Friday, April 17, 2009

17 again

So, every morning when I walk my dog I listen the radio program Bob and Sheri. One of our local stations broadcasts this from 5am-9am every morning. If you don't get it where you live (its a syndicated show) I highly recommend going to their website and downloading a podcast. They are so funny, and entertaining but more importantly they are real people and you totally get that from their broadcast. I usually get to listen to a portion of their show entitled "The Chatroom." In the Chatroom they ask a question and ask callers to respond. Before the Chatroom they had done a movie review of 17 again. So the question today was if you could go back to when you were 17 what would you differently? It got me thinking about where I was at 17. I was probably the biggest nerd that ever was. I was a "good" girl. When I was 16 1/2 my best friend died from cancer. That had a huge impact on my life. I was already pretty mature for my age but that really made me grow up fast. My faith played a huge part in it. I never lost my faith but it made me even stronger. It was at 17 that I started taking ownership of my faith by becoming more involved in my parish, attending retreats, volunteering and more. When I look back on it that is pretty rare for a 17 year old to do. I'm sure that when I was 17 was when I decided I want to go into ministry and even applied to the local Catholic college that help me fulfill that calling. So, what would I change? During my senior year of high school they offered a trip to level 5 Spanish students to Puerto Rico. My parents thought it would be a great experience as did I. Before we went we had to sign a form that said we would abide by all the school rules (i.e. not drinking) because some of us would be 18 and the local drinking age was 18. It never even occurred to me that this would be an issue because I didn't drink in high school. Well, the trip turned out to be a disaster. The teacher who led the trip was totally unorganized. We got placed with families who had students in a high school we were going to visit (in turn they were going to come and visit our school and stay with our families). The girl that I got placed with was not really friends with the other kids involved in this exchanged. That didn't really matter because I wasn't really friends with the kids I had come with. Things got a little scary when I hadn't heard from or seen any of my classmates or the teacher for a day or two. I even called home because I was worried. My mom called the school and they didn't even have contact information for our teacher or any of the other host families! Anyway when I finally did meet up with the others I said, "Hey! Where were you guys?" They told me that they went out to a club and got busted and now they were in trouble. I guess I didn't think much of it except that I was glad that I didn't get peer pressured into going along. However, I noticed that the other kids from my school totally shunned me after that happened. They wouldn't talk to me or anything. I mean, it's not like we were friends to begin with but it was even worse for the rest of the trip. I remember that last night we were there and we stayed in a hotel near the airport to catch an early flight. We were in a suite and I slept all alone in double bed while the rest of them stayed up late and then slept in the common area. When we returned to my hometown it was Christmas eve and our school was on break for a week or so. When we finally got back to school a friend of mine said, "Don't you know what people are saying about you??" I said, "No." She said, "They say you're the one who told on the kids that were partying in Puerto Rico." I said, " That's ridiculous! I didn't even know where they were!" Other students who weren't even on the trip started harassing me. My parents got really mad and called the school. The Dean of Students called me into his office and apologized to me and wanted to know if there was anything he could do. I told him it didn't really matter. Those people weren't worth getting upset over. Soon we would graduate and it wouldn't even matter. When I was in college I dated a guy who worked with one of the girls on that trip. When he told her he was dating me the first thing she told him was about how I narked on them in Puerto Rico. How, dumb! So, do I wish I could go back and maybe not go on the trip? (maybe, it was pretty miserable and I got sick too!) Do I wish I would have gone with them to the club? No, not really. What I would do differently is stand up for myself when people were calling me names and had a preconceived notion of who I was based on what I wore or that fact that I actually liked going to church and religion. I still have trouble standing up for myself today. But really, I haven't seen most of the folks in ages and I've changed ... but not that much! Really though it was nothing getting upset over.
Speaking of preconceived notions if you haven't already seen this it's awesome! Brought tears to my eyes!
Sorry I can't embed it!
P.s. Temps are still high today!
P.p.s. I checked my records and at the end of last summer I was about 6-7lbs heavier than I am now. What difference in the way my clothes fit those pounds make! I could stand to lose a few more before I get pregnant!


Shannon said...

Isnt it amazing what we can learn when we look back on how we handled situations? Its hard to look back on situations that caused you pain and I am sorry you went through that experience. But a good thing I see from that experience is that, even at 17, you were able to stand strong in your convictions and your faith. You weren't tempted by alcohol and you had already devoted your life to serving God. I think that is a great testimony to the person you were then and the person you have become day. Pretty amazing!

Kimbrel said...

This made me think of all the pressure adults used to put on me.. I was known to be the "honest one." And it was often pretty tough to try and avoid answering, in hopes of not having to deal with "narking" on anyone. Often times, I could have cared less and just opened my honest mouth when asked to - but when it was friends, it was difficult. Makes me laugh now though, recalling my tactics (and which ones worked) as far as avoidaince in answering questions.