back at camp: high school me

Apparently I am only a part-time camper.  Since I last posted, old friend came to visit for a couple of nights, then it was off to visit the fam for the fourth.

Yesterday, I just took the day off (from everything, it seems).  I did leave the house, but that was just to take La Famosa on a walk.

I liked the question from way back on day two, so I’m going back to answer that one:  What were you like in high school? What extracurricular activities, if any, did you take part in during high school? Did you consider yourself a writer?

In high school, I found my place, the place where I felt most at home, with my youth group at church.  Things at home were often unpleasant, but I knew how to “do” church, and youth group.  I found my closest friends there, and ended up with a really close group of three good friends and the four of us had a lot of fun together throughout all of my high school years.

Most of my extra-curricular life was through church, though I was in the marching band my freshman year and I did a few low-key clubs (honor society, etc.).

I journaled a lot in high school.  When I read through those old journals I want to just hold that young girl close and tell her not to be so hard on herself and that everything will be ok.  I don’t think I considered myself  a writer.  Writing was more an outlet for me, a pressure valve.  (I might have considered myself a poet, which I suppose is also a writer.)

I see now that even back then I had doubts about what I believed, but the belief system of my church didn’t really allow much room for exploring doubts or questioning.  The response was always, “Pray, and you’ll come to the right (i.e. our) answer.”  I knew enough about fitting in to try to shove any doubts down as far as I could and hope they wouldn’t see the light of day.  I think that part of the reason my doubts were so scary to me was that had I given them free rein, I would have no longer fit into the place where I felt most at home.

It’s kind of interesting, now, to be in touch (via that big social media behemoth) with a lot of people I knew back then.  A number of people I know have become more religious (Christian, of course) and I often have this strange sense that I’ve traded places with some of them, as they post about what happened at church or some Bible verse that inspired them.  Sometimes I think, “Been there, done that, got a drawer full of t-shirts.”  Sometimes I’m jealous that they fit in to a place that I never will again.  I’d never trade places back, however.  Too many mental gymnastics that I can’t do anymore.

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5 responses to “back at camp: high school me

  1. I wasn’t a “writer” in high school either, not even a journal. The funny thing is that I still had an awareness of being able to write well, even if I didn’t do it. I mentally composed writing, but never actually put pen to paper to let the words materialize further than my own mind.

    I went to a private school for 7th grade, and the mentality there was much like what you describe. There was little wiggle room for questioning and exploring doubt. I think that had a lot to do with why I steered away from formally organized religion and adopted more of a personal spirituality.

    xoxo

  2. It’s funny. I came from a back ground involving religion too and it also had a very strict, don’t ask, don’t question and pray for belief/faith. I on the other hand sort of went the other way away (far away) from religion. I can’t say I truly know what I believe any more. I have though seen a LOT of those old “friends” on that social media place. Granted none of them would ever friend me these days but it’s interesting to see where they are now.

  3. St. Elsewhere

    In high school, I did dabble into poetry but did not really consider myself a writer. I did contribute to the school magazine but that was it.

    I stopped writing in my diary after I got tired of searching for new places to hide it in so that my cousins/bro won’t read it.

  4. Here from Summer camp. I am not sure what your religion is now, but I could totally relate to what you were saying. Church was my only safe place as a teen so I never questioned it. I even went to a Christian college. I am now an atheist and it is kind of difficult to handle FB some days with all my old Christian friends who still believe the same things that I am totally over and just seem so pretend to me these days.

  5. Ahhhh, high school. It was brutish, and thankfully short. I was a bad girl, and I’m pretty proud of that fact, seeing as how I’m pretty boring now. 🙂 I’m glad you are blogging again, and hopefully I’ll be better at commenting! I’ve missed you, chicky.

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