Who of us doesn’t know the Glory Days guys and girls? The members of this club comprised of the defunct elite that include the ones who double-lettered in every sport available in school, offering them an ego on which the sun could set to attract any and all those cute little moths to the light of popularity. They flashed their bright Gleem-polished teeth across the serfs of their Homecoming court, knowing they would knight them with such titles as Best This and Most Likely to Accomplish That in the annals of the yearbook. What has earned them membership is the dues that they pay in the form of leaving a large slice of who they are back in those halcyon days. Their conversations consist of regaling others with highlight high school reels, with the end of the film going flap-flap-flap and the screen showing white the day after graduation.
It’s absolutely outstanding for people to have a bevy of wonderful achievements to list on their teenage life experience resumés, but life continues after age 20. That’s actually the danger of any point in our life where we create a bright vivid glorious set of memories of which we frame and underscore with the caption Best Days of My Life. We sit and reflect on them with a dangerous nostalgia that immobilizes us from reaching any further beyond those achievements.
With all that we work toward, with the culmination of actions and choices that we have made in our endeavors and undertakings, there is a final assessment, an evaluation, a recognition that occurs. We hang that diploma on the wall, we get the guy or girl we’ve been pursuing, we have the position and title and desk we have valiantly earned. All too often we get paralyzed by the attainment of our own accomplishment and we sit and polish our trophy when there’s a whole world outside zipping quickly by. We remain seated in the theater long after the MPAA logo has floated past the top of the screen and the attendants are sweeping up candy boxes and something-distantly-resembling-butter ladened popcorn.
Yay, we’ve unlocked our specific life achievement. It’s over now. What defines us is our pursuit, our reinvention of who we know ourselves to be. We’ve already earned the dots and letters that serve as the appendage to our surnames; what have we done for life lately? Basking in our past accomplishments without recognizing that that particular chapter is over and that it’s time to start on the new one leaves us in danger of stagnating under the marquee of our achievements. Who we are is not who we used to be, even in the brilliance of our past attainments. Who we truly are is who we are striving to become.