Head Up My Own Past Syndrome

I’ve been a bit distracted this week, my mind wandering throughout the day. Yes, my head’s been, literally, up my own past. I don’t know how else to word it.

I smile to myself as I pull out memory after memory of my school days. Must be this turning 50 or something. I’m not sure. What I am sure of are the wonderful feelings I’ve been experiencing as I’m called to remember things I hadn’t thought about in years— the boy the teacher made me hold hands with the day the class walked to the fire hall in the first grade, the friend I wrote letters to over the summer vacation, the girl who sat next to me in Math class—you get the picture. This week has been a bit of a “blast from the past” for me.

On a whim I started poking around facebook, and looking up some of the people I went to school with. After thirty years of not seeing many of them it’s been fun to touch base, and see where they’ve all been these past thirty years. I had to wonder if many of them would even remember me as I hit the “Send Friend Request” button. I was kind of quiet in school. I’m sure I didn’t make much of an impression. Miraculously, little emails began to come in, people asking how I was, letting me know about their kids, their jobs. They genuinely seemed glad to hear from me.

Living in a small community where we were bussed to school an hour away, often left me feeling that so much was missing, things that the rest of my classmates likely took for granted. I never got to talk to these people on the phone (longs distance charges) nor did we ever hang out on weekends or evenings. The only time I saw these people was during school hours. Wonder why I’d be doubtful if they’d remember me?

I find it strange that these friendships, forged in the past, seem to bring something out in all of us. They call us back to a time and place when life was much simpler, a time when our whole lives were stretched out before us. We were not thinking or imagining a time when we would turn 50. We were innocent. We were young. We were anxious to take a bite out of life. We lived in the moment. We did not have our heads up our own pasts.

So to all those who graced the halls of West Kings High during my school days, just letting you know, you were a pretty cool bunch.

How about the rest of you, have you ever suffered from Head up your own past syndrome?

About these ads
Leave a comment


  1. I think about my past now and then. I forget some things. Sometimes I reminisce with my family and find it humorous the particular things that each of us remembers or forgets. Or sometimes each of us will have a slightly different memory of the same event. We all have “selective” memories. The good part is laughing at ourselves. Blessings to you…

    • Like you, Carol Ann, I find it amusing the way our memory works. We all remember things in a slightly different way. I often get in a conversation with my mother about this very things, but she always insists that her recollection of events are accurate while someone else’s version is not..LOL!

  2. Such a lovely post, Laura. I’m dealing with some of that right now. One of the people who was killed in that hotel explosion in Mexico was someone I went to school with during the 18 months I lived in Ontario in the mid-70s. I hadn’t kept in direct touch with him, but have three or four friends from that time who I’m in regular touch with via Facebook and other modes, and it slapped us all hard. But on the other hand, I’ve also reconnected with an old roommate and another old friend from my college days. My past is somewhat odd; as a pilot’s child, I was moved a great deal up until we returned to NS when I was 16–ten schools in four provinces and grade twelve twice–in two provinces–by the time I was seventeen. (back then, Nfld went to grade 11, Ontario to grade 13, and Nova Scotia to grade 12…so it was somewhat convoluted.

    It’s important to remember, and to remember also that it wasn’t all roses and sunshine, despite the temptation to filter the past through rosy glasses. If we don’t remember the past, we fail to remember and accept part of what makes us what we are now–for good or for not so good. (that’s me being pensive on too little sleep. Hah.)

    • I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your school friend. This summer a school friend of mine dies in a car accident. I know what you mean about it hitting hard. It’s as if a little bit of our past has died with that person. It makes us realize the frailty of life.

      There is, as you say, a tendency to filter the past, and of course we don’t live in a perfect world. It can’t be all sunshine and roses. That said, dwelling on the unpleasant memories tends to makes us a bit bitter and even cynical. Why is it we often laugh today about things that weren’t the least bit funny at the time?

  3. Facebook has been great for reconnecting with old friends — and then for staying in touch with them, at least in some small way.

    Head Up My Past? What a great way to put it. I spent one whole summer recently having flashbacks to the summer I was 8. It was great.

    • Agreed Facebook can be terrific. How else could we stay in touch with so many?

      Head Up My Own Past—daydreaming can be fun!

  4. I post a lot about my past in my blog…in fact, my next post (after today’s) is about an exchange trip we took in Grade 8. Lots of similarities between your school days and mine…I was a country girl bussed into the city for high school (only fifteen minutes away though). There was a distinct line between the “townies” and we country kids…


    • I’ll be checking that post out for sure, Wendy! If there were any lines while I was growing up, I wasn’t aware of them. I just accepted the circumstances as they were. It’s funny because I don’t remember hanging out with any of the kids in my community during the school day.

  5. christicorbett

     /  November 18, 2010

    I think about my past when I look at the box containing yearbooks, letter jacket, ribbons and awards won “back in the day”.

    Thankfully we have Facebook to keep in touch.

    Great post!

    Christi Corbett


    • Hi Christi! Well, at least you’re organized enough to have everything together. I bet it is nice to go through the box and reminisce. My graduating class didn’t have a year book. Wish we had. Ah well.

  6. I’m at the stage where I’m finding memories and thoughts about the past stagnating. I have connected with a few friends from school, but too many years have passed. Our lives are so different, and apart from reminiscing, that’s about it. Sad.

    Your post does resonate with me, Laura. I’m a few years ahead and am now closer to 60 than 50. I’m learning to live in the moment and to smile at those tender years instead of cringing.

    • Living in the moment is something that most of us need to learn. or should I say relearn. Sometimes it’s nice to look back at the fond memories we have.

  7. Angela Wilson

     /  November 19, 2010

    Now, Laura, you know I can’t pass up this opportunity to leave a comment as you and I have just reconnected after 30-odd years. I really enjoyed our letters to each other over the summer vacation, always trying to one up the other by seeing whose letter could be longer and more interesting. And I have never forgotten that you could read a book in one day. I tried and it didn’t happen. I always think of you every time I read a book, after all these years! You were my “sit-up” buddy in gym glass in grade 7. You and I could do more sit-ups in five minutes than anyone else. And I am sure you would agree that I was shy and quiet back in the day but if you could see me now! Whoa! Some things DO change! Then I rediscover you all over again on Facebook and, whoa, you still look the same, you have two more daughters than me and you wrote a book before I “got around to it”. ha ha Now you’ve got me goin’ girl! You’ve stirred up my creative juices and taken me down memory lane, and I’m lovin’ it!!! Laura, you’re the “Best”! (I couldn’t resist that one! Ha!)

    • Welcome to my blog!!!!!! Would we ever have imagined thirty or forty years ago that you’d be leaving a comment on my blog?

      Perhaps we’ll try those sit-ups again in the future..I’m ready whenever you are..LOL!My son might be surprised to know that he’s my daughter but he’s pretty good natured. I think it might make him laugh.

      So much fun finding you after all this time. So I’m hoping to one day in the future meet this new and improved Angela. I guess eventually we get over our shyness. :)

  8. Very nice post. Odd, I tend to think back to the places I’ve visited rather than people I used to know – I’m not even curious. Would like to slow time down a bit though.

    • I suppose since I don’t travell and have always lived in Dalhousie, the only thing I have left for memories would be the people I know. I’m the curious sort, (that’s different than nosy, by the way)so it’s been fun to catch up with my friends.

      If you discover the secret of how to turn back time make sure to write about it. I bet copies would be flying off the shelves.. ;)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 192 other followers

  • Follow Laura Best on WordPress.com
  • my novels

  • Laura Best

  • Blog Stats

    • 61,060 hits
  • Add me

    Facebook Buttons By ButtonsHut.com

%d bloggers like this: