I wore a purple and white Nicole Miller dress that was strapless and to the floor. My hair was styled by yours truly and I took the same route for my make up-self applied. Prom was a time in my life where I wanted to be tan so I was glowing, maybe a little bronze, in the group photos taken before the dance. My date, a strapping young man (standing next me in the photo), was enough of a gentleman to wear a matching tie (men at that age are not very cooperative or coordinating).
Last Friday, I was asked to photograph three high school girls and their dates before their prom. It was in New Jersey, which is a haul that puts me in a place that is a little too bucolic for my liking. But for the sake of taking a trip down memory lane and seeing the gowns each girl wore, I agreed to my coworkers commission to shoot her daughter and two of her friends before the big night.
There I was, a twenty-five year-old looking at a group of teenagers. I felt so far ahead of them in life yet at the same time, I also felt like I was still in their shoes. Since high school, I have attended college and worked internships and entry level jobs. Real world experiences such as taxes, rent, marriages of my friends, and even the birth of children have wrinkled my personality. I am now a fully independent women with an amazing career (I count my blessings every day for that) whose high moments are low key – watching a good movie, spending time with my family, and sewing! In that sense, I am a sage compared to these tykes. But the anticipation not for just prom but for graduation, college, and the start of life is what I connected with. They have so much ahead of them and their excited about it. That excitement hasn’t left me. I am still excited for what is ahead, even if seven years have past. I now understand when an older person says that he or she looks in the mirror and still sees a twenty-five-year old. My soul is still eighteen.
The night was beaming and so where these couples and I. Other than it being across the Walt Whitman bridge, it was a great way to start the weekend. I drove back home, to Philly, a grown up and a child.