A few days ago one of my Facebook friends from school in California posted a graduation photo from our 8th grade graduation in Fair Oaks. Everyone looked a bit glum (teenage angst?) which showed up even in the black and white photo. What I focused on immediately was the dreaded memory that I was the only one in the class that had a BLUE dress. All the rest were white and you couldn’t tell that from the photo. I was plunged back immediately into arguments with my mother about appropriate dress for public occasions. She was adamant that white was for weddings and of course first communions which as a staunchly Protestant family could not be countenanced. Also, I’d been given the new blue dress by my aunt, so i was outnumbered from the beginning. Add to that the fact that in the year and a half before that photo was taken I had experienced emigration from Scotland (which was not my choice) and attending 2 different junior high schools in Sacramento before we finally moved and settled in Fair Oaks.
I’ve dealt with this displacement trauma which I faced as a twelve year old (or at least I thought I had) and there it was staring me in the Facebook. I mean it was a nice blue dress and it was a black and white photo.
It shows that things that are so important to us are often hardly noticed by others and has taught me that I really have to chill out, move on and not dwell on uncomfortable memories.
In explaining all this to a friend and retelling the story, I decided on a way to let the past go, but not forget or regret the past. I bought a new blue dress. I chose it myself, it fits perfectly and allows me to celebrate the person I’ve become who can deal with a blue dress crisis and come out intact. It’s also a tribute to that young girl who knew how to keep the peace in the family until her own time came later. (well, mostly)
In my last blog I wrote about self-esteem. It is sometimes so difficult to believe in yourself when everyone else has another opinion, but believe in ourselves we must, supported by our own inner spirit.
Have I mentioned previously my passion for sailing and my goal during this physical recuperation is to go sailing again in some way? Well it’s out there as an intention, several steps (literally) from now. Meanwhile I was reminded of a quote I once came across which said anonymously:
“Rescuing our childhood from oblivion and facing the emotional pain
which has imprisoned our spontaneity and mental mobility
might be more frightening and need greater personal qualities than sailing a boat
through a storm.”
I’ll let you know.