The “high school” phase of life wasn’t a 100% negative experience for me, but it definitely never felt normal. I definitely never felt normal. Going to two different high schools in 3 years and then finishing online so I could move to Los Angeles at 17, it really wasn’t an average few years during a time of such change, growth, and teenage confusion.
At the time, I don’t think I fully knew how to connect or express myself the way I wanted to…the way I now feel fully capable. Going to an arts school didn’t necessarily help, as we were quite competitive, young, and full of insecurities.
Recently I have seen some Facebook updates and amazing things happening in the lives of people, some of which I haven’t seen in about a decade. I wanted to take a moment today to acknowledge that in even the tiniest of ways, even for just a short season, we helped each other become the adults we are today. High school friends, these are things I wish I could have said 10 years ago, but am able to speak now from my truth. This one’s for you. This one is for us.
Thank you for saying hello to the 14 year old nervous wreck who tried to fit in with classic rock attire mixed with a flip flop/redneck combo of t-shirts that said things like, “I think your tractor’s sexy.” And let’s not forget the ripped bell bottom jeans with Hawaiian flower patches.
We were constantly comparing ourselves to each other…it seemed that every day was an audition. But that one day our teacher didn’t show up for musical theater class, we turned off the lights and threw a party. Suddenly, it didn’t matter who was “cool” or not, or who normally didn’t interact as much. We became one. We became a family that day. You put me in a shopping cart we found and pushed me around the room while singing show tunes, and this introvert learned that it was okay to let loose. Oddly enough, I think the chaos we created was a glimpse into adulthood. We cultivated something crazy and beautiful together.
We made a lot of mistakes, and we forgave each other in ways that we probably sometimes forget to now. The fights, the petty drama, the insecurities, the ident crisis weren’t really so bad. Maybe we all just needed to grow up. I really think we did the best we could. Let’s keep going.
We can appreciate each other’s differences. We can support each other from across the country. We made it out alive. We evolved. We learned how to thrive. We became better humans. And now we can be good, because we can really be us. Thank you for being patient with me and contributing to who I am and who I am not. I am so proud of you.