Back in the day


I went to Walgreens today to pick up some antibiotics. Something about the pharmacy tech made me feel really uncomfortable about that whole "1976" that comes on the end of my birthday. I don't know if it was her slightly affected and all too youthful Asian ghetto vibe or just the fact that I find Walgreens old and creepy to begin with, but I felt really old and was all of a sudden concerned with how she was percieving me. Odd, yes. But I've been thinking a lot lately about perceptions and labels and wondering how I define myself anymore. And that got me to thinking about all the labels that I used to classify myself in childhood, high school, and college and how those labels have changed.

I remember being particularly concerned about categorical buckets in high school. I didn't really care what my labels were, just that I had some. I felt like it was very important just to have groups, categories that I thought I belonged to. Easy answer stuff that I could rattle off if ever quized. I remember selecting the personalization for my high school class ring and thinking it was a really, really big deal. And also remember feeling like I didn't really have the type of activites, hobbies, or badges that were appropriate for such cannonization.

So here's how I would have classified myself during those lovely teen years. They still aren't the kind of things you would put on a class ring or a letterman's jacket, but I guess I'm okay with them. A lot of them still hold true and hopefully a few have dropped off the list as well (of course to be replaced by even more awesome ones).
  • orchestra nerd (you will get no pictures posted of that one)
  • academic nerd
  • goody-two shoes (hopefully not a completely insufferable one)
  • naive and yet opinionated (I'm hoping this has morphed into open minded and yet opinionated)
  • hopelessly unathletic (one year of fighting for last place in track meets didn't remedy this)
  • kinda bossy (sorry)
  • attractive yet magically able to repel all potential dates
  • slightly socially awkward yet most of the time faking it passably
Now don't you want to be friends with me? I'm really selling myself here :-)


Audra said...

I was a band geek and proud of it. I thought I was/am selfish, but a facebook HS friend called me composed. Which made me wonder...

I wonder what people actually thought of you. You placed your own labels on yourself, but what labels did people place on you? That is interesting. Got any HS friends you could ask? The comparison might be fun.

I like that you are still attractive, smart and now quite athletic (yoga balance queen). It makes the opinionated parts easier. Joking, people.

Denise said...

It is interesting to see how you view yourself and how differently others may view you. Somebody told me I seemed so laid back and that totally surprised me because I've never thought of myself that way (although I kind of liked that someone else thought I was!).

We are all who we are--it's important to recognize truly who we are and not what we want (or think) others see. Well that was a nice little lecture. You fake sociality very well! :-) I'm proud to have you as a friend--I'd say you can add many new labels to your list as well! All good of course...

Kari said...

As a long time friend of Amber, I can comment here with , ahem, authority! Amber was smart, beautiful, good, and talented. I think we were all a bit in awe of her, because she was more mature than most of us, and her opinions were well thought (it goes back to those serious smarts). I just kept waiting for the whole world to see her as did. I think we all had clearer views of each other than ourselves.

Jackijo said...

Thanks for the blog. I think labels are so unfair, but we do it to ourselves all the time. Ok I am labeled shy by everyone so that means everyone thinks I have nothing important to say. But I also label myself shy so I use that as an excuse not to do things like get up in front of people and let them know I have something important to say!

As for your labels, well I think academic nerd is not such a bad label, especially when you are an adult. As for the rest, you are too hard on yourself (as most of us are.) Yes,I would describe you as open minded yet opinionated and I think that is a positive asset.

Amy said...

Your list felt familiar. I wonder often what I was really like in high school. I know what I thought of myself, I also know I had really low self esteem. I am pretty sure there are many parts of my personal vision of myself that would propably not be acurate. One thing I found interesting though was that the one thing I thought I hid- my depression was noticed by someone. A few years ago I was talking to a friend of my parents- who is also a friend of mine (the couple has kids my younger siblings age but also my older kids age). Anyways he was talking about how nice it was when I became me again and not the sad depressed thing I was in high school. At the time I thought no body noticed or cared because no one ever said anything to me.

I still sometimes wonder how people see me now verses how I see myself. The difference now is I am a bit more self confident and I don't worry about it as much- but I am curious.

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