01 August 2006

reunions and college years

Thank you, everyone; I did find something I was comfy and happy wearing. After two shopping trips. I feel this way about clothes: I loathe shopping for them. If I find something I really like, I buy two of it, usually different colors. (I have tons of shirts that have twins in another color.) The capris I found in white for the reunion are also in my possession in a light aqua color. The final touch: the black flip-flops with black beads on them! Capris were a common trend, so I really appreciate the tip. And, I borrowed my dad's digital camera; so pardon the blurriness, but this is the only shot we took of me (the kids were interrupting, need I say more?).

Due to my abiding nervousness at social functions (and the history below didn't help), there was a mixture of anxiety bubbling in my chest and a deep pleasure at seeing my beloved mountains. I saw some friends I'd hoped would be there (one couple I'd "introduced" on campus, with their new baby). Most were of the casual acquaintance type, but it was still far better than I'd expected. I find reunions a bit disappointing in that so many people do not come, however, and I am left wondering about specific friends (and I am horrendous for initiating contact!).

And now, a piece of my heart on a platter, exposed to the world for what it's worth.

My college years were full of insecurities, changes and growth (whose aren't, right?). The choices I made, or didn't make, as it turned out, colored my experience more than some, I believe. I was in a very small, two-year private college. Which was jam-packed with Greek life. I am not a sorority girl, not even close. I don't think I knew just how fully it consumed my campus until my little group of friends all rushed after the first term. There was one exception besides myself, and it was so painful for her that she joined the following term ("When in Rome. . ." and "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" and all that, I guess). All-consuming is a kind term for what Greek life was for those girls. Please do not get me wrong. I did not think it was "evil", I simply had no place for it in my life. Perhaps I shared the thoughts too easily, perhaps I didn't share them correctly. Either way, I no longer had my crowd of friends, and even the few I had been closest to had no time and the friendships waned quickly.

I worked hard at licking my wounds and finding people who had time in their lives for the non-Greek. Eventually, I began to find a groove once more and settled in a little less sure of myself than before, but did settle. During the Spring term, I was hanging on the edge of a new group of girls who decided they wanted an alternative to the sorority and set about creating their own thing. It was lacking Greek recognition by charter, but essentially the same in principal. Once more, I was left in the dust, unwilling to compromise my feelings on the matter. Through the summer, my heart was battered over this issue of not being a sorority girl. It truly, truly wasn't for me. I had applied for the position of Resident Assistant, and was accepted. My first year I'd had three different rooms, and three different roommates. At last, I was able to carve a small place for me, and other than the first term (we were on the quarter system back then), I had my own room, my privacy and solitude to hide in.

I returned to college depressed. The year unfolded as trying, yet oddly healing. One "previous" friend and I were R.A.'s on neighboring floors, and we worked on our friendship that year. In some ways, the end result was deeper than before, and in other ways, it was so very different and not as deep as I thought it could have been. Regardless, we were at peace, having fought the storm. There were other issues I worked to heal that year--I fought myself and found a way to be more involved, albeit a small way (once in my shell, it is very, very hard for me to emerge). I also fell in love twice, marrying the right one a year after I graduated.

In hindsight, I wish I had been more open-minded in my reactions and had a better understanding of life around me. I was right to stand behind my beliefs and I am stronger for being firm in my morals (not easily accepted by many people during those years!). But, in a small corner of my heart, I feel cheated, in that I feel I sacrificed friendships along the way; some days I wish I could re-live my college years and do a few things differently, less stoic than the first time. As I said, those years were years of growth for me. I like to think I am much more open and more balanced now. While I get a good case of blues at times (I am a woman!), my depression has never truly returned, and I do still enjoy going up to my mountains. Each year, it is a tiny bit easier to see the people from so long ago. And I secretly hope they forget whatever image they had of me, so I can relive a new experience with those who also love it enough to return.


Carbon said...

Yeah, I wasn't into the whole sorority thing either.

As for making your photo's align to the left or right with writing on either side, just insert
align="left" or align="right"
near the end of the code but before the /> part of the html. Email me if you aren't sure and I'll show you some examples.

Nice outfit by the way :)

Carbon said...

two thumbs up ;-)