Thursday, June 16, 2011

The first summer concert of 2011

Last night I went to a concert. The music was great, the band had tons of energy, and everyone was incredibly nice.

So, who was this uber incredible band I went to see? Oh, just a little group called...

Harry and the Potters!

I can just see your eyes rolling now. What, did the last couple of  "thoughtful" posts make you forget the fact that I am a complete and utter nerd? Well, guess what, I am.

As I'm sure you've already guessed, this band writes songs about harry potter. I first heard them when I was a freshman in high school (2005...I think?), when one of the captains on color guard started playing their songs during warm up from time to time. At that point I was already a harry potter freak, but I was also incredibly shy, so I didn't say much about it.

Time passed, the senior class graduated, and I kind of forgot about the band. Fast forward to last Sunday. I make a quick trip to the library to pick up a book for my mom, and outside the library was this little sign:
My reaction was somewhere along these lines: *points fingers, jaw drops* th-they-ha-wha?-I-whe-ohmygosh-wha-needtogoneedtogo. Yep. I'm real articulate huh? The crowd that showed up for the show was surprisingly small, but it was a blast none the less.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Perception: Friend or Foe

It seems strange to me how differently two people can percieve and remeber the same experience. Psychology constantly begs the question, what matters more - our genetics our our environment? Just like all of these factors must be considered in psychology, I'm sure there is a myriad of things that affects our memories.

But lately, I've been thinking that our vices have just as much to do with it as our social or genetic factors. I've come to decide that everyone is insecure (not too big of a surprise there..) but also that everyone is vain. Don't we spend more time thinking about ourselfs and what others think about us than anything else? Why else would we think about what we wear, what we say, do. Why else would we strive to do well, or hate ourselves? Because at the heart of it all is self importance.

So, sometimes I wonder if people (consciously or not) actually remember the past as worse than it was because they need to believe that the present is better, that they have beat what held them back in the past.. And, hey, maybe it is and maybe they have. But the fact that we all need to find growth, improvement - instead of a plateau or stagnation, is incredibly self preserving. And self preservation is tied to our genes.

On the other side, isn't it possible to remember things better? To forget about the bad and romanticize the past? What's the first step that most people take when they encounter a problem? Pretend that it doesn't exist. Maybe it's to protect their sense of self, maybe it's because they don't want to believe that they could be anything less than happy, or maybe saying "that was me once. Wasn't I great?" is our own way of dealing with the problems of the present.

Either way, our memories can't be trusted.

Or, you know, I could just be makin' something outta nothin'. Wouldn't be the first time.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Then vs. Now

Lately I have been having this weird battle with nostalgia. Working with high school students, that phase of life is pretty much always sitting in the front of my consciousness. But the thing is, I never really associate their high school with my high school. Sure, I talk with them about my experiences, and there are tons of similarities, but high school isn't really real for me any more. It's like when I think about elementary school. When I think of it, I don't even really think about me. It's just some weird shadow that is only part me.

I was lucky to have a great high school experience, but I don't at all think of those years as the "peak" of my life. It's hard not to think back about a time when I had tons of friends and a social life, was really good at things and didn't have to work or stress about money. Now it's just the opposite, and after drifting so far away from the good things I had back then, I feel this weird unspoken drive to "win". To turn out better than the people I constantly wanted to be in high school, or at least equal. But usually, I only match them in words, not actions.

Guard contributes a lot to my perception of myself. Sure I make my money from teaching, and I will always love it, but I have also lived without guard in my life. It was so hard at first, but like anything else, I got used to it. Now, strangely, when I talk to or meet people who are still fully - even partially - apart of that world, I feel this strange sense of age. Even when these people are older than me, the fact that I have lived with out this thing that can't not consume your life makes me feel so, so - experienced, wise, old? - in comparison to them. It makes no sense, but it's proof that someone got my birthday wrong. I can't be just 19.

These thoughts all came to a head the other night, when the school I work for had a special performance, where all the girls did their own routine. Traditionally, the coaches preform too, but I didn't. a couple people came up to me, asking why and urging me to change my mind, but I just didn't want to. In high school, I would have been all for it. a year ago I would have been all for it. But now? Lately I've come to this weird acceptance that I am insignificant, and that everyone has their shot at that idealized, self centered high school experience that I had. I didn't do a routine, not because it would have been extra work, not because I was afraid to be embarrassed, but because I didn't need to. My time had come and gone, and it was my happy duty to step out of the way and let them have theirs. I felt this convoluted sense of contentment and happiness at this recognition. My only hope is that I can find it in everything. In my money stress, in my lack of social life, in the reluctant and willing choices I make.