Somewhere in my memory, I have known that I still had them. But actually finding them there in the game closet was still surprising and caused me this weird sense of thrill and embarrassment. Because before there was texting, there were notes. And all of the heartache and drama of middle and high school was recorded in them–passed quietly, secretly through the hands of trusted classmates; slipped discreetly through the locker vents; left in books to be found after school.
Those were the days when we envied the girls with the good handwriting, when we made little acrostics for our inside jokes, when Love Ya Like A Sis made it so we couldn’t sign our name without LYLAS until at least 1994. I know this is proof that I might be a hoarder a little bit, holding on to notes from friends from high school. To be fair, I only have one small box of them. Trust me, there were a lot more than that.
I couldn’t help myself – I read them. And I was shocked at how easy it was to be 14 again, all those young emotions that feel the same way as my old emotions, but for all different reasons. Even though everything has changed, nothings really different.
I still fear.
I still dream.
I still worry.
I still hide.
I still whine about boys. (Even though now it’s because they won’t eat their vegetables).
I still desperately want you to like me even though now I have more tools to handle it when you don’t.
But there are differences, too. Ways I’ve grown up even though I still feel young.
I don’t roll my eyes as much.
I can sit still longer.
I do my own laundry.
I can cook.
And in all these ways we’ve both grown up and are still kids, there has been a sameness that has undergirded it all. There is a constant, ever present Love who has watched us and walked with us and beckoned us out of the dark places. He lived then and He lives now and reading the words of my friends from high school – it reminds me of how he knew then what I know now. And also? He knows now what I have yet to know later.
And it brings great comfort. He is El Roi, The God Who Sees Me, the God who never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
Do you have any keepsakes that help you remember? What are they?
by Emily Freeman, Chatting at the Sky