I recently had a funny experience. Before going on a nice lazy vacation, I went through a phase of serious physical fitness. Believe me it was serious. At one point I ended up with two gym memberships, the first a typical corporate club near my house and the second, a powerlifitng gym in an old car garage downtown with the juiceheads. As expected such places were polar opposites in nearly every way from the free weights to amount the floors got washed. This was too made apparent by the sense of communities that were formed as where the “big boxed” gyms avoided eye contact with patrons, the serious lifters often gossiped ironically more than the sweated (my intrinsic personality hated it).
One day a man younger than I started talking to me who looked familiar. He had red hair and an oval face and he said, “ya know, now that you cut your hair I realized I know you”. He and I apparently went to high school together, he graduated a year after I, and though our talk would have been uneventful at its conclusion he said, “if you hadn’t remembered me I would have understood, you were really popular.” This struck me as crazy and I actually called my mom afterward to ask, was I really popular in high school?
High school is like a huge unregulated gym downtown. Everyone talks to everyone, there is an undeniable class system based on nothing but looks and skintight tank tops, and everyone whether admitted or not is greatly self-conscious. I left this atmosphere in 2008, actually ran from it and never looked back, yet some apparently remember my experience differently, they recall me as popular.
Something I have learned with time is that memories are stupid. Even though we can see the faces of our first love explicitly when we close our eyes in the grocers isle, maybe we even remember the name of our next-door neighbor’s pet iguana Charlie from 1999, day dreamers recall altered times. We can never over look ourselves and the way we felt or the way we think we felt in a moment, and never truly remember things properly as they were. I don’t recall particularly happy educational experiences in high school or middle school. My family is and was wonderful and my home life has always been kind, good, and loving, but in school wasn’t that fun. I was exactly who I am now, but shorter. I thought the kids were dumb and of course I told them so, yet through the inner turmoil and anxieties, I apparently appeared to some at least, popular.
At 25 I stay in my lane. A HUGE thing is getting off facebook. It is difficult because nearly everyone in the modern world is on there, but when I crack and look through the pages of those I once knew, I am bombarded by memories that I know are skewed in or against my favor. A great goal is to live a day and be in the day. Everyone talks and tweets about staying present while taking their own picture next to the statue of Buddha purchased sale at Big Lots, but the actual objective to living for now is that your eyes cant be altered. If your seeing clearly, you see truthfully, without bias or an over analysis of what could have been.
Meditate, bow down and pray, and let the memories and the juiceheads stay away together.