In response to some of my friends from College and High School getting nostalgic in the last year and posting old photos on Facebook for us all to giggle at, I recently visited my parents, dug out my old albums and put some up myself. Okay, so I was lucky enough to be cute in High School though I don’t consider my tenure there to be by any means my glory days. Suffice to say the memories are not traumatizing, nor are the pictures. I understand very well that anyone worth talking to suffers from their own version of Ugly Duckling Syndrome, but I have come across a surprising amount of people on Facebook who were not too pleased with having goofy old photo’s of themselves posted for the stalkerific world of Facebook to see. I am not vindictive. I did not find pictures that make others look terrible and me fabulous. We all look just as adorable dorky as we did in those days, yet people are apparently finding the display of these photos embarrassing beyond recovery. Ok folks, seriously, can ANYONE say that they are not on some level embarrassed by how silly they look in pictures taken over 10 years ago? Your clothes are all out of style, maybe the hairstyle was an unfortunate by-product of the times and why the hell were you making that silly face? I GET IT! SO FUCKING WHAT?! By now, if you have indeed reinvented yourself to appear infinitely cooler than you were then, the fact remains that once we were ALL that young and stupid looking and no amount of personal re-invention will change that. We all listened to the music that was available to us, wore what was handy, and didn’t have a freakin’ clue what the world was really about. None of us.
Afraid that the person you are flirting with via Facebook will see those photos and think “Wow! You were once WAY less awesome than your current guarded exterior is allowing me to see. Game OVER!”…I don’t think so. Again, they’ve been there too. If indeed the picture of you with acne in that crazy dated prom ensemble makes them second guess their proximity to you and your actual level of cool than (A. They have no idea what cool really is and (B. I just did you a MASSIVE favor and saved you from a frighteningly shallow douche-bag. “But Spazz, I’m trying in the process of my reinvention to bag the big fish and don’t care if they suck as long as I get some comfort”…okay…then close your Facebook account, spend all your time licking their boots and then shoot yourself squarely in the face because you were cooler in High School.
We are all a product of our experiences and chosen paths. No amount of new haircuts, occupational stability, lost or gained weight and new and healthy families or relationships will make those years go away so embrace the ridiculousness of it all and have a good laugh. In my quest for a better understanding of myself I have learned that ignoring things only stunts my progress. I don’t currently dwell on the past, but I recognize it’s effect on who I’ve become and knowing that has made moving forward so much easier. Maybe for some people, the memories are actually painful. Maybe you were hiding something all those years and choose not to think about them because it really is painful. Okay fine, take off the picture tag, but if you have unresolved issues at the 28-30ish juncture in your life, I recommend resolving them for your own sake. Don’t feel like tackling your demons? Well then un-friend all the people you knew way back when, stop spying on our lives from your ivory tower and get on with your brand new identity. Reading our status updates everyday isn’t going to help you with that fools errand.