One of my favorite things about yearbook was the purpose it gave me.
I was yearbook editor my senior year, and honestly that role probably defined more of the year than I would care to admit. Thinking back, it’s what I remember the most, besides the senior rituals/traditions.
That year I had been roped into taking AP Calculus (my first – and hopefully last – D!) and was absolutely miserable. I read about 2 percent of the books assigned in my AP Lit class, took Spanish 1 with all the freshmen because I didn’t have enough classes in my schedule and got put in time outs in photography because my friend and I never shut up long enough to get any work done. I actually tried to drop Spanish at the beginning of the year in order to have yearbook for two periods during the day… They said no.
But yearbook meant I always had something to work on and worry about and be productive with. I miss the productivity. I miss the pressure of deadlines and lying on the floor of the yearbook room crying because we only had three people on staff. I really just miss all of that so much.
It’s something I couldn’t replicate in college. I work for the school newspaper, but so much of that isn’t the same. The urgency and huge attention to massive amounts of detail (is the white space between those pictures three picas or four?) isn’t there. I miss getting proofs and circling mistakes in red pen. I miss deciding between different materials to use for the cover and working on the themes that run throughout the book. I miss the excitement of getting the actual, physical, bound and completed yearbook and holding it in my hands for the first time. I miss living on InDesign and Microsoft Word and Outlook. I miss constantly double checking the names of students and teachers in stories.
There’s so much I miss about yearbook.
But I think the drive and passion I had for it has been missing the most in the past few years.
Today I feel like I have the drive and the passion – but nothing to do with it. I know what I want to do with it, but trying to change the world all by myself is admittedly aiming a little high. So instead, this drive and passion is sitting inside of me, festering, in the form of anger.
I found this anger for the first time in April. I’m not talking “I’m angry because you ate my last cookie” or “I’m mad because you said I was fat” anger. Not even “I’m angry because you slept with my boyfriend” or “I’m pissed because you broke my computer in half” anger. I’m talking about pure, bitter anger (maybe even rage) at society and the world, because things are wrong and one little person can’t change them by herself.
It took a year after I was sexually assaulted for me to find this anger.
I’m angry at the guy who did it; I’m angry at the cop who told me I asked for it; I’m angry at all the people I’ve told who have made me feel like I don’t matter. Overall, I’m angry at the society I live in that lets things like this happen and then pushes them under the rug after they do.
All I want is to take that anger and channel it into something productive – something like yearbook. I want an outlet that I can focus on. I want to pour over the details of a project and worry about deadlines and whether all the names are spelled correctly. I want to funnel all my anger and frustration into making something that will make the world a little tiny bit better.
But, for now, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.
So I sit around desperately trying to come up with ways to change the world instead. I’ve looked into countless organizations to volunteer with and tried to get involved with different communities, and for some reason or another, I haven’t found what I’m looking for yet.
I can’t wait to graduate and move to a city that has the kind of organizations I want to work with. I can’t wait to be able to do something I am passionate about. I can’t wait to channel this anger into productivity.