August 23, 2013

Who Says We Have To Let It Go?

It's kind of a funny feeling when you can tell that you've outgrown a place. You're no longer part of that world, so you're looking at everything, only this time it's from the outside. You're remembering every detail of when you belonged there, when that was all you knew, and the only thought you had on your mind at the time was figuring a way to get out. Only just a few years later, no matter how much you don't want to admit it or are happy to be moving on, you find yourself missing it.

That's exactly how I felt this morning as I went to our alumni chapel at my old high school. I'd been wanting to go the last couple years, but either something came up or I got sick...So, this was a first and I was really excited. Normally, I just go to football games and still just hang out with the same main people I hung out with in high school, so I thought this would give me a chance to really take a trip down memory lane.

I woke up around 7:30, which was much earlier than I had set my alarm for. I tried falling back to sleep, but a mixture of nerves and excitement was keeping me awake, so I just took a few minutes and finally decided to get up closer to 8:15. I can get ready really quickly, so I had plenty of time. I put my makeup on, made coffee, straightened my hair, took a few minutes to relax, then finally pulled out about an hour later. It was THE weirdest feeling pulling into the parking lot that I had gone into several thousand times before from the passenger's seat; complaining and whining about how I couldn't wait to be out, being so annoyed with everyone and feeling like no one understood me, which to some degree was true, but mainly because I didn't always let people see everything that I was. I knew who I was and stood up for what I wanted, but most times I was afraid of letting everyone in all the way.

I had just pulled into a parking space, just about as far as you could go, when I saw a car pull in right next to me. I was thinking, seriously, what are the chances of someone parking right next to me?? There's a reason I parked out here, people! I was about to keep walking when I heard, "Hey, best friend!!!!" I recognized the voice and immediately turned around to see one of my best friends, Liz, so she ran up and gave me a hug. I didn't know she was going to be there, because she usually works, but it happened to be a day off for her, so she came. A few minutes later, my other best friend, Marissa, pulled in. We all caught up and walked to the gym together, catching up with a couple other friends along the way. I hadn't really expected to feel quite so nostalgic about everything, but random little moments came to mind as I glanced towards the lockers and classrooms, the lunch tables, and the open grass areas around the campus. I saw it all in flashes; memories of walking to class, dreading a presentation, catching up with friends, walking by a certain area/hoping to catch a glimpse of a certain person, trying to avoid someone, or when I had my first heartbreak.

We walked into the gym and said hi to a few faculty members, who were still getting some things set up, as well as other alumni who were continuing to walk in. We talked to a few people, and then the bell rang, so all the students joined in. Marissa and I found seats, and I set my coffee down (which I had debated on bringing), and just as I thought, someone knocked it over, so we went to the bathroom to get paper towels, since I don't think the girl realized she had knocked it over or didn't care...Pretty soon chapel started; we sang a few worship songs, then one of the Bible teachers called a couple alumni students, who had graduated before my class, up to speak. He asked them questions that would prepare the students now for what was to come after graduation; how the school prepared them, things they had encountered with their faith, and just what they were up to now, since graduating from college recently. Each of the former students talked a lot of having faith in God no matter what the circumstance; a lot of what I've been dealing with lately. He is good no matter what happens, because of who HE is. One of the girls shared a dating experiences and how giving that to God saved her from a world of hurt later on. She also mentioned how when she was in high school, she did a lot of comparing herself to other people; thinking they were prettier or more this or more that. And what's funny is that I always admired her from afar as a freshman (she was a senior) because she seemed to have it altogether...She was beautiful, sweet, she spoke in chapel a lot, and she was very involved in the extracurriculars. She was like the poster child for the school, and I had always wanted to be friends with her. When you get out, it's strange how you realize how everyone had their own insecurities and battles they were fighting on a daily basis when you always thought you were the only one.
We closed out with "Bless The Lord, Oh My Soul..." and that was it.

After chapel ended, everyone had to get back to class, so the alumni group stayed in the gym, wandering around and mingling with teachers and other students we hadn't seen in awhile. We all took a group picture, then gathered around in the foyer of the gym for breakfast, where there were bagels and donuts to choose from. We all sat around, mingling with whoever happened to show up. A little while later, everyone started leaving, so Marissa and I decided to be rebels and wander around to be nostalgic of our high school years. Everything felt so different, yet at the same time, it was like nothing had changed and there we were just walking to our next period of the day. It feels like another lifetime, writing and thinking about it now. Just sitting here, playing back all the mini mental pictures I have still engrained in my memory are making my heart ache in a good way. I didn't know then, just how good I had it. Marissa and I joked, if only the problems we had then were all we had to deal with now. We wanted to go back in time and shake ourselves over things like that. I would have reminded myself that I have the rest of my life to figure out the big things, to just enjoy the moment, because I didn't know how to do that back then. I was always so caught up in my own little world and my own little problems, or busy daydreaming and writing stories in class, when I could have been paying a little closer attention to what was going on around me.
Fall play junior year of high school (Beth in Little Women)
Singing "The Outside" by Taylor Swift~Senior year

I never thought about it much at the time, but just how many events that took place there, truly shaped my life now; giving me opportunities I probably wouldn't have had anywhere else and meeting people who are characters in the story of my life...Some of them being the antagonists and some of them being the heroes, helping me along with my journey. Some I still talk to, some I run into here and there, and others I don't really see much at all anymore. Either way, they were there and I'm thankful for every lesson they taught me.
We almost cried a couple of times, seeing how they had changed the campus here and there, making our way to the old chemistry classroom for one of our favorite teachers. We hung out in her room for quite awhile, watching her teach, talking with her a few minutes, and observing the kids (some even reminding us of past classmates). When we were done in there, we crashed our Junior year Bible teacher's class. We joked about the quiz he was giving and our classes from the past, moving along to talking about his family, etc.
Me and Marissa in yearbook....
Our tradition picture at Hume Lake christian camp! 
Before I sang the National Anthem at one of our basketball games (with my cousin)
Soph. year Prom! 
The lunch bell rang and we stayed in his class a few minutes longer, then decided to check out one more classroom--my freshman year Bible teacher. The first thing we started talking about was American Idol, of course, because he apparently keeps up with facebook (Ha!), then he was asking Marissa about her boyfriend, turning to me to ask what my situation was. I was like, "Nope, I am single..." And he said, "You're holding out for one of those country singers, aren't you?" I nodded and said, "Yup, that's exactly what I'm doing." Maybe that's my confirmation I've been looking for from God...Hmmm...Couldn't hurt to think that! LOL. He was always a big country music fan (a little more with the traditional country, but some of the newer stuff), so we'd talk about that here and there.
I am thankful for the  relationships I had with my teachers, even if I didn't know just how much they meant at the time. And I'm thankful for Facebook that they're still around to talk to every now and then...Makes you feel like some things aren't so far away anymore. I'm also thankful for those teachers and students who haven't forgotten me...Makes me feel like maybe I did leave some sort of impact there, after all. Plus, Liz and I still get to plan the 10 year reunion, since we were the president and vice president of our senior class...So, there's that ;). HAHA!

"Darling, it was good...
Never looking down,
Right there where we stood...
Was holy ground."
(Holy Ground) 

~ Taylor Swift 

After a morning of reminiscing, I had to go home to get money, then met Marissa at The Marketplace to go to Ulta. I got the new Taylor Swift perfume, which smells incredible, and also got two free bags with my purchase! I was pretty excited about that. From there, we went in a couple other stores, not really looking around, but aimlessly walking and getting into some pretty heavy discussions. After walking around with no real direction, we finally ended up at Baja Fresh for lunch, which was great, and we spent another couple hours talking...Because we never seem to run out of things to say. And a lot of it had to do with school. And I just keep thinking....when did we get so old??? Talking about jobs, loans, class schedules, moving, and the like. It can all be a little overwhelming at times.

When we finished eating, talking and getting refills, we headed out to the parking lot, not really sure of what to do next. So, for a good 30 minutes or so, we stood by Marissa's car, talking more about superhero movie marathons and church...Which is always cool, then we both decided to head home. It was so weird that it was the first time we've hung out since I've gotten my license, and she didn't need to drive me home. Walking back to my car was still a shock, but I guess I'll get used to that in time, and I'm liking this whole new independence thing. Just being able to get in the car and go, cruising down the street listening to KUZZ...It's kind of what I've always dreamed of.

I came home, helped my mom clean a bit for family coming over tomorrow night, watched the Kardashians, had dinner with my parents, then went to the store with them to pick up some last minute things for tomorrow. I ended my night with some ice cream and watching Hollywood Game Night! I feel really good. And for the first time in awhile, I believe myself when I say that.

Looking forward to this weekend! It's going to be a GREAT time! :)

That's all for now,

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