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Had I not seen the photo…

Had I not seen the photo, I would have sworn that I never owned a shirt like that. Here it was, however, larger than life and on Facebook: me, smiling sweetly with ungodly bright eyeshadow, standing between my Dad and my Grandma, wearing a white T-shirt with black letters screaming, “STUDY NAKED”. The caption read, “Looking through some old photos and found this one: 1987.”

Seriously? Study Naked? Where did this shirt come from? Did I buy it? Did I borrow it from someone? Why did my parents let me wear it, especially in front of my GRANDMA? In a photo taken by our British friends, visiting on Holiday, no less?

No wonder my mother looks pissed.

On June 16th, 1988, when I was eighteen years old, I was in a serious car accident that resulted in a fractured neck. Although incased in a halo brace and then cervical collar for several months, I came out of the accident quite unscathed with no long-term issues. I realized, however, at some point that my memory was rather fuzzy on some things from my past. I could remember specific events quite well, like my first day of school in almost every grade, various moving days, birthdays, Christmases, but some of the day-to-day memories were gone. There was no defined time frame, just some of the ordinary day-to-day things seemingly slipped away. It never really bothered me, and life had moved on. I was making new, amazing memories every day in college, and the day-to-day stuff just didn’t really matter anymore

Until I saw that photo.

That photo is now 26 years old: more than half a lifetime ago. I don’t think I remember this girl, who wore outrageous makeup with shorts and flip-flops (or whatever popular sandals were being sold the mall that year). I vaguely remember a defiance tempered only with a drive to go somewhere and be something that I could be proud of, yet be myself. I feel that I have accomplished that.

Study Naked? Wow. Well, I guess it was one step above Party Naked.

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