Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Blogging for scrapbookers: day 2

For today's prompt, Shimelle encouraged us to write a post on a topic that we want to scrapbook. It can be on anything at all from any period in our lives - either a recent experience or a distant but treasured memory. So, I decided to do both...not out of indecision but because I want to juxtapose two parallel experiences (if that makes sense).

The aim is to write the 'story' of the experience, much like doing the journaling for a layout. However - and despite my love of words - I am not especially good at journaling. I think that I become too absorbed in the 'creative process', and by the time I have stuck...unstuck...restuck...started all over again (you get the general idea) I am so exhausted that I'm pretty much happy for the photo to speak for itself, along with the prerequisite 'when', 'where', 'who', 'why' etc. So, for prompt no. 2 I wanted to challenge myself.

Whilst leafing through the November issue of Creating Keepsakes last night, the title 'Looking Back, Moving Forward' caught my eye. This perfectly encapsulates the message that I want my journaling for these photos to convey. Although it isn't entirely clear, both of these photos have something in common: graduation. But it doesn't stop there. Because in my mind graduation implies so much more than wearing a funny hat and a horribly unflattering gown (or, in the case of my high school graduation in Tennessee, beautiful white dresses with garlands in our hair). Graduation means change, success, climaxes, anti-climaxes, achievement, uncertainty, goodbyes and new beginnings. It is a day of elation and apprehension. And for that reason I want to document how I felt, more than the experiences themselves.

For me, there was an enormous sense of finality, but also a massive sense of relief and achievement. And there was a distinct sense of sadness that it was all coming to an end, which was tinged with a growing sense of uncertainty about what lies ahead. I spent so long working towards a goal, but 'anticlimactic' seems a strangely inadequate way of describing how it feels to reach that light at the end of the tunnel...only to emerge into a labyrinthine maze of confusion. I was both 'elated' and 'apprehensive'...anxious to enjoy every moment, but quietly saying a farewell to one phase of my life and trying to prepare myself for another.

The second time round, however, these feelings were not unfamiliar. I had definitely been here before. I remember being so desperately nervous about returning home from my gap year and starting uni, but four years later I had not only survived the experience...I had the absolute time of my life. And for me this was a huge reassurance because I knew I would be able to handle the next upheaval. So, I suppose that looking back has enabled me to move forward, which for me says a great deal about the value of 'sticking', 'unsticking', 'resticking', and 'starting all over again.'


sharyncarlson said...

Love the old photos. Thanks for the inspiration to blog and scrapbook about school! I really need to do that!

Jan said...

Love the photos and your definition of what graduation means to you.