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Thursday, October 8, 2015

High School

Do we ever really leave? I'm sure we've all heard that phrase. I've been thinking a lot about it because I had the pleasure of seeing a few friends from high school recently when we all got together to celebrate a classmates good fortune to be moving to Italy. A couple of us do happen to see each other regularly and my best friend Miranda has actually been my best friend since, you guessed it, high school, but the others I hadn't seen in almost twenty years.

It doesn't seem like it could possibly be that long but it has been. I hope I speak for the group assembled (and forgive me if I don't), when I say that I think high school was a relatively good experience for us. We laughed a lot, got to explore our love for the arts (both singing and theatre) on a daily basis in between math and science and came away with some nice memories. There was a boy that I thought hung the moon and a girl who always seemed to make a joke at my expense. I don't think any of us would say it was the best years of our lives though.

I also won't say that it somehow prepared us for the world, as is so often espoused in graduation speeches, but it did teach me a few extremely important lessons.

I won't always make it......

I was a cheerleader in middle school and made the squad freshman year at Hermitage. Cheerleading wasn't my life by any means, but I certainly enjoyed it. That spring when we had tryouts for next year I didn't make it. Cut to me standing in front of a bare wall in the gym looking in vain for a megaphone with my name on it when none was there. I actually stood there for probably another 30 seconds in a stupor expecting someone would say there was a mistake and walk over with one. Then came answering the questions my peers kept posing for the next two weeks or so....well why didn't you make it? Don't cry. Say something funny. At the time it was horrible. But I learned how to deal with failure and that skill has served me well.

Never buy a dress for an important event in Richmond.....

Seven girls had my dress on at Senior Prom. SEVEN.

Some friends are circumstantial and some friends are really your friends....

Did I mention that Miranda and I have been best friends for almost 20 years? We've had our ups and downs. We've both grown and changed, and not always at the same time which was scary. We aren't friends because we went to the same high school. We aren't friends because we were both in chorus. We aren't friends because we both liked Cheerwine before it was cool to like Cheerwine. We're fiends because of who we are. She's my sister.

These are just a couple things I've been thinking about, there's loads more.....but I can't keep you here till 2017.

As we all sat around Sunday night telling stories and laughing I would glance over every now and then at everyone's kids playing the other room. They already had their own little version of high school going on. Wouldn't it be great to find out a way to transport all of the life lessons we've learned into their tiny little adorable brains so they wouldn't have to go through all of the crap? Spare them I guess. I see a lot of parents doing that these days. I don't think it will serve them well. They need to stand in front of that wall and not see their name. It will make them work harder next time. It will make success that much sweeter because they'll remember what disappointment felt like.

Maybe we don't leave because we take the lessons and the memories with us. There is still a boy that I think hangs the moon. There is still a girl that makes a joke at my expense. There is still a team I won't make. There is still an amazing friend to get me through it all. Then there's me, all the better for it. And able to handle it all better as well, like not cry for three weeks and drink cases of cheerwine handle it. Wine is so much better. Hello?!

Go Panthers!

I won't sing the fight song, don't worry.

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