In high school I always wanted a very independent life for myself. I wanted a career. Maybe a husband, someday, in the far, far away land of my 30s. Part of this I think has to do with the fact that I didn’t have a traditional upbringing. My dad was a stay at home dad for most of my childhood, until I started 9th grade, and my mom was the bread winner in our family. So I had a strong female role model that showed me it was ok to prioritize work over family, marriage and children (not that we weren’t a priority for my mom, but my family situation laid the groundwork for this in my head).
Plus there was the fact that a lot of guys I dated ended up being just my friend. Perhaps this is also related to my dad being around to raise me—believe it or not, I was actually a tomboy at one point, until I went to kindergarten and saw all the pink and purple clothes and cute hairdos I was missing out on! There was even a guy I dated twice in high school, once my freshman year and again my sophomore year, but we could never make it work, and just always reverted back to being friends. My whole life I’ve had a lot of guy friends, starting when I was in elementary school, when the only two kids my age in my neighborhood were boys. I definitely had my boy-crazy periods, but I mainly just put guys in the friend zone eventually.
Would you like to see a picture from way back then? How about a senior photo?
(I have no idea who took the original picture, but this is a photo I took of a photo. No way I was scanning these ancient pictures at work!)
That was, until I met my ex, the summer after my junior year in high school. He was cute, had a great sense of humor, was my opposing school’s quarterback until he got injured, and just a fun guy to be around. But I always knew it wasn’t forever, even back then. However, we had a lot of fun our first few years of dating, and ended up staying together 3 ½ years, before I dumped him for Mr. Cola.
And just for fun, because I know you want to see more funny pictures of me in high school, here are some prom pictures with my ex:
(More photos I took of photos. Face blurred to protect the innocent/jerk. Man, I wish I still had those skinny tennis player arms!)
It took me quite a while of reflecting to figure out why I always knew I would never marry my high school boyfriend. And it was because we were never really friends. Sure, we hung out, we knew each other pretty well, but I was never as close with my ex as Mr. Cola and I were, even before we started dating. I wrote about it before here, about how much I love the fact that my husband and I were friends and roommates for years before we started dating. And even though my high school self didn’t realize it at the time, that was what was missing in my prior relationship: friendship.
And even more telling, I knew within about a month of when we started dating that I wanted to marry Mr. Cola. I’d finally found the perfect relationship, with the perfect person, my best friend. I’m so lucky to have found someone who could change my mind about marriage, and very glad that I’m a different person now than I was then, because of him.
Are you a different person now than you were back in high school?