(or Just Another Reason for Claire To Talk About Herself, by Claire Bagley)
The assignment is to describe ourselves as we were in high school. Considering that I’ve been out of high school for about six years, I find that looking back that far very difficult, especially since I have changed so very much since that time. The easiest way I could find to tell you about myself is to introduce you to my high school self, in the third person.
Meet my friend Little Claire. Not only does she laugh easily, she laughs loudly. Probably a little too loudly, and probably most likely because she is proving to the world that she is happy, is fun loving, and doesn’t care about what other people think about her or anything else. She is laughing hard in the face of everything and getting some interesting looks along the way. Come to think of it, I believe this is what you call “faking it, till you make it”. No, she isn’t as happy as she seems, as loosely wound as she seems, and she completely cares of other’s opinions of her. Not that she’d let her pride down to show the world this (a select few friends really do understand this, and she loves them dearly, but maybe this obstinacy is what keeps that chin up and helps her to grow a little bit, every little heart ache and social blunder at a time).
Little Claire loves people. People love Little Claire. Little Claire loves attention. Attention is kind of ok with Little Claire. It is that ability to be outrageous and a little crazy in toeing an unseen line that made Little Claire appealing, which made her attractive to people who sought her friendship. It seems to me that Little Claire represents something beautifully unreal in a crowd of teenage angst of trying to fit in . . . and becoming terribly terribly boring as an end result. Little Claire is anything but boring. The more entertaining and altogether silly she feels, the more she feels as if she is making other people (and herself) happy. Truth be told, she doesn’t love herself enough to be ok with focusing on who she really is in the here and now. She is spreading herself thin and forcing the extroverted nature with a vengeance. You go too long without friends and you do go a little crazy (stupid middle school). No man is an island. No teenage girl can live on TGIF, having really bad hair and skin, and no phone calls from boys alone. So come high school, we have a decidedly introverted extrovert on our hands. I think she’ll be ok . . . but let’s try to tone her down a bit, shall we?
Can I just say that I am very glad that I grew up a little bit enough to recognize where I’ve been in my most trying years? I’m still over-dramatic, obnoxiously social, and crave (positive) attention. I still love making people happy, phone calls from (attractive) boys, and laughing. But now, the laughter is a lot more sincere these days. I’m more of a purist with my emotions then I ever was in high school. Now-a-days I can see those places where I was/am spread to thinly or where the unimportant focus is directed and where I can revert that focus to in order to refine myself in many different ways including my personality, choices, and ideologies. I feel as if those years I spent desperately seeking myself and that sincerity, which I knew I lacked, has helped me to learn that I am who I am . . . and that’s all that I am (thanks Popeye). I really have enjoyed growing up. I can’t imagine going back to that time in my life when ACT’s were extremely important, but not as important as that uber cute guy in math class. If I ever was forced, kicking and screaming, to go back, I hope I’d take some of this more “grown up” knowledge and experience with me.
I mean, seriously . . . wouldn’t you like to be a bit more prepared if forced back into your high school experience?