Just now I was thinking about what it would be like to hear myself talk back in high school. I suppose it is partly out of curiosity, but also out of a desire to figure out how I might have changed or stayed the same.
I am still essentially the same person that I always was, except... well, I am older and albeit maybe a little wiser.
Does anyone ever stop and think that sometimes ignorance is bliss? I struggled through some of the most difficult times in my life during high school (which will be reiterated in the next installment... that is if anyone actually reads my blogs anymore!); but in retrospect... maybe things weren't as difficult overall... or maybe they were and I have tried to forget the pain...
Anyways... taking a journey into my past... circa 2002/2003 or so... lets see where we are at...
I was definitely the kind of kid you could relate to, in fact I feel as though I have always made it my mission to connect with others (partly out of the love for friendships, but also out of a need that became a dependency upon others). I definitely wasn't as open, or as open minded as I am now, and I certainly would have been "more naive" in many senses.
During this time I struggled a lot with figuring out a personal identity, something that took me many years to truly find. I was probably pretty typical of most guys my age: I liked Jimmy Eat World, Van Halen, and Creed; I liked playing video games, but would rather hang out with other people; loved movies (same as now); girl crazy (in a much milder sense than you would imagine for a boy of 15); and I enjoyed making others laugh. I tried being counter culture (but not like I do now). The frustrations and the musings, and the overall attitude I have now... did not exist. At all. Not really.
Many things that I see in Eric of 2002, still resonate today. Yet, as I look back at this time in my life, I find that I didn't have much of an understanding of anything beyond what I was experiencing. There was no deep soul searching during this time, nor was there an acknowledgment of the future; there simply wasn't anything but the "here" and the "now" in my mind. In this sense, the me of 2002 was very much concerned only with what he saw before him.
I had a few "relationships" during this time (with girls I mean). I always set out to be the nice guy... and was usually going for the kind of girls that typically don't go for the nice guys. Its alright, I've gotten over the disappointment by now... but it is still kind of funny in a way. It seems that during this time, girls were such a new and exciting reality, that any of them showing interest in me raised awareness of the whole opposite gender. This ultimately led to an understanding of women that combined with having mostly girls as friends (during this time) that the whole notion of "treating girls right" was more important than simply "looking for a score". People always ask "how did you ever come to respect women so much?"... I should tell them "well... Its just who I am" and I think that comes from this time in my life. I would be careful to state that during this time that even though I saw myself as a "good" person, and had good intentions, doesn't mean that things didn't go awry... and furthermore, doesn't mean that this time wasn't also devastating to my emotions at the time... that must be stated. Just because you pursue someone hoping for the best, doesn't mean that they are looking to oblige the request.
In 2002, I most likely would have hung out with you, tried to be funny, maybe even go along with whatever crazy stunt you wanted me to pull (which actually was quite a reality during this period of time); but I don't think I would have been very engaging, nor do I think that I would have "made my voice heard" as I began to do during later periods of time. I was very surface level... in a lot of senses.
If I could meet myself at this point and time... I would probably give myself a hug... and tell him to not lose hope for the future years, I would probably tell him to enjoy life while it is simple (although simplicity comes and goes throughout our lives), and I most of all would have told him to be himself... because if there was one thing that this time brought about... was insecurity, and the impulse to have everyone like me... and have everyone "feed into me"... during this time, I began to truly become worry some about what others thought... and that (more than anything at this time in my life) became a negative influence on what I would do, say, think, and feel.
Eric 2002. a kid in a sense.