My parents arrived today for a long weekend visit, and brought a box of stuff from home that I sorted when I was in New York last November. It's mostly books, and includes my high school and college yearbooks.
A few months ago a few of us were discussing high school yearbooks, and I said something that made my friend Sandy ask, "Do you have a yearbook full of crossed-out pictures?" I admitted that I did have at least one, and based on the package that I received today that one would be the tenth grade yearbook:
I remember tenth grade as the worst year of high school, and the number of crossed out photos in the yearbook seems to bear that out. Flipping through it and studying the targets of my x-ing spree, there are people that I don't remember at all, people that I still never want to speak to again (the photo above, for example, was not chosen at random when I was flipping through the book), and some people that I speak to fairly regularly on Facebook.
That last category surprised me, as I remember having the same friends all the way through school, but apparently I was a more forgiving person that I ever remember being, at least between tenth grade and now.
That doesn't mean that I want to forgive the people in the second category.
They have x-ed out faces for a reason.
The whole reason I thought about this, though, is that at dinner tonight my mom actually brought up someone from high school who is still friends with my sibling.
"He asked your brother if you've ever forgiven him."
"Why would I?"
I feel kind of bad about that, because I know that I should be the bigger person, especially since I don't even see or speak to these people anymore. Forgiving them wouldn't cost me anything, and it's not like we'd suddenly start hanging out or something now that we're friends again. As I told my mom at dinner, one of the benefits of moving far away is that I no longer have to think of those people at all, so why would I even think about forgiving them as I go about my daily life? If they're really that inconsequential, though, why not forgive them? What does it cost me other than some sort of misguided loyalty to my teenage self? Maybe they had the upper hand then, but I apparently have it now if they're asking for forgiveness, and the angry teenager that still lives somewhere inside of me is more than willing to withhold that forgiveness if it makes them feel bad, even if only briefly.
I guess I just feel bad that I recognize that I'm not always the person that I'd like to be.