Thursday, February 19, 2015

Faded Crown

In high school I entered and won the "Mr. Mainland" contest during my senior year. It was a pretty big deal at the time even though it doesn't necessarily translate into too much today. The memories of that time matter more than the actual event did even though I didn't realize it until many years later. At least it allows me to share an old picture and have a good laugh at myself.

The funny part about something like that is that the actual awards from it didn't last long. The crown and trophy fell apart a long time ago and eventually ended up in the trash. I think there's still a video somewhere (VHS of course) that has the evidence of that night, but the footage is a little grainy. Somewhere in storage is a yearbook with other photo evidence, but even those pictures would be unrecognizable by most people. While the title of "Mr. Mainland 1989" was a nice bit to share back then it doesn't bring me much benefit today either.

It's not that the Mr. Mainland moment wasn't a big deal to me because it genuinely was at the time. Now I have an understanding of the temporary currency of those moments and yet still appreciate the value of it in my memories. I don't equate my present value with this past event, but recognize it for the happiness it brought then and the laughter and fond memories it brings now. It's still a part of my history, but it isn't the defining moment either.

That's a safe, healthy place to keep such events. We should appreciate them for being part of our lives without allowing them to be the defining characteristic of who we are today.

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