORA. Prayer and Work. “
Featured Photo is from Choose Philippines. The Chapel on Leon Guinto Street is one of the treasured buildings in Manila being an unusual choice following a Gothic style in a tropical South East Asian country.