Anonymous: Reflections.

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Wow. I sit here reading, in awe, of the classmates I never knew. What an incredible group of accomplished, successful people. I'm both impressed and proud; plus a little saddened.

My memories of high school and my class mates was different than most. People may not have thought of me as shy. But I was painfully shy and tried to mask that shyness in ways I hoped would make me acceptable to others. I remember wanting to fit in so bad, yet hating trying to be like everyone else.

Reading this site has brought memories both painful and funny and as I'm torn between both, it still warms my heart of the friends I had back then. It also makes me so very sad that I didn't get know more people. The shyness I suffering from kept me from making new friends and from joining clubs I wanted so much to be part of.

I read, wrote and spoke Spanish fluently, yet was afraid to join the Spanish Club. I loved sports, especially track and field, but was afraid being considered a tom-boy, so didn't join that either. One of the only classes I ever got A's in was English. I loved Mr. Lynch, and I loved writing. But I never joined an English Club, either.

I was sitting on the football field, it was graduation day and there were, what - 600 of us? I thought this was so tacky to be on that field, couldn't we have had a nicer place to graduate. It made me feel less worthy of the time I spent in school. But that really wasn't all about what I was feeling. It was another mask.

I sat there, listening to the names of the people I knew, and the list of their accomplishments and clubs they had participated in during their four years and I felt my life had slipped away. I was shocked at some of the things everyone had been working so hard on. When did they have the time for all that? They all had such bright futures to look forward to.

Stunned, hurt, and embarrassed, I heard my father's voice again : "No, you will not go to college and take a seat away from a man who has to work hard to support a family. We will not waste any money on you because all you can ever be is a wife and mother". As my name was called and no accomplishments, clubs or future plans were announced, I hung my head, took the diploma, and walked away. Never had I felt such shame. My chance had come and gone in four short years.

It was the same lecture I'd heard most of my teen life every time I mentioned my future plans of attending college. It was time and money not to be wasted on me.

Ouch. Thanks, Dad.

So my high school years consisted of getting by, and nothing more. Just get on to the next year and hope for the best. All the time dreaming of being better at something, making some kind of difference in the world I lived in. And not watching it all change so fast, so drastically in front of my eyes without being part of it. Both my shyness and lack of self confidence held me back, with the help of my Dad.

And I was always trying to fit in. I hated being shy, but again, I was good at hiding it. I'd always felt so tall, so skinny, so ugly, and so dumb. And I just knew others felt the same about me. I'd spend hours after school in my room struggling through homework that I knew didn't matter to my parents, and not knowing where to go for help.

I wish my parents had raised me to know what my options in life were. But they were both extremely old fashioned and were working with what they felt was best. I had a wonderful family, my parents were great and we were all extremely close. They just didn't feel I should think I could be more than what they wanted for me. I do not blame them, well maybe just a little, but I never understood that my future was wide open and up to me alone. (I may have been 40 something by the time I realized that. Yeah, slow learner)

Summer vacations were always the hardest for me. I was not allowed to hang out with my school friends. I had to work and save money for any thing I needed for the following school year. That included cloths, dances, and school sponsored activities. I couldn't wait for summer to end so I could "play" in school again.

Perhaps my parents plans worked out for the best. I'm happily married for 35 years, I was able to stay at home, while my husband worked, and raise two wonderful men. We never had any problem with our sons. In my eyes they are perfect. But then, I am the classic Italian-Catholic Mom and can say that.

All I know is I've never been called by the police or the hospitals to come rescue them from trouble. My famous words to each of them as they left the house was ... "If you can't tell your mom what you're doing or what you've done, then maybe you shouldn't be doing it." Of course that meant I had to keep my mouth shut as I listened to horror stories of their adventures. Sometimes too much information is not a good thing (as I sit here thinking of the 50 brightly colored condoms that fell from one of my 17 year old son's duffel bags I had borrowed. But that's a bit off the point.)

High School was tough for all of us, and in may different ways. I have tears in my eyes as I read the list of those who have passed. Especially Tootie Williams who I ran into a few years back. I have so many regrets of not getting to know people better, and I regret being so self centered and allowing my shyness and fear keep me from knowing others. In fact, I have never attended a class reunion because of that. Shyness still has a hold on me, and I'm still great at hiding it.

My husband insisted I attend collage after we were married, and I did. You see, I met the guy that thought collage was for everyone. (What a concept, huh?)

Talk about struggling, I attended college, raised two babies, kept a house and family in order, worked in both the kids classes, and taught 2nd grade religion at St. Bonaventure. Super Mom? Not even close. I just did what I did best, what I was groomed for : I am a wife and a mother. Among many, many other things.

I also have a career. I've worked for a corporation for over 24 years now, and I love what I do, but that too is another story.

I don't pretend take credit for doing jobs I love. In fact, I'm not at all special in any thing I do. I just do what I do, it's who I am. My sons are wonderful men, great jobs, healthy families, and they are all the lights in my eyes.

But I sit in admiration of the deeds and accomplishments of my classmates. What great people you all are.

I'm not trying to put things in a bad light, and I certainly don't need of anyone feeling sorry for me. I have a great life that I take pride in. I'm blessed with being happy and healthy as are husband, my children and my grand-children.

Do I look back with regret at some things? Sure, don't we all? Will I let go of the regrets I had when I was younger? I try to, but mostly I pretend that for me, high school did not exist.


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This page updated: June 20, 2014