Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Monday, September 10, 2007

Not forgotten

Back in 1995, 14-year-old Christine sat down at her computer and began to write an autobiographical novel. Its subject was to be the utter destruction of life as she knew it, which followed her parents' divorce and the forced house-move that meant losing contact with every friend she'd ever had. The title was going to be Please Don't Forget Me - a plaintive plea to her former classmates not to let her prior existence disappear entirely.

It sounds silly now, doesn't it! I don't want to to trivialise what I was going through at that age - my existing life had been destroyed. Like all teenagers I experienced the shock with a level of hysteria that seems peculiar to my adult self, but to me at 14 the distress was very real.

On Saturday the 1st I went to the 10-year reunion of the high school I left in 1994 (ie I would have graduated year 12 with the class of 1997). I went along expecting to spend most of the night explaining who I was – because, of course, I was only there for two years, and I was so quiet and unimportant that no one would remember me, would they?

So . . . it took about 30 seconds for someone to scream “OMG! Christine! You’re here! Where did you go?!”. And more in the same vein. All night. Everyone remembered me, many had missed me, some had vaguely worried about my disappearance (I didn’t announce that I was leaving, I just didn’t turn up in year 10). I was hugged, interrogated, enthused at, etc.

I’ve been a bit blown away by it all, to be honest. For so long I’ve assumed that I’d made little or no impression on the people who shared those two years at that school with me – certainly far less of an impression than they had made on me. But the evidence is incontrovertible . . . they remembered me! I’m now Facebooked with lots of them too, and suddenly I’ve got almost as many friends from that high school as I would have if I’d been there right up until graduation. It’s almost . . . almost . . . like the horror of being snatched away from that school never really happened.

And that’s a *weird* feeling!

I’m so busy with prac at the moment that I haven’t had time to analyse all of the feelings that have been thrown up by the reunion. Which is possibly a good thing – it can sort itself out without my help! But in the quiet moments when I’ve been able to listen in to the background noise of my brain, it seems that I’m intensely glad to know that I was remembered and valued by so many people, and it also seems I’ve gained a building block in my attempts to repair my ever-crumbling self-esteem. I believed I was almost invisible at high school, unnoticed and unmemorable. I was wrong. I was visible and important and part of things. I really was.


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