The Football Game That May Have Explained It All...First off, let me just say that I like being introspective. I like looking back on certain things and wondering what was my state of mind like or why did I make that decision or etc. It helps me understand ME and I use a lot of that when I'm writing and finding things for inspiration. It also helps me evaluate where I am in my life now versus back then. With that said, sit back and enjoy the story...
This morning, my dad asked my if my old high school's homecoming game was tonight and, if so, would I like to go. After I graduated, I truly despised going back to my high school. There were some good moments, but there were a lot of bad moments, which was ultimately revealed to me later in life. Even since my freshman year in high school, I was this skinny kid with weird taste and a one dimensional view on the world since my time was mostly devoted to TV. And, although I was surrounded by an array of personalities, I felt like my personality couldn't translate to those opposite of me. There were great moments and I was surrounded by great people, but in the end (graduation), I can't say for sure if those great people were really my friends and, now, I feel as though I've never really had a close friend or they weren't...they were just aquintences.
Now, a lot was been going on since graduation and I felt no remorse or regret going leaving my high school behind. So, when my dad approached me about the game, I said, "yeah, that'll be cool." Before high school, my dad would always take me to football games at that high school, even though I never really went for the football. Eventually, it stopped and, recently, we had a conversation in the car about going to those old football games. The one thing he said that hit me was when he said that we would have went frequently if he'd wasn't working full-time or night shifts. My dad is a hard worker and he does a lot to provide for this family of ours. The times we would normally spend together were when he'd take me to the gym for a swim or workout or quick conversations or playing Basketball or, most recently, playing football. Hell, he got me to do the one thing that I was afraid to do when I was little, because I didn't want to get hurt. Now that I'm older, I understand clearly why he is who he is and I couldn't ask for a better male role model. So, I decided to go to make up for lost time.
As we parked on my old school campus, I was feeling mixed emotions about going to this game. It wasn't game so much as it was returning back to my old campus...the campus that I hated...the place where no regrets were made. As we were walking to the stadium, I looked over to my right and saw the very spot I use to hang out at during lunch shift...away from everybody else...isolated...and, when people were around, I kept to myself and observed (mostly my freshman year). And, then, I saw the second spot and I did not expect to have an empty feeling in my gut about those spots. During my junior and senior years, those were the same spots that I would chill with my aquintences and joke about how Chris Brown's Graffti album was terrible.
I tried not to let it get to me, so, when we (me, my dad and my little brother) bought our tickets, I was joking around with my little brother like my normal self. Then, as we walked through the stadium, it felt like unfamiliar territory of a reincarnated version of my high school. For a guy that despised his high school, this would be great...but it didn't seem like that. It almost felt like I've been at this place before, but at the same time I haven't. I see some of the old staff members from my "era" that I've at least interacted with my some level, but they wouldn't be able to acknowledge that I've been a Northwood Falcon before...they couldn't.
As we sat back and watched the game, I observed everything about this "new Northwood" and I was taking in everything that I barely grasped when I was in high school: the ROTC kids listening to music, conversing and joking amongst each other; the band kids interacting with each other; the danceline/cheerleader/pep squad girls; the various cliques conversing amongst each other around the bleachers and just kicking it; the occasional person (acquaintance) enjoying their time; the kids that reminded of my adolescent years at the games interacting with one another and more. I even sat back and watched the Homecoming court being introduced to the public. And, when I left the game, I had mixed feelings of sadness, anger, happiness and, shockingly, regret.
I made it clear that after high school that I would have zero regret about anything that I've done or didn't do. But being at that game and looking at that pep rally got me thinking and I have to admit it: I DO regret a lot of things in high school. Ever since I've gotten to college, I've been trying to make it opposite of high school, because I figured that I would find my place in college amongst in older crowd and, man, was I wrong! It not like I haven't tried, but, ever since, I've been lonely, depressed, down on myself, more timid and reserved, less trusting and bitter. I do find ways to cope that are not drug or alcohol related (family, music, my future career, my writing and my art are my only drugs), but there are times where these moments can sneak up on you.
There was sadness when I saw those ROTC kids and the Homecoming court and thought, "why couldn't I have been like that?" There was anger when I saw those very acquaintances and not one word, not even a wave was exchanged. There was happiness because I was with my brother and father and, lately, family has been a necessity in these times of depression and because I came up with some ideas for my writing my observing that game. There was regret because seeing everything that I saw at the game made me think about where I am in life versus where I was in high school. When they (parents, older siblings, or anybody old) tell you that you should take advantage in high school, they weren't lying. That moment at my alma mater raised a lot of what-if's, but it also showed me that I did miss out on certain things. That game just gave me a lot to think about and I hope I can find these answers and learn from them...