Reading and Writing Our Way Forward
My high school years have shaped me in ways I'm still coming to appreciate. Though I did spend most of these years complaining about all the homework and assignments, I can imagine myself sharing these memories and experiences with my kids in the future.
In light of COVID19 and also just from getting older and more mature, I'm starting to understand how dangerous our situation is right now. For the Class of 2020, the news of not being able to attend prom or graduation feels devastating. But just as others are finding ways to cope, I turn to music for comfort.
I've been obsessed with this song I heard a few months ago. As soon as I listened to this song, memories of my last three years of high school came rushing back to me. It's called To me by an underrated singer, Alina Baraz.This song means everything to me.
When I was a freshman, I came into high school, thinking that my friends from middle school would still be the same. Man, was I naive? Everyone changed the summer going into 9th grade. I was friends with about two of the people I was close to in middle school.
It wasn't until sophomore year where I realized that not only had everyone else changed, but I had too. I didn't t realize it. In a way, I grew up that summer entering 10th grade. It was the one where I learned to cut through the bull. Because of that lesson, I lost a few friendships that year, but I gained some new ones too.
That was the year I became best friends with Madeline. Funny enough, we became friends over a boy we both liked. Instead of arguing and hating each other as other girls would have. We bonded over the experience and the way we both reacted to the situation. Even after the boy was out of the picture, our friendship grew stronger and stronger. It's still growing to this day.
I never thought I'd be so close to a group of girls as I did throughout my sophomore and junior year. As a kid, I always gravitated towards the guys since I grew up knowing that girls were drama and guys were not. I had more guy friends than girlfriends and never thought I needed a female friend group. But during those years, I learned that not all girls live up to the stereotype of drama. Some girls avoid it. Sure we have our secrets and our issues like any other group would, but unlike those other groups we know how to keep stuff in our small circle.
Still, you can't keep one friend group forever. Towards the end of my junior year, my friend group expanded. We all became friends with a few more girls and a few guys. We became super close to one teacher who was like the father of the group. He's the one we all go to for advice. We may be closer to specific people within the group, but there's no jealousy between anyone. We all love each other and know that when we need each other, we'll be there for each other.
Senior year was my place to grow and mature. Though I thought I had already matured during junior year, I realized that you don't stop learning lessons that help you grow as a person. You don't stop meeting people who you begin to create memories with. People grow, people change, and that's okay. I learned that bad things in life are just as good as the good things. They make you stronger, and they teach you lessons so that those bad things don't happen again.
The number of times I have gotten hurt over the years, whether it be by losing a friendship, because of a guy or just family issues, is a lot. But I don't see those things and ask why they happen to me or do I deserve for these things to happen to me. Instead, I see them and think, "how can I learn from this experience." I've learned a lot of things throughout the years, and I know I'll keep learning just because it's a part of life.
"To me" speaks on these lessons and experiences in life and shows how one can appreciate them. The song raises a glass and proposes a toast to all of these memories, good or bad. Its chorus goes like this: "Here's to: good people, good nights, good highs, good health, some tears, some stress but, I count my blessings. Here's to: good music, great sex, little time to feel alive, little time to get it right."
The reality of it is, the things that happen to us in life are blessings we carry. No matter how much they hurt or make you smile, its lesson is the blessing. In a short life, you'll feel like there wasn't enough time to accomplish anything, but honestly if something were to happen to me right now, god forbid, I'd leave knowing I did the most I could've with the time I had.
I made amazing memories with amazing people and even some not so amazing people, but they were important at some point in my life nonetheless. I traveled as much of the world as I could've with trips to Paris, Italy, Colombia, Panama, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and some cities in the United States. I live in New York City. The Big Apple! I got to live other people's dreams. I spent so much time with my family. I went through the worst and got myself back up. I lived.
The best thing you can have in life is the ability to appreciate everything because others might not be as lucky as you have been. The greatest lesson you can take from life is to live it.