Thursday, August 07, 2008

"No one notices the contrast of white on white...."

but sometimes I do. And I don't like it. I feel melancholy and introspective, thinking about things I rarely ponder.

This afternoon I stopped by my new place of employment (a law firm) to fill out some paperwork, check out my office, and evidently get my first two assignments:) My first official day of work is next Thursday. Anyway, one of my bosses ("Mark") is a friend of sorts from high school. During my first two years of high school, I had to wait on my mom to finish work--so I'd sit in the lobby and talk with Mark and his friends for hours. We discussed philosophy, government, and all sorts of things; I would sometimes think so deeply that our conversations would leave me with a headache. But I loved the dialogue, these guys' minds, and their desire to talk about something beyond the usual high school stuff. They were unlike my other friends, and our interaction was largely limited to these conversations.

Mark was even the person who held my hair back the first time I got drunk and proceeded to get very sick (on a trip to London with our art teacher). He also expressed his affection for me on this trip, although I'd known about his crush for months. Of course, I had a boyfriend, and despite my love of our conversations, I've never been physically attracted to these types of interesting and brilliant guys (not sure what that says about me). So chatting with Mark today made me think about high school and just got me in a pensive and nostalgic mood that's lead me to examine all sorts of things (and listen to Counting Crows on repeat).

I remember how people used to say "high school is the best time of your life," and I always thought life must really suck if that's the truth. High school was fun, but there were so much emotion, turmoil, family drama, stupid choices, and not-fun-stuff. Life is so much sweeter and full of joy now; and a small part of the difference is learning how to not think so deeply and emotionally all the time. Learning that it's just a bad idea to put "Black" or "Anna Begins" on repeat and sit around thinking (and abiding by this most of the time). Realizing that I'm the common denominator in a string of less than ideal relationships. Accepting that everyone will let me down--and I'll let them down too; and it's o.k. (mainly because I have a perfect God who is always faithful). Seeking contentment instead of just fleeting happiness.

p.s. I'm grateful for a pretty new running loop (and that I even have the desire to run...largely in part to my new favorite song "Off Da Hook.")


Ys said...

emotion, turmoil, family drama, stupid choices, and not-fun-stuff

That pretty much sums up my school years too. I used to think the same thing: if these are the best years of my life I don't want to ever see the rest.

I love this post - it's like you dipped into my head and wrote everything down that I believe!

Accepting that everyone will let me down--and I'll let them down too; and it's o.k.

That was one I had to learn too! And that everyone in the world is annoying some times and that's okay too!

AA said...

I really enjoyed High School. Maybe you shouldn't have switched! :P

Jennifer said...

For some reason, this is my favorite post of yours yet. Maybe because I liked knowing that someone else thought high school sucked as much as I did. Our high school experiences sounded pretty much the same and I remember hoping this was not "the time of my life." And I also liked knowing that someone else can listen to one song over and over again depending on their mood.

Sounds like you've come a long way since then - even just your perspective on life. And sometimes we all need to sit around with some melancholy tune on repeat and drown thoughts in nostalgia. For me, it brings some amount of peace to the chaos inside my head.

anne said...

I too had a wonderful time in HS, maybe because we could just sit around and listen to music with no other worries, I was lucky that way. I could never say it was the best time of my life - but it does give perspective and is a barometer for other events.

Kimberly said...

Do you feel awkward at all working for this guy since he had a crush on you back then? Do you think he might still be interested in you? How do you handle stuff like that with a boss?!?!?
My nostalgic high school music is Gin Blossoms...Allison Road, Until I Fall Away, Hey Jealousy...I used to listen to them while waiting to pick up my brother from football practice and hoping the quarterback would stop by my car and talk to me...then we went out for a couple weeks that summer and then he dumped me for his old girlfriend. Yuck, high school. :)

Lib said...

okay i don't even know where to begin here.

i totally agree about the whole highschool bit. i remember people--random people--always telling me to enjoy high school because i was the best time of life ever. i remember looking at them with disdain and just rolling my eyes. you've got be freaking kidding me i thought. i couldn't wait to get the heck out of highschool...and college.

i, too, listened to songs like Black and Anna Begins on repeat, though sometimes i still do and i rather like thinking deeply and emotionally all the time. though, it does tend to wear on me after a while and it puts me in this daze that's sometimes hard to emerge from.

Rain King came on in my car yesterday and I thought of you.

Ally said...

Ys: You're right about the annoying bit too!

aa: Ha.

Jennifer: I'm always a fan of other people who can obsess over a song:)

Anne: The lack of responsibility and free time in high school (and even more so in college) was great.

Kimberly: I still have my Gin Blossoms CD and listened to it the other day. It was one of my favorites too. As for my boss--he's married and has a child now and seems really happy with his life. All of that high school stuff was 13 years ago! So I'm sure none of it is an issue now, but it is a little ironic or odd or something.

Lib: "Rain King" is my happy CC song! Wouldn't it stink if the best time of your life was when you were 16, and it was all downhill from there?!

ella said...

Welcome back to life working for "the man".;)

cdp said...

Of course, you knew you'd have me roped in with that title. :-)

I find that I'm learning a lot of these same things as I go along, and a lot of it, I think, is due to finally having a relationship that is really and truly mature and built on common goals and values and personalities that work well together as opposed to being built on "dude, that guy is hot." I'm learning to walk away from stupid arguments, learning that some days I'd rather be happy than be right, that not everything needs to be blown up into an emotional ordeal; and that Counting Crows has a wonderful place, but that place is not on repeat in the wake of a big fight when I'm crying.

Rain King, however, is perfect for all weather! Glad to hear you're settling in and have a pretty place to run. :-)

Ally said...

Ella: Ha. I'm just glad "the man" is just two laid-back men instead of 20!

cdp: "I'd rather be happy than be right." That's a lesson that I took a long time to learn, but it's a good one. Andy Stanley spoke about it in a sermon--saying that when the point you're trying to make becomes more important than the person you're making it to--well you know your priorities are out of whack. And I totally hear you on building a relationship on something of more substance than just chemistry.

Seized by Hope said...

Well yes it would be sad if the best times of my life had been lived by 18...the thought makes me sad for everyone who says this is their reality.

I agree that the emotional thinking of high school and all its drama is often best left in high school. Still, thinking deeply and feeling my feelings has lead me to move towards God in such important ways that I can't forsake it.

Provoking post Ally.

ps thanks for your commments on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Contentment is much better than fleeting happiness. :)

Still just me said...

I hated high school, and although I made a lot of mistakes back then that I still am forced to live with now, it did make me who I am today.

You learn, you grow.

Ally said...

SBH: I agree that thinking and feeling deeply are important; I guess I'm referring more to that angst-ridden thinking of high school that is anything but productive.

EE: Absolutely!

SJM: I agree.

Anonymous said...

I miss high school. I wish I could go back to day 1 Freshman year and relive it all again. Yea I'd make a few changes but not many. I can't listen to Counting Crows without thinking about that era. I think that's why 90s channel is one of my fav stations on XM Radio!!

allbilly said...

My first two years of high school were pretty fun, but the last two I was just ready to move on.

It seems to me that certain folks get stuck in their "glory period" and often that stick keeps them from evolving past that point. I think the song "Glory Days" spells that one out perfectly.

As for the new gig, it sounds like it should be fun. As for "Mark", i'm sure he's happy where he is and this job should be a good opportunity for the two of you to re-connect on a mature, professional level.

Listening to one song over and over is like listening to music backwards....satanic.

Ally said...

Billy: Thanks for your comment--that's exactly how I feel about my new job. And I agree that being stuck in your "glory days" can prevent any further growth. It reminds me a little bit of people who tell the same stories over and over about high school no matter what social situation they are in.

FC&F: I love 90s music too!

TC said...

I remember how people used to say "high school is the best time of your life," and I always thought life must really suck if that's the truth.

That PERFECTLY sums up how I felt while in high school.

So... are you attracted to the Mark type now?

Ally said...

TC: I think I'm attracted to a wider variety of people now (and less superficial in general...or at least I'm trying to be), but I've never met a brilliant type of guy that I've been attracted I guess not....I'm open to it though (so long as I don't work with him and he's not married:)

Anonymous said...

I searched "No one notices the contrast of white on white" because the song happens to be stuck in my head from this weekend. I find your blog interesting and very relatable. I love Counting Crows to no end, and I'm in highschool. (I happen to be in class at the moment). Such songs bring a flow of nostalgia for me as the lyrics are very applicable for life and a dear friend introduced their music to me. I just wanted to thank you I suppose.


Ally said...

Elli: Thanks for your comment. I love random comments like this! If I'd had internet access (and computers for that matter) in class in high school, I would have loved it! And listened even less than I did:) Glad you're well aware of how awesome CC's music is.

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