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May 7, 2020

A Letter to All Our Children,

My name is MJ, I write a blog; which may be very “5 minutes ago” by the time you read this but the message is the same. Your parents may have discussed with you the importance of certain priorities in life such as hard work, education, integrity, and so on.

I remember the difficulty of focusing on such things when in high school.  Who can concentrate on putting your best foot forward when you don’t have the latest sandals and a perfect pedicure and there is a pampered, spoiled cheerleader waiting to spout their disapproval to anyone listening.

It’s all so overwhelming. How will you succeed in life if you can’t master high school? Please believe me – high school is NOT the real world. It is NOT an accurate barometer of the rest of your life. I was told “life begins when you graduate” and I didn’t fully understand until I arrived at my dorm room with my life in boxes.

Being popular doesn’t translate to ruling the world. I did a bit of research, using a website called Facebook (it was a ‘thing’ a decade ago) for examples from my class:

Mr. Class President & Quarterback: Lets call him Rick. We were all so enthusiastic, voting for ‘Rick’ to lead us into our futures. He was smart, cool, athletic. He’s now doing well with a career, wife and a child. Yes, A child he believes is “Super-Natural”. He has a website devoted to letting everyone know his child is so unique, so gifted, the only explanation must be she is an Indigo Child. Yeh, Rick is special. Thank God he didn’t stay in politics, we have enough delusional wannabe-leaders.

Head Cheerleader: Convicted for shoplifting.

Head Cheerleader’s Bratty Sidekick Cheerleader: A baby momma to 3 different men; must be those sexy pom-poms.

The Rest of the Cheerleaders: Not a trace. Have vanished into the abyss. Married, changed names I’m sure. I imagine they spend many late nights standing in front of the mirror, trying to squeeze into their cheerleading skirts and cursing their decision to give up their modeling/soft-porn career to have children.  

“How did this happen to me ?”

The “I’m Gonna be a Star So Couldn’t Give Me the Time of Day” Girl: Left for New York, straight to Broadway to show Patti LuPone how it was done. Returned home after being told to come back when she lost 20 pounds. Now – Housewife. The only time Lynette sees her name in lights is when her snobbish pre-teens call her cell phone demanding her chauffeur services.

The boyfriend I wasted waaay too much time on: Dumped me, joined the Marine Corps and then decided to show up years later at my wedding to try to talk me out of getting married (ok, I should’ve listened….). At first appearance, he’s doing alright, has become an “Iron Man” and all…. But on his fourth marriage.

On the flip side….

The Smart-Ass Geek: Ran around making funny videos he submitted to David Letterman. He owns a business in London.

The class clown I loved to hang around with: Showed no promise of ever finding his way in the world; he was too busy sneaking bubble bath into public water fountains. I swear I have no first hand knowledge, nor did I make the mistake of blogging about it here (see “Comet”). He also joined the Marines. Re-enlisted. Came out with enough money to go to school and has been working as an Emergency Room Registered Nurse and Supervisor. Given the choice, I’d trust him with my life over the Indigo Child Class Prez !!!

My friends and I : We were just another group of girls having fun, minding our own business. Track, soccer, choir….None of us were The Best or Most Popular. And now ? Educated, loving families, overworked, tired, but doing well. And hey, a couple of us have our very own blogs.

Think of school as a training ground, a great place to practice. If you’re successful and enjoying what you’re doing, you’re ahead of the game. Even Michael Jordan was cut from the basketball team. Don’t confuse this microcosm as a litmus test for life. It’s NOT a good thing to reach your peak in high school.

Some dream of success, others go out and work at it….

~ MJ

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