My high school picture
Twenty years ago, I began my senior year of high school. Twenty years seem to have sped by on fast-forward. This passage of time has definitely inspired some self-reflection, about who I was then, and who I am now.
Then, I was relatively quiet, serious, and hard-working. Now, I am pleased to report nothing has changed. My values and most of my personality traits seem to have remained in-tact.
Then, I was “Wendy Fraser,” straight-A student. I was tired of being known solely for my grades. Because when you’ve consistently earned grades like those, for years, there’s nowhere to go but down. I didn’t want to make that fall. I had expectations to live up to. Exhausting expectations. I felt there was more to me than letter grades, but I also felt that most people didn’t look beyond my transcripts to learn about the rest of me.
Now, I am “Wendy Kennar,” a former teacher who understands that some children will achieve scholastic success in various ways (not all academic). I am a wife, mother, teacher. And I hope those closest to me, do not define me in narrow terms but can appreciate me as a whole package.
Then, my brown hair hung down to my waist. It was my attempt to hide myself and distract from the acne that plagued my face. Back then, I was certain that whenever anyone saw me, they saw my pimples. Not my slightly crooked bottom, middle teeth. Not the moles on the left side of my neck. Just my blemishes.
Now, my acne has cleared up and whatever scars or blemishes remain are not all that defines me. Now, my brown hair doesn’t hang below my shoulders. My shorter hair is easier to manage, and I don’t feel the same need to hide.
Then, I owned colorful pants: red, green, paisley. And I had socks to match. Now, my pants consist of jeans (shades of blue or black), and my socks are generally black (with an occasional gray, brown, or navy thrown into the mix).
Then, I occasionally wore shirts that conveyed messages. I didn’t advertise stores, but I did sport a t-shirt depicting the Hubble Space Telescope and a plea for others to help “Save the Earth.” The shirts in my closet were primarily dark-hued, with lots of turquoise and teal thrown into the mix. Now, I still occasionally wear shirts that convey messages (advertising the California Science Center and space shuttle Endeavour). Now, my closet houses shirts in a variety of hues, including pinks and purples that I didn’t wear as frequently in high school.
Then, I adorned myself with a multitude of jewelry each day. I wore rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, a watch, and an anklet. Around my neck, I wore a silver chain with a multitude of crystals and gemstones -- goldstone, amethyst, turquoise. They were beautiful stones, and I wanted to decorate myself with beautiful objects. Now, I continue my life-long interest in jewelry. Bracelets, earrings, an anklet, a watch, and rings on eight of my fingers. Now, my necklace changes with each day’s outfit.
Looking in the mirror and looking at my high school picture, there’s no doubt I’m looking at the same face. I’m delighted to find I’m recognizable. The girl I was then has helped me become the woman I am now. I look in the mirror and can smile with pride. I have much to be thankful for, much to be proud of.