Saturday, April 19, 2008


I regret one thing about Jr. High. OK, probably more than one thing, but there's one thing I still remember and I still wish I could change it.

I was on the yearbook staff in 7th grade. I liked it. It was fun. I liked learning about publishing, layout, and design. It was something I thought I was good at. I was very particular, a perfectionist, really. This was before the days of computer layouts. Instead, I drew everything that would go on my assigned yearbook pages on graph paper with a pencil and ruler. I was meticulous. My pages looked perfect. I checked and double checked them with the photos that would coordinate to the boxes I'd drawn in. I made sure everything was cropped perfectly and corresponded to it's assigned square.

I turned them in. Everything went in without our names on them, because the pages were to appear exactly as they would in the yearbook. I had a partner in yearbook. She did half the pages in our section, I did the other half. She was not meticulous. She was always late. On the day our pages were due she asked me if I'd turn them in because she didn't have time. I took them to our teacher. On the way I noticed they looked terrible. Nothing was measured. She'd haphazardly drawn what looked like ovals (not boxes) to represent pictures. The frames were supposed to be numbered with the picture that belonged there. Hers weren't. Oh well. She'd done a terrible job. It wasn't my problem. I'd done a beautiful job on my pages. I turned hers in.

I'd applied to be on the yearbook staff again the next year. It wasn't until weeks and weeks later when the staff list was posted and I wasn't on it (and my partner was) that I realized the teacher had probably thought my pages had been her pages and that her pages had been the ones I'd done. I was sick, not only because I wanted to be on the yearbook staff again, I also felt bad that the teacher had thought those terrible pages were mine. Did I do anything about it, though? No. I did not. I was shy and timid and not at all assertive then. I'm not really sure I've changed a lot since that experience. I'm probably still shy and timid and not assertive. 

Maybe it wouldn't have mattered anyway. Maybe it would have. I'm currently wishing I'd taken some graphic design classes. I'm wishing I'd done a few things differently. I'm not sure how we overcome mistakes we've made or regrets we have. Right now, I'm not sure of anything. 


Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

This makes me so sad. And mad too that you weren't recogonized for the work you did and someone else got the credit. But, I do think you are more assertive than you think. You went to bat for your husband with his boss. A wimpy person couldn't have done that. You stand up for your beliefs. You fought for a job by preparing. It is their loss, you prepared and went for it. I think you are fine. In fact I think you are more than fine.

But losses in the past, things we should have done differently...well, they are gone. We are here now, writing up a storm...aren't you? Every day a few pages. Listen to Mother-know-it-all-Lynne.

Do it. Don't regret next year. Do it this one.

Catherine said...

Sorry, I haven't read this post before. I was away with no Internet connexion available.
Just like Lynne, I feel sad reading this. I would have liked to be your friend at this time, and to tell everybody the truth!
I hate unfairness.
But I must admit that I would have been just like you, shy, not assertive at all, at least not enough, and I couldn't have helped you. But supported you, sure.
And let me tell you, you're no more assertive as you participated to a writing contest! You blog with unknown people, furthermore unknown french people! That's self confidence.
You're a very sensitive woman, I know it with all these feelings you insert in your posts.

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

I'm regretting that you aren't posting more often, telling us you are okay. Telling us the funny things the girlies say. It would make us happy.

My Time to Blossom said...

I hate the fact that life isn't fair. I try to accept this fact but it is sooo hard.

Damama T said...

Our mistakes of the past are what make us who we are today. Regrets are normal and are only harmeful if we allow our current selves to be stiffled by them. Everyone regrets SOMETHING. Everyone has to figure out how to take those past mistakes and use that knowledge and experience to make today better. I think you do that more than you realize. I look at your writing, your willingness to enter a contest or submit something for publication, your willingness to open up like you did in this post, and I see a woman whose biggest problem is not having confidence in her self-confidence! Heck, I never have the courage to submit anything for fear of the rejection. So let me tell you that, in that way, you are my hero. One day I hope to be confident enough to step out, too.