Want to have a fun exchange with people? Post a blast from the past picture on social media. Looking back and connecting, brilliant. I am fascinated with the human brain…we live a life, then we create a past based on what we choose to remember. Like most, I was pretty lonely in my adolescent years, friend groups changed and people went their separate ways, completely normal teen stuff. I try to remember the happy (I don’t forget the assholes…and I am sure they don’t forget my nasty) but just like when someone dies, remembering the good is much healthier.
Recently someone posted my 8th grade class picture. Man that was a rough year. Big time changes in the friends department. I don’t know about boys, but with girls it becomes very clear who wants to grow up and who wants to cling to their childhood a bit longer. I was a clinger. Not interested in partying, heavy metal music, or the guys from the next town…I resorted to babysitting until I found a group more my speed. It all worked out, it usually does.
By 9th grade I had connected with a different group and found a passion…the yearbook. I spent hours taking photographs with my mom’s Canon AE-1. I so loved that camera. Photography…a wonderful way to be involved and disappear at the same time. Chat people up, take their picture, and walk away. Win win for an outgoing introvert.
The yearbook. The middle school art room. Mrs Smith. She was tiny. Her designer jeans were so tight she had to pick things up off the floor by squatting straight down…while balancing in her high heel leather boots. There was no bending at the waist in those jeans. Flipped back thick brown hair, flawless makeup, dreamy. She could draw like no other and had the patience of a saint. Middle school art teachers deserve a special place in heaven.
She let me know she “needed me” on the yearbook staff. That is a good teacher. Not in a million years would I have offered, she gave me a purpose. We sat in her room after school cutting and pasting, illustrating, typing. We even drew the advertisements…by hand…then we signed the advertisements like they were a piece of art. So odd, dated, and precious. A time capsule of a computer free existence.
I learned how to delegate, collaborate, and work on deadlines. Amazing life lessons. What I did not remember until looking at the book recently, is how many of the people on that yearbook staff…are still connected today via social media. 40 years later we are back together. Maybe teenagers know a thing or two.
The day I designed the collage below my mom picked me up from school, there was no walking home via “the back road” in the dark. I went on and on about my collage of a hundred heads. My mom listened then said Kitkat, I need to tell you something, the President was shot, people died, we don’t really know what is happening right now. We drove home with the radio on, then we watched the news…endless news at a time before there was endless news.
I don’t remember any other yearbook meetings. I assume we did not spent time discussing politics and assassination attempts…we waited 40 years to have those chats on social media. We are artists, and creatives, managers, and business people who come together…no longer in a bright and sunny classroom but via something none of us could have ever imagined, the internet and our glowing screens. Swoon.