As I entered high school I found my group of friends and we made some of the best memories I still look back on fondly. Like the time we went to our local mall on Halloween instead of trick-or-treating and did barrel races down the mall's west wing. Simply put, my friends and I got each other, we saved each other, and we made high school fun. But this doesn't mean I was unaware of the girls who backstabbed one another to get ahead, or the students who got their parents involved in everything so they would get the leadership position, get a higher grade, or get on Homecoming Court. What it does mean is I could look at these people and be glad I wasn't them, and had a reason to be excited to graduate.
I can still remember the last night before I left for Florida, the final night of summer post-graduation. I was sitting in my parents driveway with my best friend Nick and we just talked for hours about what the future held for everyone; our friends, ourselves, and our classmates. It was the ever-scary, ever-exciting intersection in life where our pasts and our futures meet and all you can do is wonder. I was so excited for each of my friends as we all got accepted to colleges all over the state and country. We were going to do things with our lives while it seemed everyone else from school was staying in the exact same place and going to the local community college.
Well it's been just over five years since that day and all I can say is, people change. My friends did graduate from their respected college's, got great jobs, and some are even headed to grad school! But the truth is, we lost touch. Whether this was due to purpose or distance will always be a question, but either way, we did. We each came into our own in college and learned more about ourselves and these selves were fairly different from our high school selves.
Sometimes I look back on those high school days and think about what our high school selves would say about where we and our classmates ended up. Our classmates whom changed as much as we did. The girls who said they hate fat people gained weight. The class hottie became a dad shortly after graduation. The girls who judged people who got pregnant, got pregnant. Some are trying their hands at rapping, some are working on film degrees, and some are still just hanging out in the area, living at home and going to community college. I think my friend's high school selves and I would laugh.
Laugh, not because we were surely as judgmental as everyone else, but because it all really didn't matter. All the emphasis we put on single moments, even in present time, our moments are fleeting yet we tell ourselves they are either life or death. Like sand held too tight and falling away too quickly, not a moment we are given will last. So the girl told you you're stupid and made everyone laugh, or you didn't get into your dream college, another moment will come and it will be different. And everyone will your given will either make you or break you, but ultimately it's up to you. Recognize the moments change, as do people, and it's up to you to decide whether you want that moment and those people to make you or break you.
I'm happy for each of my old friends and where they made it and who've they've become. Even though our lives are far from one another I will still hold on to those memories and enjoy them. As for those classmates, I'm not laughing, because I'm not my high school self, and instead I understand. Change, it's inevitable.
And that's what I know.
What are changes you've noticed?
What are some big ways you have let change affect you?