Friday, December 6, 2013

go back where you came from

There's a Nelson Mandela quote that goes something like

It is interesting to go back to somewhere that hasn't changed to find the ways you have changed yourself.

yesterday I went back to my little old school for a carol service that was run by the school and my parents church. 

There I was in the place I had spent so much of my teenage tears. 
Five (and sometimes more) days a week. Six long years.
There were the buildings more or less the same, there were the students wearing the same uniform. There were the teachers. My old music teacher led the ban I used to play in on the stage I'd played on before. Other teachers scattered round the hall the way they used to do at weekly assembly. Our eccentric English teacher swaying and crooning along with the carols, another taking endless photographs from the upstairs viewing platform. 

Just as the had always done.

The memories flooded back. 

Performances, practices, lessons, friendships. Adventures in the secret tunnels and under the stage. The times we went to sports practice and the times we didn't. Sitting in the freezing cold day house and being allowed to take our ties off when it was hot. Swimming carnivals, modern history, meat pies, videos. Hopeless food tech classes, going to the bathroom when maths was on, climbing through windows to fetch my violin, passing notes to boys. Cadets, reading group, Jim Morrison, camp, substitute teachers.

But I don't belong in that place anymore. A few photos and a name in gold letters on the captains board is all that remains.

And I have changed. While the school plodded on I have left. I have learned many things, I have grown up, become a wife and a mother twice over. I think of the way the world looked back then an realise I have grown. My cares are deeper but my knowledge is greater. My responsibility is larger but my opportunities are too. 

It was nice to sit and think about the times we had at school. But I don't belong there anymore. It has stayed the same but I have changed. I have grown up.

And that's ok.



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