Sometimes the past pops up in your face and scares you to death. Somebody posted this picture on facebook of me from the early 80's. I believe I was in 9th grade. I believe my mom still bought my clothes... from Mervyn's... on clearance. I'm sporting Felix the Cat on my red Tee. He wasn't even popular in the 80's, but there he is on my chest. I'm wearing baby blue corduroys... with a brown belt, and I brought my own skates to "Christian Night" at Roller world in Concord, CA to save 75 cents on skate rental. My daughter was appalled by this picture. She didn't want to look at it. I exclaimed to her, "This is your father." She didn't care, she couldn't deal. "Try living it," I thought.
Lots of feelings are stirred when I look at this kid. 9th grade was the worst year for me. "Bully" is kind of a buzz word nowadays, but they were alive and well in the early 80's. Trust me. My family was in chaos with tons of sibling drama. True friends seemed few and far between. To sum it all up, this kid was not happy. I really didn't know how miserable I was at the time because I had to numb myself to be able to get on the bus and get through another day of social awkwardness at school. Looking back, I realize just how much inner turmoil I was dealing with. Even though I can laugh at myself and I don't mind this photo being displayed on my social network, it's not fun to remember what was going on behind that enormous pair of glasses.
However, if you click back from this picture in my photos on facebook, you see this...
This is redemption. This is what makes Junior High worth it. This is what I live for everyday (including my bride and my other daughter). This is what makes me believe my wife when she tells me that I get better looking as I get older!
I was doing a written exercise a while back and the question was, "If you could go back and tell your younger self anything, what would it be?" My answer was, "Hang in there, it gets better. Just wait and see who you get to marry and your three incredible kids." Yet, with all my blessings, it's still hard for me to wear corduroy pants anymore.