Weird. Tomorrow is our schedule for the picture-taking for the college yearbook for March 2014, and I just got the high school yearbook (2009) today. Most of my batch-mates have graduated last year. Due to time constraints and other inevitable problems, it took almost 5 years in the making. I also sort of helped other friends and batch-mates who were assigned to work on it. I say "sort of" because it was in summer 2012 I went with them to the high school, helped in what little way I can, talked, and ate at the nearby McDonald's afterwards.
Holy shit. I mean, forgive me because I happen to write and say 'shit' a lot, it might sound like an exaggerated reaction but its what I felt. It feels uncanny, seeing yourself from five years ago. I can't help but cringe, I don't know why. In embarrassment, maybe. Maybe it was turning those pages and seeing people I haven't thought about in years. I entered HS I was 12, graduated at 16. The first two years were okay, the last two was when the burn-out started and lasted well until college.
I guess I've written about this a lot already. I scanned my own profile and I had written something like, "The fears you had in high school will last until you die." It sounds so pessimistic, and I disagree with it now. Certainly, some things before I thought of as "fears" aren't as prevalent now and as a natural part of maturing and realizing things, I can say I'm better and I don't really "fear" anything.
Seeing the yearbook reminded me of how full of myself I used to be. I alternated between feeling inferior/insecure, and thinking I'm "better" than others. This led to conflicts with myself and others, to broken friendships. It took a long, painful time before I realized and accepted that I wasn't a special snowflake. I'm no better, or smarter than others. I still have a long way to go, but I can say I have a healthier self-image now.
(An aside: All this may sound vague. Private, personal things always are. That's why I dislike assuming people so much... I can't even have a proper grasp on myself, and it irritates me to no end if someone barges in and tells me what to do or how to be better based on who they think I am without them knowing the situation. They have no right at all. If they tell me to blindly "accept criticism" and accuse me of being "defensive", what do they expect me to do? Thank them for their idiocy? What, are they mind readers and guidance counselors? Sorry, I just recall some annoying people.)
I realized high school wasn't that bad, though I regret not knowing more of them and not making the most of that time. Also, I was camera-shy and didn't take a lot of pictures -- it's true, what they say about regretting that. I meet some of them in school, I know two who now take graduate studies in the university I attend. Some, I still talk to online and are good friends with. Odd, that I got to know some of them better long after we graduated (incidentally, during the meet-ups for the yearbook).
I also have to mention those who weren't in the yearbook, but also part of high school and has a special page in my mental yearbook. Socorro, who I used to really hate and blamed for my friendship anxieties/insecurity, was also still my friend (Its amusing, I wonder how she's doing). Clynt, friend, singer, and all-around smart person who moved to another place in 3rd year. Patrice, who also moved during 4th year and I recall that I unexpectedly cried when I heard she was going. We still meet when I go to Cebu, and still comment on each other's blogs (Hello, Pat, if you're reading!).
I miss them. Also, those who used to be my best friends but fell out with due to differences and new friends... though I know having them back is impossible, I'm still sorry if I hurt them unintentionally. I know, maybe its improper to apologize years after the fact and in an online space they probably won't read anyway, but there it is. I was never good at talking about how I feel because I myself wasn't so sure with my own thoughts and feelings.
So, I just wanted to make a post about, "Yay! I got the yearbook after 5 years!" but this ended up digging the past and remembering things I thought I had forgotten. Ah, and I used to be the cynical one, scoffing during the crying rages of everyone else during the retreat. Better late than never?
Last thanks to Jonah, and everyone else who helped in completing the yearbook!
Here's the quote I google-searched in a hurry just so I can put something for my motto, and I still like it (by writer Chuck Palahniuk):
“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That's the only lasting thing you can create.”