While adding labels to some of the older posts on this blog, I was reminded of that time at the end of my senior year of high school when everyone was signing each other’s yearbooks. Since I have my senior yearbook on my bookshelf, I was able to grab it and dive back into the memories of those days. I spent twenty or so minutes looking over what people wrote in my yearbook, with some writings making me smile, some having me burst out laughing, some weirding me out, some straining eyes as I tried to read the writing, and some leaving me trying to remember who exactly the author was. During that time rereading my former classmates’ writings, I also couldn’t help but notice that they fell into two broad categories—the generic ones, and the ones from people who had put more effort into writing something meaningful. The generic writings all said the same thing, though in different wording depending on the author, which was something along the lines of “it was nice knowing you, good luck with college, keep in touch.” I don’t blame anyone who wrote one of these, as I know my yearbook got passed around to a lot of people who didn’t know me that well, and I know it can be tough to think up something profound for each yearbook you sign. To be completely transparent, I did it myself to quite a few peoples’ yearbooks. But I also know that I wrote some meaningful stuff in other peoples’ yearbooks, and a number of my classmates did the same for me. Several of my classmates had known me from elementary school and wrote about our experiences growing up together. Others brought up how notorious I had become on campus for my paparazzi ways and unrivaled camera skills as the Photo Editor of the Yearbook. My dry sense of humor and commentary on the things we all did in various classes were common themes, along with the random quotes I would sometimes write on classroom whiteboards. The one thing that came up consistently, though, was people writing about how unique I was back then. I enjoy being complimented as much as anyone else, but those remarks left me wondering about whether or not I’ve still got that spark from high school. It’s been over a decade since graduation, and I know I’m not the same guy I was back then. Hopefully I’m a better person than I was in high school, but I do wonder if I’ve lost something in the relentless march of time. Perhaps, perhaps not. High school was a different world in a different era. As much as I enjoyed reading those old writings, I couldn’t stay in the past forever, so I closed the yearbook and put it back on my shelf. There it will remain, until one day I summon it forth again.

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