This may be the only time I say that and totally own it!
I remember a band trip when I was a junior in high school. I was talking to my friend Vanessa and was writing, because I've always done that for a stress relief. My particular writing and discussion that day was about high school and how I would not continue most of my friendships after high school, they just were what they were: fun at the time, but not lasting. I figured there would be a few that I kept in contact with, but most would fall by the wayside. I remember telling my mom to not worry with who I dated in high school because there was NO way that I would ever get really serious with them because it was just Ardmore and I wanted so much more out of life.
I just knew that my college friends would be my lasting friendships, the people I would vacation with, the people who I would raise my kids with. They're husbands and my husband would be the best of friends. We would be at craft shows together and do all the things that I always imagined forever friends would do.
Tonight I was going through some photo albums my mom brought me a few weekends ago. There were both high school and college pictures in them. The pictures that gave me the warm fuzzy feelings were, surprisingly to me, the high school ones, not at all the college ones. I'm not saying my college friends meant nothing to me, not at all, but the lasting relationships were my high school friends. The memories I truly cherish the most are those from high school.
It might have been the bonding over hating high school so much, playing fruit basket turnover with boyfriends, generally rebelling from our parents, having secrets that caused us to bond, thinking we were so mature when we clearly weren't. I don't know what it was.
I can maybe blame facebook for this too. I don't think I would be in contact with nearly as many high school friends as I am. I think I'm glad for that! ;) I never thought I would be one who actually appreciated my hometown and would enjoy going back, but I really do. I like running into old friends and catching up. I don't know if it is because they know me and have always known me and I don't have to pretend to be anyone, not that I pretend to be anyone that I'm not now, but there is just something more honest about high school friends.
I know that if anything ever happens I won't be able to keep them away. If I ever need them they'll be right there. I consider myself very, very lucky for that. We showed that back in September when we all came together for a friend's funeral. That wasn't exactly the best way to have a reunion and I'm very glad we've had a couple of others on much happier terms.
I love when I have a "like" or a comment on facebook from one of my high school friends. It doesn't matter how different our lives are now. Some are married, some aren't, some have kids, some don't, some went to college, some joined the military, some stayed in Ardmore, some moved away, some make a lot of money, some don't make much, but no matter our station in life when we come back together it's like nothing changed.
Or that's how I feel. It might be because I moved away and only go back to visit. It could all be different if I was still there. I have noticed that our little group might have splintered we splintered together, meaning the "best friends" are still best friends. There are several groups like that, both the girls and the guys.
I think we were lucky to grow up where we did. There is some crazy bond that we all have. I don't have that bond with nearly as many college friends; it is a lot harder to pick up where we left off with them. I was only friends with most of my high school friends for two or three years and some of my college friends were that long or longer, yet there aren't the same number of memories and songs that bring back those memories. The pictures don't mean as much. It just isn't the same.
I've said this before, but I think I was my truest self when I was in high school. I didn't care what the "it" crowd thought about me, in fact I did things just to make people talk. I was a conservative rebel: I didn't really do anything too outlandish, yet there was always something independent and original about me. I think I am certainly a lot closer to that point than I have been in recent years.
I've been pretty introspective the last few days. I think a certain impending birthday is really getting me thinking. By no stretch of the imagination do I think I "peeked" in high school, but as much as I never thought I would say this, I do kind of think high school was amazing and college not so much (besides drinking being legal!).
By the time I got to college everything became so serious: people were coupling and planning engagements, which turned to weddings, which turned to babies. They were planning for what they would do after college as far as a career or job. In high school I was always thinking about college, but there was something more carefree back then.
One of my goals for my thirties is to regain that carefree attitude. This is not to say I'm going to sell my house and move to NYC (though the idea has crossed my mind a few thousand times the last few months), but really just getting back to the fun loving person that actually goes out and enjoys life rather than worrying about everything that comes next. I am a planner by nature, and that's okay, but sometimes it's okay to just live for the moment. That's what high school was for me, there was never really a worry as to what would happen to me after graduation, I was going OU, even when I was seriously considering Colorado College and Vassar, it was always going to be OU, but when I was in high school I just didn't have to worry about what comes next. I think the moment I set foot on OU's campus that's all that it became: worrying about what would come next. Would I find the boyfriend so I would get the ring and the wedding in the months following graduation? Would I figure out what I wanted to do with my life professionally?
I think it is easier to not worry now. I know what I'm going to do in the long run when it comes to a career and it is going to be amazing. I know that I'm going to fall madly in love at some point in my life, I think it is going to be with a husband to be, but it might just be with the my child, which I will have, somehow, some way.
High school was amazing. College was okay. My teens were amazing. My twenties held some good times, but there were a lot more tears than I like to remember. My thirties are going to be amazing. I just know it and if I learned nothing else in my twenties it is to follow my gut...
While I was writing this a preview for a new Winnie the Pooh movie came on and it had Keane's song Somewhere Only We Know (which yes I only know the Glee version because well that's just me). I put the Glee version on repeat on my media player and I think it is pretty fitting, so I will leave you with that, after this long ramble: