No, I don’t mean the Madonna song or movie, both of which also came out in the 80’s. I’m talking about me, circa 1984. One of my high school alums, Aaron, who used to be on the yearbook committee posted a number of photos that he took during our Senior year, to his Facebook page. Aaron took the photo below of me.

My first reaction to seeing it on Facebook was, “Wow, I was a pretty girl! And I was a healthy weight! Boy did I waste a lot of time doubting those two facts.”

Then I felt a little guilty for feeling a sense of accomplishment about having been pretty in high school. As if I was personally responsible for my “good-looking at 18 years-old” genes. I do take credit for the fabulously feathered hair, however. I used to cut my own hair and spent hours of my youth with a curling iron to undo the natural curl and reform it into my Farrah best wave. So silly.

You might be wondering about the flute I was holding. I was a big time classical music nerd. I played in one of the Seattle Youth Symphonies, a woodwind quintet through Cornish Institute of the Arts, took private lessons, and saved babysitting money all year to pay for half of music camp, which I attended every summer for three years. While other people went to fun camps, I went to a three week camp where we rehearsed 5 ½ hours on Mondays through Fridays, after which I practiced another hour a day for the years I was in a chamber music group and another hour for my audition piece for the upcoming season of Seattle Youth Symphony. We got the day off on Saturdays and every Sunday we gave a concert. My fabulous parents attended every one of those concerts even thought it meant a three hour drive each way every week to see me.
I make fun of myself for being a classical music nerd. But really, the camp, which was run by the Seattle Youth Symphony was awesome, as was the youth symphony itself. Music made a great difference in my life during my adolescence. With that group of kids, it was not only okay to be a nerd, but celebrated.

So the flute in the photo is really important. It helped buffer me from the worries I had at the time about the rest of the picture, was I pretty, was I fat? Music was something simply beautiful without a visual appearance.

I haven’t played music in a really long time. Perhaps one day, I’ll come back to it. I realized yesterday that some of the experiences I’ve had during my mindfulness meditation and three mile walks are similar to those I had while playing music.

So who’s that girl? That girl used her love of music to survive high school!

Photo by Aaron Eidinger, circa 1984

Photo by Aaron Eidinger, circa 1984