On “Having it together”

“Apparently I came across as being a pretty cool girl who had it together. Man oh man, if they only knew!”

Man oh man! If YOU only knew! We go through life thinking we know ourselves and thinking what a letdown it would be for others if they only knew who we were. Maybe others know us better than we know ourselves. Maybe sometimes we should learn about ourselves from them.

Just something to think about.

JKV

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In response to the comment left by none other than JKV, I would like to say the following:

Being in high school was hard. Its fun, full of great memories of History class, sluffing and football games- but mostly what fills my head when I think of adolescent years is a whole big mess of emotional throw-up. And what others see on the outside is probably most accurate about really how you handle yourself, but that doesn’t seem to matter when what is going on inside of your head and heart is so difficult to figure out. I guess it just comes with being 16.

Drama is an important driver in a teenagers life. It makes you feel alive! Drama is what embosses the experiences in our minds as forever memories. But you know, maybe it is more than just ‘drama’. I was just thinking- well, lets see, I don’t know- maybe your parents are divorcing. Maybe you find out your mom is sleeping around. Maybe you accidentally go a little too far with a boy. Maybe your dad kills your mom in front of you. Maybe your mom goes off and joins a polygamist cult group. Maybe you go and get drunk one night. Maybe you think that staving yourself is the only way to have control in your over-controlled life. Maybe your dad dies of brain cancer.  Maybe taking a razor blade to your skin is freedom to you. Maybe you’ve witnessed a beating in your home one too many times. Maybe you’ve picked up smoking. Maybe there is a heroin addict living in your house keeping you up at night with withdrawal symptoms.

Gosh,  you know, it could be anything.

This so called ‘drama’ that people say is just adolescence is actually really there. And every teenager deals with these things differently. Some go off the deep-end and others band together to get through it all. I am happy to say that I don’t think I ever really went off the deep-end, although there were times I wanted to. I guess the fact that I deliberately decided not to go totally crazy means that I indeed did have it together. That is comforting. What I mean when I said that I didn’t have it together in HS is that I felt like I was doing everything possible in my own right to keep my game face on, yet it seemed everything around me- everything I didn’t have control over seemed to be falling apart right in front of me. And there was nothing I could do about it. I’m sure we all know the feeling.

This is why friends are so important. There were times when I felt totally alone in my emotional puke. And I was OK with it. But there was one day in particular when I was feeling desperately low and I didn’t feel like anyone around me even knew of my existence. I got a call from the office during school that I had received something. So I go to get it- and it is a bouquet of flowers. From who? Who would even notice me? I was very surprised to read the note attached. Inscribed in beautiful handwriting were these words:

“…peace be unto thy soul thine adversity shall be but a small moment…thy friends do stand by thee and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands” -Doctrine and Covenants 121:7,9
Signed: Melanie Goates, Amy Shuppy, Tahnie Moon, Tillary Stahr, Danielle Vernon and a few other popular cheerleader girls.

Up until that point, I had never considered some of these people my friends. Only nice acquaintances. The lesson learned here? That people DO notice me. They DO like me and they DO care. They do know me better than I think!

*So, Amy, when you say you were not a good friend at all, I have to beg to differ. You were often times my only friend at certain points. And although I may have rarely “cried on your shoulder” I knew that I could if I needed to. I was also strengthened knowing that I could be there for you.*

I’m not sure where I am going with this post- only that I think JKV is right. We are indeed stronger than we give ourselves credit for. After all, we are our worst critics, right? And most of us turned out pretty darn good. Stable, contributing members of our society, raising beautiful children in righteousness, tell me -what is better than this?

Whether or not we ‘had it together’ during our adolescence years I don’t think matters anymore. We are who we are now because of what we learned then, and on the way to Now. Many people have come and gone throughout our journey to Now, and it is through them that we can indeed learn a lot about ourselves. I still hold firm to the truth that nobody knows me better than Me.

So now we are adults and we have different dragons to slay. And its a damn good thing we’ve got it together!

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4 thoughts on “On “Having it together”

  1. HJ-

    Ha! Whether or not the irony in your statement: ‘And its a damn good thing we’ve got it together!’ was intentional, it strikes a familiar chord within my heart. I, for one, have ‘it’ no less together now than it was back then…or, maybe there’s just simply more of ‘it’ to keep together (a 16-month old daughter-the ‘toddler marauder’ as I call her-helps keep ‘it’ from staying together 24/7.)

    The fundamental problem with reminiscence (the proverbial ‘if they only knew the real me), is that we have the benefit of impeccable hindsight vision. Even the most blind of all men has that gift/curse. I’ve often thought about a thousand steps that could have been taken differently…and quite possibly what I would have been like now had I taken even one step in a different direction. I would like to believe that I would be essentially the same person, but I know, in my heart of hearts that this is not the case. What would life had been like had I gone to Pepperdine instead of the UofU? What would life be like now had I decided to not serve the lord for his two years? Ad infinitum…

    But, what good does that do? The answers to those questions will not tell you who you ARE-they will tell you who you could have been.

    I apologize, I digress.

    Your statement:

    We are who we are now because of what we learned then, and on the way to Now. Many people have come and gone throughout our journey to Now, and it is through them that we can indeed learn a lot about ourselves. I still hold firm to the truth that nobody knows me better than Me.

    is, in my mind, unequivocally true. Nobody can know you better than yourself knows you…if that makes any sense. As close as you might become to parents, spouse, children, the best of friends…they will never know you as completely as you know yourself…

  2. Amen to this. The writing teacher in me would say, “We usually compare our rough drafts to other people’s published works, and we usually think we are being honest with that assessment.”

    JKV

  3. Yet another good post. OK I didn’t remember the flowers until you brought it up, maybe I wasn’t such a crappy friend! When I think about high school, I tend to think that no one had respect for me. But now I think, how could people have had respect for me when I had no respect for myself? “Emotional puke” is about the best descriptor I have heard for those tender years of 14-18. Over-thinking, over-acting, over-crying, over-obsessing, over-hormone-ing. (Although I’ll take a slice of some of those hormones now, thank you… I rather liked those things). But you are right we did all make it, most people do. And those 3 years that seemed like 10 are “but a moment” and I actually wouldn’t trade them for anything. That’s a lie, I would take a million dollars for them. But not for anything else!

  4. A million dollars? Hmmm, I’d have to consider that. Although, then I’d probably be a boring, bland uneducated millionaire. Na. I’ll take the High School Drama.

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